2014 has been a record travel year.
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I flew on 86 flights this year, which was my best year yet.
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.
I’ve visited six new airports this year:
Kansas, United States
|28 May 2014|
Arizona, United States
|21 Jun 2014|
Arizona, United States
|28 Jun 2014|
Oklahoma, United States
|6 Oct 2014|
California, United States
|1 Nov 2014|
Puerto Rico, United States
|26 Nov 2014|
This put me at 54 total airports visited out of my 100 airport goal. I’m over halfway there!
Hotel nights are up this year, too, to 110 nights. 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 a lot of personal nights again this year, 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
Frequent Traveler Status
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).
Since United was partnered with Marriott, my United status also granted me Marriott Rewards Gold.
- Longest Flight: MCO–SEA (2550 miles or 4103 km)
- Shortest Flight: FLG–PHX (119 miles or 191 km)
- Least Direct Layover: ORD–DEN–ICT, 122.4% longer than ORD–ICT
Unplanned Overnight Stays
I had six unplanned overnight stays this year.
14–15 Apr, Newark (EWR). High winds cancelled my connecting flight.
27–28 May, Chicago–O’Hare (ORD). A thunderstorm cancelled my connecting flight. I also had to take an extra layover in Denver the next day.
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.
25–26 Aug, Chicago–O’Hare (ORD). Air Force Two closed the ramp at Chicago, followed by a thunderstorm.
10–11 Oct, Charlotte (CLT). A stuck cargo door at Lawton led to a chain of delays that ended up with me being stuck overnight at Charlotte.
11–12 Dec, Chicago–O’Hare (ORD). I was delayed leaving Orlando by a late incoming aircraft, causing me to miss my connection in Chicago.