Here is the seventh annual “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread, and for the first time this thread will be done in the Consolidated Thread.
If you are new to FT, here is the drill:
We have been having this thread for the last six years for FTers on United Forum to share travel stories on how status were obtained during the year, what are the flying patterns, why we travel, where we have flown to, etc. It is also a place for newcomer to introduce themselves in the Forum, and old timers to share their travel pattern in the past 12 months. Most important of all, tell us about your travel projection for the upcoming 2013 year.
This is a special year! We have the "new" consolidated CO and UA frequent programs in place. Our beloved airlines have been married for awhile and are still learining to live together. I am sure there will still be bumps, but I am sure there will also be many great years ahead.
Lot’s of interesting events happened in 2012 that may have impacted our flying with CO/UA:
One single program
One single website
inaccurate opening account balance in March 2012
Computer system problems causing delays and delays and more delays
Weather related cancellations (Sandy, Winter Storm, etc.)
Introduction of 787 into the fleet and subsequent mechanical problems
More M+ awards than PMUA M+
Delayed mileage postings
The links to the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 threads are listed below. It is interesting to go back and reflect on what had changed in our travel patterns over the past six years.
Who: What do you do when you are not on FT? Anything you want to tell FTers about you. When: When will (did) you make your desired 2012 status? How: This is a broad category. Include any information on whether you travel for work, personal reasons, MRs, double/triple EQM, M+ Visa EQMs, UA flying, *A flying, $$$ spent to achieve status, how your travel pattern has changed in 2010 from previous years. Where: Places you have been this year (on your way to your 2012 status). Why:Why is achieving status/accumulating miles important (or not important) to you? Why do you do Mileage Runs, etc.? What: What’s your plan to achieve 2014 status, and where will you go? What will be changed in 2013 versus 2012.
Programs: UA 1K, Marriott Platinum, Enterprise Exec
Who: I drink and buy a lot of wine. I work in a corporate environment (NJ big pharm) that is very non-customer facing - letting me travel and work at the same time. I'm also a nicer person than the FT persona makes me out to be - but that's just the nature of my job (regulations) spilling into FT.
When: November 30th (1K)
How: Laid out for all to see in the "How much did you spend for 1K" thread.
Suffice it to say, LGA-IAH-PDX's MR was my friend.
Who: I'm a bartender at a high end restaurant, and they're doing their best to convince me to go into management. I think I'd rather sling booze. When: On a MR to PDX in November (Gold) How: All my travel is purely leisure based. I did over 100K in BIS miles this year, but a lot was on award travel. Where: UK, Azerbaijan, Kyrgystan, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, Cook Islands, New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Poland, Germany, Ethiopia, UAE, Palau Why: It used to be because I enjoyed lounge access and domestic upgrades. But now that MCI doesn't get much mainline and my CPU% is ~20%, I haven't decided if I'll try for it next year. What: I'm burning some miles to go to Peru and Trinidad with my girlfriend, but I haven't decided if I'll make a push for status on any airline. Might become a freelancer.
Location: A menace to everything in the sky. Yes. Even birds.
Programs: Eh+ Rapid Rolleyes
Who: I work in the energy sector. Got a buy-out and left my employer of 9 years in Aug and transitioned to working with a new market entrant.
When: I'll requal for 1k on Dec. 30th. Travel was down this year taking a few months off when my son was born and then the job change. UA's inability to maintain a schedule over the summer also had me flying more and more DL and US (no 500 mile mins. killed me).
How: Never done a MR and never plan on doing one. 95% business travel and the rest personal.
Where: Was commuting to SFO with the last job. That got old quick but the destination was nice. Now I just travel to places I have no desire to go to. DTW, SBN, ABQ, DEN, etc. Almost exclusively domestic travel.
Why: Maintaining status obviously has benefits for a frequent traveler. I do it because it just makes sense based on the requirements of my job. The exotic point usage opportunities will be significantly diminished for a few years, as has the whole appeal of the road warrior lifestyle, now that I have a young child.
What: If things stay status quo I'll do another 125 - 150k work miles next year with one vacation down to SXM with the family. I'm hoping things don't stay status quo.
Who - Geoscientist who retired in March from the best independent oil and gas company in the world. Based in Houston for 30 years, moved back to Hawaii.
When - hit 1k on November, usually pmCO Plat status. I like 1k.
How - One trip earlier this year afor company on J fare. Monthly trips since May OGG/IAH as consultant, fares out of my pocket. This is why I like being 1k traveling from/to a leisure market.
Where - IAH to Africa, London. OGG to IAH
Why - merger coincidental with my retirement and move to Maui is huge for me as I travel frequently between via West Coast. I also hit MM status on my February 2013 flight LAX-OGG, about 3Hrs, 38mins into flight (yes, I've calculated it). Ms. Trash lapses from Gold to nothingness Feb 1, and then gets MM designation as 1k about 2 weeks later. Upgrades are huge for me and I can target flights to get 'em.
What- monthly trips OGG-IAH, a couple of trips to LAS, and GPU-assisted trip to BKK on tap this year.
Who: I travel doing telecommunications work and am often away for a week or months at a time. When: Made 1K in August this year. First time as 1K as I come out of Newark and am former CO. How: Don't do mileage runs at all, but fly a lot for work. Being based out of Newark, United is the cheapest and easiest option for me, with the least connections to where I need to go. I did many trips this year to Asia on United, the Middle East on United/Lufthansa, and even an interesting job in Capetown on SAA. Where: Check my signature. Why: Achieving status is a nice benefit to traveling for work. The biggest benefits are E+, GPUs, Miles to redeem for flights, and baggage allowance. CPUs are not big on my list as I travel mostly international. What: Not sure I will change much, although depending on my work schedule I may have to do a mileage run next year to keep 1K.
2013 Airports: CAN, SGN, SWA, TAO, PEK, SIN, MPM, JNB, NRT, HKT, MNL, CRK, HKG, IAH, PHL, BOS, PDX, IAD, ORD, JFK, and of course EWR.
Who: I am a research scientist for a large biotechnology company. Formerly based near PHL now near SMF.
When: I requalified for gold on 12/14 from SMF-ORD from the comfort of seat 3B thanks to a sponsored RPU.
How: soon-to-be Mrs. ddrost1 lives between BDL and HPN so I flew there about 6 times this year from SMF after moving here in May. i also did a few work trips to/from the east coast, plus a couple of long weekend vacation runs on G fares (FLL and KOA).
Where: BOS, HPN, BDL, ALB, RSW, FLL, KOA, GSO, STL, EWR, SMF, HNL, CID, probably missed a few in there
Why: free bags, CPUs, marginally better customer service, *G status. due to past travel was able to book honeymoon trip in J on miles from SMF to AKL.
What: i am already booked to requalify for gold by June 1 so it may be a PP year depending on 2nd half travel. current bookings include 2 MRs, 3 trips to BDL/HPN, a work trip to Europe, and a few other odds and ends sprinkled in.
Why: I have never, ever in my life been disappointed to be getting on an airplane. My philosophy is either that I'm going (a) somewhere new, (b) somewhere I've been previously and enjoyed, or (c) home. Traveling by plane to any of those three is a good day. I've discovered status has some nice perks (no baggage fees, the occasional upgrade) and I enjoy being able to take my wife with me on business trips with miles when I can. I simply love to be going.
How: I'm really strategerizing on how to hit 1K next year. There are a ton of travel possibilities to both Europe and Asia in my current position, and I'm hoping to make the best of the opportunity. It's a nice little bonus that out here at the end of the continent we generally have to fly backwards to fly forwards.
Programs: UA Platinum, HHonors Diamond, Hertz Five Star Gold
Who: I am in consulting. Used to be mostly North America but now we are going to South America and Africa so travel has increased (nothing close to some on the FT).
When: Platinum reached on December 16, 2012.
How: Mostly UA with AC to BCN on Z class in summer for a vacation. A total of three international trips DXB, BCN, EZE. Paid what the lowest price was at the time of purchase. All business travel so no MR. Average probably paid 12 to 15 cpm I would guess. I did fly more than I usually fly this year. Total EQM at around 79K. Another 10K or so flights in other airlines such as F9 and WN that were cheaper at the time. Would not have made 1K even if I gave those to UA.
Where: Most exciting place was EZE. Beautiful place. BCN comes close second.
Why: No mileage runs. I am willing to pay United up to $50 more per ticket within US and up to $100 more ticket for international all thigns being equal for status. I have seen upgrade rates go to tank past 3/3. Have talked with UA senior mgmt about it and was told be happy with what you get - not in exact words but the message was the same! I do pay for upgrade on international flights (miles and money).
What: Same as this year. Will go where business takes me but no MR and not paying extra for status. Loyalty is a two way street....
Who: I work for a medical device start-up company in the Bay Area. I spend about 75% of my time traveling to different hospitals checking in on "things".
When: I crossed over 100K sometime in October. I became a New Million Miler on March 3rd when I saw 350K miles hit my account. I became a real million miler on March 5th somewhere over Iowa on my way to Chicago.
How: Travel is mostly 90% work. I did start the year off with my first ever C class mileage run to LHR and then the following day did a same day return to JFK. No Tom S., but I crossed 25K on January 9.
Where: All domestic. Mostly LA, SEA, IND, ORD, MSY, IAH for work. TVC, HNL, PHX, SAN, JFK, LHR and LAS for fun.
Why: #1 - I do it because it is my job to fly. #2 - I use all my miles to fly my partner and myself to fun locations in the front of the plane. This year we had to cancel trips to Paris (10 year anniversary), South Africa and Bali (Honeymoon) and Greece (fun). But we will make them all up next year!!!
What: Hopefully 1K again by Q3. Going to make those special trips that we had to cancel happen. Plus I got in on the SQ mistake and grabbed a couple of first class seats to Japan.
Programs: UA Domestic 1K Louse/.982 BIS, HHonors Diamond, Amex Plat, Global Entry, National Exec Elite
Who: I'm in the electric utility industry, primarily automation. Big football (the round ball kind) fan When: Made 1K in late October How: I traveled exclusively for business in the US this year, other than a pleasure trip to Europe this summer. I usually make 1K on segments first then miles. I'll finish the year at 141PQS & 120KPQM Where: ABE/ATL/AUS/BDL/BNA/BTV/BUR/BWI/CHA/CLE/CLT/DCA/EUG/EWR/GEG/HNL/IAD/IAH/LAX
/LIT/MCI/MCO/MLI/MSN/MSP/OMA/ONT/ORD/PDX/PGV/PHL/PIA/SAN/SAT/SEA/SFO/SNA/STL Why: My job requires that I travel a lot so 1K status is important to me and anything I can do to make my life easier (i.e. GPU/RPU/CPUs) is worth pursuing. My miles are typically used for family travel. What: 2013 will look a lot like 2012 with perhaps a couple of TPAC trips added to my domestic travels
Who: When I am not flying, I am a consultant for the mining / oil & gas industry. When I am not doing that, I play hockey on the side and am furthering my education. I have a wife and a young daughter which fills the remainder of my time.
When: I hit 1K in April of 2012 (have 260 EQM's for the year)
How: I travel for work mostly international to a number of place, but mostly on *A. Domestically, i fly almost exclusively on united. I have 82 segments, with about 50% on international flights.
Where: JNB, DEL, BOM, DEN, Toronto, Vancouver, IAH, ORD and PBI for vacation.
Why: I travel alot for work - 1K is nice for a number of things: 1. I actually check luggage (for me its easier with security) - bags come out fast, and its free. 2. When there is a problem, the 1K line works well and I am well taken care of. 3. Upgrades for personal travel (I pay for a 1st class ticket for work).
What: 2013 will be scaled down but I figure I will hit 1K by Aug or Sept.
Who: Consultant in the aerospace biz. Also just like to travel - so I rarely turn down the opportunity to do so whether it's work or leisure
When: Will make Plat on 12/30 somewhere between OMA and DCA. First time at anything higher than Gold/1P.
How: Roughly 50/50 work/fun. Mostly domestic. Some Y/Bs, but mostly G/L/T/etc. 1 MR to TUS for PQM purposes. Some Chase PQMs in there too.
Where: I'm based in WAS, family is in LNK so several trips to LNK/OMA in there. Otherwise:
O/D: MCO (x2), RSW, SMF, SFO, SJC, IAH (x2), CWA, MSY, MSP, SAT, DFW, DEN, IND, TUS, BWI, DCA, IAD, LHR, DUB, OXF, IOM
Connections: EWR, PHL, CLT, ORD, DEN, IAH, LAX, LHR
Why: E+, Free SDC, better phone/IRROPS treatment, upgrades. Miles for family travel.
What: We'll see if I can squeak by to Plat again in 2013, otherwise it's Gold again. Only ~9K booked so far, but that'll change.
Programs: UA 1K, SPG Plat, Marriott Gold, Hilton Gold
Who: Marketing strategy consultant, primarily in apparel and retail these days. On occasion, I do a bit of blogging at foodwineandmiles.com
When: Made 1K in September, somewhere over the Atlantic I think
How: 90%+ for work. TPAC and TATL trips for market research and to give presentation being the biggest contributor. Handful of EWR/JFK-LAX trips didn't hurt either.
Where: EWR, LGA, JFK, PVG, PEK, HKG, BKK (in transit only), MXP, MBJ, CLT (in transit only), GSO (a lot), LAX, SFO, IAD (in transit only), DCA (in transit only), PHL, BOS, SEA, DEN, YYZ, FRA, HAM, MUC, HNL (in transit only), OGG
Why: More miles for family travel, upgrades, IRROPS treatment, E+
What: Don't have nearly as much international travel planned for this coming year - but will still be striving for Plat for a few more RPUs, and eliminated fees for various activities. Have about 25K already planned through the spring.