TravelStories Episode 27: A Pilot’s Perspective

A Pilot’s Perspective: Finding the Right Approach from Cargo to Commercial

Episode 27: Show Notes.

We welcome Steven Kriese, a traveler, a commercial airline pilot and friend. In today’s episode, Steve takes us back in time to his first flying experience and how airline technology has steadily evolved since. He walks us through his personal preferences including his most desired routes, how his job as a pilot affects his leisure travel, what he learned from his time in the Air Force, and what he loves most about his job. We also learn about various approach styles and in particular, the RNP approach, a close examination of how air operations work, the ins and outs of miles, points, and rewards from Steve’s perspective, and why he still holds high standards of safety for the 737, which he himself flies.        

Key Points From This Episode:

  • [00:56] Some background on today’s guest, former U.S. Air Force cargo pilot, Steven Kriese. 
  • [03:56] His first flying experience and the aircrafts he’s flown since.  
  • [05:20] “What’s your route?” How Steve plans his flights every month. 
  • [07:55] Exploring various landing styles and approaches, and explaining the RNP approach.
  • [13:00] The progression of flight technology during Steve’s career. 
  • [14:45] Interesting routes that he’d liked to fly either as a pilot or passenger. 
  • [15:58] Noteworthy moments from his time in the Air Force.
  • [17:37] His stance on miles and points, and a deep dive into rewards. 
  • [28:25] Air operations: duty timeouts during delays, cancellations, and other scenarios.  
  • [34:34] What Steve discovered after swapping military cargo planes for commercial ones.
  • [37:28] He explains what he loves most about his job as a pilot. 
  • [40:02] Why he’s confident in the safety of the 737 amid the AA flight 1282 debacle. 
  • [44:40] How his experience as a pilot has influenced his leisure travel. 


“I may offend one or two, but pilots are generally cheap.” — Steven Kriese [24:51]

“The miracle of flight in the modern age: eating a meal [and] surfing the internet in a metal tube, 30,000 feet in the air.” — @tmount [34:00]

“In all honesty, flying cargo planes for the military, especially for the Air Force, is very similar to what we do in the airlines.” — Steven Kriese [34:57]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Steven Kriese on LinkedIn

Steven Kriese on Instagram

Alaska Airlines 

American Airlines



Spirit Airlines 



Chase Sapphire Reserve 

‘AvTalk Episode 250: Alaska Airlines Flight 1282’ 

DCL Podcast

The Milenomics Podcast Network

Thomas Kim on X

Trevor Mountcastle on X

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