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The 2018 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread

The 2018 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread

Old Dec 24, 17, 8:56 pm
  #1  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: IAD/DCA/FLL/MIA
Programs: UA*Lifetime GS, SQ*PPS, AA*EXP, Hyatt*Globalist
Posts: 10,984
Post The 2018 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread

Here is the 12th annual “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread!

If you are new to FT or an old timers that needs a refresher, here is the drill:

We have been having this thread for the last eleven 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 newcomers to introduce themselves to 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 2018 year.

This has been a different year! We have just experienced the first year UA finally rolled out its Polaris Products, and subsequent roll back of its onboard offerings. Unfortunately, lack of effective planning and accountability to its promise, Polaris cabin reconfiguration and Polaris Lounge rollout have been an embassement. . Our beloved airlines seemed to have been performing below par with peers financially. Lower oil price has given UA positive results. However, performing blow its main competitors continued to be our primary concerns.

The links to the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 threads are listed below. It is interesting to go back and reflect on what had changed in our travel patterns over the past eight years.

The 2017 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread!:)

The 2016 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread

The 2015 "Who, When, Where, What and How" Thread

The 2014 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread

The 2013 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread

The 2012 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread

The 2011 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread

The 2010 “Who, When, Where, What and How” thread

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=899373&referrerid=19989

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=759813&referrerid=19989

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=618396&referrerid=19989


Here we go:

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 2018 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 2017 from previous years.
Where: Places you have been this year (on your way to your 2018 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 2018 status, and where will you go? What will likely the change to your UA flying in 2017 versus 2016?

Happy Holidays and Safe Travel Everyone!!
UA_Flyer is offline  
Old Dec 24, 17, 10:56 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Houston
Programs: United 1K, Marriott Lifetime Platinum; Hyatt Diamond/GLOB
Posts: 709
Who: Management consultant flying out of IAH. My 24th year with CO/UA.

When: December 21st, with one convoluted around the country trip (that was cheaper than a simple roundtrip) to hit exactly 100,000 miles.

How: Almost exclusively for work, and only one international trip, so a slog of 90,000 PQMs domestically with relatively few 150% fares.

Where: Lots of IAH-RIC, PHX, MPS, ORD,

Why: I use miles for four or five reward tickets to Hawaii every January and six or seven reward tickets to Mexico/Caribbean every summer for family vacations. I need the miles. Also, with 1K, I get a fair amount of upgrades, no fees for reward travel changes are a big deal, IRROPs support, RPU/GPUs have actually worked for me, selecting E+ seats at booking, and having lots of heavy luggage free for family vacations

What: Probably less business travel next year with sadly little international travel. I could see next year being the first time as not at least 1K in a long, long while.
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Old Dec 24, 17, 10:58 pm
  #3  
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: BOI or anywhere a good IPA is served!!
Programs: Too many to list
Posts: 10,419
2017 isn't over yet.
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Old Dec 25, 17, 4:49 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: NYC (Primarily EWR)
Programs: UA 1K / *G; Marriott Bonvoy Gold; ALL Gold; Hertz PC
Posts: 7,701
I can source a lot of this year’s entry from last year

Who: work in financial services
When: made 1K in late August
How: largely leisure travel, although I did a little more business travel this year. That helped more on the PQD front than the PQM side.
Where: see my signature!
Why: generally think that having status will help me out when things go sideways (and it has). BG1 and Y+ legroom is important as well. Really enjoyed having the GPUs to basically upgrade all of my international flying.
What: I already have ~50k PQM booked for the first half of next year, with more to be added. I would actually have much higher if I didn’t decide to start using a big pile of my award miles...have used them to book 2x RTW award tickets for myself and my wife, all in J. Because kids are almost certainly going to be a 2019 event for us, I think it’s likely that travel in H2 drops off significantly. There’s an outside chance of me (and possibly her) requalifying for 1K, but if I had to bet we will both end at Platinum. If I do make 1K, next year will be the last year for a while.
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Old Dec 25, 17, 6:33 am
  #5  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: wandering expat
Posts: 42,859
Who: Federal Government attorney
When: Premier Platinum in August
How: More business than leisure travel this year, but business travel was more spread out thanks to GSA contracts. 2018 resolution is to avoid any trip that involves travel on B6.
Where: California (x4), Frankfurt (2), Vienna, Reykjavik, Zurich, San Jose CR, Mexico City (3), San Salvador (2), San Juan, Seattle, Miami, Key West, Tampa
Why: As before, PQD and being required to fly AA and DL on much of my business travel again this year meant no hope of regaining 1K, but that's OK. All but one of my UA flights were in domestic F or international business, so I traveled well.
What: This is a tough one this year. I have 3 TCONs, one IAD-HNL, and one TPAC set for 2018. Will likely see multiple trips to Mexico and Centam again this year. May have an additional TPAC and TATL. If most of them are on UA, I'll have no trouble reaching Platinum for 2018, but if they are on other carriers, Gold might be all I make.
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halls120 is online now  
Old Dec 25, 17, 8:42 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: San Antonio, TX
Programs: United GS, Marriott Bonvoy Titanium
Posts: 104
Who: ​​​​​​​Work for a Private Equity firm and handle all acquisition diligence and some portfolio consulting.

​​​​​​​When: That’s complicated - I reached 1k again in May - however I have what I consider a good shot at GS with $64.9k PQD and 289k PQM (all UA). So to be determined in a few days/weeks if that is achieved or not.

​​​​​​​How: ​​​​​​​ Last minute paid tickets for work. 3 mileage tickets this year - 1 to AKL/SYD for my wife and I and 1 to New Orleans and another to San Diego for the family.

​​​​​​​Where: ​​​​​​​Lots of domestic F travel based on SAT (all over the country) routinely connecting through IAH (I have ran through that airport to catch connnecting flights way more than I’d like to admit). This year I started international travel. 3x LHR, 1x LIS, 1x BUD, 1x AMS, 1x GVA. I goto BLR once a year but usually fly BA due to price (UA is waaayyyy more expensive and it’s hard to justify). I am in SFO a lot and miss the 787 service from IAH. I would actually choose that routing on a connection vs the direct from SAT.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Why: I don’t do mileage runs, but it’s important to me for IRROPS help, dedicated call line, etc. I value getting home ASAP on these trips and my status has saved me numerous times.

What: ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ Based out of SAT so a lot of my trips will remain the same and will likely have more international travel.

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Old Dec 25, 17, 9:50 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: West Orange, NJ
Programs: UA GS, HH Diamond, Hertz Pres.
Posts: 566
Who: VP of North American Sales for an LED manufacturer.

When: Qualified for 1K the first week of June and hoping to get GS next year with over $50K in spend on UA.

How: Typically book 3 months out, always in FC if it's available. BIS was almost double last years with 131K, 126 flights, all for work except for a couple of RTs with the wife for vacation.

Where: BOS, ORD, DEN, IAH, IAD, PIT, CLE, SFO, LAX, SEA, PDX, MIL, MSP, MIA, CVG, BUF, ALB, ATL, ATW, LAS, FFL, RNO, SMF, MKE.

Why: I like the ability to take the wife on a nice trip in FC and not have to pay for her. Also treated a bunch of friends to upgrades as they all have no status. Will also be taking a trip to Italy with friends and family and will be covering everyone on a FC RT ticket with miles and upgrades.

What: Will most likely have around the same spend next year if not slightly more PQD and PQM.
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Old Dec 25, 17, 10:02 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: NYC/Row 21
Programs: UA 1K, Marriott/Starwood Platinum Elite, National Executive Elite
Posts: 39
Who: Director Of Webcasting (video production and live streaming).

When: Reached 1K in September, but didn't hit the spend until November.

How: Usually book a month or so out (or whenever the client confirms an event). All flights are for work and booked in E+.

Where: We have a lot of clients in SF that do quarterly events. I do events all over the country, but SF makes up about 70% of my travel.

Why: It's my job! Very early on my clients only traveled with Continental, so I stuck with them and United.

What: My wife and I are expecting our first child in April, not sure what my status is going to look like. Hopefully the traveling dies down for a few months!

Last edited by eisejm; Dec 25, 17 at 10:03 am Reason: Formatting
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Old Dec 25, 17, 3:10 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: PWM
Programs: UA Silver
Posts: 945
Who: Recovering biologist currently unemployed (and not looking).
When: Hit miles Dec 10. Hit CC spend Dec 15.
How: 50k BIS cheapo fares plus UA waiver. 37 SEG, 50445 PQM, 2366 PQD, 25008 CCD. 2427 PQM were "foreign" so my cpm is 4.93+tax/fees.
Where: Went to Europe for the first time! Other firsts: OGG, MEX, SEA, PDX, SRQ. Also did wonderful mini-DOs at IAH In-Flight Training and DEN Catering. Hosted/attended several local FT meetups in AUS, SAN, BOS, and PWM. No flying for those though!
Why: I like the perks, of course.
What: Doing Island Hopper MR in May. Might fall back to Silver since I lost my travel companion this year (breakup, although I wish it was death) and will start grad school (again) next year No desire (or money) to do more than 50k.
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Old Dec 25, 17, 5:49 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 160
Who: I buy and I sell. I'm a merchant.
When: Requal 1K on 12-25-17...today.
How: I buy stuff on my Amex and fly on MR points. I reached my 1K spend without spending much of my own money.
Where: Hong Kong and Tokyo to the West. France to the east. Glasgow was a first time visit this year. 2017 was lightest travel year in a long time. Recent addition of SJC-EWR has been good for me.
Why: I just like sitting up front. It's a comfort thing for me.
What: Trying to hit 1MM in 2019. Mrs. Jack will retire soon....probably do more liesure tripswith her.
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Old Dec 26, 17, 7:22 am
  #11  
LIH
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: ORD | LGA | 2E
Programs: UA GS 1.4MM UC | Bonvoy Plat | Hertz 5*PC
Posts: 765
Who: Investment Management / Finance
When: Hit 1K in May for the 8th consecutive year. I exist in the ether below real GS eligibility of spending $30-40K/year for discount front of the bus tickets domestically.
How: 90% of travel is work-related, though I've become better at flying the wife out on Friday and extending weekends in the more enjoyable places.
Where: Major domestic markets, a lot of LGA/LAX/SFO/DEN/ATL
Why: I have become spoiled by almost never having to come out-of-pocket with cash to keep my wife in first whether she's travelling with me or not. That and upgrading my mom and sister on their handful of international flights a year makes it all worth it.
What: Given the aggressive discount first pricing of the domestic airline industry I flew a lot more DL/AA in 2017 and I would expect to continue to see that in 2018. I have ~25K PQM on UA booked in January though so should be back at 1K mid-year at the latest.
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Old Dec 26, 17, 1:06 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: IAH
Programs: UA GS/MM, MR PPE/LTG, ‎TSA Pre✓, NEXUS, APEC BTC, UKBF RT, CLEAR, DXB E-GATE
Posts: 251
Flyin high...

Who: Software Executive
When: Made 1K in the Summer of '17, may/may not make GS this year due to 1/4 of my $ going to Lufthansa and Emirates
How: 100% work
Where: All over the US, also went to Peru, Dubai, England, Spain, Germany, Canada.
Why: Gotta fly to pay the bills (for now).
What: Will likely hit 1K by March/April. Have 2 trips coming up to Europe, might also have to go to Dubai (This time UA Metal to LHR or FRA), if I don't make GS for 18, will ask for a challenge and likely make it by March 18.
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Old Dec 31, 17, 12:28 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 1
Who: Full Time College Student, Work makes me fly frequently as well
When: Made 1K this December
How: About 50% work, mostly domestic. The other 50% come from international trips.
Where: Work has me flying mostly domestic, mostly UAX. A few international trips to HKG and SIN, that's where I get most of my PQMs.
Why: Have to fly for work. International trips are to see family overseas.
What: Done for travel for the rest of the year, will start flying again once 2018 comes around. First time posting on FT, lurked for a few months and learned a lot. Glad to be a part of the group!
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com truise is offline  
Old Dec 31, 17, 11:25 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 226
Who: Software Engineer

When: Never. Dropping from Gold back to peasant. Earned ~15k miles in 2017.

How: 95%+ personal travel. I occasionally get an international work trip. I did a short MR in 2016 to earn gold for this past year and that was definitely worth it. This year I'm 10k away from silver and there was no way I'd do an MR for that.

Where: OGG, EWR, ITH, SJC, SFO, DEN, OAK, BUR, SLC, GJT

Why: I really enjoyed gold status and I'll definitely be doing enough flying in 2018 to hit it if I fly UA. That said, in 2017 I branched out from UA because its fares were not competitive on some of the routes that I was flying (went with SW and DL). I would have hit silver otherwise but I don't place much value on that. Choosing E+ at booking time is a really nice perk.

What: No guarantee that I hit status on UA in 2018 though I'll be keeping it in mind in case it makes sense. The deciding factor will be if UA / Star Alliance make sense for my international trips. I'll be doing at least one TPAC, at least two TATLs, and at least two TCONs. E+ is my preferred form of travel for price / value but I will splurge on P fares for some trips. That said, I will avoid any flights that put me in Y on a 10 across cabin (that goes for any airline). We will see how it goes. I'll miss free E+ at booking...
blackllotus is offline  
Old Dec 31, 17, 12:08 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Our nation's capital
Programs: UA 1K & 0.55 MM
Posts: 657
What a nice way to end the year, looking forward and looking back to all the travel and adventures/misadventures it brings.

Who: International Development

When: July, which was much earlier for me than the usual December.

How: Primarily international trips to Asia. Company policy is to book in Y, I use GPUs and miles to upgrade. This year have been strategically upfaring when Ps were available, yielding extra PQMs and RDMs. For leisure have been exploring new Caribbean islands and Europe.

Where: Myanmar, Thailand, India, Portugal, Italy (the last two were total oddities due to conferences/invitations, I'm usually in Central Asia)

Why: I'm just too old to take 12- and 14-hour flights in Y so it's all about the upgrades and upfares. While in the past I've done mileage runs (including with a 10-week old infant to hit 1K), these days I'm flying enough to not have to do them. Being able to book them in E+, cancel award tix as our schedules change, and having the 1K desk/lounge agents have my back when things go hinky is why I track my travel in a spreadsheet and make sure I will never fall below 1K again. Because my work travel takes me away from my family for as much as two weeks at a time, I'm forever compensating by taking them on trips with my miles. So the 11x multiplier on higher fares is a nice way to give them multiple trips a year on me.

What: I have India, Costa Rica, Thailand, and Kazakhstan already on my calendar for the first six months of 2018. Depending on schedule and family, I might swing through Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan while I'm in Kazakhstan. I'll probably go to India at least twice. I'm predicting I'll hit 1K between August and October.

Here's to a great travel year for my favorite FlyerTalkers here on the UA thread,
big V
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