"I have never been to Mongolia, but I’ve flown over it a number of times – normally in the last few hours of a flight to Beijing – and it is just amazing. It’s these tawny-rolling hills; there’s often snow in the valleys, even in summer. You barely see a road... you just have this amazing landscape, and every time I fly over it, I think that has to be my next holiday."
4. The stars
North America widefield via photopin (license)
"Looking up, instead of down, you see so many stars. We have this privileged view of the night sky. In the cockpit we keep the lights quite dim because otherwise we can’t see out, and so we have this view outside and it’s one of the best parts of the job."
3. The clouds
"I guess my third favourite sight is how clouds look over the ocean at night. I've spent a lot of time over the North Atlantic, and if there’s a full moon, the light’s bright enough to read a map by. I mean it’s incredibly bright, and the sea is this blue-black plate and above it there are these cumulous clouds, which are just floating along over the middle of the ocean. The moonlight is so bright the clouds will cast a shadow onto the ocean, even at night, and the clouds themselves will be light on one side and dark on the other."
"They will probably never see land, no one will ever likely see them – except you if you look out of the window. Almost everyone else on the plane is sleeping, and there’s just these clouds floating over the sea and it’s just an incredible sight."
2. Vancouver, Canada
"Flying into Vancouver you fly over the Rockies, and then the coastal ranges that surround the city. You don’t realise when you are in Vancouver that it’s basically just a village compared to the scale of empty mountains that are towering around it on two or three sides. And of course you’re descending into Vancouver, so you see those mountains maybe more closely that you would, and that’s definitely an experience for passengers to enjoy. It’s a busy approach for us in the cockpit, but if you have a window seat, I can’t recommend it highly enough."