Five interesting people I’ve met on an airplane

Well, I’ll include hotels also. As I did not meet all of these interesting people on an airplane exclusively. It’s interesting just who you will bump into at times, not so much famous person or not. I’ve bumped into plenty of those, and well there is not much of a story. Interesting people, in terms of their job, is a different bag. Here are the five most interesting people I’ve met over the years on airplanes (or hotels):

Coffee bean buyer – Nicaragua. I met this guy during my recent vacation to Morgan’s Rock. He is from Sweden and literally scours the world for the best coffee beans for the domestic blends in Sweden. Needless to say, he was none too happy with the bag of pre-ground beans I bought from a street vendor earlier. The most interesting comment he made was that Starbucks buys some of the best beans, yet over-roasts them and destroys their flavor.

Concept car seller – Flying DTW-PHL. I met this guy on a flight who sells pre-production cars in the open market for around 25% of their eventual MSRP. I said, “WOW! Can I have one of your cars, I’d love to buy one at that type of deal!” He told me I don’t want one, as you can’t get some parts. It turns out the end product may differ from the pre-production models as well as insurance and maintenance are really complicated. Buyer beware!

Marketing manager for the egg industry – Flying ATL-GRR. I met this lady, who specializes in marketing for the egg industry on a flight. She told me that it’s difficult to advertise a true commodity item, but they are doing it. Basically the brains behind the slogan, “The incredible, edible egg.”

Real estate buyer for a large clothing brand – Flying MTY-ATL. I met this guy coming back from Mexico. He sources land and facilities for a clothing brand that we all know, and his most interesting comment referring to international manufacturing is that “Mexico is now too expensive.” He, at the time (circa 2004) is now focusing on Central America as the time in transit from SE Asia was too much of a wait for the very dynamic and elastic needs of the fashion industry.

Swine process engineer – Flying CVG-JFK. This guy engineers equipment for pork processing. He is constantly changing the definition of a “spec pig.” Basically, automated food processing systems do not like an “out of spec pig.” Further, the agriculture system strives to pump more product out of livestock by an engineered diet. While I’ve got strong feelings against the current food system, it was an interesting discussion.

Tell me who you’ve ever met interesting in a plane, hotel or otherwise on the go!

2 responses to this post.

  1. Hi Rick, On a flight from SF to LON I meet a lady who was a Bollywood film producer. She was telling me she had been in LA to meet up with some of the larger US film producers (who will remain nameless) to get them to sign-up for a new Charity she was setting up that was helping young homeless indian children get into school and help them get a good eductation. Quite a random conversation, lots of name dropping. But I quite suprised to hear how generous these film producers were.


  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rick Vanover, Don Jennings. Don Jennings said: RT @RickVanover: New blog post – Five interesting people I've met on an airplane: <-great read […]


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