Airport #59/100: Colorado Springs (COS)

2015-11-06 11.01.13

Colorado Springs Airport · Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
First Visit: 2 November 2015 · http://www.flighthistorian.com/airports/COS

One of the contractors I work with has an office in Centennial, Colorado. Usually, I’ve flown into DEN to visit them, but COS isn’t much further from Centennial, so my coworkers and I decided we’d try out COS instead for our most recent visit.

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:

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:

My Airport History: Cleveland (CLE)

CLE

Flight Log: http://www.flighthistorian.com/airports/CLE

Nearly every time I’ve flown through Cleveland, I didn’t want to; one time when I did want to, I couldn’t.

My first trip through CLE was traveling from a family Christmas party in Chicago to visit a friend in New York for New Year’s week. I’d been hoping to find a direct flight between the cities, as I wasn’t yet looking to visit new airports, but a direct flight cost six times as much as flying through Cleveland on American Airlines. Cleveland wasn’t even an American hub, but their schedule that day had a single regional jet fly from O’Hare to Cleveland and then from Cleveland on to JFK, which ended up being the first known time I’ve flown on the same aircraft twice.

Cleveland's giant
Cleveland’s giant “paper” airplanes

It took over four years before I would visit the airport again; I had a trip home from Oklahoma City through Denver to Dayton, but the OKC-DEN leg was delayed and caused me to miss my second flight. United only has one DEN-DAY flight per day, so they offered me a second layover in Cleveland.

A few months later, I actually intentionally booked a flight with a layover in Cleveland, but my flight to Cleveland was cancelled, and I got put on a flight to O’Hare instead. So it was with great astonishment that for my next trip to St. Louis, I booked a Cleveland layover… and actually ended up with a Cleveland layover!

Well, my intentionally-flying-to-Cleveland streak apparently wasn’t meant to last.

It’s unlikely that I’ll see much more of Cleveland in the future; United has dehubbed the airport, which means that CLE no longer serves my home airport of Dayton. CLE is about a three hour drive away from home, which leaves it in the awkward position of being too close to fly to as a destination, but too far away to act as a practical origin airport, particularly with DAY, CMH, CVG, and IND all within two hours of home.