• Flying Smarter

Taking the Skies Less Traveled with Michael Hilliard

Episode 22 ·




In this episode, Andrew answers the question of why you can’t board a flight after the gate closes even if the plane is still sitting there. He then chats with Michael Hilliard, a conflict journalist who has travelled to many unconventional destinations around the world, gaining unique experiences and insights on air travel.


  • Why can’t you board a flight after the gate closes even if the aircraft is still sitting at the gate? The answer involves a bunch of different factors involving aircraft, airline, and airport operations. Find out more in this episode.

  • What’s it like flying to airports that see very few foreign travelers? How do you fly to a conflict zone? Andrew talks to conflict journalist and podcast host Michael Hillard about his fascinating air travel experiences.

  • Michael has travelled to many uncommon destinations that are hard to access, having reported from places like Iran, Belarus, and Russia. Listen as he provides travel tips, his thoughts on flight safety, and much more.

Michael Hilliard is a conflict journalist with extensive air travel experience around the world. His work has taken him to places ranging from Iran, to Kyrgyzstan, to Belarus and Russia and he has worked with governments, think tanks, and other organizations across the globe. He is the founder and host of The Red Line, a geopolitics podcast that brings together three guests to tell a key story each episode. You can also find Michael on Twitter and The Red Line on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Enjoying the podcast? Follow us on social media for updates, sneak peeks, and more!


Connect with us on social media: Facebook: Flying Smarter Podcast Instagram: @flyingsmarter Twitter: @flying_smarter


Michael Hilliard is a journalist who has reported from conflict zones across the planet. His work has taken him to places ranging from Iran, to Kyrgyzstan, to Belarus and Russia, giving him extensive travel and air travel experience. Throughout his career, he has worked with governments, think tanks, and other organizations across the globe. He is the host of The Red Line, a podcast that is now Australia’s most streamed geopolitics program.