Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 - Year In Review

I easily reached my hotel goals in 2015, but then Starwood and Marriott announced a merger. My longer term goal (2 years away) of lifetime SPG Platinum status is now in jeopardy. I made United platinum even with limited work travel, including flights on Delta. This is better than expected and will be hard to maintain. 2015 also saw American and US Airways merge with little drama. Major award programs devalued their programs; since they all did it, I'm still a loyal and frustrated United flyer. 2016 will be a tough year with limited business travel more award program devaluations. I used my American miles to book a RTW trip in the spring, so there will be some fun from the miles game.
2015 Paid Travel -
2015 Total Travel -
Here's some highlights from 2015:

  • My DUB-LHR flight was delayed 4 hours and I chatted with the pilots in the cockpit for most of that time. I love the idea of the future pilot program, but my career plan needs an adjustment first.
  • While in England I enjoyed plane spotting at London City. I also had horrible food poisoning and didn't want to venture too far from my hotel. The UK forbids personal scanner use, so Channel 9 wasn't available.
  • Thanks to a Sheraton free nights promotion, I had a great long weekend in Hawaii. There was a $32 resort fee, so it wan't really free, but low marginal cost.
  • New Aircraft - Boeing 787-800.
  • New Airports - Dublin (DUB), London City (LCY), Edinburgh (EDI), Omaha (OMA), and JFK.
  • Favorite photos of the past year:
Dublin Morning Traffic
View From The Room - Sheraton Waikiki
Morning Flight from DEN to SFO
Runway 18 Center at CLT
EWR Doesn't Always Look Miserable

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Fun Photo

I'm grounded until 2016, so enjoy a fun picture from earlier this year.

Friday, December 25, 2015

White Christmas

Here's hoping there isn't a white Christmas for everyone flying this weekend.
Good Luck With Clear Runways

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Protest Season

There's no better way to win people over to a cause than to add stress to their holiday travels by impeding access to MSP.  Good going guys!
Sorry Delta Flyers

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Post Hawaii Report

I caught a cold in Hawaii and was delayed 7 hours in SFO because of snow in Denver. Still a good trip.
Saw Many Airplanes on Tuesday

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sheraton Free Weekend Promotion

The Sheraton free weekend nights promotion worked out really well for me. Stay 5 nights at Sheraton and get a free weekend night, up to 3 free nights. I switched from a W to a Sheraton to maximize my earnings and got 3 free nights at the Sheraton Waikiki (not to be confused with the dump Sheraton Princess across the street).  Cheap airfare and a great club lounge made this a great promotion.
Great View
Evening View

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fear the "Exciting News Announcement"

I knew the subject line "Exciting News Announcement from Fairmont Hotels & Resorts" was bad news. Fairmont is being acquired by Accor hotels.  It's too bad because Fairmont has a wonderful rewards program that will not survive the merger. First SPG, now Fairmont; it's been a rough month.
Boo Industry Consolidation

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Good Premium Economy Review

I don't think the author flew in premium economy like I did, but the SMH has a good travel section and it's worth perusing on occasion.
Premium Economy is a European & Asian Thing

Friday, December 4, 2015

Aviation Geek Christmas Gifts

I'm having trouble finding good deals on gifts for airline geeks. The Boeing Store has a sale going, but nothing over the top. The Airbus shop is closed and US Airways is gone. I'll keep looking and share what I find.
Still Looking

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Fun Photo

December is a crazy travel month; many infrequent flyers paired with bad weather can create stressful airport situations. Remember to add your airline(s) customer service number to your cell phone. Phone agents can get you a seat faster than waiting in line for a real person will. Airline apps may be faster still.
Bad Weather is Coming