Graham Hoff-Downing

Airline Pilot

I started traveling in earnest in 2011, at the commencement of my first airline job at a large U.S. air carrier. Theretofore, I hadn’t the easy access to travel that airline pilots enjoy. As an Airline Pilot, I have access to a program called the Cockpit Access Security System (or commonly called just CASS amongst pilot flight crew members). This program consists of a reciprocal agreement between participating airlines that allow pilots access to the flight deck jump-seat (which is an extra seat in the cockpit). This can be used for the purpose of leisure travel or as a method of commuting to work.

Access to CASS has given me a carte blanche pass to any destination in the U.S. for no cost. In addition, traveling abroad can be accomplished with little to no cost. The costs associated with traveling abroad are largely determined by the politics of that country and come in the form of taxes. As a result of my career, I make every effort to go on as many trips as I can, whether for a weekend getaway to Florida or the U.K., or a long backpacking trip in the Cascade Mountains.

I truly believe that the quintessence of building a meaningful life, in part, comes from education, exploration, and full earnest engagement. Thereof, traveling takes high importance in my life. While traveling, I have found the manacles of the tyranny of everyday life are unlocked. For those ephemeral moments, I feel like a fugitive vying and winning a temporary reprieve. The responsibility to propagate travel tips into the compendium of expertise that is offered on Backpacker Travel will allow me to share in those experiences and emotions. Moreover, I am more than exuberant to provide insider knowledge about airports, airlines, airplanes, and general travel tips to interested parties.