Likewise, while I was drawing ICT (Wichita), their old terminal was in the process of demolition. I’d initially indicated this by showing the old terminal as faded, but I’ve now gone ahead and completely removed it:
Wichita, though having a rich aviation history, is not a huge air travel market. The new terminal completely replaces the old one.
I did really like the old terminal; seeing that much brick in a functioning airport (both inside and outside) is rare nowadays.
However, the old terminal was absolutely showing its age. In particular, this was an airport that was designed before modern security, meaning they had to wedge it in wherever it would fit, which in practice was the base of the T junction. This led to some extremely narrow hallways, crowded checkpoints, and a best-they-could-do TSA PreCheck that shared the X-ray with the standard checkpoint.
So while I’m sorry to see the old terminal go, the airport needed a new terminal, and I’m just glad that I got to see the old building one last time.
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
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.
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).
5 – 6 Jul, Orlando (MCO): A mechanical issue led to a delay as the airline brought in a replacement aircraft; the replacement aircraft ingested a bird into the engine, leading us to wait for a second replacement aircraft. By that time it was after 22:00, so we accepted a flight change to the following afternoon.