jumbo stay hotel review

A Night In A B747 Hotel! Jumbo Stay Stockholm Review

*Anzeige / Cooperation

Deaaaaaar Aviaaaaators!

It was not a dream when I woke up after a night on board a B747. Departure and arrival airport was Arlanda Airport in Stockholm so I did not fly anywhere with the Queen of the skies. I got to stay at one of the most iconic hotels around the world. It is a retired B747 aircraft from 1976 which was converted into a hotel/hostel. It’s definitely a must for all aviation lovers. I’m so excited to share my experience with you and maybe you will have the chance to stay there one day as well.

jumbo stay hotel review
jumbo stay hotel review

Entrance to the B747 lobby and café

jumbo stay hotel review

You can take a walk on the left wing! WOW

jumbo stay hotel review

The owner tried to preserve as many details as possible!

A Hotel Inside A B747 ✈️

Jumbo StayThat’s the name of the hostel/hotel inside a decommissioned Boeing 747-200 at Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Sweden. It officially opened in January 2009. I visited the Jumbo 3 years ago during a layover but did not stay there at the time.

Originally the aircraft was built for Singapore Airlines in 1976, and was later sold to Pan American World Airways. Later, it operated for Cathay Pacific Airways and Garuda Indonesia. Its last air operator was Transjet, a Swedish charter airline based at Stockholm Arlanda Airport, that unfortunately went bankrupt in 2002.

jumbo stay hotel review

The corridor to the different rooms

jumbo stay hotel review

The café in the nose of the plane!

jumbo stay hotel review
jumbo stay hotel review

History and specs of the B747-200

Rooms & Suites 🛌 

Jumbo Stay offers 33 rooms with most of them having four beds in each room. All together, the hostel offers 76 beds; one of the more luxurious is to be found at the upper flight deck. That is the ultimate highlight of the hotel.  If you want to stay there, you need to book months in advance! 

jumbo stay hotel review

Unique views walking around the B747 on the ground!

jumbo stay hotel review

I stayed in a single room with a private bathroom in the back of the plane

jumbo stay hotel review

Dorm rooms for up to four people

jumbo stay hotel review

You can even stay in the engines 🙂

All rooms have access to bathrooms in the corridor, apart from the Cockpit suite, the Black Box suite and one single room which boasts its own shower and WC. Please consider that not all rooms have their own bathroom when you book your room. In my opinion, you should not save here! Unfortunately, the cockpit suite was occupied that night, but I still had the chance to look at it after check out and  decided I must return to sleep to experience a night there 🙂

jumbo stay hotel review

The highlight is always the cockpit!

jumbo stay hotel review

The iconic suite in the cockpit!

jumbo stay hotel review

This is just too awesome! Happy landings and dreaming!

jumbo stay hotel review

You sleep next to the original flight controls

“Breakfast” 🍳

It is an experience staying at the Jumbo Stay but you would definitely not go there for an amazing breakfast. It is super simple but having coffee and a Swedish crispy brioche in the nose of a B747 does upgrade it a lot. You can always head to the Terminal, which is only a few minutes away, for more food. 

jumbo stay hotel review

Upper deck lounge

jumbo stay hotel review
jumbo stay hotel review

The Conversion 🏨 

Following a restoration that began in January 2008 and cost the equivalent of more than US$3,000,000, the aircraft was towed to its new permanent location, on a grass-covered mound, just outside the perimeter of the airport in Stockholm.  Its interior had been almost entirely changed, although a number of its features, such as the flight controls and some of the original seats and windows, had been retained.

At its permanent site, the aircraft was mounted on a concrete foundation, and its landing gear was secured in two steel cradles.  Additionally, a set of metal stairs and a lift were installed at its main entrance on its left side. I like that they made the left wing accessible so people can walk all the way to the wing tip to have a unique view they would normally not get from a B747. On top, visitors can access the upper deck behind the cockpit suite. Here they will find the first class lounge with the original seats from 1976.

jumbo stay hotel review

Escape emergency ropes for the cockpit crew!

jumbo stay hotel review
jumbo stay hotel review

A must for all aviation lovers to sleep here on night!

jumbo stay hotel review

My Feedback 🙋🏼‍♂️

It is definitely not a 5 star hotel, but the experience sleeping on board a B747 aircraft, makes it more than 5 stars. The hotel is now over 13 years old, so it needs some restoration and repair, which is quite noticeable, but I overlooked that because it is so unique and iconic.

If you only have a few hours at Arlanda Airport you can still visit the Jumbo Stay and have a coffee in the cafe. It is open to the general public – not exclusive to staying guests only. Go and stay there and make some long lasting memories! Trust me, you will for sure have a good night’s sleep on board.

In which unique hotel have you stayed before? Let me in a comment below and please do not forget to like my blog post!

Happy landings inside the B747!

Your PilotPatrick

baggage travel tips

Travel Chaos - 7 Tips For Your Baggage From a Pilot

Dear Aviator,

Summer time has landed, Corona restrictions are almost non-existent, everyone wants to travel again but the aviation industry is not ready for the post Corona boom. Personally I knew that something like this travel chaos would happen. Airports and airlines shorten their staff extremely and now this is the result. The aviation industry was not prepared for this and cannot react fast enough because missing staff need time to be trained. In the end you and other Aviators have to take the bait of the mismanagement. Next to a lot of flight cancellations a lot of luggage gets lost or delayed. a lot of chaos. I am here to help you!

baggage travel tips

Living a travel life for over 12 years, I have some useful hacks. Here are my baggage tips, which help to keep your stress level low, reduce waiting time and enhance your travel experience. Not only this crazy summer but whenever you travel to see the world.

1. Invest In High Quality Baggage 💸

That’s my golden rule when it comes to baggage. Do not attempt to save money on cheap products – invest in high quality luggage pieces. Really thank me later for that! What’s the point of buying cheap when it breaks after a few journeys or you cannot repair it because it is from a no-name brand. There is a saying in Germany. “Those who save, pay double in the end”. 

When I started flying 12 years ago I bought a pilot business trolley and a medium size suitcase made of aluminium, from the brand Rimowa. Even then the set was quite expensive but I still have them and use them. I’ve only had to have minor repairs done to them, like fixing the wheels or the rubber sealing. 

I recommend getting hardcase suitcases made of aluminium and not poly carbonat. The downside of a “plastic” suitcase is when the case breaks you will not be able to fix it. But with an aluminium case you will be able to remove the tend.

baggage travel tips
baggage travel tips

My suitcase set I got 2010 when I started flying

2. Fly With Hand Luggage Only 🛫

I know  it is not easy. I always have huge problems packing lightly but in this current travel chaos it is definitely a lifesaver. Of course, when going on a 3 week trip it will be extremely difficult to travel light,  but when going on a city trip for a few days, it should be possible. Think carefully about what you really need on your trip. You can always get heavy toiletries at your destination and when you need extra clothing go shopping!

Due to overloads at the airports, a lot of checked-in luggage does not reach their destinations with your travels. So it is advisable to travel with just hand luggage at the moment.

baggage travel tips

3. Track Your Baggage 📲

It is the worst feeling to discover  that your luggage has got lost and the airport does not have a clue where it is. On one of my last trips, my check in luggage was gone for over 10 days. Only by annoying the airline hotline and being proactive in finding my suitcase, was I able to retrieve it. I took a taxi and drove to the luggage depot close to the depot myself. Luckily I did, because otherwise I would still be waiting on the delivery! Due to an IT issue, all personal data connected to the suitcase was incorrect. 

So consider getting a GPS tracker, which shows you where your precious piece of luggage is at any moment. Apple offers their Airtag (please note it only works when an iPhone is close by) but there are cheaper alternatives on the market as well.

baggage travel tips

Approaching Cannes Airport, South of France

baggage travel tips

4. Know Your Baggage Rights ⚖️

It is extremely important to know your passenger rights when your piece of luggage gets lost or is delayed. There is a maximum compensation for a lost suitcase; there are deadlines to notify your issue; and there is a limited budget when your baggage is delayed at your destination. Here you can find all relevant passengers rights concerning baggage. 


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Ein Beitrag geteilt von Patrick Biedenkapp | Captain (@pilotpatrick)

5. Know The Maximum Dimensions 🎛

Knowing the maximum dimensions of your luggage will definitely avoid hassle, anger and save you a lot of money.  Be aware that the hand luggage dimensions and the maximum weight guidelines differ from airline to airline. Double check before heading to the airport or even when booking your flight ticket because nowadays a carry-on piece is not included with some operators. In instances where your high quality travel accessory is too big or heavy at the airport, the airline can charge you significantly extra for it. This can definitely ruin your travel mood.

baggage travel tips

Uniform photo shooting in Barcelona 2016

6. Back up in your Hand Luggage 💼

This is another pro trip I learnt from travelling non stop. Try not to be dependent on your checked in luggage. Always pack important stuff like medicine, documents and valuables in your carry on luggage. Moreover, put some clothing in there as well so you will be able to survive a few days without your checked in bag. This can be a life saver should your baggage be delayed – so you do not need to spend unnecessary time buying clothing you might not use again.

baggage travel tips

Pack the things you really need!

7. Get Insurance for your Baggage 💳

For example, the maximum compensation you can get for a lost bag is 1.385€ per passenger and piece. My Rimowa trunk suitcase is worth over 1.100€ without any content. So when travelling with expensive stuff it is advisable to get extra insurance for your luggage. Online I found an insurance company which protects your bag for up to 5.000€ for 60€ a year. Flying and travelling a lot increases the probability of losing a bag significantly. Keep this in mind!

I hope you enjoyed my article: “Travel Chaos – 7 Tips For Your Baggage From a Pilot”. Please do not forget to like the blog post and let me know in the comments if you have another great tip!

Happy and relaxed landings!

Your PilotPatrick


What Did I Not Like About The ILA22?

Hey My dear Aviator,

I was in the lucky position to visit the ILA 22 in Berlin. Why is it lucky? Because all visitor tickets were sold before the aerospace exhibition even opened up its gates after a four-year break due to Corona. So for any of my Aviators who did not make it, I have the highlights for you in this article. But I warn you beforehand. There are not too many. In the end, the ILA22 disappointed me a bit. Find out why.


Do not get me wrong. I am not complaining at this point. I am ultimately happy that Berlin and Brandenburg have been hosting the ILA (Internationale Luftfahrt Ausstellung) for many years. It is just a 30-minute drive from my home to get to the exhibition which every aviation enthusiast will enjoy. Just the fact that you get up very close to aircraft you would normally not see, is a thrill.



The Airbus A350 cockpit

The Static Display ✈️

For me, the static display with different aircraft types is the most exciting part of the exhibition. However, the selection is not that vast and I expected a much bigger display. Additionally, it is not possible for the public to take a step on board, which certainly makes a difference when visiting such an exhibition. I only got to go on board the A350 and BelugaXL because I know someone who knows someone. Otherwise, I would only have been able to see the aircraft from outside. This would have disappointed me a lot, especially as stepping inside of the BelugaXL freighter aircraft was an exceptional experience.


The B707 of the NATO


Cockpit of the NATO B707 surveillance aircraft


Airbus BelugaXL with its open freighter door

The Military Dominated 🪖

The majority of the aircraft at the static display belonged to the military. Besides fighter jets fabricators, the German military, the US military and NATO displayed their flying equipment. Of course, it is interesting to see, because when do you get to go on board a Boeing 707 of the NATO or take a seat inside a Tornado jet?! Personally, my aviation heart would have opened up more with future aircraft models, mock-ups and new civil aeroplanes.


German Chancellor Olaf Scholz opening the ILA22


Top Gun feeling inside a Tornado fighter jet

Emirates Did It Right Again 💺

I think without Emirates there would not have been a commercial airline displaying one of their jets. Emirates came with their last delivered A380 and everyone willing to wait in a long queue was invited to step on board and visit the entire aircraft with its four different classes. Why four? Emirates now has a sleek new Premium Economy Class which settles between Economy and Business Class. The entire cabin has got a design touch up and of course the Sky bar on the upper deck is, besides the cockpit, the best part of the King of the Skies. 


The last A380 ordered by Emirates


The new Premium Economy Class of Emirates


Great outlook: Emirates is searching for crew again!

My Wish For ILA In 2024 🌈

Please ILA get bigger and better in two years. Airbus needs to open up their aeroplanes to visitors. They are also their clients who want to see the latest innovations and also want to hear about them. In order to improve the passenger experience, prospective flyers should be invited to enter the aeroplanes.


New innovations in the Airspace cabin of the A350

This Could Be Upgraded 🌟

  • Even though the ILA motto is #Pioneering Aerospace, I didn’t really get to discover this on the static display. I would have liked to see more mockups, future aeroplanes and innovations. The same A350 was displayed four years ago and I did not notice any major updates in the cabin. 
  • I want to see more civil aviation and more aeroplanes showing their latest innovations which the public are able to touch and experience in real life in an airshow.
  • Don’t be so old-fashioned ILA in 2 years. We are in the 21st century and aviation is still a fascinating branch. However, it needs the approval and support of society, as environmental protection becomes more and more essential. That’s why I believe such exhibitions can be so much more informative, entertaining and special to their visitors.
  • Another wish for 2024 is that Emirates finally operates to and from Berlin Brandenburg airport by then.

I hope you enjoyed my blog post “What I Did Not Like About The ILA22?” Do not get me wrong I am not here to spread any bad vibes. I just want to get new and fresh impulses for the future. Like I hear your critics about me, I am sharing my constructive feedback about topics.  

Please like my blog post and leave me a comment with your opinion.

Happy and safe landings!

Your PilotPatrick

how to become a pilot

How To Become a Commercial Pilot - My 10 Tips To Suceed

“How to become a pilot?” Probably the most frequent question I’m getting asked throughout my social media channels and also in real life. I am here to inform you, so I am more than happy to answer you again and again. 

Dear Loyal Aviator, 

Welcome on board my blog. Besides my series “How I became a pilot”, I want to give you 10 personal pieces of advice if you are hoping to become a commercial pilot.

how to become a private pilot

So Many Pilot Licenses 🎟

First of all I want to clarify the different types of licenses:

PPL: Private Pilot License. As the name suggests this license is solely used for private operation. (e.g. flying in a small piston engine, non-commercial)

BLOG: “How To Become A Private Pilot Fast

CPL: Commercial Pilot License. This license grants you to fly aircraft commercially (passengers and or cargo) as a First Officer. 

ATPL: Aircraft Transport Pilot License. This license is granted to those who fulfill certain flight hours and are holding a CPL with ATPL theory. This type of license is needed to become the commander on board.

how to become a private pilot

My 10 Tips On How To Become a Commercial Pilot:  

1. Your Health Status 👨🏼‍⚕️

Make sure you are fit to fly and you meet all medical requirements to pass the class 1 examination. The visit to the doctor should be one of your first steps when thinking about becoming a pilot. After having passed the initial examination, you need to revalidate your Medical every year which requires you to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercises and a healthy diet will tremendously increase the chance to pass every medical check throughout your career. This job is not made for lazy people even though being a pilot requires sitting a lot.


2. Your Genius Level 🤓

Be efficient in mathematics and physics. You do not have to be a genius, but basic knowledge in these subjects is necessary when you want to become a pilot. Your sense of space should be well developed, which will help you originate quickly when flying in a 3-dimensional space. Check the requirements of airlines and flight school as to which kind of graduation level they expect. Some airlines only hire pilots with a high school/ A-level graduation.


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Ein Beitrag geteilt von Patrick Biedenkapp | Captain (@pilotpatrick)

3. Find The Right Flight School 👨🏼‍🏫

Find the flight school which suits you the best. There are many flight schools which all promise to make a pilot out of you. Attend “Open Days” or info events at the flight schools to gather as much information as possible. Try to talk to graduates to get genuine, truthful feedback. Consider the location of the school, training devices and length of the entire education. Here you find a list of flight schools for example.


4. Pilot For a Day 🛩

Go for a short test flight lesson with an instructor. This way you will find out if you agree with Leonardo Da Vinci’s quote:

“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return“.

I think it is a smart idea to invest this money to get a better indication as to whether your imagination of flying an airplane matches reality.

5. Who Pays For It? 💸

Flight training with an airline. This would be the best and financially, least risky way of becoming a commercial pilot. Usually airlines give you a training loan and offer you a cockpit position after graduating successfully. A certain amount of the training cost is paid back with your salary. (differs for all airlines of course). I have not heard about any scholarships for cadets and the pandemic has changed a lot in the aviation industry as well.

6. Self-funded Training 🙋🏼‍♂️

Consider the high education costs of a private flight school. I was lucky that my parents were able to support me financially. The costs were around 70.000€. Depending on the school and country, the prices range from 50.000 to 150.000€. Additionally you have to consider the costs for daily living and accommodation. It will be quite difficult to work part time since integrated training is very time consuming. Even when you get a loan to pay for the training there is absolutely no job guarantee in the end.

7. Modular Training 🛸

In case you do not have the financial background, it would be a more safe way to do the training step by step. This type is called modular training. I do not want to scare you, but there are students who took out a high loan to afford the training. This can be quite risky when you do not get a job right away and/or the salary turns out to be not as good as expected.

8. No professional education 🤯

A pilot license is not an official professional education. In the event of losing your medical for whatever reason, you can only show flight hours in your logbook. That is why I decided to attend a distant university after becoming a pilot, but then social media became a major part of my life.  Maybe think about going to college or learn a profession before becoming a pilot. Sounds strange, but it is always good to have a Plan B.

process of becoming a captain

9. Pros And Cons 👈🏼

Think about what the pros and cons of a pilot life could mean for you. Especially at the beginning of your career, you should be quite flexible in terms of your home base location. During your training you might be forced to move to different places which can be extremely difficult when you have a family. Always take all possible options into account. 

BLOG: Pros And Cons Of Being a Pilot

10. Go to exhibitions ✈️

I recommend going to exhibitions, where flight schools introduce themselves. For example: The ILA (Internationale Luft- und Raumfahrtausstellung) in Berlin. At the career center you have the chance to get to know different flight schools and chat with them. I am sure there are career fairs near you. Do not hesitate to use google search 🙂

how I became a pilot

I hope you find my updated article helpful. Please do not forget to like the blog post.

Positive mind, positive life and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

process of becoming a captain

12 Years Being a Pilot: Pros And Cons Of a Dream Job

Dear my Aviator,

I’m m now working for 12 years in the aviation industry and it is even over 14 years ago that I signed the contract with my former flight school to become a commercial pilot. I take this anniversary as an occasion to recap my time as a pilot. Even though my time as a pilot had a lot of ups and downs it is still a dream job for me. On my social media, everything might look perfect, but this job also has its downsides. Are you ready for the pros and cons of being a pilot?

But let’s start with a little aspect that annoys me about being a pilot. Security checks. As a private jet pilot, I had the privilege to skip security controls at many destinations. But as a commercial pilot you have to pass security like any other passenger with only a few exceptions.

Paris security staff treat pilots like a potential terrorist.

This is so ridiculous when you take into account that all crew members have a valid background check. Once they wanted to see my turmeric powder in my food bag. They tried to check it for liquid?! In the end, had to taste the spice in front of the security staff to prove that it is not an explosive. A waste of time and nerves but I decided to take it with humour from now on.

Flight school 👨🏼‍🏫

After I graduated high school I started right away preparing for the assessment to become a flight student for Lufthansa. I failed the first step of the selection process due to my extreme nervosity at that time.

Back then I was really sad about this but now I see it from a whole different perspective and I am actually happy that I failed the test.

I definitely took a more difficult way to become a pilot. The flight training was self-funded, which made me put so much effort into it so I would for sure succeed. There was no job guarantee after graduating from flight school. It was tough to start my aviation career as a first officer on a private jet. The “Lufthansa way” would have been the easy way but would not have made me the person and pilot I am today.

PRO: You have the time of your life with lots of studying and flying.

CON: No job guarantee with a self-funded training. There is a high risk of not getting a job and the waiting time can be extremely long. 

Pilot Licence 🎟

It is not an easy and inexpensive path to obtain the license to fly commercial airplanes. But in the end, it is “only” a license and not an occupational education nor a degree. Health restrictions could cause your inability to fly, thus you can not pursue your profession further. At least not in an actual cockpit. As a little back up I got a loss of license insurance which is a must for every pilot.

CON: If you lose your medical you lose your license and you cannot fly anymore. In case you did not study you are left without any education. With a contract, the airline pays for your training and keeps all ratings valid. In case of unemployment, you have to take care of it yourself which can get extremely costly. 

PRO: You fly yourself and you are in control of powerful machines. 

Salary 💸

The days of making a fortune as a pilot are over. A good availability of pilots on the market causes that working conditions and salaries to drop as it happens at moment due to the pandemic. Especially as a first pilot, the current time is not easy. My net salary was around 2800€ when I started in 2010. Luckily, I did not have to take a loan for the training, because my parents supported me. Imagine if have to pay back the costs of the license (70.000€) plus the type rating costs (20.000€) it would take ages and would not leave any money left to save.

The salary depends highly on which company you fly for, where you are based, which aircraft type you fly and how well you negotiate your salary.

There are a few pilot jobs out there in which you can make really good money. Especially in the business aviation on a private jet flying for an owner, you can easily earn 20,000€ as captain but those jobs are extremely rare and do not give you a lot of security.

PRO: A captain’s salary enables you to have a good life. But it is usually a long way to the left seat. 

CON: Pilot salaries differ greatly. Even “Pay to fly models” exist where pilots have to pay the airline to fly. You have to invest a lot and work hard to boost your income. When switching companies you lose your seniority or might even fly as first officer again. 

Job security 🦠

Aviation is a volatile business with great ups and downs. The pandemic has shown us how volatile. From one to the other day several ten thousand pilots got unemployed. You are dependent on the profitability of your airline. If an airline cannot cope with a crisis or suffers from bad management pilots are not needed anymore.

PRO: No office day is the same and you do not take any left work home. You can enjoy the good reputation of being a pilot and you get paid to look out of the window. 

CON: You are only needed as long there are flights and aircraft. This profession is highly specialized you can only fly aircraft and you are type rated on one special aircraft.

Social life and free time 🏄🏼

Do you have a social life? I have been getting asked this question many times. Of course, I do like everyone else.

But it requires good organization and planning to see friends and family.

You often have free time during the week when the majority of the people has to work and has no time. But one aspect I exceptionally like about the job is that you do not take any work home.

PRO: I have more than ten off days in a month. (German law requires a minimum of eight) Sometimes it is even half of the month that I am not working. Between duty days I can at least enjoy four off days in a row without taking leave. In which kind of job do you have this?

CON: You are not home. About half of the month you are not at home, so you will not be able to attend all family and friend events. It is not possible to attend weekly classes regularly like language or dancing classes. 

Layovers 🗺

In the past 12 years I have been to hundreds of different locations in Europe, North Africa, Middle East and Russia. As a private jet and as an airline pilot I am having layovers outside of my home base. The time I get to spend at one destination ranges from minimum rest (10 hours) up to two days. The destinations were varying all the time as a private jet pilot. I really liked the fact that I got to choose the crew hotel myself. You can imagine that I did not stay in the worst places. 😉

PRO: I have a fixed flight schedule and I know how much time I have at one destination. I can really use my rest time to do activities. (airline pilot)

CON: When the network is limited you get to stay at the same destination more often. (airline pilot)

Working hours ⏰

The pilot job has probably one of the most irregular working hours. Aviation does not know weekends or public holidays. There are some days you only have one flight and there are others you have up to five legs. Instead of four duty hours up to 16. Fortunately, I did not have to deal with jet lag, since I have been flying mostly within Europe. As a private jet pilot, I flew primarily during the day since VIPs do not like to get up early. As an airline pilot, I also got to fly at night, which is a lot of stress for your body and you have to fight against fatigue.

PRO: I like the irregular working hours. I do not have to get up at the same time every day. Some flying days are long some are short. The work remains on board and when I have off I have off.

CON: Due to the irregular working hours I have to take good care of my body. That is why I have a healthy diet and do regular body exercises to stay fit.

Crew life 🥳

Becoming a pilot means you become part of a big family. Crews all share the same passion which connects everyone easily. To guarantee a safe flight requires the crew to work in a team in a small environment. I think that is why you won’t find this energy and enthusiasm in other jobs. Crews take care of each other and support each other. The well being of each crew member ensures the safety of each flight. Nevertheless, there is a lack of diversity in aviation.

Especially in the cockpit, you will not find many members of the LGBTQ community.

I have met great, open-minded, and modern thinking pilots. Most of them belonged to the younger generation. Unfortunately, there is still a huge percentage of pilots that are not tolerant and have an old fashioned mindset when it comes to sexuality.

PRO: Colleagues can become friends. To share the flight experience and to spend the layover together is double the fun.

CON: During work, I am not staying at a nice location with my beloved once. It still remains work. Every crew member has their own daily routine so it happens that you only spend time together in the cockpit and the rest of the time everyone does their own thing. 

Upgrade 👨🏼‍✈️

One aspect I really love about my job is that you constantly need to learn to be the best pilot possible. Whether it is to improve your flying skills or to review system related knowledge. Aviation requires you to be up to date on new procedures and regulations. Even after flying an aircraft for thousands of hours, you will find out something new about it.

With the first day of your first officer career, you start your training to become a captain one day.

PRO: You never stop learning as a pilot. That is a really nice fact which makes this job so interesting.

CON: Switching companies means you lose your seniority. So you usually have to fly as first officer again even though you flew as captain before. Becoming a captain can take up to 10 years.

What would I have done differently?

I would have done everything exactly the same, except one point. Before starting with the flight training, I would have studied to get a degree or at least studied in parallel to the flight school. Keep this in mind when deciding to become a commercial pilot.

Which downside would you like the least? Please let me in a comment below and do not forget to like this blog post. 

Happy landings!

Your Pilot Patrick

faq hair transplantation

10 Most Asked Questions Regarding My Hair Transplantation

Kooperation / Anzeige

Hey my dear Aviator,

I did it and I am so happy I have done it! I was flirting with the idea of having a hair transplant for a very long time but I did not really feel the urge to do it. But then I looked at some older photos and I saw my old beautiful hairline. I imagined how it would be to have dense hair again and all the nice hairstyles I could do again. Your reaction and interest was amazing so I decided to answer your 10 most asked questions regarding my hair transplant.

faq hair transplantation
faq hair transplantation

Hairline before the treatment. You can clearly see the receding hairline.

FAQ Hair Transplantation

1. Why did I do it? 💇🏼‍♂️

In my mid-twenties, I noticed that I was starting to lose hair, primarily on my forehead, meaning that my hairline began to recede. I was so shocked because I love my fluffy curly hair and I did not want to lose it so early. To slow down the process I altered my hair care routine. I started using organic shampoos which are sensitive to hair and I tried to pamper my scalp.  A healthy head skin creates the right environment so the hair root stays in place. I did get the impression that it helped a lot but the lost hair did not grow back! So I decided to have a hair transplant.

TIP: Use organic hair care products, no hot hair drying, less styling products, do not wash your hair daily, no rubbing with the towel, and take vitamins for your hair like this product.

faq hair transplantation

Consultation with the doctor of NOVOHAIR before the treatment.

2. Where did I do it? 📍

I had my hair transplant here in my home base of Berlin. NOVOHAIR is located at the famous Kurfürstendamm in a beautiful typical Berlin building. They work with experienced doctors who are helping people to realise their hair dreams. 

TIP: Novorhair specialises in all kinds of hair treatments. For personalised advice and treatment, just make an appointment for a non-binding consultation!

faq hair transplantation
faq hair transplantation

I was not really nervous only excited!

3. Where was the hair transplant done? 🙇🏼

You might be wondering where the hair transplant was done since my hair looks totally “normal” right now. In some cases, the entire head needs to get shaved. Luckily, not in my case.  Only the donor area (aft head) and a little bit of my forehead had to get shaved. So I could keep my long curly hair to cover my hair transplantation area in the front of my head. 

TIP: Sometimes it is not necessary to shave the entire head. Be sure to discuss the intricacies of this with your doctor. In general, I would recommend having the transplant when you are less busy and during the cold season when you spend more time at home. 

faq hair transplantation
faq hair transplantation

Marking my new hairline!

4. What does FUE treatment mean? 👩🏼‍⚕️

FUE stands for Follicular Unit Extraction and is currently the most modern and gentle treatment against hair loss.

In an FUE hair transplant, hair follicles are harvested one at a time from areas of high and dense hair growth – most commonly at the back or sides of the head – and then transplanted to the desired area for the hair growth.

A special motorized FUE instrument is used at NOVOHAIR. The use of this device has decisive advantages: the probability of successful transplantation is far higher and the comfort of the patient is significantly improved. The hair can be removed much faster and more precisely so that the treatment time is shortened enormously. In addition, the healing process is much faster and the treatment leaves only microscopic scars that are not visible.

faq hair transplantation

Extraction of the hair follicle at the aft head

faq hair transplantation

My 2000 grafts ready to be transplanted

faq hair transplantation

5. What is the hardest? 🤯

It has been over 4 weeks since the hair transplantation. At first, I thought the lengthy treatment was the hardest, then it was the upright sleeping position and then it was not doing any sports for 3 weeks. But now I find it really hard to wait for the final result of the transplant. You can see the hair growing already a little bit but it will take some more months for my new hairline to appear completely. 

TIP: Have patience and follow the guidelines of your doctor precisely for the best possible result.

faq hair transplantation

I listened to music and I felt comfortable. In the end, I got uneasy because of the length.

faq hair transplantation

Hair transplantation is done after five hours!

6. Was it painful? 🤕

The entire transplant took about five hours, which can be even longer when more hair needs to be transplanted. In my case, it was around 2000 grafts. The injections for the anaesthesia are a little bit painful but afterwards, you feel almost nothing. Even after the effect of anaesthesia was gone I did not feel any strong pain. In the event that the pain is unbearable, mild painkillers can be taken during the first couple of days. I would say after a week the healing of the transplant and donor area was so advanced that the unpleasant pressure on the head and the swelling was gone. 

TIP: During the treatment, I enjoyed noise cancelling headphones so I only could hear music playing. 

faq hair transplantation

How my hair looks like after fours days!

7. When can I do sports again? 💪🏼

You are not allowed to do any sports for three weeks, and also not participate in any activity which might increase your heart rate. I also refrained from drinking any caffeine beverages. This promotes the healing process. 

TIP: Strictly follow the aftercare guidelines by the doctor for the best possible result


8. How long does it take for the result? ⏲

The growth of the graft is gradual. A rest phase begins immediately after the treatment. During this time, the transplanted hair roots grow onto the scalp. After about a month the natural hair growth begins. After about a year you have a full, dense and natural-looking hair structure.

faq hair transplantation

Luckily I can cover the transplant area with my curls.

9. How long does it last? 💀

Hair transplants are a one-time procedure with long-term results. The hair transplant lasts a lifetime as long as you follow a healthy hair care routine. 

10. What are the costs? 💵

The costs for a hair transplant varies from person to person due to the size of the transplant area and the number of grafts. In my case, my treatment cost 4000€

TIP: Novorhair is specialised for all kinds of hair treatments. If you have a hair dream, just make an appointment for a non-binding consultation!

faq hair transplantation

The healing process takes a few weeks now. The full result almost a year.

So I hope my blog post “10 Most Asked Questions Regarding My Hair Transplant” helped making yourself a clearer picture of the treatment. Please let me know if you have any further questions in a comment below and do not forget to like the post!

Your PilotPatrick

tops and flops of tulum

12 Tops And Flops of Tulum

Kooperation / Anzeige

Dear Aviator,

In January I went to Tulum in Mexico for the first time, to spend my vacation there. This destination has been on my bucket list for so long and I was finally able to experience the vibe myself. To be honest, I loved and hated it at the same time. Here are my 12 tops and flops of Tulum so you can decide for yourself if it is worth the journey for you.

tops and flops tulum

1. Top Beach  #lifeisgood🏝

Tulum Beach can be very relaxing as long as there is no partying taking place as there is a lot of loud music playing. Especially at night. So how is it relaxing?

Compared to other popular beach travel destinations, you will not find any noisy water sports, no screaming kids and no aeroplanes (unfortunately) which fly over you at low levels. However, you will find one hotel next to the other at the beachfront. Luckily there are no huge hotel bunkers, instead, there are beautiful small boutique hotels that are integrated into the surrounding jungle. To get access to the beach you need to use the entrance of a hotel or a day beach club.    

TIP: Gitano Beach Club is a place to be when you are looking for cold drinks, tasty food and good music at the beach. You can chillax in cosy day beds and you can take a refreshing swim in a private bay.

tops and flops tulum


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tops and flops tulum

2. Flop Payment  #midevil 💳

OMG! This was the worst and so annoying! Some venues accepted credit cards only – then we discovered the machines did not work. Others accepted cash only but to get local currencies was not easy either. When paying by card most venues charged a service fee. So be careful, sometimes these charges can be up to 10% of your original bill. 

TIP: Bring some cash. Pesos and USD dollars with you. Have at least two credit cards and be prepared for a lot of hassle when paying.

tops and flops tulum
tops and flops tulum

At Los Bowls de Guadalupe you get healthy food and you can pay by card!

3. Top Entry  #forall 🤗

Mexico is one of the few countries which lets in unvaccinated tourists without any test. So this is very convenient for some and reduces the pre-travel stress significantly. Even though hygiene measures were in force, everything was open and you could enjoy a “normal life” without having to think about Covid all the time.

TIP: Enjoy to the fullest!

tops and flops tulum

4. Flop Safety  #drugwar 🔫

I had mixed feelings when it came to safety in the Tulum bubble. Before my trip I read some shocking news about guns fired between different cartels, causing injuries to tourists and that the local police were highly corrupt. The pandemic also appears to have worsened the situation, with robberies on the street. The recent events made the Mexican government send armed soldiers to the tourist hotspots to provide safety for the people. 

Tip: Leave your expensive jewellery at home. Do not have a lot of cash with you and do not walk in abandoned parts of the city at night. Use your hotel safe to store valuables. If someone tries to rob you,  just give him/her what you have. Your life is far more valuable than your possessions.

tops and flops tulum
tops and flops tulum

5. Top Parties #godancing 🕺

To be honest, before I went to Tulum, I thought it was a destination to relax, to have healthy food and to dress up. But it is also an extreme Party location. You can go dancing to the beats of world-famous DJs.

TIP: Party venues stretch over the entire city. I personally enjoyed the open-air parties right at the beach the most. The regular cover is extremely expensive though. 

tops and flops tulum

6. Flop Prices #ripoff 💸

Prices in Tulum shocked me so much. Tulum has nothing to do with the rest of Mexico. It is a bubble right in the middle of the jungle. It is somehow working but very insatiable. The entire infrastructure is not built for the size of the city. Fresh water comes with trucks to the beach hotel and electricity is produced through generators. Prices for parties, hotel rooms and dinner can easily cost several hundred Euros in a country that is relatively poor. Everyone is trying to get your money and this can be very annoying on vacation and ruins the vibe. Tulum is a destination for tourists who do not necessarily have to look at a travel budget.  

TIP: The Prices for food are more responsible in downtown Tulum. Do not go there if you have a small travel budget, because Tulum will not be so enjoyable.

tops and flops tulum
tops and flops tulum
tops and flops tulum

7. Top Food  #inheaven 😋

Tulum offers food outlets for every taste, budget and high-end tasters. For vegans and vegetarians, this is the place to be. As a foodie, you will be floating on cloud nine in Tulum.

TIP: I enjoyed Meze and Taboo for dinner. Both venues slowly transformed into a party location in the evening. Prices are generally higher at the beach compared to restaurants and cafes in the downtown region.

tops and flops tulum
tops and flops tulum

8. Flop Taxis  #theworst 🚕

Taking a cab in Tulum is a nightmare. There is no UBER service or any other transportation app. There is no taximeter, so the price will be set by the driver. Prices go up ridiculously at night. During the day you pay around 15€ between downtown and the beach. At night they want around 70€. 

TIP: Negotiate the price before taking a taxi. Tell them which price you want to pay and stick with it. Drivers will try to ask for more money.  If they ask for too much money for the trip, go to the next taxi. Have cash with you, because not all drivers accept cards.

tops and flops tulum

9. Top Vibe  #unique 🚀

Tulum is a bubble and the vibe within it is exceptional. I love how people dress up just to go to the beach. It is glamorous in some way but also down to earth. I did not have the feeling that it was artificially nice but genuinely friendly. It has a certain type of people living and visiting there, I would say. 

TIP: Get some clothing which suits the Tulum vibe before your journey. Prices are a lot more expensive there. 

tops and flops tulum
tops and flops tulum

10. Flop Cocktails  #awful 🍹

If you are into cocktails, then I have to disappoint you. Tulum lacks good barkeepers. Anyways, that’s a perfect reason to drink less. Alcohol is toxic to your body. Instead, have a green smoothie at the RAW Love Beach.

TIP: If you need to have a drink then have one with mezcal –  the world-famous tequila of Mexico.  

tops and flops tulum


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11. Top Nature  #stunning 🌿

Most people visiting Tulum forget how beautiful the surrounding nature is – they may be too focused on partying and relaxing at the beach. You definitely have to visit the Cenotes, which are sweet water sinkholes connected through a tunnel system with the ocean. They are spectacular and a must-visit, like the beachfront Maya Ruins of Tulum 

TIP: Origin Dive project offers an amazing exclusive experience in a Maya reserve. Besides diving into an underwater cave (without experience) you will fly over a Centore with a zip line. I absolutely recommend doing it. It was one of the best activity experiences I have ever had.

tops and flops tulum

Experience with Origin Dive Project 


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tops and flops tulum

12. Flop Streets #wrongturn 🚧

Streets in Tulum are a big big flop – especially in Downtown Tulum.

 Some of them are so terrible that I would not call them streets even though they lead to a residential area and to high-end hotels. At night there is no street lighting and you have to be extremely careful. Additionally, traffic to and from the beach can be a disaster because the infrastructure is not made to cope with the high number of visitors.

TIP: Rent a scooter to be flexible and to get around quickly. But I would only drive one if you have experience and feel safe driving one. 

tops and flops tulum

So…are you going to Tulum after you read my blog post about the tops and flops of Tulum? Please let me in a comment below and do not forget to like the post!

Your PilotPatrick

change when flying post covid-19

6 Things That Will Change When You Fly Post Covid-19

Hey My Dear Aviator,

Have you considered how flights will be after Covid? Your beloved Aviation industry is one that has definitely been affected by the pandemic and has changed it irrevocably. For this reason, there are many shifts and changes in the experience for passengers, in the operation, for crews and in aviation in general. When researching the way Covid has affected aviation in the aftermath of the pandemic, I found 6 major things that will change when you fly post Covid-19. Some shifts we will embrace and enjoy, but others make us wish the pandemic never happened.

change when flying post covid-19

1. More Stringent Hygiene Regulations on Board and at the Airport 👮🏼‍♀️

When you think about it, there are a number of areas in the airport that require physical contact from baggage check-in to security points. These areas will likely be completely redesigned to eliminate contact as much as possible and maintain social distance as well. In major airports, you may have observed self-drop offs for baggage, self-check-ins and self-scanning ID stations. This will be the future airport experience. One step further I could also imagine that there will be less security personnel due to more automation. We become more and more transparent through digitization. So, maybe one day those who hold a trustworthy record could possibly pass through security without getting checked. 

However, after the pandemic, I think the lines/queues will be longer, to enforce social distancing, and checkpoints could take significantly longer, as travellers will need to separate more of their carry-ons, so that bag searches are less necessary.

In my opinion, we will be required to wear PPE for some time due to the nature of airports and aeroplanes. Space for travellers is limited and the ICAO might implement this as an extra safety measure once countries get rid of the mask requirements. 

I am sincerely hoping that on board cleaning policies change tremendously. Who hasn’t taken a seat and found a dirty cushion, dirty tray tables and smeared window blinds? Airlines will take more care to present a clean impression of the cabin to their passengers and they will promote their disinfection process as a selling point.

I don’t believe that disembarking the plane by rows will have a future. However, I would favour a more speedy process, also for embarkation, through more boarding bridges. This would help to reduce contact with other passengers,

change when flying post covid-19

Outdated Business Class of Lufthansa

2. Updated Cabin Configuration 💺

We have been seeing a change in cabin configuration already over the past few years. First Class cabins have been decreasing, Business Class cabins have been improved and Premium Economy cabins have gotten bigger.  

Passengers demand more comfort, more seat separation and more space from fellow passengers. However the extra pricing for a Business Class is too much for most travellers. That’s why the Premium Economy is a great alternative in between both classes. You get more comfort and a better flight experience for a reasonable price. So, for extra safety and comfort, more and more passengers will book Premium Economy.

Airlines will also need to configure the layout of their cabins to address the increased share of leisure traffic. At the simplest level, lower numbers of business travellers may lead to smaller Business Class cabins. So the layout will shift to a bigger Premium Economy Cabin and/or development of Business Class seats more suitable for travelling as couples or groups.

change when flying post covid-19

In the future Business Class will be First Class with more comfort

change when flying post covid-19

Pay for everything model will be implemented for all booking classes

3. Everything, Everything and Everything will Cost Extra 💸

Thanks to low-cost airlines, the policy of “everything has to be paid as an extra” has been implemented in the aviation industry. Premium airlines have refused as long as possible to adapt to this model. But since they appear to have lost clients and could not keep up any longer with the pricing of other operators, passengers have had to start paying for extras. 

Even premium airlines like Lufthansa, do not offer any free drinks or snacks on their short-haul flight anymore. Taking this further, passengers will have to pay extra for EVERYTHING, whether it be luggage, carry-on baggage, priority boarding, catering onboard or seat reservations. This is already the case on most short and medium-haul flights. It will also be the future for long-haul flights to keep the ticket price low and make more revenue from any passengers. 

I do favour this trend because I think this way you can personally shape your flight experience. It will be more individual and fit your needs. Even in business class, I could imagine that you have to pre-order your meal and pay for it extra. Why not? So, less catering will be thrown away after the flight. 

BLOG: Why You Should NOT fly with TAP Business Class?

change when flying post covid-19
change when flying post covid-19

4. More Expensive Flight Tickets 🎫 

The aviation industry received state-provided aid, credit lines, and bond issuances, which collectively amassed more than $180 billion worth of debt in 2020. This figure is equivalent to more than half of total annual revenues that year. These costs will need to be recouped. Therefore, we’ll likely see ticket prices rise. To keep ticket prices low or at the same level, airlines may potentially calculate extras within their ticket price. E.g. to take hand-luggage on board. In my opinion, ticket prices need to be high so that they can pay fair loans, reduce the environmental footprint and safety standards can be at the highest level. 

change when flying post covid-19

5. More Hassle due to Certificates and Tests 📲

When travelling out of the country, a passport may not simply be sufficient anymore. We can experience this already. Despite an ID, you may need a vaccination certificate, a test and most of the time you need to register in the country where you are flying to. Additionally, you have to take care when flying via a third country, which may have totally different regulations. This can get quite confusing for travellers to know which documents they need for their journey. 

Digitalization will continue to transform the travel experience. Mobile apps will be used to store travellers’ vaccine certificates, COVID-19 test results and entry forms. Carriers will invest in the customer experience and IT automation – such as making check-in and boarding processes more seamless. Travellers will need to upload all documents before the flight and the system will check it and grant them access to check-in online. At the moment everything needs to be checked at the airport which causes long queues. 

change when flying post covid-19

6. More Leisure Destinations on the Flight Plans 🏝

Leisure trips will fuel the recovery of the industry, whereas business aviation travel will take longer to recover, and even then, it is estimated that it will only recover to approximately 80 percent of pre-pandemic levels by 2024. Remote work and other flexible working arrangements are likely to remain in some form post-pandemic and people will take fewer corporate trips.

This will cause more leisure destinations to be on the flight plans of airlines. We are likely to fly to vacation hotspots more directly. I am hoping that post-pandemic consequences will change a lot at Berlin Brandenburg airport. Let’s see if the disaster airport and other airports will soon offer more direct flights, not just going to major hubs.

change when flying post covid-19

Boeing B777 of SAUDIA

Conclusion 🛫

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. There seems to be some relief at the moment, but the process to recovery will still take several years. Multiple longer-running trends have been accelerated, such as digitization and the phasing out of less-efficient aircraft. Burdened by debt, many carriers have depleted their cash reserves. But the forecast is not without positivity and hope. Travel will become greener and more efficient, and we are all itching to travel again without restrictions.

I hope you enjoyed my blog post: “6 things that will change when you fly post Covid-19” with my outlook. Please do not forget to like and comment below telling me what else will change in the aviation industry. 

Happy and safe future landings!

Your PilotPatrick

fear of flying

Fear Of Flying - My 10 Tips To Become a More Relaxed Flyer

Updated blog post from 2018

Hello my Aviator,

it makes me really sad to hear that many of you are anxious to fly and cannot enjoy travelling by plane! That is why I want to give you an update on my fear of flying blog post. I actually could write a whole book about this subject. I am passionate to help you to feel more comfortable on board. Hopefully, my 10 tips to manage this anxiety will help you so I see you much more relaxed up in the sky.

Fear of flying

In fact, a survey suggests that 43 percent of people have at least some fear of flying and around 9 percent are so afraid that they would not go on a flight. Now I understand why I receive so many comments and messages asking me what they can do against their fear of flying. In this article, I want to help you as much as possible to get over that fear which is also known as aviophobia. I hope that my personal words as a pilot are more persuasive than those of a third person who is not involved in the aviation industry as much as I am.

There is no reason to panic!

During my research for this blog post, I found out that the most common reason for the fear of flying is the fear to crash. But the probability for that is vanishing low. Let me mention them again to get an idea of how safe flying really is.

It is the safest means of transportation but also the most dangerous one at the same time.

Flying through the air with over 800 km/h with tons of ignitable fuel. In the first place, this does not sound really comforting. And because of that, we took all measures to make it to the safest way of travel.

The probability of your plane going down is around one in 5.4 million. (according to The Economist) It is more likely to be attacked by a shark or even killed by the flu. Travelling in a car is 100 times more deadly than flying in a plane. Despite the high profile plane crashes in the past, it has never been safer to fly. So are you also afraid when driving in the car?

Anxiety originates from ignorance!

I think the anxiety can originate from ignorance not understanding the complex system of aviation. This might trigger “what if?” catastrophic thoughts.

This starts with the ignorance of the systems of the aeroplane. Certain noises and normal flight manoeuvres can already cause unease. For example noise of the brakes, landing gear, the flaps, and the engines. Especially during takeoff, you experience a lot of different ones. The engines run at a high thrust setting, the runway might a little bumpy and the landing gear retracts with a loud “bang”. Trust me all those noises are normal. Most of you are scared of turbulences and think that they are dangerous. Please trust me they belong to the normal path of flight. Aircraft are built to withstand turbulence with ease.

Pilots always try to avoid turbulence and in case we encounter them we try to find a different level to escape the area of turbulence. This causes a spool up or down of the engines and a climb or descent to a different level.

The regulations in aviation are really strict. The authority requires that the aircraft are maintained at fixed intervals. Airlines could not afford to operate a badly maintained aircraft, which could cause them to lose their operator certificate (AOC) and of course their reputation.

fear of flyinig

Redundancy in all aspects of aviation!

Even when there happens to be a malfunction of a system, that does not mean it will end in a disaster. The aircraft are built to be flying in the air and constructed to be redundant. That means if one system fails, the aeroplane will still be safe to fly and a different system will take over it. For example, if one engine fails, the second one will keep the aeroplane in the sky and a safe landing will be possible. This is trained on regular simulator flights many times.

Maybe you have heard about the swiss cheese model before. This model of accident causation illustrates that, although many layers of defence lie between hazards and accidents. Only if there is a flaw in each layer, if aligned, can allow the accident to occur. A single mistake in one layer will not lead to an accident!

My 10 tips against the fear of flying

  1.  Choose an airline you feel safe with or you know they have a good reputation, do not book just because the ticket is cheap
  2. Arrive at the airport with enough time, so you do not get stressed additionally. Minimum 2 hours prior to departure.
  3. Book a seat with more space, e.g. at the emergency exit
  4. Try not to drink alcohol and caffeine this might intense your anxiety
  5. When boarding let the cabin crew know that you are a little bit nervous, a short chat with them can help
  6. Recall that you are safe and probability is on your side
  7. Control your breathing inhale deeply and exhale slowly: Relaaaaax!
  8. Use noise-cancelling headphones, recall that flying and systems produce loud noises, listen to relaxing music and do things that distract you (food, beverages, books, music, sleeping mask)
  9. You are not alone! Millions of people travel by plane at the same time
  10. Keep in mind that the aeroplane is built to travel through the air, turbulence is a normal path of flying,

fear of flying, blog post, help, fear, aviophobia, aviation, safety, app, am i going down

Am I going down?

I found an app “Am I Going Down?”, which claims to calculate the odds of a disaster on a particular flight. You put in three variables: the departure and arrival airports, the airline, and the type of plane used. For example, a flight from San Francisco to London Heathrow has a probability of 1 to 3.646.151 to go down. You would have to take this flight every day for 9.989 years before it crashes. Knowing the probability, which is not even worth mentioning for your particular flight, may help with your fear of flying.

I hope you will be more relaxed on your next flight, so you can enjoy the beauty of flying. Recall my 10 tips when flying next time. You might even save them on your mobile device. Now sit back, relax and enjoy your flight!

What causes you unease on a flight?

Your PilotPatrick


TAP Business Class review

Why You Should NOT fly with TAP Business Class?

Hey my dear Aviator,

Flying Business Class is indeed exclusive and special. Nobody wants to fly cramped up in Economy on a long-range flight! Once you have tasted the comfort of flying upfront, you don’t ever want to fly in the back anymore.

 (So my advice: Do not ever taste the sweet cheery of Business Class) NO just kidding: You should if you have the chance to! However, the pandemic has changed a lot about this service class. So here is why you should not fly with TAP Business Class.

TAP Business Class review

Airbus A330-900neo

My First time with TAP Air Portugal 🛫

I have flown numerous times on short-haul flights with TAP Air Portugal, which is a member of Star Alliance. In the beginning of 2022 it was m  first time to experience their Business Class service on a flight to Cancún in Mexiko. I was very excited for this flight since flight reports differed a lot online. So I was eager to come to my own opinion, especially because it was their new Business Class service on board an Airbus A330-900neo. Unfortunately, I had to find out that not only was I surprised, I was also very disappointed.

TAP Business Class review
TAP Business Class review

TAP Business Class A330-900neo

Why Should You Not Fly TAP Business Class

Business Class Crew 👩🏼‍✈️👨🏼‍✈️

They were present but not really attentive.  Most of them are very friendly but you could feel that they were not really enjoying their job. This always makes me kind of sad to see. Of course, I am taking lots of photographic content during the flight. I am an aviation blogger and I always respect the privacy of other passengers. But what I don’t like is when a crew member approaches me right after boarding to tell me that it is not allowed to take photos without greeting me.  Why not say: “Hello, welcome on board. Thanks for being a passenger in Business Class. Please try to avoid disturbing other passengers while taking photographs!”.  I would then have felt a little differently towards them.

Please bear in mind this is my personal opinion of this specific flight. The crew makes a huge impact on the experience, so it could be that the crew is totally different on the next flight. Indeed it was the case on the return flight. I definitely felt much more welcomed on board.

TAP Business Class review

Onboard Service 🍽

Service? Which service? The soft products in Business Class (service, food, drink amenity kits, etc.) make such a huge impact on the overall experience. The service only took place to an absolute minimum. There was no boarding drink. I don’t know if it is connected to the pandemic situation or the harsh cost-saving program of TAP. Many airlines have been impacted by the ongoing crisis.

Maybe it is a combination of several things.  However, before the flight, the flight attendants were running up and down the aisle like crazy. So reducing passenger interaction cannot be the reason. 

In general, they were not very attentive during the flight. I either had to call them or go to the galley to get a drink. It was very seldom that they came to me to ask me if I would like anything else. 

AND OMG! It took them so long to start with the service after the takeoff. Especially since they did not offer a boarding drink. 1,5 hours passed before they served the first drink. I think that is not acceptable.


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Lounge 🛋

TAP offers a lounge at their hub in Lisbon, Portugal. However, there is only one lounge, which is situated at the Schengen side of the airport. After arriving at Lisbon airport from Berlin I had about 2 hours between the flights. So plenty of time to visit the lounge. Since I did not receive any information about TAP’s service, I just followed the signs to the international departures. I passed passport control and then I looked out for a lounge but I could not find one. The staff at the gate informed me that I had to exit and go back to the Schengen side. All in all, it would take 30 minutes in total, which would leave me a maximum of 30 minutes in the Business Class lounge. So I decided to wait for boarding at the gate. #FAIL

HERE is what you can do during a layover in Lisbon: What To Do In 24 Hours In Lisbon – My Highlights

TAP Business Class review

Food and Drinks 🥂

The pandemic cannot be the reason why the food is not tasty and so limited. It shocked me that the food menu was almost the same as on the short-haul flight to Lisbon. The portions were extremely small and the crew was not able to offer small snacks on a 10-hour flight. 

What shocked me the most: They did not have Champagne on board! #ultimatefail. Instead, they served sparkling wine which was offered as Champagne by the crew. This service should belong to a Business Class experience, like the wings to an aeroplane.

TAP Business Class review
TAP Business Class review

Looking out for that Champagne.

Why Should you fly with TAP Business Class?

Not everything was disappointing, of course. Additionally, I like to exaggerate a bit, I know. There are some great aspects as to why you should fly with TAP in Business Class. 

The New Seat 💺

Onboard the A330-900neo, TAP offers their latest Business Class seat by the brand Recaro. The overall design and layout looks very appealing and modern. You feel comfortable right away. The seating layout 1-2-1, which grants aisle access from every seat, is fantastic. For passengers who travel alone, I recommend the seat which is directly at the window because it offers the most privacy. The seats in the middle, which are close together, are great for couples. However, you do not have a window. The forward cabin is not very big which gives an exclusive feeling.

TAP Business Class review

Seats in the middle are ideal for couples.

TAP Business Class review

More privacy at the window seat.

Ticket price 🎟

The ticket price was definitely one reason why I booked this flight connection to Cancún. One round trip was 1850€ – a very reasonable price for the length of the flight. I use google flights search, as you can select a calendar that shows you the cheapest fares. This is very useful when you are flexible with your travel dates.

A330-900neo ✈️

To fly with the brand new A330-900neo is another reason you should fly with them. It is a mid-size widebody with the lowest seat-mile costs. Designed to be efficient on any sector length, the A330-900 reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 25% compared to previous generation aircraft. You can feel it is a brand new aircraft. Another big plus of this aircraft model is that TAP offers free Wifi for messaging. Data packages are expensive on the other end.

TAP Business Class review

Would I fly with TAP again?

I would say yes in this case as the ticket price is reasonable. 1850 € for a round trip from Berlin to Cancún is okay when you consider an economy ticket is around 800 € which means per way it is 500 € more in Business Class. Due to the pandemic and the cost-saving program of TAP you pay for the seat, the extra baggage allowance, the lounge access, the priority boarding and not for the service, food and drinks on board. 

I hope you find my blog post: “Why Should You NOT fly with TAP Business Class?” helpful for your future travels. Do not forget to like it and leave a comment below. 

Happy and safe landings!

Your PilotPatrick