Here Are The Decisions I Made About End Of Year Travel

I wanted to thank everyone who took time to weigh in on some decisions I was trying to make by the end of the year in relation to elite status.

First, I had asked folks if I should make a very painful mileage run to ensure Executive Platinum status in the American Airlines AAdvantage program.

The comments were overwhelmingly in favor of doing the mileage run to make sure I had all the miles I needed in 2014. The reason it was even an issue was because of a late announcement by American Airlines that they would combine EQMs from both AA and US Airways to determine your 2015 elite status, and I had already accrued enough EQMs across both airlines to hit the 100K necessary.

There were plenty of good points folks brought up, not the least of which was relying on the airlines to execute on technical issues during a merger has not historically been a path to success. In the end, I listened to the vocal minority (hi, Yvonne and Maureen) and stayed home with the family. As tired as I am from the last 8 weeks of travel, this was absolutely the right decision for me. In the end it cost me $200 to cancel the ticket and I won’t have my SWUs from American until at least March 1. A reasonable price to pay for 36 extra hours with the family.

My second decision was what to do with my last week of hotel stays. Due to a last-minute upgrade to Hilton Diamond and a generous promo that could have earned me 25,000 AAdvantage miles, I had a tough 3-way decision between the Hyatt promo, the Hilton promo and scoring a couple more nights with SPG on my quest to 100 for the year.

I went the lazy route here and just stayed at Hyatt. There was a time in my younger days where I didn’t mind switching hotels every night. But, Hyatt takes such awesome care of me. So, I stayed at Hyatt Regency Denver (upgraded to a suite!) and bypassed the temptation to slum it at Hilton for a scrumptious chunk of AAdvantage miles.

I’ll have final numbers on my year as we get a bit deeper into December but I appreciate everyone who weighed in here. Elite status and the allure of chasing miles and points can cloud my judgment from time-to-time. I feel like I made the right decisions for me.

I’m thrilled to be headed home from my last overnight trip of the year to spend time with the family, even if I did miss the upgrade by 11 spots on United, sitting in coach despite my high fare class. In the end, I’ll be able to hug my wife and kids and collapse in a heap after a long week/year on the road and let my body recover a bit before hopping on the hamster wheel again in early 2015.

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