Fireside chat with Darren – “Frequently Flying”

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Welcome to a new Sunday series that will be a bit like a fireside chat. I count it a privilege to be a part of an amazing group of Travel bloggers here at But just how well do you know “your” BoardingArea writers? Are you reading all the blogs you should be each day? This series will help you get to know them one by one. Now on to this weeks chat.

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Welcome today’s installment of getting to know your “BA” bloggers. Today I got to chat with Darren who runs the blog “Frequently Flying” I have been a long time fan of Darren’s blog. He covers so many topics and with some of his classic plane posts I just “float” back to my early years of flying. So let’s say Hi to Darren!

Rene – Hello Darren. It is so much fun to get to spend some time with you. Boy you fly and travel a ton and not just on one airline. Tell us. Why so much, for so long and why the blog?

Darren – Hi Rene, thanks for taking the time to chat with me! Flying has been embedded in my DNA since I was a child, and growing up near O’Hare airport fueled my passion. I ended up studying aviation in college and went on to work for United Airlines in several departments, as well as at other travel companies. Fast forward a decade or so, I left the industry and simply savored traveling as a regular passenger. I became hooked on frequent flier programs and I love to explore the world. And one week ago today, I achieved a long sought-after goal: I rolled over one million (revenue) lifetime miles with United. As far as starting Frequently Flying, I found myself spending so much time reading other blogs that I figured I’d have a unique voice having worked in the industry, so in 2010 launched it on my own before BoardingArea picked me up the following year.

Rene – Congratulations on one million miles with United. That is a lot of flying! There seems to be such a thread through all the amazing writers here at BA that they have a rich background in aviation. Thanks for sharing yours. So more about you and the blog. So many bloggers at BA have a niche or focus. You seem to cover so much. What makes you “tick” and who should read Frequently Flying?

Darren – Honestly, I’m humbled to be among the incredible BA family and it’s truly an honor. Whereas many blogs cover miles and points as their primary focus, I tend to write more about the industry itself, while sprinkling in a bit of mile and point strategies and experiences. Plus, in case it isn’t obvious, I’m a bit nostalgic and love to look back at airline seat maps and other historical remembrances from the industry. Oh, and amenity kits, too, of course. I think anyone who wants a break from reading about hard-core earning strategies and is curious about general airline, hotel and travel news will find Frequently Flying interesting. At least I hope so.

Rene – Oh I always look forward to the kit reviews. So many of us repurpose the kits and the old Delta red cylinder bags were the worst. But it is great to see your take on the different ones. To me, this also brings out another neat part about your blog that I like; when reading it is like you are talking to me as a traveler and sharing the experience. With so much travel, do you have any personal experiences or posts you want to make sure readers take the time to read?

Darren – Thanks for the kind words, Rene! One of my most popular posts is Airfare Pricing Buckets and Airline Fare Basis Codes Explained, which no one has really covered as in depth that I’ve seen. It explains exactly what your GR321NR fare basis means. Gibberish to most, but I decode it drawing on my inventory management experience. That’s a bit of a techie post, but otherwise my recent series, Confessions of an Elite Status Junkie, is what I’m passionate about now and I think many people will be able to relate to it… at least those who read BA blogs and fly as excessively as I do/did.

Rene – I was looking over some of your posts and I giggled over the 80’s frequent flyer cards (gosh you are old – smile), and with your United background can we reach out to you for tips and help with United and what is the best way to reach you? Email, Facebook or Twitter?

Darren – Ha! Yes, but I’m not quite as “vintage” as some of my seat maps. Oh wait… yes I am. Absolutely, anyone can reach out to me with United (or any) questions. Email is the best place, followed by Twitter. I have a Facebook page, but rarely update it as I should.

Rene – Great. I think some readers remain “lurkers” for too long. All the bloggers here at BA are so willing to help and share; it is a unique feature of this group I think. Thanks again for sitting down around the fireplace and for the chance to get to know the mind behind Frequently Flying!

Darren – Thanks again, Rene. BA bloggers are indeed a great bunch and thank YOU for taking the time for starting this series. It’s wonderful to read more about the BA family.

You can follow Darren at his blog here on boarding area as well as on Twitter and on Facebook plus his RSS feed and you can email him too. Personally I hope you take the time to check out the tabs at the top of his blog about his “kit” reviews as well as “vintage seat maps” they are a hoot. Also be sure to check back next week where I sit down with another legendary “BA” author – Rene




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  1. @Michael W: Enjoyed meeting you at BAcon, too, and I look forward to Rene’s interview with you! I assume you’ll be jumping in the photo? 😉

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