2016 Year in Travel

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


A map of all my flights in 2016.

Map generated by Paul Bogard using the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz

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

A chart of my flights by year. 2016 shows 94 total flights (56 business, 34 mixed, 12 personal).

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

A chart of my hotel nights by year. 2016 shows 116 total nights (71 business, 45 personal).

I spent 116 nights in hotels in 2016, up six from the prior year. 71 were business (my employer paid for the hotel) and 45 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:

Terminal silhouettes of AMA, SAT, MUC, NUE, TXL, LHR, KEF, CDG, ONT, PWM, DSM, BUR, and RDU.
# Code Airport First Visit
61 AMA
Texas, United States
24 Jan 2016
62 SAT
Texas, United States
7 Mar 2016
63 MUC
20 Mar 2016
64 NUE
26 Mar 2016
65 TXL
26 Mar 2016
66 LHR
United Kingdom
26 Mar 2016
67 CDG
2 Apr 2016
68 KEF
2 Apr 2016
69 ONT
California, United States
2 May 2016
70 PWM
Maine, United States
11 Jul 2016
71 DSM
Iowa, United States
7 Aug 2016
72 BUR
California, United States
11 Sep 2016
73 RDU
North Carolina, United States
31 Oct 2016

New Airlines

I flew three new airlines this year:

Frequent Traveler Status

A chart of my frequent traveler status in various programs by year. For 2016, I earned American AAdvantage Platinum, and Hilton HHonors Diamond. United MileagePlus Gold status was active from a previous year, and Marriott Rewards Gold status was active from a partnership with United MileagePlus.

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.