My Year in Travel

It’s that time of the year again, where you look back at the year behind, and look forward to the year ahead.

A whole lot of flying–even for me

This year I flew 159,029 miles. All of it either funded by myself or through miles. Here’s that travel charted out:

Map courtesy of gcmap.

Map courtesy of gcmap.

My travel brought me to 12 countries, of which 2 were new to me: Egypt and Chile. I flew a lot of American Airlines and Qatar Airways revenue, Emirates and Etihad on miles, but got a couple of flights on Lufthansa First Class (including visits to the Lufthansa First Class Terminal). I also finally flew my White Whale.

New Airlines for me this year included: Virgin Atlantic (post coming), Cathay Pacific Long-haul First Class, Qantas domestic, and Singapore Regional.

New Cities

This year I felt like I was in a bit of a travel rut. I started the year visiting Cairo–which was awesome, then found myself returning to a lot of places I’d been: Dubai, Doha, Bali, and Singapore. Even though I revisited Mainz, Germany, I don’t see that as part of the rut. I did see my wife and I get out of that rut in visiting Melbourne, Australia, and would recommend anyone and everyone to visit, it was truly the most surprisingly enjoyable city of the year. I’ll have a post on that in early 2016 to share more.

Elite Status

I started the year with the goal of re-qualifying Executive Platinum (EXP) status on American Airlines through Elite Qualifying Points (EQPs). I am happy to say that I made it. Not only that, but I made it before August 1st.

2015 EXP Status

For hotel status, I had previously been downgraded from Marriott Platinum to Marriott Gold, did a Platinum challenge to get back up there, and am ending the year well short of 75 nights. I will likely try for the same challenge next year, if they will allow it. I did however re-qualify for Hyatt Diamond status. I tend to value Hyatt Diamond status quite a bit, so had no problem doing some mattress runs at the end of the year.

Looking Ahead

As far as travel, I’m starting the year with the fewest completely planned trips in many years. The only two completely planned trips I have are to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in January, and to Reykjavik, Iceland in February. I’ve got a bunch of partials, but those are the only two. Furthermore, I’ll be flying Economy to Iceland! I’m sure long-time readers will know how I feel about that, but there just isn’t an economical options that doesn’t require a trans-Atlantic, so far as I could figure out.

As far as my loyalty in 2016, I’m a bit on the fence, as I shared last week. Despite American AAdvantage’s devaluation, I’m still leaning more toward re-qualifying for EXP status, but only if I can do it in the first half of the year! I think re-qualifying for Hyatt Diamond status is a no-brainer, and I’ve already got some stays booked.

I’m hopeful to make it back to Bali, perhaps finally try out a Hyatt All Inclusive closer to home, and maybe even make it to South Africa. I’ve got more countries and cities on my “dream” list, but I’m trying to keep things reasonable, if you consider those I’ve identified as reasonable. I’m hopeful also to get a couple of trips on Emirates’ A380, hopefully fly Japan Airlines’ First Class, and if all works out, get another Cathay Pacific flight before the AAdvantage Devaluation.

How was your year in travel? What are your plans for the future?

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