Overall, my travel increased slightly this year. Unlike in 2015, my travel was relatively evenly spread throughout the year.
I took 94 flights in 2016, which beat my 2015 record by five flights.
This year, I had 56 flights on business-only trips (my employer paid for all hotel nights), 4 flights on personal-only trips (I paid for all hotel nights), and 34 flights on trips that were mixed business and personal (my employer and I each paid for at least one hotel night).
At my job, we have contracted rates with the airlines, so the flights between two cities have the same cost no matter what day they take place. As a result, we’re allowed to extend business trips by flying there earlier or flying home later, as long as we’re responsible for any expenses incurred on the additional days. I was able to use that benefit a good deal this year, as the chart above indicates.
However, the plurality of those mixed trip flights came from a single trip: my two-week vacation across Europe, from which I ended up having to go straight to a business trip in Tulsa without stopping home first. Thus, I paid for all of the European flights, my employer paid for the flights that took place after I returned to the US, and we each paid for hotel rooms on the appropriate parts of the trip. This led to a trip with 9 flights being considered a mixed trip, which on its own already exceeds the number of mixed trip flights I’ve had in any prior year.
I spent 113 nights in hotels in 2016, up four from the prior year. 71 were business (my employer paid for the hotel) and 42 were personal (I paid for the hotel).
My business travel nights were slightly down this year, but I made up for it with more personal nights. Again, the Europe trip contributed substantially to my personal hotel nights.
I visited 13 new airports in 2016:
Amarillo (AMA) • San Antonio (SAT) • Munich (MUC) • Nuremberg (NUE)
Berlin–Tegel (TXL) • London–Heathrow (LHR) • Paris–Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
Reykjavík–Keflavík (KEF) • Ontario (ONT) • Portland, ME (PWM)
Des Moines (DSM) • Burbank (BUR) • Raleigh/Durham (RDU)
This year, my travel was weighted more heavily toward American Airlines (61 out of 94 flights), so I was able to get AAdvantage Platinum for the first time.
United renewed my MileagePlus Gold status at the end of 2015 even though I didn’t earn it, which meant that I still had Gold benefits through the end of 2016. I didn’t even earn United Silver this year. However, due to United’s partnership with Marriott, because I was still considered United Gold at the end of this year, Marriott renewed my Marriott Rewards Gold Elite status.
I easily earned Hilton HHonors Diamond again this year – I got the required 60 nights by July, and ended the year with 95 nights spent in Hilton properties.