Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 - Year in Review

I flew 40% fewer miles in 2013 than 2012, a meager 84,686 miles in 76 segments, and will only be Platinum status next year.  I will miss 1K when it expires Jan 31 and will be sitting in coach much more frequently.  With award chart inflation and new rules for status in 2014, this might be the last year I play the miles game.  Luckily I have a new job with a large business travel component.
2013 flights - www.gcmap.com
Some highlights from 2013's adventures:
  • Nevada Nuclear Test Site Tour - An amazing tour and fascinating experience I will be talking about for years. 
  • EBACE Conference - I had a blast experiencing the private aviation trade show in Geneva.
  • Long Beach Airport - Cute little airport where US Airways will check bags 30 minutes before your flight.
  • 5 Mile Odometer - New low score in the rental car odometer game.
  • New Airports - Long Beach (LGB), Spokane (GEG), Raleigh (RDU), Geneva (GVA), Stockholm (ARN), Oslo (OSL), Harrisburg (MDT), and Akron (CAK).
  • New Aircraft - None flown, but I sat in a few new business jets.
Favorite Pictures of 2013
Landing at SAN
Delta Jets at LAS
Water Taxi in Geneva
United 737's at EWR
Cool Take Off Picture at LAS

Monday, December 30, 2013

Frontier Airlines 2014 Discount Code

Frontier Airlines will offer a 14% discount on domestic fares from Monday, December 30, 2013, through 11:59 p.m. Eastern time, Sunday, January 5, 2014. The discount will apply to regular and sale fares for domestic travel from January 6, 2014, through March 12, 2014. Blackout dates of January 31 to February 1, 2014; February 3, 2014; and February 13-17, 2014, apply.
Frontier Airbus Collection in Denver

Sunday, December 29, 2013

I Flew to Oslo For An Hour Yesterday

DEN-EWR-OSL-EWR-DEN in about 32 hours. This will most likely be my last mileage run because United is including a minimum spend requirement ($10,000 & 100,000 miles for 1K) in 2014.  Status will only come from work travel now.  Eventually I will make 1,000,000 miles on United and be lifetime Gold, but until then it will be rough going.   My quick trip to Oslo will pay dividends next year because I will be Platinum and have a small chance for upgrades and enjoy some fee waivers.  I'll share more details on the trip soon.
Departing EWR on UA38 to OSL

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

5 Miles On The Rental Car

My Hertz rental car only had 5 miles on the odometer.  It's a new low score, previous best of 32, and one that will be almost impossible to best.
New Low Score - 5 Miles

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mileage Run Cancellation

I should be over Greenland right now returning from a 90 minute stop in Europe (I need the miles for status), however the snow storms in EWR yesterday cancelled my plans.  I wasn't able to rebook a flight this weekend due to the short notice, lack of seats, and United didn't think I could make a 1 hour connection in CPH from IAD (I was certain I could). United will not give me the miles and call it quits either; I need to fly to my destination in 2013 and they will give me my original routing credit. I was able to rebook in 2013, but if that flight is cancelled, I'm stuck at a lower status in 2014.  
Should Be My View Right Now

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

US Airways Leaves Star Alliance March 31

US Airways is leaving the Star Alliance to join oneworld March 31, 2014.  This all is happening very quickly.  Star Alliance miles can be used for flights after March 31 if the flights are booked before March 31; everything else goes away.  No lounge access, no earning miles, no free checked bags, no early boarding, no nothing after March 30 for Star Alliance members.  Also US Airways miles won’t work for Star Alliance flights booked after March 30
New Paint Coming Soon
I liked having US Airways around to inexpensively acquire United elite miles.  It was also nice to have because they served Long Beach, have a red eye Denver to Charlotte, and better served Savannah. US Airways used to be a miserable experience 8 years ago when they were racing to the bottom and charged even for water.  That strategy didn’t work and the airline improved their onboard experience to be comparable or slightly better to other major US carriers.  They also purchased dozens of new Airbus jets, further improving their product.  I’ll miss flying them.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A New Logo Fixes Everything

I was on the oneworld website today (they won a few more 'best alliance' awards) and spotted a tail icon I did not recognize.  
Finnair, ???, JAL, LAN
Unknown to me, Iberia rebranded.  I liked their old logo, so this is unwelcome news.  The airline won't work any different, but a new logo fixes all the structural problems facing legacy flag carriers. I included a video about the new logo if you are really interested.  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

United Selling Elite Miles at Check In

Need some extra United elite miles, but don't want to spend a day or two flying around?  Well United is happy to sell you elite miles, five for a dollar.  Yes, 20 cents a mile.  That's a miserable rate.  I booked a mileage run for December at only 5 cents an elite mile, but that earns redeemable miles too.  The amounts they offered to sell me also don't get me across any particular mileage threshold either.  You also have to buy the same number of redeemable miles in the same transaction, further increasing the cost.  Sounds like a great idea ruined by a bad pricing model.
Miserable Value - United Trying to Sell Elite Miles

Monday, December 2, 2013

Frontier Airlines Discount Code December 2

Save 15% on your next Frontier Airlines flight with the coupon code CYBER15.
Frontier A319 at Denver
Frontier Airlines will offer a 15% discount on domestic fares on Monday, December 2, 2013. Tickets must be purchased by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on December 2, 2013. The discount will apply to regular and sale fares for domestic travel from January 6, 2014, through March 5, 2014, for flights operating Monday through Saturday. Blackout dates of February 13-17, 2014, as well as all fare rules will apply.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Long Way To Go In 2013

I need to fly 16,200 miles to reach my status goal before the end of the year.  Put another way, that's a round trip from EWR to HKG (a flight United has, but I have not booked).  To make this math worse, I am not flying this week.  I can make it though and have 90% of those miles booked.  I just need a work trip or some very good luck finding out of the way standby options. I'm not too worried, it is only a game after all.
A few trips on a 767 will help