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The calendar has rolled over to 2016 and another crazy travel year is in the bag which means its time for a retrospective travel year in review.
As some of my regular readers may know, 2015 was a bit of a crazy year for me. I had my first “first day of work” at a new firm in 20 years (yes, I realize to you millennial-types that sounds like about 4 lifetimes and it certainly works out to several residences, hundreds of colleagues, and quite a few grey hairs). That changed my world quite a bit although my travel didn’t change at all.
Some of these things I did, like cruising the Greek Isles, visiting Milan (although it was a pass-through on my way to Venice), and visiting new places (four new countries and several new cities) and others I worked on (like finding new ways to spend some of my travel weekends).
I tried some new things while on the road (cupping, for example, is now a part of my monthly wellness regimen when I visit my acupuncturist) and I focused a lot on food during my travels. A LOT. Not always in the best way. And even about beverages. And snacks.
I also unplugged a lot more than I have in the past. That inversely affected my writing here but it was necessary to carve out some personal time to offset more work hours. Ah, but my travel? That stayed the same!
How did I do?
American Airlines – I requalifed on both points and miles at the end of November but missed the trifecta as I only had 104 segments. My upgrade percentage as an Executive Platinum was 76% (on eligible flights).
Delta – I only made it to Silver requalification. I was at the dollar mark for Gold (and would have hit Platinum) but I stopped at 42 segments after deciding that I didn’t like the hassle of connecting when I could take nonstop flights. Delta made more sense for me when I was on a more restrictive travel policy as many of the connecting Delta flights were less expensive than American nonstop flights. Also, as a mere Platinum I was upgraded 72% of the time.
I also enjoyed award flights on American, British Airways, and Qatar for international travel.
Hilton – My comped Diamond status will drop to Silver for 2016 as I only had 4 stays, none by choice.
Hyatt – I requalified for Diamond status.
Marriott – I requalified for Gold status.
Starwood – I hit Starwood Lifetime Platinum status!
I also had a few random stays (places like the Sofitel at Heathrow, the airport transit hotel in Doha, and a couple of Kimptons) as well as about a dozen nights on group/conference rates for which I didn’t receive credit.
I had a number of rentals through work with Hertz (where I have President’s Circle) but offset those with 25+ rentals with National to requalify for Emerald Executive Elite. I’ve also had a handful of Silvercar rentals and expect that to pick up as they continue to add cities where I have projects.
I logged 21 nights on cruise ships (all on NCL this year) and will have a longer more comprehensive review of that line coming up.
All in all, the net of my travel year in review is that I spent around 150 nights away from home and flew the equivalent of circling the earth more than 6 times via almost 150 airline segments.
Next up, I’ll outline my strategy for 2016. I’m shooting for fewer nights away from home and fewer segments (read: more non-stop flights!) as I work to embrace my own Year of Yes.