As seems to happen a lot, I ended up flying more than I originally planned this year. I easily requalified for my new preferred status; American Airlines Executive Platinum midway through the year. After some long haul trips on United, I stretched a little bit, focusing my bookings on United, but also managed to achieve United 1K status once again. All of this was without a single mileage run. I flew a little over 200,000 revenue miles, and close 250,000 including award flights. That is about 90% of the distance to the moon. Yikes! I also had about 160 segments, which is fun for the avgeek in me, but not so good for my much more important job as a father and husband. I send postcards, but it is not the same as being there…
Here is my flight map for 2015:
My 2015 travel map via Great Circle Mapper
I made the jump to AA, and despite recent devaluations, and after experiencing both UA and AA, I’m not yet jumping back to familiar United. I actually ended up flying a few more segments on United this year, but I don’t anticipate doing that next year. It was more due to the fact that I finished the year with a lot of domestic travel, and I needed all of it to get over the 100,000 mile threshold. Despite expected hassles, I hope it was worth it for me to get the Global Premier Upgrades/SWUs. I had a perfect record upgrading with GPUs in 2015, and having options is always good.
I flew in economy most of the time, but I was fortunate to be upgraded on most long flights, although no such luck on my longest flight I’ve ever taken, from Hong Kong to Dallas on AA. At least I got an aisle seat in Main Cabin Extra. I also had another diversion on a trip to Hong Kong. Sadly, I’ve still never made it in AA’s new business class, as both planned flights where I had confirmed upgrades were swapped to planes in the old configuration. I of course didn’t clear an upgrade on the 777-300ER to Hong Kong. Once I had Executive Platinum status, I only missed one domestic upgrade on American, and that was a flight that I booked due at the last minute due to some irregular operations. On United, my experience was nearly the opposite. I only had a few domestic flights where I received a complimentary upgrade on United…
I didn’t get to explore as many new places as maybe I would have liked, but I was away from home and family too much as it was. That said, some memorably trips included family, such as when we went to Europe this spring. My daughter’s first international trip was also my first time to Denmark and Sweden. I had my first visit to Prague, and had a business trips to new places including Lisbon, Curitiba, and Antwerp. Other fun destinations I returned to included Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Liverpool.
My last trip of the year is an award trip to Japan on ANA, returning in January on JAL. I’m sure a full trip report will follow, and I’m excited to compare the two Japanese carriers.
As for hotels, I had 140-some nights in hotels. Ouch. Some memorable stays included suites at the very nice Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur (trip report to come…some day…), and the Le Meridien Dubai. I also got to follow Kyle’s suggestion and visit the nice Hyatt Sha Tin (Hong Kong). We returned to the beautiful Park Hyatt Zurich, but couldn’t find space at my favorite hotel, the Park Hyatt Tokyo.
I didn’t post nearly as much as I hoped to this year. I have a huge backlog of reports to write. I can’t promise to post more frequently in 2016, but I will continue to bring you some of my experiences as a road warrior and traveler. Some more fun trips in the works in the new year.
Thanks for reading. Happy New Year!