31 May 2013

"Hundred dollar hamburger" explained

[The phrase is] used in general aviation in the United States (perhaps with variations on the theme elsewhere?). A lot of pilots like to pick a random airport a couple or a few hours away, drop-in for a meal, refuel, and then take off again to fly back home. The sheer joy of flying seems to serve as the primary motivation, like someone taking a sports car out into the countryside for a weekend getaway. The $100 price tag refers to the cost of flying to a distant runway for no reason other than wanting to fly to it, and not specifically to any meal that may have been purchased there. It’s a euphemism, or a wink-and-a-nod, or both, even though fuel prices today would make a hundred dollar round-trip flight a bargain."
Via Twelve Mile Circle, which has links to relevant sites.


  1. It's a thrill to get a link to Twelve Mile Circle from TYWKIWDBI. Thank you!

  2. So that's what the 1% do for fun...

    1. That's not the 1% (who have pilots for private Learjets. I believe most general aviation is conducted by recreational pilots who are in the (shrinking) middle/upper middle class.

  3. It's hours that you can log into your flight book, so it's experience. The hamburger is a bonus.

  4. All pilots must fly a certain number of hours in a month and do a certain number of takeoffs and landings to legally passenger(s). Most pilots do the $100 hamburger/cup of coffee routine to maintain their currency if they haven't done enough flying during the month.

  5. I know someone who does this kind of thing with commercial airline travel, taking a quick BOS-NYC shuttle trip. He does it when his frequent flier mile total is almost, but not quite, to an award threshold.

  6. I have a €100 pizza waiting for me in London. It's worth it.


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