2015 Year in Travel

2015 was a relatively strong year for me for business travel, with the first and last thirds of the year being particularly busy. Due to that, my total flights and hotel nights just edged above 2014’s numbers, for another record year.

2015 Flights

2015map

I had 89 flights this year – 79 for work and 12 personal.

2015-flights

I didn’t take as many personal flights this year, but travel for my job more than made up for the difference.

2015 Hotel Nights

That’s not to say that I didn’t do a lot of personal travel, but a lot of those personal trips were by car. I came out with 30 personal hotel nights and 79 business nights, for a total of 109 nights.

2015-hotels
2015-portfolio

New Airports

I’ve visited six new airports this year:

#55LITLittle Rock, Arkansas, United States
#56YVRVancouver, British Columbia, Canada
#57YYZToronto–Pearson, Ontario, Canada
#58SPSWichita Falls, Texas, United States
#59COSColorado Springs, Colorado, United States
#60BNANashville, Tennessee, United States

I ended the year with 60 total airports visited, and am well on my way to my goal of visiting 100 airports.

Elite Status

2015-status

My flights were much more spread out among airlines this year, so I ended up getting the lowest tier status on two airlines (Gold on American Airlines and Silver on United) rather than last year’s mid-tier status on one airline. For hotels, I was easily able to pick up the 60 nights required for Diamond status with Hilton, and I even managed to pick up enough Marriott nights to get Silver. (Last year, my United Gold status gave me Marriott Gold status as well, even though I barely stayed with them.)

Trivia

2015-10-23 13.17.33

2014 Year in Travel

2014 has been a record travel year.

2014 Flights

2014 Flight Map

I have flown on 86 flights this year, which has been my best year yet.

2014-flight

In particular, the last four months of the year have had me traveling about three weeks a month; I’m on a high stakes program at work, and it’s been a particularly busy travel time for that program.

2014 Hotel Nights

2014-hotel

Hotel nights are up this year, too. From 2011 through 2013, I was doing a respectable amount of travel, but the phase of my program combined with budget cuts (and the 2013 federal furloughs and shutdown) had a serious effect on the number of nights I spent on the road. However, I moved to a higher priority program in mid-2013, so while our budget still isn’t great, the priority of the program and the acquisition phase we’re in means that mission-critical travel has climbed back up. In addition, I’ve had far more personal hotel nights this year than usual, an effect of taking a good number of weekend trips when I got the chance, plus a true vacation in the summer.

These stays ended up being:

  • 97 nights in Hilton brands
  • 2 nights in Marriott brands (a stay at the Gaylord Opryland)
  • 1 night in Wyndham brands (American Airlines put me up at a Baymont at the Charlotte airport)
  • 6 nights in a VRBO vacation home in Flagstaff I rented with some friends this summer
  • 1 night in military base lodging

New Airports

I’ve visited six new airports this year:

#49ICTWichita, Kansas, United States
#50TUSTucson, Arizona, United States
#51FLGFlagstaff, Arizona, United States
#52LAWLawton, Oklahoma, United States
#53SANSan Diego, California, United States
#54SJUSan Juan, Puerto Rico, United States

This put me at 54 total airports visited out of my 100 airport goal. I’m over halfway there!

Elite Status

End of Year Status 2014

I was able to reclaim Hilton HHonors Diamond this year – in fact, I hit the 60 nights required for Diamond in September, and ended the year with 96 elite-qualifying nights. In addition, I was able to hit United MileagePlus Gold for the first time (in fact, it’s the first time I’ve hit the second tier on any airline’s program).

Of Note

I had six unexpected overnight stays this year:

Percentage of Flights on American Airlines

American Airlines was the first airline I gained elite status on, and for a while, I was able to fly the majority of flights on American (particularly helped by having my most frequent work destination at the time be the Dallas/Fort Worth area). However, by early 2012, my work travel destinations had changed, and travel American Airlines was less feasible for a substantial portion of my trips. I was able to maintain my status for a while, but United became my new preferred airline, and my share of American flights began to diminish.

Because of the substantial lead I’d built up with American, it still took me until this month for AA to dip below 50% of my total flights. I’ve decided to commemorate the occasion with a graph.

AA Percentage

The flight that originally pushed me over 50% was a personal flight from Dallas/Fort Worth to San Jose, California on 15 June, 2009. AA peaked on my first Hawaii vacation’s final flight on 15 February 2012; just after that was when I started favoring United. However, AA was able to hold onto its majority until I flew from Chicago-Midway to Orlando on 4 July, 2014 for a quick weekend vacation. Oddly enough, despite most of my flights being work travel, all three of those milestones occurred on personal flights.

It will take me a while longer to hit 50% on United – 50% of 300+ flights I have now is much harder than 50% of the very few flights I had in 2009!

United Percentage

2013 Year in Travel

The end of 2013 is here, which seems like a perfect time to summarize my flight activity over the last year.

2013 Flights

I flew on 64 flights this year, which is down from last year’s record 77.

2013-flight

Last year’s numbers were high due to a particularly busy July and August 2012, which were alone responsible for a third of that year’s travel. I didn’t end up having quite that busy of a travel season this year, so my number of flights dropped, but they were still higher than most years.

New Airports

I visited 11 airports for the first time this year:

#38AUSAustin, Texas, United States
#39BOSBoston, Massachusetts, United States
#40DTWDetroit, Michigan, United States
#41DENDenver, Colorado, United States
#42GRKKilleen/Fort Hood, Texas, United States
#43ITOHilo, Hawaii, United States
#44PDXPortland, Oregon, United States
#45TULTulsa, Oklahoma, United States
#46IAHHouston–Bush Intercontinental, Texas, United States
#47MHTManchester, New Hampshire, United States
#48MDWChicago–Midway, Illinois, United States

I’d actually diverted to GRK before for a DFW thunderstorm, but we didn’t get off the plane, so I didn’t get to count it then. Otherwise, I was able to pick up a few hubs I hadn’t been to before, and the rest were new destinations.

New Airlines

I flew on three airlines for the first time:

Elite Status

Chart of loyalty programs and earned elite status by year

I had hoped to maintain at least American Airlines AAdvantage Gold and United Mileage Plus Silver this year, but I only ended up having two trips on American, so I’m back down to nothing there. I did maintain Silver on United, and Gold with Hilton HHonors.

Superlatives