A good friend of mine, Andrew Solum, and British Airways‘ Head of UK & Ireland Sales, Richard Tams, are about to embark upon a fantastic journey in the hope of raising money for charity.
Their target is to raise £20,000 for the Comic Relief Flying Start charity, supported by British Airways and aimed at improving the lives of countless children every year.
Their challenge? Well, they’ve got to get around the world in seven days, starting in New York on 15th September, and using every Oneworld airline partner.
The journey will start with American Airlines from New York to Chicago then on to the Tokyo Narita international hub of Japan Airlines.
The following day they will fly with Japan Airlines from Tokyo to the Hong Kong home of Cathay Pacific and on September 17 undertake a three-flight schedule from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur with Cathay Pacific, Kuala Lumpur to Singapore with Malaysia Airlines, which is on track to join oneworld at the turn of the year. They will then travel on from Singapore to London Heathrow with Qantas arriving early on September 18.
British Airways will carry them on to Amman, base of Royal Jordanian.
On September 19 they will fly from Amman to Frankfurt with Royal Jordanian, then with airberlin to Germany’s capital city.
On September 20, they will take to the air again with airberlin to Frankfurt, then off with LAN to Madrid. From its base at the Spanish capital, Iberia will then carry them to the Moscow hub of S7, landing early on September 21, before a swift transfer to S7 for a flight to St. Petersburg.
The following day (September 22) they will begin the last leg of their journey heading with Finnair from St Petersburg to its own Helsinki home then on to Heathrow to connect on to their final flight, a British Airways jet from London to New York arriving at 8.55pm local time.
In total they will cover just over 30,000 miles, flying along the way on every oneworld member airline and via 11 of the alliance’s major hubs.
Tams said: “I’ve done a lot of flying in my time at British Airways, but never so many destinations in such a short period. We’ll be going through 16 airports, flying on ten different aircraft types and visiting 11 countries on 12 airlines. We won’t even have time to stop and enjoy the views!
Mr Solum, a management consultant and oneworld Emerald top tier frequent flyer, said “it will be tough going on standby staff tickets with no guarantee where we’ll be seated, but at the end of the day, every penny we raise will make a difference to a child – and that is really our driving force for this challenge.”
Tams added “We’re enormously grateful to our oneworld partners for supporting our challenge – it’s a great reflection of the reach the alliance has. I’d also like to thank our hotel partners in this, the Global Hotel Alliance, Starwood and Marriott.”
“The travel trade have also already been really supportive and we’ve already hit £8,000+ of our target but we really want to reach at least £20,000 so we’re asking everyone to dig deep and help us out. Anyone can pledge money at:
The money raised will all go directly to Flying Start, the global charity partnership between British Airways and Comic Relief UK. It will help to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of children living in the UK and in some of the poorest countries across the world. The aim of the charity is to help create lasting change by giving children and their families the chance to start supporting themselves.
The intrepid travellers will be blogging their adventures and experiences, so stay tuned for further details!