Don't quit your day job (yet)

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Last week we interviewed Sam Chui, an aviation enthusiast and blogger. His YouTube channel, which covers his airline and travel experiences, has 1.3 million subscribers, making him the world’s most followed aviation blogger. Here is our chat with him on how he became a blogger, on what the future of aviation holds and how his experience of travel differs to that of a typical frequent flyer.

On how he started out…

I was into aviation from a young age. When the internet came about I set up my own website, and started blogging about aviation and my travel experiences, and then I started posting videos on YouTube… It was a hobby until 2017 when I realised I could make a full-time career out of it, so I quit my day job in 2018 and life has never been busier and it has never been better - now I am in full control of what I do.

On what the future of air travel will look like…

Service wise it will be more personalised as airlines can obtain data on peoples preferences. For example, customised onboard entertainment.

The economy class is moving into the direction of you having to pay for everything – luggage, food, drinks, and this trend will become more widespread.

In luxury, more airlines are creating a bumper between premium and economy – a premium economy class. They are targeting the middle class who want to have a but more privacy, but are not prepared to pay for business class. First class is becoming a novelty, more people are buying into business class. It’s all about privacy. Everyone expects to have a full flat bed when traveling on business class, people demand better food, better entertainment, WIFI. At the same time, competition among airlines is higher and higher. 

Sam Chui Blogger

What his last week looked like…

Beginning of the week I was in Middle East, Dubai where I’m living right now, and then I could be off to Scotland to test out the world’s shortest flight going to Orkney, and then I was traveling to Zurich to visit an airline catering company to see how onboard meals are prepared. After, I took the Airbus 380 to Singapore Airlines to create some content around the passenger experience. I just got back last night. 

How his experience of travel differs to that of a typical business traveller…

I both enjoy the journey and find it a challenge. Travel for me is not just getting A to B, I work during my travels, I create content, I blog about my experiences... I am constantly looking out and learning.

Sam Chui travel blog

Advice to frequent travellers…

I would just say research before you travel – find out where the lounge is, which entrance will get you faster through the queues, which are the best seats, which credit card will give you lounge entry, how to book a cheaper air fare, how to get the most out of your mileage. There’s a lot of frequent traveller tips out there, you only have to look online.

On packing…

I usually travel with hand luggage only so I don’t have to wait for my bag to arrive. I choose the largest size allowed so I can pack as much as I can. I always bring a day pack with me, which has all my gadgets in it – my laptop, my camera…

Most memorable flight experiences…

I flew with the Concorde across the Atlantic in about three hours when I was only 22… that was quite memorable. I was also on the first A380 commercial flight with Singapore Airlines, I was 26 years old, the youngest passenger to fly in the Singapore Airlines Suite, the experience was remarkable. This was an airplane that changed air travel in the next 20-30 years, so yeah, it felt like a historical moment. Otherwise my best experiences have been not down to what class I flew but what people I met on my journey.

Advice to those who would like to earn a living from their hobby…

I wouldn’t recommend quitting your day job straight away. I think you should try to monetise your hobby. If you want to make a full-time living out of it you should try to figure out the gradual steps on how you will achieve that.

Sam Chui gate 8 luggage

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You can find Sam Chui on YouTube, TwitterFacebook and Instagram.