The last two years of travel, I had resolved to travel less than I had in previous years, wanting to spend more time with my family. That meant giving up my 1K status with United last year and hopefully ending up with less total miles/time away from the family. My status goals when I started out the year was to hold on to Executive Platinum status with American Airlines and hope to keep at least Gold status with United. Honestly, given the service levels on United, I sometimes wonder why I want status. But, it mostly comes down to free award changes/cancellations as a benefit of Platinum status that I value. Here’s how the first half of the year went:
First, just from a mileage flown standpoint:
Yikes! That’s about 12,000 miles more than I traveled in the first 6 months of last year. 9 days (or about 5%) of my life in the first 6 months of the year was spent solely on airplanes. With all that being said, some of those trips were shorter, so the total amount of time away from family wasn’t really more than last year. The breakdown of airlines flown was more diverse since I utilized partners to get to Stockholm and Hong Kong.
When you group all the partner flights to the proper alliance, I ended the first half of the year with 58,449 elite-qualifying miles on American towards the 100,000 I need for renewal of my Executive Platinum status for the 8th (9th?) year in a row. I’ve still got at least 10,000 EQMs that I’ll earn from credit card spend, so EXP is well within reach.
Due to some scheduling variances where I had to take United to get to or from IAD on a tight schedule and a last-minute change to Turkish to get me home from Stockholm, I’m sitting with 34,453 PQMs on United. Since it only takes 50,000 to lock up Gold status, that seems certain with Platinum an outside possibility again.
I’m hoping for a lighter second half of the year when it comes to work travel. I know I already have a handful of trips to Denver and Las Vegas as well as Dublin that are concrete. And, as always, I’m sure more will pop up. Here’s a few other interesting pictures and figures from the first 6 months of the year.
As an aviation geek, I kinda “geek out” on new dots and lines on my map (which is a good segue to a fun podcast you should be listening to). Reno, Key West, Houston (Hobby) and Hong Kong were new destinations for me, so all the lines from those cities are new as well. I had been to Stockholm but never left the airport, so those are new lines, as is Istanbul both a dot and a line. 25 airports seemed like a lot to me for the first 6 months of the year, but I know plenty who have exceeded that number handily.
Anyway, it was a fun first 6 months exploring a few new destinations and it reminds me how many things I still need to write up!
How is your year going for elite status? Flown anywhere interesting?