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Razgriz, the art of filming all sides of aviation

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Today, we are speaking with Nicolas, the creator of the Youtube Channel "Razgriz Flight & Spotting".

When and why did you create your Youtube channel?

I created my Youtube channel in 2007 for occasional gaming videos but nothing more. Yes it had absolutely nothing to do with today! This lasted until 2014, when I took the plane for the first time ... in 12 years ... It was with XL Airways in Airbus A330-300 from Paris CDG to Pointe-à-Pitre PTP . I filmed my first landing there with my phone. I put the video on Youtube a bit by chance / by default without any pretension. They even laughed at me about it and the value of "looking at a wing" during a flight. It was the beginning of a story and I started to nourish a passion for travel (but not yet for Trip reports). It was a little later, especially from 2016-2017, that this passion for travel increased. But 2018 was the turning point! It is indeed from this year that I started to really make my first REAL videos of Trip reports (as well as of plane spotting) and also that my Youtube channel took off (I only had 80 subscribers in January 2018 ^^) You know the rest of the story today!

When did you take your first flight? Where and for what purpose?

As far as I can remember, the very first flight was in 1993! A flight to Martinique from Orly with AOM in DC-10 (an airline that no longer exists). A vacation trip with my parents (I must have been 4-5 years old, I was still in kindergarten). This flight will remain engraved for life in my memory and it was also the beginning of my passion for aviation.

What is the main reason for your trips?

Initially, travel was always for leisure, and my flying videos were just a bonus pastime on top of vacations. And then, over time, I took more and more pleasure in filming and editing, and at the same time, I realized that people liked my videos on Youtube. Travel being, initially, a common passion to my partner and myself, I realize that I can combine work with pleasure! So I gradually refined my shooting and editing methods to produce the videos I make today. And from 2019, I decided to take a step further and begin new challenges. I started doing my first solo flights, this time not for tourism, but with an aim to produce content, namely the videos of Trip reports but also of Plane Spotting (London Heathrow LHR, Frankfurt FRA, Amsterdam Schiphol, Toulouse Blagnac for the 50th anniversary of Airbus for example) Winning bet!

Tell us about your best flight experience

My best flight experience so far remains my very first round trip in business class on Air France's brand new Airbus A350, from Paris CDG to Toronto YYZ (March 2020). I had hesitated before choosing the business class (the prices are vertiginous), but I went crazy! The AF lounge, the catering, the comfort, the attentive staff ... It's downright another world, and I was not used to it! The time went really fast, so much so that I had the impression that the flight had lasted 2 hours (while it had lasted only 7)

Tell us about your worst flight experience

The most unpleasant trip for the moment remains flight AF342, Paris CDG - Montreal YUL with Air France in a non-retrofitted Boeing 777-300ER (old seats, old original screens). But it is especially the 4 children of 4-5 years old right next to us who heckled, cried and screamed in anger DURING THE ENTIRE FLIGHT !!!! From take-off to leaving the aircraft, all with the indifference of parents but also of the cabin crew. Besides, I obviously filmed this flight and the Trip reports is available (we can hear the children screaming there, but cut at 80% during the editing)

Tell us more about your favorite airport and why

Singapore Changi undoubtedly, it is just staggering! We went in December 2019, so we got to see the famous "Jewel" completed, and I can tell you it lives up to its name! I really like Dubai DXB, Paris CDG, or Los Angeles LAX, but we're definitely a level above! The whole airport is a huge shopping center with lots of greenery mixed with modern styles. Even the luggage collection areas are filled with exotic plants and flowers! There is everything (IMAX cinema, swimming pools and botanical gardens on the roofs, restaurants galore, activities and areas for children, waterfalls ...) If you also go in December like us, the trees and all the Christmas decorations embellish it all even more! Another cool detail, all terminals are carpeted which makes them quiet and soothing

Tell us about a fun fact that happened to you while traveling

I have a fun one (well it depends for whom). This is the story of the window seat ... without window! On our return from Honolulu HNL to Seattle SEA with Delta Airlines on an old Boeing 757-200 in April 2019. Despite the fact that I had reserved and chosen my seat in advance on the window, when boarding , I discover ... that there was none ... I had a seat stuck to the wall and nothing else !! The seats behind and in front of me had one, but I didn't ... It might sound ridiculous to others, but for an Avgeek like me, that's sin !! Not allowed !!

If you only had one destination to choose from, where would it be?

Hawaii without hesitation! We went there in March 2019. Despite all the places I have visited (Thailand, Tahiti / Bora Bora, New York, Singapore, Los Angeles, Miami, Vietnam, Africa, as well as all of Europe) I felt in love with this archipelago. Oahu, Big Island, volcanoes, inhabitants, cuisine, climate, landscapes ... we liked everything ... and we miss it ... It is no surprise that this will be our favorite destination after the pandemic and that the borders will be reopened!

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has impacted most people around the world, how has it impacted you and your travel plans?

Oh yes, the impact was total and brutal! In the year 2020 I had 8 travel plans:

● 6 long-haul (Mauritius, Toronto, New York, a Miami-Chicago road trip and another in the Vancouver-Seattle region, Hawaii and Hong Kong)

● 2 medium-haul (Zurich and Istanbul)

Mauritius and Toronto being done just before the start of the pandemic, I had to cancel the 6 remaining trips (of which 4 were already booked and paid ...). Until now we used to book our flights / trips well in advance (between 8 and 12 months), this allowed us to choose the best dates, the best seats, the best rooms at the best price. But with the onset of the pandemic, this method has turned against us! It was a very long hassle (up to 8 months) to obtain reimbursements (some of which partially ...). But the most frustrating and the hardest morally is really not being able to leave at all! To no longer be able to project oneself, to wait in uncertainty, it's really difficult! Overnight, the whole world was closed ...

Will COVID-19 impact how and where you choose to travel in the near future? When do you see a return to some form of "normality"?

Yes, a lot ! Now we choose and book our trips only a few days to 2-3 weeks maximum in advance (against more than 8 months previously). But even like that, it doesn't work anymore! At the beginning of January we had booked St Martin in the Caribbean with KLM for the beginning of February ... not even 1 week later, the Prime Minister announced the obligatory quarantine, the closing of borders and the ban on travel without a compelling reason, even to French overseas territories !! At the end, cancellation of flights / hotels / car ... again ... How do you want to plan in such conditions? Honestly, I can't see when a more normal situation will return! Unless we double the speed of vaccination, I don't see any other way ... Let's keep our fingers crossed for this summer ... but I'll be honest, after more than a year in this situation, I don't have any hopes ...

Lastly and to end on a positive note, can you give us any exclusive details about your future trips to come?

Unfortunately I no longer have any travel plans! Impossible to plan and undertake anything in this uncertain and anxiety-provoking climate. I am possibly considering a domestic flight in metropolitan France (recently Paris CDG -Toulouse TLS). If the pandemic were to end and the borders were to reopen, my partner and I are of course in the starting blocks to leave! My 1st post-pandemic project would be to fly the A380s and Boeing 747s from all the remaining airlines in the world before they are all gone for good! Starting with the new A380 turtle from ANA (Flying Honu). The consequences of the Covid have meant that flying with the super Jumbo (which is my favorite plane) is now over with Air France and in complete uncertainty for the other companies (Lufthansa, British Airways, Etihad, Thai Airways etc. ... ) There is therefore an emergency! Thank you coronavirus ...

We would like to thank Nicolas for his quick responses to our interview request and for his precious time!

Watch Razgriz's videos



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