Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Name: Jonny Clark
Occupation: Aviation consultant & journalist
College: Tiffin Boys, Kingston
College major: Bournemouth University
Website: TheDesignAir.net, the leading airline product and design news and reviews website
How many countries have you been to? Actually set foot land-side? 47.
How many continents have you been to? Every one apart from Antarctica.
Earliest travel memory: My parents used to take a car from the UK to France on the ferry, I was trying traditional French food like oysters from six-years old.
Favorite American city: Los Angeles. I love the city, the fact it is a sprawling metropolis, and the watching the lights at night from West Hollywood. I’ve never been there when there’s been bad weather, and the fact Palm Springs is just a short drive away makes it even better.
Favorite international city: It’s a toss-up between Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. I love all three for different reasons. Singapore has a great night-scene, it’s laid-back, clean and a very easy city to enjoy. Hong Kong makes you feel alive, with the sprawling streets on the Island reminding me of the film blade runner. It’s a very visual city too, with a fantastic photo opportunity everywhere you look. But Tokyo, is an incubator of design and inspiration for me. It’s so alien to western culture that it has its own style, way of life and rules that open your mind each time you visit.
Least favorite country: Is this a trick question? I love all countries, they’ve all given me great, and different experiences. I guess for that reason, I would have to pick the UK, as every time I land there, I know it’s because another journey has come to an end.
I have no desire to go to: I guess Saudi Arabia, with its stringent laws. It doesn’t necessarily sit well with my lifestyle or views on life.
Friendliest people in the world: I’ve found both Thai and Japanese cultures incredibly warm and friendly.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: USA, by far. It’s not that they are mean, but I have found them rude at times to so many incoming guests. It’s not a great welcome to what is meant to be a great nation.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Blenheim Palace. I did my flight training in Oxford, just a mile away from the historic palace and grounds designed by Capability Brown. It is quintessential British history and a perfect escape from the rat race of London.
Favorite airline: I can’t be biased here, it’s my job to be impartial to all carriers, however, I could go as far to say the Asian carriers are some of the best.
Favorite aircraft type: It’s either the A380 of the 787-9.
Aisle or window: Always aisle. Don’t get me wrong. I love a window seat, watching the world go by, it’s very humbling—but after a few years in a cockpit staring at the view, I’d rather now just have easier access to the aisle to get up and stretch out.
Favorite airport lounge: Cathay Pacific’s lounges in London and Hong Kong are amazing. They are beautiful, residential and feel so removed from the airport experience it’s always sad to leave them. I genuinely arrive earlier just to spend a little more time there.
Favorite U.S. airport: Honolulu. My mother used to live there, and after such a long journey from the UK, it was always great to step out from the aircraft into that open, very stylized retro airport. It’s a gem, and I hope they don’t play around with it too much in regards to renovations.
Favorite international airport: Probably Singapore. It’s clean and efficient, and they even have a swimming pool for guests. It’s also going through a massive expansion and renovation. I can’t wait to see the Jewel project completed.
Favorite hotel: Any of the Aman group would be a dream destination, but I’m also a big fan of the Soneva group, they may only have three hotels, but they allow me just to switch off and recharge.
Favorite cruise line: I’ll let you know when I take one!
Favorite travel credit card: I have a Virgin Atlantic black Amex. I love it, and helps collect miles. I have thousands of them, that reminds me. I must book somewhere!
Favorite island: Soneva Fushi in the Maldives.
Favorite beach: It’s on my favourite island, Soneva Fushi in the Maldives.
Favorite bar: Scarfes Bar in Rosewood London is a particular favourite of mine.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Either an espresso martini, or a cold crisp glass of champagne.
Favorite travel movie(s): Anything I’m too embarrassed to go watch in the cinema. So usually that means animated films.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: I do keep track of Business Traveller, Ausbt.com.au and love The Luxe Edit.
5 things you bring on a plane: Phone charger, my Olympus Pen camera, passport, change of clothes and whenever I can, my partner.
What do you like least about travel? Flights don’t last long enough.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Tom Ford fragrances. I love them.
Favorite travel app(s): Flightradar24, it’s the inner plane geek in me.
What’s your dream destination? Maldives. It might be a cliché, but it’s true.
Best travel tip: Never stop exploring. I follow the mantra that travel is the only thing your spend money on that makes your richer.
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