We talked to a few people about who and what is waiting for them at the end of their journey.
"I definitely want to fly back to Vietnam, where I’m from. I’m planning a trip there in October. The first thing I’ll do once I get there is eat because the food there is amazing. One of my favorite dishes is Mi Quang, which is this dish in central Vietnam with egg noodles, shrimp and pork, topped off with seafood chips. It’s very good."
"I knew I wanted to be a flight attendant when I was eight years old. I wanted to see the world. And over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet new people, to expand my horizons and put the languages I learned in school to good use. The most dynamic thing about my job is the people I meet. I’m always in awe of their stories and what they have to teach me."
"My husband and I fly because we love to travel. It’s taught us both how to get out of our comfort zones and try new things. Before we were married, I was someone who had a lot of anxiety when I left home. But I’ve discovered that if I get past the initial fear to see new cities and try new food, then I enjoy it and I feel better. Traveling has taught me to calm down and just appreciate my life. – Sanam"
"I’ve been with American Airlines for 23 years. I get people where they’re going, whether it’s a vacation, family reunion or a business meeting. A while back we saw a lot of people going to Rio for the Olympics, and I heard so many great stories about why people were going down there – if they were an athlete or media covering the event or just going for a vacation."
"We’re big travelers in my family. My daughter was just six months old on her first flight. We flew all the way to India so she could meet my family. My family loved meeting my baby girl and my son. It was one of the most beautiful trips ever. It means a lot to be able to fly with family and make memories like these."
"As a traveling nurse, I’m sent to wherever I’m needed the most. And while I’m helping people, I also get to experience life in another city. I’ve met a lot of really cool people throughout my traveling nurse experiences. I use the time to figure out what kind of life I want in the future. Flying gives me the opportunity to try it all out."
"I’ve been working with airlines since 1987. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to get people where they need to go, to get them to their destination safe and on time. We’re able to bring families together."
"I often travel for work. The farthest place I’ve ever flown is Jakarta, Indonesia. The people in Indonesia are some of the friendliest people on the planet. The minute you speak to the locals, they will figure out you’re visiting from abroad and just want to give you a great big hug. It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. I really think flying helps to shrink the world. It helps make people and places closer."
"This is my first business trip for my first job. Stephen is my boss, and it’s been really cool to be on this trip with him and meet our clients in person. Typically, we only communicate via email and conference calls. Now I’m able to put a face to the name of the people we work with daily. – Minte"
"Flying gives you so many opportunities to connect to people and see things you’ve never seen before. Once you fly across the ocean, it’s like a whole new world. You can learn so much in such a short amount of time just by immersing yourself and connecting with people that you really never would have met otherwise."
"My sister and I are flying to Raleigh, North Carolina to see our aunts, uncles and cousins. Our cousin Jay is five, and Elaina’s three. We haven’t seen Elaina since before she could talk, so it’s going to be really exciting to hear all her thoughts!"
"We love to fly to Hawaii. The island has such a laid back atmosphere – the spirit of Aloha. We took a family vacation with our sons there many years ago. Our boys are adults now, but they’ve been traveling since they were young. Even our grandchildren have been traveling since they were little babies. For spring break, one of the families went to France, and the other went to the Netherlands."
"I just started working as a flight attendant with Alaska Airlines, and I’ve already flown to Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Costa Rica! So far, my favorite part is meeting the passengers, the crew members and the pilots. We’re a huge family here – not just the employees, but the passengers as well. I fly because one mile over a road will only take you a mile, but one mile over a runway will take you anywhere in the world."
"I was born in Seattle, and my mom and dad were born in Zambia. I’m lucky to have a lot of family in different parts of the world: Dubai, England, Zambia and Seattle too. I get to fly a lot to visit my family. My favorite place I’ve ever flown is Zambia. I got to see my aunts, uncles and all of my cousins on my mom’s side of the family. I saw a whole bunch of stuff I’d never seen before, things my mom experienced when she was a kid. I saw lots of animals in Zambia, and I even got to try sugar cane!"
"Prior to meeting my husband, I had quit my job, put all of my belongings in storage and just traveled around the world for a year. I met some awesome people. After the big trip was over, when I got to Seattle, I had a list of 100 things that I was looking for in a future husband. The first man I dated fit all of them, which makes me very lucky. We dated for four months, got engaged and were married right away!"
"One time, I had a passenger who broke her shoes running to the gate and couldn’t wear them. I had another pair with me and so I gave her my shoes. Thank goodness she was my size! It was pretty cold and snowy outside, so she was very thankful to have shoes. She almost had tears in her eyes, bless her heart."
"I have three kiddos: Bailey, Elliot and Max. When my kids were younger, I stayed with them at home and focused on being a mom. Now that they’re a little older, I decided that being a flight attendant was something I really wanted to do because I love to travel."
"It will be a total dream for me to go from playing Little League when I was young, all the way to playing baseball at the college level. That will be really cool. I’m looking forward to flying with the team to tournaments all across the U.S. I’ve already had a little experience with that. I’ve had a few tournaments in Arizona, Los Angeles and New York. It’s really, really fun bonding with all the guys while we’re traveling."
"I’m flying to Los Angeles for my 22nd birthday. I live for sunset pictures, and last time I was there, the sunset in Venice Beach stole my heart. I’m starting to realize there’s so much more to the world than the people you’ve already met. If you’re not open-minded, you’re missing out on a lot of great adventures."
"I fly because it helps connect people. I have friends who have family all the way in Vietnam and they still get to go visit them. I like that you can fly anywhere quickly. And flying gives you amazing views!"
"My wife and I work hard, and we do it for our kids. We’ve been to Disney six or seven times with our family. Whenever we talk about going to Disney, the kids get so excited. They love traveling, and we want them to have as many experiences as possible. I fly to spend time with my family."
"We’re in Seattle now and we’re flying to Anchorage, Alaska, then to Homer. Our plan is to go fishing for three days and sightseeing for at least another day. We’re meeting seven other people in Alaska for this big trip. Some are from Oklahoma, some from New York and some from Bellingham, Washington. So it’s going to be a very fun time with friends."
"There’s nothing like being there in person or getting off a plane and seeing familiar faces. Yeah, you can Snapchat and be on Facebook all you want with family and friends, but there’s something about being able to hug somebody, you know? The best way to get there is flying."
"I’m a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines. When I started this job, I thought I would do it for two years, just to travel until I figured out what I wanted to do with my life. That was 18 years ago. I’m still here, and I still love it!"
"I’ve been a flight attendant for American Airlines in Chicago for 30 years now, but one story sticks out in particular. It was my last trip before taking off to get married in a small town in Germany. I talked with some very lovely people on a flight from Brussels, and it turns out they were from a town in Germany close to where I was getting married. We were just chit chatting, and they asked where we were having our ceremony. And then at my wedding, they sent gifts! 25 years later, we’re almost like family."
"After college, I got picked up by the Baltimore Ravens. I played for the Packers for a year and then ended up in the Canadian Football League. Now, I play wide receiver for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. My teammates and I love to travel. We love to experience different cultures and meet a lot of people that are different than we are. I love hopping on the plane and just going anywhere I can."
"The woman I bought my first home from told me, ‘Whenever you’re able to travel, always take your kids with you.’ I was only 29 then and I didn’t understand exactly what she meant. I saw my kids learn so much about other cultures during our travels – both here in the United States and around the world. Now my kids are able to live in any city they choose because they get along well with their peers. I’m so thankful we were able to share the joy of traveling with our kids when they were growing up."
"I fly to spend time with the ones I love and to try new things. My boyfriend and I flew to Bali last year, and the one thing he wanted to do was hike up a volcano called Mount Batur. It’s one of those things you have to do when you’re there – you hike up to watch the sunrise on the mountain. We had to wake up at 2 a.m. to do it, and I asked him, ‘Are you really sure you want to wake up that early?’ In the end, it was worth it."
"I’m a keyboardist by profession. Throughout the year, I probably fly 10 to 15 times. Traveling brings me joy. It’s air travel that makes all of this possible. To hop on a plane, go to sleep and wake up nine hours later on an entirely different continent…it’s a miracle. It’s an absolute miracle, and people forget that."
"I fly because I have a dream to visit the whole world. I’m from Indonesia, and I have a contract to work in Alaska and the Caribbean for 10 months. My friends told me that it’s very cold in Alaska, but I know that the nice scenery will be worth it!"
"I teach middle school children with learning disabilities and autism. I love my kids and there’s no other job that I’d want to have. I’m also lucky that I get the summer off to travel and explore. I’m from New England, so going to the West Coast or the South is much different. I think people need to experience different parts of the country and get out of their comfort zone."
"I just got back from a trip to Belize for my birthday. My family and I went snorkeling and swam with the sharks. I actually caught one of the sharks, and I had this moment where I realized, ‘Oh, there’s a shark in my hand!’ If it wasn’t for the airlines, I would never have been able to have that experience."
"I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and my husband and I met in Staten Island. For the last few years, we’ve moved around a lot because my husband is in the United States Coast Guard. The airlines take us where we need to go and connect us with all of our family. But no matter where we live, we will always be fans of the New York Yankees and Giants."
"Most airline employees have an airport family and a regular family. You spend a lot of time at the airport, and your colleagues make up such a big part of your life that you feel like a family, too. You develop a source of camaraderie and support for one another."
"I live in Virginia, but my son and his family are stationed in Alaska where he is a pilot in the Air Force. Skyping with the family just isn’t enough, but flying helps connect us. It gives me a chance to visit with my grandkids in-person and get to know them. It also gives me an opportunity to visit neat places. Since my son knows the area, he can take me to places I wouldn’t see as a tourist!"
"We’ve always talked about wanting to travel with our kids abroad. So for this past Christmas, we gifted our three children a three-week trip to Europe. We knew the best gift we can give them is the gift of travel. It’s important to teach them how to travel confidently, to be inquisitive and open to learning new things no matter where we’re going."
"I took my first flight when I was 12, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. When I first started at American, I was working at the gate. I’ve been here for over 5 years now, and I’m currently a tower coordinator in the American Airlines Help Control Center. Basically, that means my team and I watch the entire operation every day and make sure everything goes smoothly. I honestly believe traveling the world is the greatest adventure. -Gabrielle Viamontes (right)"
"I’m from Uganda, but Sweden is home now. My wife and I fly a lot to see our daughter who just finished school in California. On this trip we flew from Sweden to the Netherlands, then to Los Angeles and to San Francisco. We’ve been to a lot of different iconic places and great restaurants. I wanted to be sure to try the pizza in the U.S. – I couldn’t miss it!"
"You meet different people traveling around the world. I now have friends in Sydney and they’re like, ‘Oh, it’s so cool to be in LA.’ So I told them, next time you’re out here, I will show you around town. I love showing new people all the coolest spots – where to eat, where to see the Hollywood sign or go hiking. You name it, and we’ll do it."
"Our son Matthew is on a travel adventure. Right now he’s living in Wellington, New Zealand working in a café to make money to fly around more. We told our boys when they were little that they could live anywhere in the world, but we would always come find them."
"I’ve been working as an English teacher in Seoul, South Korea for many years. I really love my students, but I don’t complain about the time off in between semesters either. Right now, I’m flying home to see my family in Tucson, Arizona. I’m probably going to have a barbeque when I get home – haven’t done that in a while!"
"Yo vuelo para ampliar mi visión, por conocer y pues ¡por darte un gusto! Yo vuelo para ver el mundo. Mi parte preferida de mi viaje por Asia fue Hong Kong. China siempre me había llamado la atención y cuando se presentó la oportunidad dije que sí. Yo esperaba que Beijing y Shanghái iban a ser mejor, pero no, Hong Kong está espectacular. También me gustaron las Islas Phi Phi porque todo es increíble, el agua azul turquesa, los paisajes y la gente y la cultura también."
"I love to travel the world and visit different skate parks for inspiration. I’m actually working on building my own skate park in Germany right now. We are trying to create a safe place where kids can go to get off the streets and play around for free. My goal is make our skate park the best skate park in the world."
"My family is very competitive and goal-driven. My dad told me and my siblings that, as long as we’re working toward our goals and staying committed to school and sports, we would get a surprise. So one night at dinner, my dad went to the garage and came back with sunglasses for me and my sister and a shirt for my brother. He told us, ‘You’re going to need these because we’re going to Florida tomorrow!’ It was crazy. My sister was bawling and I was laughing so hard I ended up crying too. I’ll never forget that."
"I first went to Rio de Janeiro in 2003 and I loved it. I’m retired, so I’ve had the opportunity to fly back every year since. I love to fly because it’s a new adventure every time. You have this mode of transportation, and you don’t have to worry about anything. You get on the plane and you get there – and then you relax and explore!"
"I love to fly so that my kids can have new adventures. It makes us appreciate Australia, too. We are definitely going to do more travel in the future. In fact, my daughter wants to go backpacking around Europe next year. She doesn’t have anyone to go with so I said, ‘Please take me!’ Now, the whole family might go along."
"My wife and I really enjoy traveling – we’ve been to 38 countries. We just flew back from Israel where we did a Holy Land tour. We also spent four days in Paris where we saw the Mona Lisa, and a day in London where we visited Buckingham Palace. There’s a whole lot to see out there."
"We’re going on a trip to compare and contrast cultures for our international management class. We’ll be flying from London to Paris to Amsterdam and visiting places like the London Stock Exchange. The excitement’s been building up for six months and today’s the day we’re finally leaving. Wish us luck!"
"Working for a telecommunications company, I’m very aware that there are lots of ways to connect. However, I think business relationships are more effective when you are face-to-face. I think it’s the same with personal travel. There’s nothing like being there and experiencing it firsthand."
"I fly to new places a lot with my band. Recently, we played at an outdoor jazz festival in Rochester, New York. There must’ve been about six to seven thousand people at our concert. The weather was perfect, the crowd was happy and the band clicked. It never feels like work when you’re playing a show, but some gigs are better than others, especially when everyone’s on point. That’s what Rochester was like, and I’ll always remember it."
"I’ve always wanted to go to Disneyland and ride on the teacups. My uncle who lives in America once brought me Mickey Mouse ears when he visited my family in Australia. Well, on this trip with my girlfriends, I finally got my childhood dream fulfilled! It was a special day."
"I’m flying to Salt Lake City, Utah for some fresh snow. I haven’t been there for over a decade and I can’t wait to get back. We’re going to go snowboarding, maybe have a snowball fight or make snow angels. All the good stuff you can’t do in Los Angeles."
"I always wanted to study in the United States. My dad has flown from Tokyo to Texas a lot for work, so I thought I would probably like it there too. But once I started college here, I realized just how different it is from home. One time, I waited in line for hours just to eat barbeque with friends. I thought it was silly at the time, but looking back, the barbeque was worth the wait."
"My fiancée and I just flew back from Thailand. I proposed to her at the Yi Peng festival. That’s the lantern festival that they do once a year. There are these big white lanterns that you light and everybody releases them at the same time. I figured that would be the best time for me to pop the question, when she wouldn’t expect it."
"I fly to make memories. When I was younger, I would have gone and bought toys and wasted money. But I don’t do that anymore. Now, I know you can fly anywhere and have experiences. You can visit new places and remember all the things you’ve done."
"I like to fly because it allows me to do things that I could never, ever do in my hometown. One time, I saw a commercial on TV and I was like, ‘oh my gosh she’s swimming with the dolphins.’ Then I got to fly to Jamaica and actually ended up swimming with dolphins. It became real life!"
"We help a lot of passengers who are not able to help themselves. A few years ago, I distinctly remember helping an older woman into her seat. I had to pick her up from the front and gently move her over to set her down. She said, ‘Wow. That’s the softest landing I’ve ever had.’ That was awesome, and I tell you, it reminds me of our aging families and how they would like assistance. Hopefully, somebody will be kind to us when we’re there too."
"I’m in the Navy, and I’m on leave now for the next two weeks. I told my parents that I was going to come home, but I intentionally gave them the wrong dates so I could surprise my mom on her birthday. I want to be there for her. I’m not able to be home for too long, but I know that if I can just get there for that one specific day – her birthday – it would mean the world to her. She’s going to cry. She’s going to cry, right off the bat. I’m her only son and I haven’t seen her in five months."
"I went to India. I love it! My favorite place there is Mysore. It’s really pretty."
"I’m going to Saint Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Beautiful Saint Croix. I’m looking forward to going to the beach. I have family and friends so I’m looking forward to spending some time with them too. I am craving fried fish and Johnny cake…so Johnny cake is like fried bread. It’s a combination of flour, sugar, a little bit of salt, some oil, and you add some water and mix it up and fry it. It’s reallllly good."
"I just got back from Manasota Beach, Florida. It was my last trip before the baby. It’s a boy."
"I would love to fly my four-year-old daughter and my wife to Ecuador. It’s where I was born, but neither of them have ever been there. I can’t wait to go back and show them my home. My grandmother still lives there. She’s 104 and will be 105 next August. I’m hoping to plan a trip for her birthday!"
"I’ve been traveling a lot over last year or so. I was living in Alaska last winter where I learned to snowboard. Then over the summer, I did a month-long road trip through California and the west coast, or as they say, ‘the best coast’. Most recently, I flew back from China where I was leading a trip for a group of high school students from the U.S. It was a community service trip, but we definitely had some adventures while we were there too. I really tried to emphasize the language and the culture to the students. I love my job and sharing my passion for travel with the kids!"
"We’re headed to my niece’s graduation from Lafayette. She’s the star of the family."
"I was here for a job interview and now I’m flying back to Alabama. I’m a graduate student at Auburn. I did my undergraduate there as well, in software engineering. My school is really awesome. You know, everybody talks about the Auburn family and some people think that it is a marketing or advertising scam, but it’s not! It has this great community atmosphere."
"I told my son, I’m going to go to Machu Picchu. And he said – not without me."
"We love to fly because we love to experience new things, new people, new cultures and new food. Even if we’re just going from California to New York, there are some big differences. You just have to look around to see what I mean!"
"My wife and I flew with the kids to Washington to see the White House. We took a tour around the monuments, showed our kids the history and explained some of the things that school hasn't taught them yet. My son took a lot away from this trip. And I have to say, how about the Lincoln Memorial?! To actually see that in person – it was pretty awesome!"
"My boyfriend and I are going to Rhode Island for the weekend. A lot of people visit the beaches there, but we’re definitely planning to stay away from any crowds. We’re hoping for quiet and relaxation."
"I’m from California, but right now my boyfriend and I live in North Carolina where we both are going to med school. This weekend, we’re visiting Toronto for a much-needed vacation. There will be no studying!"
"I’m going to be meeting with health care professionals who treat patients with multiple sclerosis. We’re going to be talking about recent updates from a scientific conference where they’re looking at all the different therapy options for patients. I think because I’ve worked with patients who had multiple sclerosis – some really young, some older – just seeing the impact on their lives was hard. And now with all the technological advances and scientific advances, seeing that their quality of life is so much better is really inspiring."
"I love traveling. I’ve always been a traveler at heart. For me, it’s all about going to new places and having new experiences. I’m very grateful that I get to help other people explore the world and make new memories every day. It’s something I really love."
"I’ve done two full marathons, and two more this year. Finishing is my best time!"
"We are flying to Burlington, Vermont to visit my daughter, my two sons and my five grandchildren. One of my grandsons is 16 and he’s performing in a high school play this week. We can’t miss his big debut."
"I'm a senior in high school and I’m figuring out where I want to go to college. I’ve looked at a lot of colleges in New York State where I'm from, but when you have to get out of the state, flying is the best option. No one wants to drive 24 hours. Thanks to air travel, I can look at schools all across the country."
"We just said goodbye to my husband and son. They’re flying to Brazil for a few weeks. My husband's family owns a farm there, and it's very important to me and my husband for our son to spend time with his grandfather on the farm. We want our son to have memories that will last a lifetime."
"We’re about to fly to Croatia to play basketball. We’re playing a bunch of teams from there, a couple of pro teams, a couple of non-pro teams. We just want to ball it out, compare our skills to their skills. You know, I definitely see myself playing in the NBA. I’m not really sure what team, but just playing in the NBA and making an impact on other people’s lives. That’s what I want. I’ve always looked up to players that are like that."
"I’m here to say goodbye to my friend Bonnie who was visiting from Taiwan. While Bonnie was here I took her out at three or four o'clock in the morning, and we went on a bike ride around DC. We saw the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument with the lights on and everything. No one else is around there at that time….I think that's pretty amazing. Actually, it's awesome."
"I’m currently going to school in Canada where I study financial economics. My husband lives in Senegal and I am flying back to visit him. We have been together for four years, but we’ve only been married for six months, so flying back is really exciting for me."
"My Grandpa, he’s never traveled anywhere. When he came to the United States, it was his first time flying to a different country…There are a lot of good things in the United States, he says. Very polite people and the roads are big, so it's comfortable. It's very easy to drive. Where he’s from in South Korea it’s really small compared to some places in the United States."
"I’m leaving home and will be catching a flight this afternoon to Arizona to start my first year of college at Arizona State University. It’s going to be pretty cool. I will be playing golf for the school and think Arizona will be the perfect place to improve my game. Great weather, great courses, great school. Maybe I’ll even get to meet Phil Mickelson. He went to ASU too!"
"Our eldest daughter is just graduating this weekend with her Masters from Cornell...we have a big day ahead of us."
"There’s only one thing my mother wants: more visits from her three sons. She started the son-of-the-month club and now we take turns visiting. This was our turn."
"I’m a fashion designer based out of New York. The last time I flew was for Caribbean Fashion Week in Jamaica. I’m the creative director, and I do the show every year. This time around, I worked like crazy for 10 days and then relaxed for 10 days in Negril and Ocho Rios. It was an amazing trip."
"We have no sisters or daughters but we have a granddaughter who is three and half and a total princess."
"It's a great journey, a great country."
"I have my two cats with me. They're elderly ladies - they're 15 years old: Willy and Nilly."
"My wife and I flew to visit our daughter in New York, and afterwards we came to Washington because we’d never been to the Smithsonian Museums. The only other time I’ve been here was as a kid in the ‘70s. As a young man, I came to Quantico, Virginia, to train for the FBI. This trip reminded me of my time in the FBI. I used to be in a surveillance unit. We were a street unit that monitored, in those days, the activities of the Soviets. Today I would think it’s a lot harder to be in the FBI than it was when I was a kid because of all the new threats. But, I would just tell the kids – follow your dreams and do what you want to do. Try to make the best of what happens."
"Flying for me is therapeutic. Some people like to meditate. My meditation is flying because when you get on a plane and it's taxiing around the ramp, and then you hear the pilot saying, ‘Buckle up. We're preparing for takeoff,’ there’s something special that happens."
"I tell my kids you’re going to be paying for these museums every paycheck until the day you die. You own them. Go see them. Don’t go overseas – learn about your own home first! It’s an awesome city, Washington D.C. We went to the American History Museum and saw all the First Lady dresses. We took pictures of Thomas Jefferson, he’s one of my favorites. All the kids have to know about Thomas Jefferson. Of course before the kids go it’s ‘boooring’, and while they’re there ‘it’s oook’ and when they get home it’s ‘oooh, I’ve been there!’"
"Without air travel, my business would not be as successful as it is. I'm more of a face-to-face person. I'm not a person who does a lot of video chats or anything like that. I have to see and feel how someone is talking to me to understand how to relate to them. I travel a lot because of that."
"I’m here just for my layover and he was like, ‘I’m coming to see you!’ and I said ‘ok, but I’m only here for an hour.’ You see we met on Instagram two years ago, which is really weird. Then we started FaceTiming and calling each other and being weird together. So this is our first time meeting in person and first hug.” “Don’t we seem like good friends?! It’s been one hell of a date at the airport."
"I’m going to New York to visit my parents and get married.” “Congratulations! Who is this guy?” “He might be my best man."
"I think being able to fly to other countries is amazing. We can just jump on a plane and go experience other cultures and other languages – it’s priceless. I was thinking about how here in the U.S. we have buildings and they’re maybe 300 years old. When we go to Germany, we’re going to see things that are 500-600 years old. Just being able to see something like that, there’s no doubt it will be incredible."