Fred Finn is a frequent flyer like no other.
At 83 years old, he’s spent a significant portion of his life in the sky.
Specifically 60,000 feet up, going twice the speed of sound.
As Concorde’s most loyal customer, Finn holds a world record that’s pretty much impossible to beat.
Fred Finn was obsessed with all things aviation from a young age.
He took his first commercial flight in 1958 from the UK to the USA, which took 19 hours and four stops.
38 years later he took the same trip in less than three hours on board Concorde.
He began his career as a traveling salesman, earning a reputation amongst airline staff for flying from New York to London every weekend.
So naturally he was the first person invited to board Concorde’s maiden flight.
After that, he made the supersonic journey a habit.
Flying Concorde was a unique experience.
Most passengers were businessmen, and check-in involved networking in a private lounge with champagne.
Finn even had a special seat aboard the plane: 9A.
“That’s where they started the refreshment service from,” he said.
Because he was such a regular, he’d always find a bottle of Dom Perignon stashed under his seat and was even allowed into the cockpit.
Since his first flight in 1976, Finn clocked an incredible 2.5 million miles flying on Concorde.
The aircraft was in service for 27 years, during which Finn took 718 flights.
This means that he holds the Guinness World Record for the most supersonic passenger flights.
Finn would make two return trips from London to New York a week, once fitting three flights in on one day.
In total, he spent about $2.5 million on his plane tickets.
While flying at Mach 2 was certainly a thrill, it’s the social element that Finn misses most.
The salesman knew the staff well and was involved with everything from calming down anxious passengers to playing for the Concorde cricket team.
“It’s easy to say it’s the speed I miss but it’s actually the connectivity,” Finn says.
“Concorde made the world a much smaller place.”
Since its last flight in 2003, nothing has come close to achieving what Concorde did.
There are a number of supersonic planes in the testing stages right now.
Given the controversy associated with Concorde, however, we’re probably still years away from regular commercial supersonic flight.
And even more years away from Fred Finn losing his world record title.