Another year has passed. It is already 2024. Thanks for reading my posts again all these. years. Inconsistent as ever, and less posts than intended, but a mix of fun travel, and enjoying real life with often too much work at my real job makes writing time limited. This year I’ll try to improve on that. As ever, the majority of my travel is for work, mostly a slog domestically, but I visited 2 new countries for work, and got a bit of variety on occasion. As a visual learner and map lover, I’ll start with maps showing my 2023in travel.
First from OpenFlights:
My passport-like map from Flighty.
Another nearly 2 weeks in the air, and 131 flights is a bit eye-watering. That total doesn’t count time waiting before or between flights, so it is a significant time away from home, and most of the time away from my family. My work travel is mostly around the midwest US, with a few trips to the west coast home office, and a few other spots. I did help out some new colleagues, which brought me to the 2 new countries I hit this year, Panama and Paraguay. My Spanish is far from fluent, but nothing like immersion to improve language skills.
For fun travels, Family travel to London for the marathon (post to come…eventually), and then Mexico as my daughter loves the beach. My wife and I also had a lovely trip in QSuites to South Africa for our wedding anniversary. Still no travel to east Asia, but my next big trip in 2024 will remedy that.
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.
2023 in Travel: Flights
My work trips are mostly around the midwest US, and as you can see a lot of AA hubs. But I flew several flights on Delta and United as well when timing/convenience was better there. I did get to 2 new countries. Not routine part of my travel, but really liked the variety. I also got some unique experiences on an extended trip to South America including a domestic flight in Paraguay on Paranair, in Argentina on Aerolineas Argentinas, and a day at Iguazu Falls.
With 131 flight segments this year, I surpassed last year by 2. A lot. But being Milwaukee based, means I have minimal nonstops. I do travel from Chicago O’Hare occasionally, but hard to beat a relatively small but very convenient airport only 20 minutes from home. My shortest flight is as usual between MKE and ORD at 67 miles, and unfortunately most of them were again on my least favorite plane, the CRJ200. AA had retired this plane, but its back…At least the flights are short and taxi time at O’Hare is frequently longer than air time. My longest flight this year were the 7000+ mile flights between Chicago and Doha. Thankfully both were on QSuites.
Status wise, I requalified on the programs that I focus on. Globalist with Hyatt and Executive Platinum with American. I ended up with 60 nights with both Hyatt and Marriott, the latter is very much my backup program, but hard to avoid it, and while I have Lifetime Platinum status, I earned it on the year with some to spare, helped in part with a credit card. I didn’t know if I would reach EXP again with American, but more travel and more expensive tickets helped I suppose. Plus still almost 2 months to go in that program year. Most of the rest of my counters are reset to zeros with the new year…
2023 in Travel: Hotels
Similar pattern again this year. Hyatt is my primary focus, and while I don’t have too much difficulty finding rooms in their much smaller footprint, Marriott works well as a backup. I did just make it to 60 nights to renew my Globalist status. I don’t always maximize the awards the come with status, but I still get value much of the time from holding elite status. Marriott is big, but seemingly always just providing the bare minimum. Hyatt is far from perfect, but I’m still much happier there. I did have a few Hilton stays as well as some non chain stays
103 total nights in hotels. Yikes. Our stays on our Africa trip were probably the most notable. My daughter loved the all-inclusive Dreams Cozumel, and its a nice spot, but my wife and I were not as into it. Just not our kind of place.
Happy New Year
Hope to continue to maximize opportunities to use my status and get out there in 2024.
Going back to Japan this spring, which is long overdue, and very much looking forward to it. Thanks again for reading this year. I enjoy sharing my experiences, thanks for joining me on the journey.