Question 3: Your travel

Old Nov 3, 07, 7:25 am
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Question 3: Your travel

This question submitted from member underpressure:
How much do you travel?
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Old Nov 3, 07, 7:40 am
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Originally Posted by flyertalk View Post
How much do you travel?

Prior to my planned early retirement a couple years ago, I averaged 35-40 weeks of travel annually over more than two decades.

And managed to rack up over six million miles on a variety of air carriers and spent in excess of 4,000 nights in hotel rooms over my career.

Im still traveling quite a bit although...thankfully...not at my previous level. Mrs. Cholula and I are now burning through my stockpile of miles and points and the bulk of our travel is international, Hawaii and visiting family/friends domestically.

And, oh yeah, hitting as many FT DOs as we can fit in.
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Old Nov 3, 07, 9:20 am
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I'm still younger and haven't had the opportunity for a company to pay for my travel (hopefully one day!), but this year I have logged 180K BIS miles and about 40 hotel nights. It has been going up every year, and I am hoping that next year I can get both 1K with UA and EXP with AA, which would mean around 200K BIS plus any award flights.
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Old Nov 3, 07, 9:38 am
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I'm a weekly commuter from northern to southern California. I turned down a relocation offer because northern California is a nicer place to live. Besides, I have a low-cost place to stay in southern California during the week. Early Monday flights on Southwest Airlines are full of people doing the very same thing. I can make it door to door in about 3 hours quite reliably.

I pay for the commute myself. When you factor in the generosity of Rapid Rewards for short-haul flyers who buy deeply discounted tickets far in advance, my commute costs me less per week than many people spend on driving to work.
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Old Nov 3, 07, 12:56 pm
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Hunki and I are very lucky in that we work together and travel together, which makes it a lot more fun.

Starting in 1999, when we switched to UA to get upgraded on the original PIP plane, we have both flown over 100,000 miles a year on UA. For a long time we also maintained AS MVP Gold status, but we dropped that a couple of years ago, when it became almost impossible to upgrade AS transcons. This year we will, however, make AS MVP.

We frequently travel around the US, sometimes for work (which always includes some fun), sometimes just for fun, and sometimes just to see our daughter perform, which is also fun.

We usually take three or four international trips a year and try to get in at least one new country a year. This year we added The Netherlands, Denmark, and will be going to New Zealand for the first time next week, on the great UA Biz class deal. We are pretty old, so we most likely won't run out of new countries.

Our status is Platinum with Starwood and Diamond with Hilton. Both have special benefits that we enjoy, so we do both.

In addition, we take three or four little cruises every year, and have recently fallen in love with Argentine Tango. Thus far, we have only attened one Tango Fesitval and that was in PDX, but we look forward to dancing at Tango Festivals all around the world, once we get past the beginner stage.
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Old Nov 3, 07, 3:47 pm
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My travel schedule dipped in the last year or so with the birth of my daughter. However, I've managed to travel enough this year to achieve lifetime AA gold status, with the help of a few credit card miles.

I should have just enough travel to squeak into SPG Plat this year as well, with the help of the double stay promo running through November.

Most of my recent travel is concentrated domestically. However, I do anticipate a ramped up travel schedule next year, both trans-continental and overseas.
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Old Nov 3, 07, 4:55 pm
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How much do you travel?
I don't travel much. Does that make me less worthy as a TB candidate?
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Old Nov 3, 07, 5:42 pm
Moderator: Southwest Airlines
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Originally Posted by FewMiles View Post
I don't travel much. Does that make me less worthy as a TB candidate?
That depends on how many miles' worth of credit card signup bonuses you have been getting. That, plus ValueMags and 1800Flowers and Savings Bonds before that, is responsible for almost all my legacy program miles.
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Old Nov 4, 07, 10:21 am
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Location: Commuting around the mid-atlantic and rust-belt on any number of RJs
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Currently, I'm barely hanging on to mid tier on one airline, bottom tier elite on two more, and mid tier elite with three hotel chains. Largely, this is because my flying has been reduced to RJ hops up and down the East Coast and Midwest of the United States.

When I was living outside of AMS and later in GLA, I was maintaining top tier with two airlines and bottom on a smattering more, mostly derived from transatlantic hops.

In the future, I anticipate that my work related travel will continue to be shorter hops, with my longhaul travel being personal in nature.
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Old Nov 5, 07, 1:05 am
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For the past 3 years, I've been averaging +/- 1 week a month of travel, mainly to North America (ATL, YUL, YYZ) with some LHR/LGW thrown in for good measure. It gets me to +/- 60-70 nights in hotels each year.

On top of that, I have my vacation travel


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Old Nov 5, 07, 7:07 am
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When I joined Flyertalk in 2001 my travel was about 75% business and 25% pleasure. From 1997-2001 I did about 125K BIS miles a year, almost all on United.

I've taken a new job since then and my travel as greatly diminished. The ratio has switched, I'm now 20% business and 80% pleasure. About 40K BIS miles a year, with no real loyalty to any one airline anymore (at least not enough loyalty to get status ).

I do have AA gold from Citibank

Last edited by skofarrell; Nov 5, 07 at 11:30 am
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Old Nov 5, 07, 9:23 am
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I'm a UA 1k and have been for nearly 10 years. I'll cross 1 million UA BIS miles later this month.

Unfortu, I cant get past gold at any one hotel program because so much of my travel is to shows and meetings so on those trips I dont get to choose the hotel where I stay. But I'm currently Gold in both Hilton and Starwood.

My travel is a good mix of both international and domestic. Everything from RJs to 747s. I spend a lot of time in state capitals so oftentimes I'll be on a 777 and an RJ on the same itinerary...

It's an interesting question though, because IME there are two types of Flyetalkers: very frequent travelers and those who collect points and miles so they CAN travel. I'm a bit of both. I travel more than many but less than many on FT. But I do obsess about my miles and points, as evidenced by my hotel lament above.

Of course, that's what makes FT so thorough, you get both the people who obsess about the points and miles so know the rules inside and out as well as very frequent flyers who have daily or weekly real-world experience in the travel product as well as the program. Hm, no wonder IB bought it!
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Old Nov 5, 07, 11:19 am
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My first experience with frequent flyer plans was on Continental Airlines. I made Silver Elite in 1998 and thought I was something. Boy how little *I* knew!

From 2000 to 2003 my airtravel was 70/30 work vs. pleasure. At the time we were exporting worldwide. In 2001 I rediscovered Flyertalk (having first found it back in 1998 when it was a rather more yecchy brown! Sadly I lost the link and forgot about it) and made the most of the strong US$ and great RTW fares available around the world rather than buying round-trip premium-class tickets. We paid less in fares and I got a LOT more miles and enjoyment. I went from being a brand new AAdvantage member in late 2001 to Executive Platinum by June of 2002.

In 2003 due to external events our export business and my travel was curtailed somewhat. I still retained Exec Plat until 2005. Also during this time, thanks to the Valuemags Gold Points promotion, I reached 1MM with AAdvantage within 3 weeks of signing up for the program. I hit 2MM with AAdvantage just a few years later and should hit 3MM with them in early 2008. Since 2006 I'm clocking 40-80k paid travel per year and even more with mileage redemptions. I'm easily flying 100k per year. About 30-40k of that is paid int'l J/F, mostly leisure. Again, thanks to FT and learning about RTWs and reasonable premium class fares I can afford to do things I never dreamed of.

On hotel stays my work travel was 60/40 vs leisure. That has actually increased as business has grown in state in locations I prefer to travel to by car. I've been a staunch Starwood member since 2001.

Again, thanks to Flyertalk, I went from being a simple Preferred member to a SPG Platinum through American Express Centurion (also learned of that from Flyertalk). When AmEx dropped SPG Platinum as a benefit, I was concerned that I would drop in status. Yet even as my int'l travel declined I was on the road far more for work in-state. I surpassed 75 nights with SPG in 2006 and this year will comfortably exceed 60.
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Old Nov 5, 07, 11:04 pm
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I've done about 112,000 miles and 101 segments so far this year, all with Northwest Airlines. Mostly domestic travel, with about 6 TATL round trips thrown in.

I'm a Marriott Platinum and will hit about 90 nights with them and 50 nights elsewhere this year.

I love traveling outside of work and have been to 47 of the United States and all 30 of the current Major League Baseball ballparks (and 6 that no longer exist). Went to New Mexico for the first time this past weekend with Mrs. RichMSN -- to celebrate our 11th anniversary.

Next year I hope to attend the first TalkBoard DO as a member
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Old Nov 6, 07, 9:37 am
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I travel as much as I can in terms of money and time. I am a leisure traveler, although I do work and write and take pictures when I travel that sometimes creates a work like schedule of mobility around airports and hotels. Bottom line is I have paid for over 90% of my own travel in the past 20 years.

I never flew international Business or First Class before FlyerTalk. I received the miles for my Business Class flight on American Airlines through the Healthy Choice chocolate pudding deal, about a month before I found FlyerTalk on the internet in June 1999. I probably wouldn't have spent the miles for Business Class from San Francisco-Miami-Guayaquil, or SFO-MIA-GYE is how I now say it as a FTer, if it hadn't been for the posts I was reading that sounded so intriguingly descriptive of airline lounges and airplane reclining seats. I went to Ecuador on American Airlines to start one of the mileage runs I did for the LatinPass million miles in 2000.

I have leveraged miles and points over the years to allow lots of travel at a really low cost. I travel when my wife and I can get a good week to fly away and live a foreign life and that tends to be anywhere from 5 to 8 weeks a year.

February Dresden, Germany - Prague, CZ
April - Las Vegas and Denver (family visits)
June - Washington, D.C - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Santiago, Chile - New York City (JFK and EWR) - Colonia, Uruguay - Atlanta
August - Seattle - Alaska cruise

FlyerTalk impact on 2007 travel - I don't recall if I found the Dresden fare with LH through an FT post or just diligent searching. I learned some interesting features about UA award tickets and ANA award availability searches that I shared on FlyerTalk.

The May 2007 New Zealand Business Class mistake fare was a deal I picked up on, but I decided to cancel since it was a solo ticket and I was in New Zealand in 2005 (and I flew Business Class then on Air New Zealand) and did not feel like going this time without my wife. The $1,495 ticket price was fully refundable so that played a large part in the decision to drop that trip.

The South America trip was due to a FlyerTalk post about EZE-JFK for $560 on Delta Airlines in Business Class. I flew DL in economy to Buenos Aires where I had a fantastic stay in the Presidential suite of the Sheraton Libertador and relaxed with 1.0L bottles of Stella Artois (for $1US bottle) and didn't see a thing most of the time because of the exceptionally dense ground fog. I flew Air France to Santiago, and Delta Business Elite to JFK. I had a wonderful suite at the industrial-chic Sheraton Newark airport. I believe I spent 8 hours aboard idle aircraft on the runways of ATL and JFK for 90 minute flights, so I know first-hand about the interminable delays of air travel in summer 2007.

I went back to South America in Business Class with a stopover in Atlanta and a shopping trip in Buckhead and a suite at the Westin Buckhead on Starwood Cash & Points saving over $200 on the nightly rate. I ferried across the Rio de la Plata from Argentina to Uruguay in dense fog and thought about those news reports that occasionally come up regarding a ferry accident in some distant continent and hundreds of people die. That didn't happen.

It was actually an incredibly deluxe ferry with a casino and large duty free shopping center and for $5 extra I got to sit upstairs at a table of my own beside a flat screen TV. It was real lounge treatment.

Colonia, Uruguay was a respite from the big city. And I received another suite at the Sheraton Colonia. It was birdland by the Plata. I reveled in the indoor-outdoor pool.

2006 - Europe 3 trips, Singapore 1 trip
2005 - New Zealand, Europe 3 trips
1999-2004 Flew about 500,000 butt-in-seat miles, about 40 international trips, and maybe 250 to 300 hotel nights.
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