2016 was another busy travel year for me with the majority of my trips being dedicated to work travel once again. Each year I tell myself I am going to travel less the next year, but instead, my travel continues to grow. Maybe 2017 will be the year I slow down. Yet with only flying 111 segments, 159,019 butt in seat miles, and spending 15 days, 14 hours and 18 minutes on flights in 2016, slowing down should not be an issue.
Reflecting back on 2016. I was fortunate enough to fly some new airlines to awesome places such as Sri Lanka, Norway, Latvia, Jordan, New Zealand and beyond. Five new countries were added to my every growing list of 77 countries now. Along the way I made new friends and visited old friends. I also had the opportunity to visit familiar places such as Singapore and Hong Kong and I explored deeper into China. China is a vast country I lived in for a year, but never actually had a chance to fully travel and explore. So flying to Changsha allowed me to see a new place in a old country.
2016 was a lot of fun, but traveling isn’t as exciting as everyone always thinks. 127 paid nights were spent in Marriott’s across the United States for work. Another 9 nights were redeemed for personal travel across the world. This is on top of the dozens of nights I stayed at guest houses and other hotels on personal trips. It’s a lot of nights away from home, but every moment was worth it, as I recognize that I am very fortunate in being able to travel for both work and fun!
Although I write about flying business class, almost half of my flights are actually in Economy. Thankfully all my transatlantic and transpacific flights for personal travel were in First or Business, which makes up for all the domestic economy I flew. Yet each one of these trips across the water were paid for with miles or upgrade certificates. As you can see, the majority of my flights were up and down the west coast, with a heavy focus of travel between Seattle and California and a couple of trips to Houston.
I am not complain about all my travel. In fact I LOVE to travel! The only down side is 127 nights away were for work, which means no friends, love ones, or pets 127 nights a year. In addition, when away for work there’s no say in where I go. So rather it be Houston or Fresno, I’m stuck going where the company says. It’s not all glamorous! The only upside, 2017 brought me to destinations with larger planes, and unlike 2016, 65% of my flights were not on crj-200s!
Favorite Flights on 2016
Flying still excites me and each time I fly a new product I still feel like a little kid! 2016 allowed me to fly new products and airlines and I would not change that for the world. 2016 also allowed me to fly the most first class I’ve ever flown!
Although I have not yet written trip reports for all of those following, here is a list of just a few of my favorite flights from 2016.
Qantas A380 Melbourne to LAX: Refine service, big comfortable seat, good food, excellent wine.
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Etihad A380 Abu Dhabi to Sydney: The Apartment and inflight showers! Do I need to say more? Not to mention the inflight chef always makes the meals that much more special!
American Airlines B777 Hong Kong to LAX: This one might be surprising, but the purser nailed it! Not to mention AA is FINALLY investing in higher end wines, which adds to the experience.
Cathay Pacific B777 California to Hong Kong x2: I did this route two times this year and each time it was great. I use to dislike Cathay Pacific service, but now that I am accustomed to the Flight Attendants I love Cathay. There’s really no better way to get to Asia!
Up on the @upgrd blog today #cathaypacific #firstclass review #lax to #hkg. Read it at www.upgrd.com/dwf #Airplane #Flying #Plane #Aviation #International #Travel #Fun #Love #Jetlag #champagne #coffee #instacoffee #avgeek #aviationgeek #instatravel #lifestylesoftherichandfamous #losangeles #hongkong #krug #bubbly #instafood #airplanefood #airplanemeal #dessert
Favorite Business Class Flights of 2016
Business class is the cream of the crop for many airlines and quickly becoming the new first class as premium economy rolls out across several fleets. Some airlines do it better than others in that regard too.
Sri Lankan Airlines A330 Colombo to Singapore: Although a short flight this airline has some true spunk and character. Boutique and regional, it’s not always easy to find a reason to fly this fantastic airline, but if you can do it! Plus the food and regional alcohol served on board is 2nd to none.
Hainan Airlines B787 Changsha to LAX: China’s only 5 star airline has a lot to be proud of and they truly have the soft product to rival Cathay Pacific. The seats leave a lot to be desired, but the chauffeur service and in-flight experience is not to be reckoned with.
Royal Jordanian E175 Amman to Doha – A very short flight late at night, but surprisingly amazing service. No corners are cut as this airline suited for a king! Even flying economy class days early was a fantastic experience!
Looking towards 2017
2016 brought a lot of good memories and good experience. New planes, new places, new airlines. My favorite lounge was hands down the new Etihad First Class lounge followed by Cathay Pacific’s Pier.
I am behind on trip reports and will continue to try to catch my readers up on my travels. Especially the fun trip reports! 2017 will probably bring fewer vacation and more work related travel. Yet, I say that lightly as I already have trips confirmed in Singapore Airlines First Class and American Airlines First, along with a few trips across North America. Traveling is my life, and I cannot be held back!
Good luck to each of you in 2017, I wish you the best! Keep traveling and keep exploring! Thanks for reading!