Another year has passed, and once again I was fortunate enough to travel a good bit. Now, I didn’t fly nearly as much as I did in 2013, but my 2014 effort ain’t too shabby! Nevertheless, my stats for this year were less than 2013 for a variety of reasons:
- In 2014, I focused on burning the tons of miles that I accumulated from flying over 150,000 miles in 2013
- In 2014, I took a few very long trips instead of a dozen quick trips and weekend getaways
- In 2014, I did not take trips “just because” due to the new Premium Qualifying Dollar requirement instituted by United. This reduced the incentive for me to look for and fly cheap tickets for random weekends to various places, since status is no longer calculated solely by the distance one flies — there’s a dollar spent aspect to it now.
- By the time I status matched / challenged to American, pretty much my entire year of travel was already set, and since I’d qualified for Executive Platinum, there was no reason to take trips for the sake of status.
Despite a large reduction in distance traveled, I’ve still had an incredible year traveling in 2014, and I present my 2014 Year in Review…
My trips in 2014 included:
- The last Two-thirds of my trip to Australia in January
- A trip to see the family in Tampa in February
- A work trip to New Orleans in April
- 2.5 weeks in Europe for a 12-night cruise and 4 days in Ireland in May
- A weekend in New York in June
- A wedding and another weekend trip to Long Island and NYC in July
- A bachelor party in Charleston, SC in August
- A weekend in Auburn, Alabama for the Auburn vs Arkansas game over Labor Day (War Eagle!)
- A trip to Vegas in September for BAcon
- A trip around the world to Munich for Oktoberfest and on to Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo in October
- A failed attempt of a weekend in Iguazu Falls in November
- Trips to Clearwater Beach, FL and Atlanta for the holidays
2014 Travel Statistics
In 2014, I:
- flew 58 flights to 33 airports
- flew 88,318 miles
- visited 11 countries (3 new: Australia, Italy, Greece)
- visited 5 continents (1 new: Australia)
- Crossed the Atlantic Ocean three times and the Pacific Ocean twice
- flew 15 airlines (8 new: Virgin Australia, Qantas, Hinterland Aviation, Ryanair, AerArann Islands, Jet Blue, China Eastern, ANA)
For comparison’s sake, in 2013, my stats looked like this:
- 89 flights to 37 airports
- 151,864 miles flown
- 10 countries (7 new: Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Turkey, UAE, Japan, Australia)
- Crossed the Atlantic Ocean four times and Pacific Ocean three times
The Quest for Airline Status
As previously mentioned, United’s addition of the Premium Qualifying Dollars criteria to the Premier Qualification process almost entirely diminished all incentive I had to seek out low fares for weekend trips that would accumulate miles. I simply didn’t do that at all last year, and as such, it’s evident that I haven’t even tried to re-qualify for Premier 1K. In addition to this, most of my vacation time in 2014 was taken up by three very long trips (Australia, Europe and a round-the-world trip), so I just didn’t have the time off to take long weekends frequently. Sadly, I was never really able to enjoy my United Premier 1K status, simply because they took away much of the incentive to actually fly United. I’m not sure that’s the point of a loyalty program.
At the end of the year, I finished with a whopping 7 segments for 6,396 miles on United.
What my status on United DID do was enable me to challenge / match with an airline that has not yet moved its loyalty program to one that is based on revenue — American Airlines.
I detailed my status challenge back in September, where I flew 30,000 miles on American in about one month.
My new American Executive Platinum status is now good through February 2016, and as such, I plan to fly primarily with American and its partners this year. Now, will it be enough to re-qualify for Executive Platinum? Only time will tell.
A look ahead into 2015…
I have two long trips scheduled for January and February, but after that my schedule is pretty quiet, so who knows what the future holds?
Future travel in 2015 (projected)
- Dubai in January
- TBD in February
- Munich for Oktoberfest
All in all, I’ve been blessed to be able to travel all over the world, and look forward to a safe, healthy and travel-filled 2015!