I ended 2013 with about 910,000 lifetime miles on United. Despite countless issues with United, one of my goals for this year was to get over the million mile mark since I was so close. I’ve done more flying this year than I originally expected, so I hit 1MM on August 1.
I now have lifetime Gold status with both on United and Starwood.
On Matthew’s million mile flight last year, he was lucky enough to fly with Captain Denny. Not surprisingly, Matt had a special experience as all flights with Denny are. No such luck for me, although I didn’t have the flexibility to plan the exact flight I’d hit it. I was just glad the flight I crossed over the mark was on mainline. Better yet, I received a complimentary upgrade 12 hours or so before departure. The wider seat was nice, but there was no IFE on this new 737-900ER, although wifi did work fine. The meal service had issues too, with both cold nuts served, and some catering snafu that caused only half of the cookies being catered. After the meal, I asked why a cookie wasn’t served, and the flight attendant told me they were mis-catered so only the front half of the cabin got cookies. She did offer me some items from the snack basket which was nice.
Some Continental branded items in the cabin.
I notified the United twitter team a few days before departure of my impending MM flight. I didn’t really have expectations, but was hoping for some acknowledgement that day. As expected, there was nothing. No big deal.
Also not surprisingly, United operational difficulties continue. The inbound aircraft that would take us to Chicago landed ahead of schedule, but didn’t get to the gate for nearly 30 minutes at LAX. This meant that the had a 35 minute boarding delay. It was nearly an hour past schedule when we finally took off. A long taxi at O’Hare added to the mess, so we were late getting to the arrival gate. It’s always something with this airline…
I’ve now crossed 1 million miles with United. I also have a little over 500,000 lifetime on Delta, most of which were flown on Northwest. I have minimal miles elsewhere. Its been a lot of flying over the years, but I’m glad to have something permanent to show for it. I hope that United doesn’t devalue the Million Miler program again. Not for a while anyway.
After reaching this milestone, I have reflected a little bit on my United history. Thanks to my parents, I was able to find photo evidence of my first flight. A few things stand out that are familiar, even though parts of 4 decades have passed. As usual I’m flying United and connecting at O’Hare…sigh
My first United flight. Major bonus points if you can name this airport.
Hopefully for my fellow passengers sake, I didn’t scream too much on this flight. I might be excused for doing so since I didn’t earn any miles for this trip. United Mileage Plus didn’t exist yet!
So what’s next? I have some international travel coming, and GPUs to use, so I don’t expect to change my loyalty, at least not drastically. I’d like to check out the other options out there, but I think they all are also rather poor. Sure, AA is tempting, but they don’t have the reach for all destinations I need to go to, especially internationally. I’m somewhat hesitant to burn a once in a lifetime status match, and I don’t really have time or interest for a challenge on US Airways. Plus, what is the AAdvantage program going to look like in 2015 and beyond once it has been Parkerized?
Thanks for following my journey to 1 million miles. More adventures coming soon.