World traveler Sam Chui is grounded: here are his 5 big takeaways

Mar 30, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Last week, I had the privilege of interviewing one of my favorite world travelers in an Instagram Live chat over at @thepointsguy. Hopping from flight to flight, Sam Chui seems to spend more time on the road than any of us here at TPG. Like the rest of us, however, he’s grounded for the time being — in Sam’s case, with his parents in Las Vegas, far from his home in Dubai.

Sam and I covered a variety of topics, including what life is like during his quarantine in the U.S., the speedy (and unexpected) demise of the Queen of the Skies and what we’re looking forward to in the future. You can catch our full 30-minute chat here — I’ll run through some of the highlights below, too.

 

Sam covered a variety of topics, including:

1. Why we’re still seeing so many planes fly

“The air cargo business is very strong at the moment… they’re the heroes behind quietly bringing all the logistics and supplies. They’re bringing medical supplies to countries like Italy and the U.S. When China had the coronavirus they brought these to China, now they’re bringing masks back from China to Europe and the U.S. Private aviation is also very strong at the moment, because of a lot of charter flights… to bring back stranded people and also to bring lots of cargo supplies.”

2. Sam’s travels have been impacted in a big way

“In late February things turned bad internationally. I guess the U.S. is the last country to get affected seriously. When I attended the Singapore Air Show, half the show was canceled. Half the participants didn’t turn up because it started in Asia first and moved on to Europe. I had the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, that’s been canceled. This month, I was also supposed to go to Fiji from LA on the A350. I pulled out last minute – I figured it was a little bit irresponsible.”

3. It isn’t possible to return to Dubai

“The country’s closed to anyone except their own citizens, and there’s no flights going in right now. The country is banning all flights for 14 days. Emirates flights are grounded, Etihad’s grounded. I’d love to go back to Dubai in mid-April, if the flights start again.”

4. Sam has suggestions for anyone who has to fly

“The most important thing is to do some research and to find out how full your flight is. I’d rather have some distance — have that peace of mind. Given the flight loads these days are not very full, except those stranded citizen rescue flights… if you have a row of three, you might only have two people sitting, with the middle seat blocked.”

5. Final flights can be more exciting than inaugurals

“I actually like the last flights more than inaugural flights. When things come to… the last opportunity… go all out to  … enjoy, to savor every memory. I did the very last international United 747 flight, from [Seoul] to San Francisco. And last year I did another one, the El Al last flight… we drew a 747 in the sky over the Mediterranean.”

Be sure to follow @thepointsguy, and my page, @zachhonig, on Instagram for more from aviation and travel leaders around the world.

Featured photo courtesy of Sam Chui.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.