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I’m currently hoisting my celebratory hot chocolate in the Buffalo Admirals Club (US Airways Club) after just finishing my 100th qualifying segment of the year to meet the requirements for Executive Platinum status again.
Our takeoff from Chicago was punctuated by the delighted squeals of an adorable toddler girl behind me who gleefully shouted “Up up and away! Wheeeeeeeee!!!” as the plane took off. Girlfriend, I couldn’t agree more.
Qualifying on segments versus miles is what some road warriors call “the hard way” when it comes to airline status requalification. I concur. This is not my first time to cross the segments mark- but it is my first time to do it BEFORE crossing on mileage.
It’s been a rough travel year for me period – and not my normal pattern at all. For starters, I did a lot more travel by cruise ship in the last 18 months than by airline which changed my discretionary travel patterns. As such, my qualifying this year was almost exclusively domestic as I took advantage of my last United redemptions under the old mileage model during the early half of the year rather than flying internationally on revenue tickets. And my work travel was down by wide margin – almost 50% less than I normally do – partially due to a stalled out (and later tabled) project that was over a quarter of my calendar year and partially due to movement towards more teleconferences versus face-to-face meetings.
In the next two weeks I’ll be sharing my 2015 airline/hotel/other programs strategy as well my year-end summary, but for today, here’s a wrap up of what the 100 segments for airline status requalification on AA looked like, by-the-numbers
- Years at Executive Platinum: 15 consecutive
- Total miles in program: 0ver 4 million (none from credit cards!)
- Segments flown to requalify: 100 (with more still to come)
- Miles flown to requalify: 97,933 (with more to come)
- Flights on discounted (50% points) fares: 79
- Percentage of flights that had first/business seating: 75%
- Upgrade success on those flights: 88%
- Total flights flown in first/business: 66
- Total flights flown in coach: 34
- Flights on US Airways: 17
- Flights on American Airlines: 79
- Flights on Alaska: 4
- Unique airports covered: 34
- International segments: 2
- Domestic segments: 98
Next year, I should be back on my normal qualifying pattern – by miles first, not by segments.