I guess it’s fair enough. Touting a passion for travel and airlines, posting and reviewing countless flights, and simply talking about little else makes this a valid question.
There are heaps of us in the “Frequent Flyer Community” around the world, who simply adore being on a plane, earning miles, and of course, gaining elite status.
So, in short, yes, I fly just to fly, and so do a whole heap of others (although this group is small)! Most people pay for a flight with the intent of receiving, in return, the service of being carried from one point to another. But for us “AvGeeks”, the flight itself is often worth the price or more.
Having said that, we don’t often just get up and say “I’m bored today. Let’s just fly to LAX and back!” (well, some might). Instead, we fly for a whole range of purposes related to aviation. Be it earning miles, gaining elite status, trying out a new aircraft, or to pick up a prize in a competition ( I once flew to Singapore to collect a prize I won in a Changi Airport competition), there is some sort of alternate purpose.
The most common of these is mileage/ status running. Frequent flyers will spend days flying around the globe purely to earn some frequent flyer miles and qualify/ re-qualify an elite status.In this case, yes we are flying just for the flight, but also to ensure more flights in the future!
The next most common reason is to experience a new aircraft or a momentous occasion. I recently flew from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and back purely to experience Singapore Airlines’ new Airbus A350. Many people also fly from around the world to be part of history, such as an inaugural flight, or even a final flight (I have been a part of the latter, and it was more than worth the money and trouble!).
The biggest thing to note here is the economic concept of utility. A person gains utility (satisfaction) from the purchase of products and services. The level of utility for each good/ service varies greatly between personal preferences and tastes. So, whilst for most people, there is no possible way of justifying spending hundreds of dollars just to fly, earn miles, or experience a new aircraft, people who are passionate about the subject gain immense utility, and so the benefit may often outweigh the cost (although this benefit can not be measured in dollar terms).
I am in the midst of firming up a mileage run, to occur in the next few weeks. It’ll be my first proper run, although it is actually relatively useless and quite silly, given my travel plans. But more on that in due course.
Yes, people, we do fly for the fun of it! Maybe give it a try some time?