2014 was a transition year for me in lots of ways. I ended up not traveling at all for work, and it was my first full year focusing my travel on American as opposed to Delta. I’ll talk about that change in a separate post, but as my tradition has been, I figured I’d summarize my year in travel, with big thanks to Flightmemory.com and Tripit for helping me keep it all organized. This post also serves as an index to the year’s trip reports.
Despite what my mother would say, this was not a big travel year for me. In 2014, I flew just under 100,000 miles, and this year was only 61,514 miles– my lowest since 2010 – though in terms of segments, I had 44 – the same as in 2012. Part of that was it was my first full year living in DC, so I spent time traveling up to New York to see my family and friends that might otherwise have been spent traveling to some exotic place. It’s hard to strike the balance, but I never want to travel at the expense of spending time with those who matter to me. I’ve enjoyed seeing the world, though, and will continue to do so as long as my finances, work, and personal commitments allow.
As to where I went, I went to the most remote place in the world I’ve ever been – the Seychelles. Oddly, that was one of only two new countries for me this year, with Switzerland being the other one (and that barely counts as I didn’t spend the night there). Last year, that number was 9! But I did explore a lot of new places in countries I’d never been before, including Lyon and Montpellier in France, and Sicily and Milan in Italy, and places I hadn’t really explored sufficiently in the past or at least not in 10 years, including Berlin and Paris. What strikes me the most about my travel this year was how little domestic travel I did, with only one trip west of the Mississippi – in mid-December! Last year, I got 3 new states; this year, 0. I did, however, hit an incredible number of airports in Europe, given how few trips I actually made.
After five years as a Delta Medallion member, 2015 will be my first year without status on Delta. I’ll be dropping from Platinum level on American to Gold, and my guess is won’t make much of a difference.
In the hotel world, I’ve shifted from SPG to Hilton, predominantly. I had Gold (mid-tier) status at both, and found that it yielded no real perks at SPG properties, and good upgrades, breakfast, and often lounge access at Hilton properties. Next year, my statuses will remain the same. Whereas last year I qualified as a Gold member of SPG and Club Carlson due to stays, I’ll keep those statuses based on credit cards I have. For Hilton, I have Gold status via credit card and stays, and I’ll keep on being a Hyatt Platinum, IHG Platinum Ambassador, and Marriott Silver as well.
Coming up for 2015, I have three trips planned: (1) Budapest and London in January; (2) Abu Dhabi in February; and (3) Australia in March.
I hope you all had a wonderful 2014, and that you grew and enjoyed the world – whether while at home, on the road, or in the air. May 2015 bring us all love, joy, and adventure.
And now, onto the stats.
Total miles flown: 61,727
Total segments: 45
Longest flight: IAD-ADD on Ethiopian (business), 7,192 miles, 14h 50m
Shortest flight: DCA-PHL (or PHL-DCA) on US Airways (single-cabin coach), 119 mi, 40m
Most frequent route: DCA-JFK – 7
Most frequent airport: DCA – 22
New airlines: Ethiopian, Brussels, Virgin Atlantic, Edelweiss/Swiss
Top Airlines (by number of segments)
- American – 15
- US Airways – 9
- Ethiopian – 4
Flights by Alliance
- Oneworld (including US Airways) – 25
- Sky Team – 10
- Star Alliance – 9
Best flight: Nothing really stood out as amazing, but probably Brussels Airlines from BRU to IAD in business class. United First Class from IAD to FRA was pretty good too, but it felt more like really good business class than first class.
Worst flight: Any of my American Airlines coach long-haul flights.
Total nights: 37 – about half of last year’s total of 71
Number of stays: 21
The best stay was definitely the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort. The Arthur Hotel in Jerusalem was a strong #2. It wasn’t a luxury product, but it outshone my expectations and was just a lovely place. I’m pleased to say no hotel was terrible this year.
In terms of brand loyalty, I was definitely a Hilton guy. Notably, I spent only 3 nights at Club Carlson properties, whereas they were my number 2 chain last year with 14 nights, and zero at SPG properties, my number 1 chain last year with 15 nights.
Hilton: 15 nights/8 stays
IHG: 8 nights/5 stays
Marriott: 5 nights/3 stays
Hyatt: 3 nights/2 stays
For my 2013 Index, see here
2014 Blog Index
Una Hotel Palace Catania
Grand Hyatt Berlin
Hilton London Heathrow Airport
Arthur Hotel, Jerusalem
El San Juan Resort & Casino
La Concha Renaissance Resort, San Juan
Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome
Radisson Blu Le Dokhan’s Hotel, Paris Trocadero
Crowne Plaza Montpellier, France
Hilton Lyon, France
Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort
Reviewed Flights, Airports, and Lounges
American MXP-JFK (coach), Milan Malpensa, and Sala Moncale Lounge
Alitalia CTA-LIN (coach), Catania Airport, and VIP Lounge
Edelweiss/Swiss ZRH-CTA (coach), Zurich Airport Lounges including Swiss Business Lounge
American JFK-ZRH (coach)
Air Berlin TXL-JFK (business)
Berlin-Tegel Airport and Air France and British Airways Lounges TXL
United IAD-FRA (Global First), Lufthansa Senator Lounge IAD
Lufthansa FRA-TXL (Business), Lufthansa Business Class Lounge FRA
Virgin Atlantic LHR-IAD (Upper Class/Business), Virgin Clubhouse LHR
Alitalia TLV-FCO-LHR (Business Class), Dan Lounge TLV, Alitalia Freccia Alata Giotto FCO
Air France IAD-CDG-TLV (Business Class), Air France lounge IAD and CDG
American SJU-MIA-DCA (Coach)
US Airways DCA-PHL-SJU (Coach)
Brussels Airlines CDG-BRU-IAD (Business), SAS Lounge CDG, Brussels Airlines Lounge BRU
Air France MPL-ORL (Coach)
Ethiopian Airlines SEZ-ADD-CDG (Business), Salon Vallee de Mai (SEZ)
Ethiopian Airlines IAD-ADD (Business Class), Lufthansa Business Lounge IAD