2016 Year in Travel

Overall, my travel increased slightly this year. Unlike in 2015, my travel was relatively evenly spread throughout the year.

Flights

2016-flights
Map created with Great Circle Mapper

I took 94 flights in 2016, which beat my 2015 record by five flights.

2016-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.

Hotel Nights

2016-hotels

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.

New Airports

I visited 13 new airports in 2016:

2016-new-airports
#61AMAAmarillo, Texas, United States
#62SATSan Antonio, Texas, United States
#63MUCMunich, Germany
#64NUENuremberg, Germany
#65TXLBerlin–Tegel, Germany
#66LHRLondon–Heathrow, United Kingdom
#67CDGParis–Charles de Gaulle, France
#68KEFReykjavík–Keflavík, Iceland
#69ONTOntario, California, United States
#70PWMPortland, Maine, United States
#71DSMDes Moines, Iowa, United States
#72BURBurbank, California, United States
#73RDURaleigh/Durham, North Carolina, United States

Elite Status

2016-status

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.

Trivia

Airport #72/100: Burbank (BUR)

2016-09-11-12-49-12

Bob Hope Airport · Burbank, California, United States
First Visit: 11 September 2016 · https://www.flighthistorian.com/airports/BUR

As the Antelope Valley doesn’t have any commercial airline service, I flew into Ontario the last time I went to Palmdale for work. This time, our travel system recommended flying into Burbank, and I decided to give it a try.

Burbank is definitely an older airport. It has no jetbridges, but deplaning by portable stairs was actually rather nice in Burbank’s excellent weather. The terminal was small by modern standards, but it didn’t feel too crowded. Getting up to Palmdale was pretty easy via the 5 and the 14.