These answers to Frequently Asked Questions are also news release hooks.
Here are the questions people are asking…with answers.
For further details, contact:
Barbara Gaughen (“gone”)
Gaughen Global PR
+1–805–968 8567 Office
+1–805–680 9445 Mobile
A: To demonstrate how much fun air travel is and how fast a person can circumnavigate the world.
And Dan loves challenges. He has made 20 round-the-world trips so far. This will be his circumnavigation #21.
A: Think of the Jules Verne classic Around the World in Eighty Days. Dan will do it in two days.
Phileas Fogg circled the globe on the surface, with ships and trains, in 80 days. Dan will use airliners to beat that time by 78 days.
Dan has made 20 RTW itineraries, each lasting 2 1/2 to 5 weeks. This one is for speed. Two days–and using regularly-scheduled commercial airliners.
Plus, Dan’s route will virtually retrace the route used by Phileas Fogg and his valet Passeportout: Los Angeles, Dulles, Dubai, Singapore, Taipei, Los Angeles. LAX-IAD-DXB-SIN-TPE-LAX.
For the story of the Jules Verne classic, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Around_the_World_in_Eighty_Days
A: We have researched this trip everywhere and it has been planned for months. We are unable to find a logical way to justify this trip.
Seriously, Dan likes to set records and do the outrageous. One of his goals with this trip is to bring attention to his new book, The Air Travel Handbook. See http://AirTravelHandbook.com
Otherwise, yes, it could be a stunt. Anyone could buy a ticket and do this. But only Dan Poynter thought it up, figured it out, and spent the time and money to accomplish trip in two days.
View a slideshow of Dan’s career that led him to this point at: Dan’s Aviation Career in Pictures
Q4: HAS DAN POYNTER EVER CIRCUMNAVIGATED THE EARTH IN LESS TIME?
A: Technically, yes. In 1994, Dan skydived into the North Pole. While there, he ran around the pole, crossing all 24 meridians, several times. Each circumnavigation took about 15 seconds.
He did this because he had heard that for each trip around the world, you could add a day to your life. After several circles, he began to question if he was running in the right direction.
Q5: WHAT IF DAN POYNTER MISSES A CONNECTION?
A: Any one of three concerns could cause Dan to miss a connection: Weather, Air Traffic Control, or Equipment.
Weather: Originally, the flights were scheduled for January 2011. Remember the cold and extreme snow in the U.S. and Europe at that time? This caused the adventure to be moved to May to take advantage of warmer weather and longer days.
ATC: Air Traffic Control could delay or reroute a plane. We are contacting them at each airport to let them know what we are doing (and to make them part of the challenge.)
Equipment: We have little control over equipment problems. Planes are mechanical devices and they have parts that break unexpectedly. There are delays while planes are repaired or replaced.
Dan’s route involves United Airlines, Singapore Air, and EVA Air. Dan purchased the tickets through United so all connections are airline-legal. If Dan misses a connection, he will be put on the next flight out and the round-the-world attempt will be scrubbed.
Plan B is RTW2D–2. If necessary, the next attempt will be in June.
Q6: HOW MANY CONNECTIONS WILL DAN POYNTER MAKE?
A: Just four flight connections: in Washington-Dulles (IAD), Dubai (DXB), Singapore (SIN), and Taipei (TPE). The first half will go rather quickly. United Airlines will take Dan from Los Angeles to Washington-Dulles to Dubai in only 19 hours and 9 minutes. That includes 1:16 hours between planes in Washington. Dubai is exactly 12 time zones from Pacific Time or half way. So 19:09 hours to complete half the circumnavigation trip.
Connection times count against Dan too. He will spend one hour and 16 minutes on the ground in Washington-Dulles (IAD), 3:20 in Dubai (DXB), 1:55 in Singapore and just: 55 minutes in Taipei. Fortunately, the Taipei connection is in the same terminal and is between flights of the same airline, EVA Air. Total connecting– or ground-time will be 7 hours and 26 minutes. Commercial airliners usually land a bit ahead of schedule so he may have more time between flights. But, the next flight will take off as scheduled.
Q7: HOW MUCH DOES AN ROUND-THE-WORLD TICKET COST?
A: The Business Class ticket cost $12,230.95. On flights where available, the airlines upgraded Dan to First. This was not unexpected due to his frequent flyer standing with United. He flies more than 6,000 miles each week.
He will need flat beds so he can sleep comfortably on the planes. There will not be enough time to sleep between flights.
Coach/Economy tickets would cost much less.
Q8: CAN WE EXPECT OTHER PEOPLE TO FOLLOW IN DAN’S “FLIGHTSTEPS”
A: Now that Dan has shown what can be done on regularly-scheduled commercial airliners, we can expect to see other people circumnavigating the globe for time.
We will probably see travel agents promoting and selling these itineraries.
Q9: WHAT ABOUT JET LAG?
A: Is jet lag caused by crossing the 24 time zones (meridians) or upsetting the body’s internal clock?
We do not know. With such a rapid return to a starting point, it will be interesting to study any affects of jet lag.
This trip involves 24 time zones but the body’s clock may not be upset with short, rapid sleeping patterns.
Ordinarily, Dan would carry No-Jet-Lag pills. He will not take them this trip because he wants to gauge the affect of returning to his starting point so quickly. http://www.nojetlag.com/
Dan travels so much, he is accustomed to sleeping at odd hours. His body’s sleeping patterns may not be as structured as much as most people. With the plane’s window shades drawn, daylight and dark will not affect him. He will be sleeping on the planes, from time to time, rather than following Pacific Time (He lives in Santa Barbara.)
Q10: WHY IS THE TRIP WEST TO EAST AND NOT EAST TO WEST?
A: Flying east takes advantage of the jet streams and reduces flying time.
Jet streams flow from west to east in the upper portion of the troposphere.
For an explanation and drawings of the jet stream, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jet_stream
But this itinerary was selected by coordinating airline timetables for a minimum of ground time between flights.
Q11: WHO IS DAN POYNTER?
A: Dan Flies a lot.
- Author of more than 120 books, including the Air Travel Handbook.
- Professional speaker (Certified Speaking Professional).
- Book publisher since 1969.
Flying on United
- Flies more than 6,000+ miles/week on United Airlines.
- Mileage Plus member since 1981.
- More than 2-million miles flown on United.
- 20 Round-the-World Star Alliance itineraries in 3.5 years.
- United (UAL) stockholder.
- Editor and publisher, Publishing Poynters, circulation 41,000+
- Editor, NewsBrief, an official publication of the Global Speaker Federation.
- Speaker. Delivers 200 to 250 speeches per year on aviation and other topics.
- Some of his websites are http://RTW2D.com, http://ParaPublishing.com, http://airtravelhandbook.com/
- Independent Book Publishers Association, past vice-president.
- United States Parachute Association, past chairman of the board.
- Parachute Industry Association, past president.
- CIVL of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, past president.
More about Dan Poynter
- Visited 52 countries and skydived into the North Pole.
- FAA Private Pilot (SEL & gliders).
- FAA Master Parachute Rigger.
- USPA Skydiving Instructor/Examiner.
- Works outside the U.S. 40% of the year.
- Member of FlyerTalk.
Q12: WHERE WILL DAN DEPART AND ARRIVE?
A: Dan will depart Los Angeles from the United Airline’s terminal, Concourse 7, at Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX).
Flight UA-856 usually leaves for Washington, Dulles (IAD) from the end of Concourse 7, probably gate 77. The flight will leave the gate at 1:16 PM. The aircraft will be a Boeing 757–200. The flight to Washington will cover 2,419 miles in a scheduled 4 hours and 46 minutes.
Dan will arrive Los Angeles Airport (LAX), Terminal B, the Bradley International Terminal, from Taipei, (TPE) around 3:25 PM on EVA Air BR-12.
Immigration will be quick as Dan has Global Entry status. Instead of standing in the often-long Immigration lines, he will go straight to a machine to scan his passport and fingerprints. The machine will issue him a card. Then he will breeze past the baggage area, since he will not have checked bags, turn in the card at Customs and proceed to the terminal arrival area.
Q13: CAN WE FOLLOW DAN ON THIS HISTORIC TWO-DAY TRIP?
A: There is a “follow Dan” feature on the website.
Q14: ARE ALL THREE AIRLINES MEMBERS OF THE STAR ALLIANCE?
A. United and Singapore Air are members of the Star Alliance, a grouping of international airlines. http://www.staralliance.com/en/
There is an industry rumor that EVA Air has applied for Star Alliance membership.
EVA Air has a code sharing agreement with Continental. Continental and United are becoming one company.
More on EVA Air: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EVA_Air
Q15: WILL DAN CHECK BAGS?
A: Dan will carry a single modest portfolio with a few essentials.
Q16: WHAT ITEMS WILL DAN CARRY IN HIS ATTACHÉ CASE?
A: He won’t need to pack his toothbrush and toothpaste because the airlines supply them.
Dan carries some natural products. He packs a few acidophilus pills (probiotics) for the occasional upset stomach. He carries Airborne for colds because it should be taken at the first sign of a cold, not when you get to the ground or arrive home.
He will carry a shaver but will not need the charger and cord since he will only use the shaver twice.
He does not need much for 2 days.
It is unlikely that he will have time to find a Wi-Fi connection during the short layovers to send his reports. So he will use his iPhone to send txt messages.
His iPhone will be on his belt. The apps he will consult during the trip will be Phone, Kindle (he reads a lot during his travels), Mail, Messages, Stocks, Skype, Clock>World Clock, Voice Memos, Photography, FlightTrack, Tripit, AirportStatus, GateMaps, and iHUD.
Some of the apps he normally uses in his travels are Dragon, UPS: Tracking, Hotels, Maps, Google Earth, Google, PriceCheck, CardBank, Units, DecibelMeter, Currency, ATM Hunter, Cultures, iTip, Compass, Travel Kit, Rocket Taxi, AT&T Nav, and WeatherBug.
He won’t need them on this trip.
Dan won’t bother with a watch. He will use his iPhone’s World Clock. That way, he will avoid continually resetting his watch.
He will carry one display copy of this latest book The Air Travel Handbook. See http://AirTravelHandbok.com for more information on that book.
A: Dan will be sitting in the front of the planes where there are 180-degree lay-flat beds. He will spend some time sleeping. The food is good up front. He loves to read eBooks on his iPhone. Most come from Amazon’s Kindle store.
A good portion of his waking hours will be spent handing out souvenir cards and autographing them. Everyone he encounters in the air and on the ground will be witnessing aviation history.
Q18: WILL THERE BE SOUVENIRS OF THIS HISTORIC TRIP?
A: Dan will hand out souvenir cards explaining the trip, noting the route, citing his website, and the “Follow Me” feature (see the above graphic).
The cards will have the trip logo and a photo of Dan.
Q19: IS THIS A WORLD RECORD?
A: This will be the fastest anyone has circumnavigated the globe on regularly-scheduled commercial airliners.
The route does not quite technically qualify as “circumnavigation” according the Guinness Book/Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. More of the flights are above the Tropic of Cancer than below it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropic_of_cancer
The major challenge was matching the schedules of several airlines to minimize the ground time between flights.
For powered aviation, the course of a round-the-world record must start and finish at the same point and cross all meridians; the course must be at least 36,787.559 kilometres (22,858.729 mi) long (which is the length of the Tropic of Cancer). The figure is usually rounded to 37,000 kms/22,990 miles.
One stop, Singapore, is less than 160 kms/100 miles from the Equator.
In Dan’s itinerary, he is counting ground time; the time between flights.
See lists of Air Records at:
Q20: IS A PASSPORT REQUIRED FOR A TRIP THAT DEPARTS AND ARRIVES IN THE SAME COUNTRY?
A: Good question. Dan will be departing and landing in the United States. He will be “transiting” in Dubai, Singapore and Taipei. Technically, he will not be entering other countries and will not be required to stand in Immigration lines.
But he will carry his passport. It is unlikely United will allow him on their aircraft without it. If the trip is interrupted, he will have to overnight in a hotel outside an airport.
While a passport should not be required, Dan has anticipated this objection and will carry his passport just in case.
On the other hand, he may be able to get dated passport stamps in the U.S., Dubai, Singapore, Taiwan and the U.S. all on one page.
Q21: DID ANYTHING FUNNY HAPPEN WHEN ORGANIZING THIS TRIP?
A: Dan and his team spent many hours searching for the best routing and connections. Then he called United to make the reservations. Since he had figured out the trip, he just read off the itinerary to the United Global Services agent. The call took about five minutes. The agent typed in the flight and did not even notice the dates: departing 17 May and arriving 19 May.
Then she asked the usual closing question: “Will you be needing a Hertz rental car?”
Q22: WHAT WORRIED YOU THE MOST?
A: First, I had to find an itinerary with minimum ground connections and make the reservations. Then I assembled the team, we built the website, contacted the PR departments of the airlines, set up the publicity machine, and continued planning.
For four months, the greatest worry was that one of the three airlines would change a schedule. That would probably mean starting over.
Q23: IS THE WORLD A SMALLER PLACE?
Yes, the world just became 78 days smaller.
Dan will make it shrink from 80 days to 2 days.