More Than a 1000 Flights Without Ever Leaving The Airport

For more than twenty years, he flew to a different European city — every Wednesday. He never missed a week. Mr Mul (born in 1932) made more than a 1,000 flights over a period of 20 years. Unfortunately, he passed away last year. With this story we want to commemorate him.

Mr Mul adored flight, aircraft, and everything associated with the experience. His wife described him as a KLM fan of the first order. “For 3 days he would be in his element— he enjoyed the preparations on the day prior to flying, the day of the flight itself (of course), and the day after as he described every detail of his adventure.”

No favourite destination

There was not one place Mr Mul preferred to go to. For him, it was all about flying. And the more turbulence the better. In the morning he would fly to Barcelona, Hamburg or Helsinki, walk around the airport for anything from a half hour to a few hours, and then fly home. He never once stayed overnight at his destination. “I didn’t want to leave my wife alone for too long”, he said.

He never managed to infect his wife with the love of flight. It was a different story for his only grandson. His wife preferred to travel by road. “I didn’t need the whole hassle” the down-to-earth Mrs Mul said. I was happy to stay at home, watch television, wait until he arrived back home and regaled me with his stories.”

Magical window seat

Window seat

His weekly trips made Jan Mul pretty well known among the KLM cabin crew. One purser who had him on board regularly, always stopped to have a chat with him. He said that Mr. Mul was the friendliest man he ever met while at work. The only thing he required was to have a window seat so he could enjoy the view during the flight.

[tweet text=”The only thing he required was to have a window seat so he could enjoy the view during the flight.”]

On 8 November 2014, Mr Mul took his standard trip, once again to Stockholm, but this time in the company of his grandson, Tom. No one could have imagined that it would be the last time he would ascend to over 30,000 feet. Two days later, while out shopping, Mr Mul died suddenly but painlessly of a heart attack.

Most loyal passenger

To honour the person who was very likely our most loyal passenger, we invited Mrs Mul and her grandson Tom to take a surprise flight. I flew with them to Stockholm on 9 June. True to tradition, we remained exactly 30 minutes and then returned to Amsterdam.

The pilot on the flight, bearing the suitable name of Kaptijn (an old spelling of the Dutch word for Captain) and his crew, all of whom knew Mr Mul, were apprised of the event and did all they could to make it a great day for the widow and her grandson. We gave them the opportunity to take a look in the cockpit, and to experience the takeoff and landing from there. We also offered them a glass of champagne and a Business Class meal.

IMG_3132

It is Tom Hietberg’s dream to become a pilot. Similar to his grandfather, he knows every aircraft type by sight and he knows where each one is headed. “That’s KL1601 from Rome. It will probably land on the Polder Runway.”

When Mrs Mul said to me (for the third time), “I’ve had such a wonderful day, I’ve forgotten everything else,” I knew that we had succeeded in our mission. It was an honour to have had Jan Mul onboard all those years.

Posted by:   Paul Sluis  | 
Join the conversation Show comments

Stephen

This is amazing. This goes beyond “KLM Cares” I bet most of the crews were on first name terms with him.

This is one of the reasons I think you guys are amazing.

Hope one day I can rack up as many miles!

Paul Sluis

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for your comment.

Yes, lots or crew members knew him and described him as a very friendly man. Good luck with your personal flight record ;-)

Stavjen

Awesome story!
The question is, what did he do with all his award miles?

Stephen

If this was a certain British Airline he might have had enough racked up for fast track security :D

I reckon KLM will have donated them to his Grandson. Or made his Grandson permanent platinum

Paul Sluis

Hi Stavjen,

Good to hear that you like the story! Mr. Mul used his award miles to book new flights for him and his grandson.

Ricky Payne

Great story! Not only dedicated, but a “true brand” for KLM! What a great commercial for advertising this would make!!!

Paul Sluis

Thanks for you comment Ricky. And thanks for your suggestion, we’ll consider it!

Ben

Great passion he had for aviation and the KLM brand! Was he a Flying Blue platinum elite?

Frank Moerdijk

Dear KLM,

You might consider naming an aircraft after Mr. Mul in honor of his loyalty and in proving you care about your customers (which I know you do), not to mention the ‘ultimate customer’ Mr. Mul. In years time his grandson gets to fly the plane all over the world. ;-)

Regards,
Frank

Paul Sluis

Thanks for your comment Frank. We’ll consider your suggestion ;-)

Nitin

Amazing job KLM. Heart-warming story. Very well-executed :)

Paul Sluis

Good to hear you like the story. It was a honor for me to be part of the project. Enjoy your day!

penelope burreci

Thanks for a very touching and interesting story about Mr Mul. Condolences to his wife and family.
However I understand very well his love of flying as I do too. I have lost count of the number of
times I have made the journey from Australia to the UK and Holland too and the length of these
flights does not phase me at all, I just love flying and thank all the airlines who have perpetuated
this love of mine! Well done KLM.

Charlie

What a great story! Condolences to his family and friends but what remarkable and wonderful memories they must have. I concur with the suggestion above to name a plane for him, perhaps one that flies from Schiphol on Wednesdays.

Well done, KLM.

Charlie

JohnB

What an incredible story! KLM should be very proud to have had such a loyal customer! Always keep in mind, that one never knows why a passenger needs to fly. Everyone has a different need. Mr. Mul just loved to fly! More importantly he loved to fly KLM.

Patrick v.d.Heuvel

Bestaan de dagretourtjes nog om tegen gereduceerd tarief met dezelfde vlucht binnen Europa heen- en terug te reizen? Was erg leuk voor luchtvaartliefhebbers :-)

Lolita M. Balboa

Amazing story. I salute KLM – for this kind gesture to the wife and grandson of Mr. Mul.
You’re really a caring airline and valuing your customer like Mr. Mul is really wonderful I . I also like flying and KLM is my favorite. Of all my European visits (8 times) – it’s all KLM. Kudos to KLM.

Paul Sluis

Thanks a lot for your compliments! We always try to do our best for our customers. We hope to see you soon on board, Lolita!

ingmar beldman

Erg onder de indruk. Wat een mooi verhaal…
ontroerend.

Paul Sluis

Dank voor je reactie Ingmar. Het was voor mij ook indrukwekkend om dit mee te maken en een uitdaging om het verhaal zo goed mogelijk over te brengen.

Caroline A Otieno

What a story! May his family and friends find comfort. KLM is a remarkable airline and I try to book my flights with the carrier as much as I am able to.
My travel blog; africanahgirl.com

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