Another year has passed. It is almost 2023. That feels weird, and i’m sure I’ll not get it correct when writing dates for weeks if not longer…Thanks for reading my posts. Inconsistent as ever, but travel somewhat has returned to normal, whatever that might mean. As always, most of my travel is for work, but I was able to have a lot of fun leisure travel as well. I have a few flight maps showing my 2022 in travel.
First from OpenFlights:
Here is a cute passport-like map from Flighty. An app that I’ve written about before, and I continue to like the app, really nice flight tracking and more.
Seeing almost 2 weeks of just flight time makes me feel depressed more than anything. I mean, its cool, but its a lot of time in a meta/composite tube. No new countries visited this year, but tried to make up for some lost time with a long delayed family trip to Europe, and a return to marathon running in Berlin. I also finally flew the postponed and rebooked Qatar Airways ticket I purchased in early 2020, and turned it into a fun birthday trip to myself down under and back with Qatar QSuites and Singapore Suites. Still didn’t return to (east) Asia mostly due to ongoing pandemic restrictions, but it was great to return to Australia. I also had my first long haul international work trip since 2019.
Below is my summary of the year, broken down with flights, hotels, and the ongoing quest for elite status that I find exhausting, but usually worthwhile.
2022 in Travel: Flights
Work travel is kind of settling into a pattern. Most of it is close by, as can be seen above, with lots of short hops around the midwest from my home in Milwaukee. But not exclusively this. Leisure trips to ski, to run, see family all are there too. I managed to secure my Executive Platinum status on American yet again, with a big boost from the trip to Australia posting as distance. American is by far my primary carrier, but I took the option of nonstops from MKE for work trips to Detroit, Minneapolis, Boston, when I could on Delta and JetBlue. Some flights on United and Air Canada too, but unfortunately didn’t really get to utilize my promotional Air Canada 75K status very much.
129 flight segments in 2022. That’s a lot, but a lot of short flights. Despite taking nonstops when possible, I still flew between Milwaukee and Chicago more than anywhere else. Really not looking forward to 2023 when American puts the CRJ-200 back on this route…ugh. That 67 mile flight between MKE and ORD is the shortest trip as it is for me most years. My longest flight in 2022 were between Doha and Sydney (and back), almost 7700 miles and 14 hours in the air each way. QSuites for those long legs were wonderful, and a nice way to celebrate my birthday. I even got a small birthday shoutout from the flight attendants, who quietly sang to me. I guess even flight attendants have free time on flights that long. A very nice surprise.
It is more difficult to track miles and segments these days since status is earned generally by spending. Plus my American status is continuing through February 2023. But over 100,000 miles flown yet again in the calendar year. Of course I hope to maintain my American status again in the future, but we’ll see how easy that will be. Likely will need some more longhaul flights, and probably some premium cabins. I don’t have AA credit cards, mostly since I find better cards to put my spending on.
My trip to Australia was great with lovely flights, and trips to Berlin were memorable, along with other fun trips closer to home.
2022 in Travel: Hotels
Kind of a “same-old, same-old” year with hotels. Hyatt is my primary/preferred hotel program, and Marriott my primary backup. Despite a very delayed posting from a stay in Las Vegas, I just hit 60 nights with Hyatt, so another year of Globalist status. I did make it to 50 nights with Marriott too, but I have lifetime Platinum status, so that was just fortunate so I can get some Suite Night Awards. Hopefully I can use them in 2023. Despite achieving Titanium status last year, I really had a mediocre year with Marriott. Very much my second or lower choice in most situations. The Marriott loyalty program is a real disappointment, at least in my experience.
97 total nights in hotels. Over 25% of the year in hotels rather than at home. That’s a lot. Most memorable stays include the Berlin stay linked above, and using a Hyatt free night certificate for the Park Hyatt Sydney. It cost a lot of points, but booking a room with my wife and daughter, plus a Guest of Honor booking for my parents in Berlin made for a great experience on a memorable trip.
Unfortunately, now that Hyatt has a category 8, The Park Hyatt Sydney and other properties are out of reach with those free night certificates offered to Globalists. Any suggestions for where to best use my Hyatt category 1-7 certificate?
As mentioned, no major changes this year. Sticking with the same preferred programs as in the past, and I renewed my status with American and Hyatt and dropped back from Marriott Titanium to Platinum. No loss at all. I’m off the hamster wheel for Marriott status, but tend to end up with lots of night due to work travels. Most coworkers prefer Marriott, and that’s frequently where I end up when traveling with colleagues.
Is elite status worth it? Maybe I’m old school, but to me, yes. Especially for frequent flights, my American status makes a noticeable difference. Hotels too. Despite a subpar year from hotels, I still think there is value to be had. Hyatt Globalist is great, especially overseas.
Happy New Year
Hope I have some more opportunities to use my status in 2023. Some fun trips already planned. Thanks again for reading this year. I enjoy sharing my experiences, thanks for joining me on the journey.