Helen Coffey, The Independent’s no-flight Travel Editor (Bonus Episode #29)

In this bonus episode Iain talks with Helen Coffey, travel editor of ‘The Independent’ and author of the book ‘Zero Altitude: How I Learned to Fly Less and Travel More’.

We discuss her background in skiing, time at Telegraph Ski & Snowboard Magazine and her decision in 2020 to give up flying completely – a significant decision for a travel journalist.


  • Helen was on the show in Episode 80
  • She learned to ski at Hemel Hempstead (2:15)
  • Her first ski season was in Les Arcs (4:00)
The funicular from Bourg St Maurice to Les Arcs
The funicular from Bourg St Maurice to Les Arcs
  • Listen to our interview with ski instructor Warren Smith here (4:45)
  • Helen worked as a transfer rep for Crystal Ski (6:45)
  • Younger listeners may be surprised to learn that ski passes used to require photos (9:30)
  • She started as a sub-editor at the Telegraph Ski and Snowboard Magazine before moving to the relatively new position of Online Editor (12:00)
  • She was schooled in ‘churnalism’ at the Daily Express (14:15)
  • During PyeongChang 2018 we produced a podcast every day (15:30)
  • Iain founded Ski Flight Free in 2019 (16:15)
  • Anna Hughes was on the podcast in our Train Travel Special episode (20:00)
helen coffey the independent travel editor
Helen Coffey at the launch of her new book

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