2015 Index and YWW Year in Review

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It’s a bit late, but here is my 2015 travel year in review post.  It was a huge travel year for me, as I hit 5 continents and did more long-haul flying than I’d ever done before. It was a lot of mileage redemptions, and low on the mileage earning front.  I re-qualified for American Airlines Gold status. I thought about going for Platinum but it was a busy enough fall and winter that the marginal utility was not enough to outweigh the financial and other costs.

As for the blog, I have kept it as a personal travel diary rather than changing to something else, but hopefully folks find it enjoyable, useful, or both.   My philosophy is the same today as it was in my 2013 year in review post: “I will never stop loving travel, but business class and nice hotels isn’t the point of life.”

So, what were my travel patterns and accomplishments of 2015? I’ve put indices of the places, planes, and hotels I’ve reviewed at the bottom of this post, and have some statistics as well. It was a heavy year of international travel, with only one domestic purely leisure trip.
Total continents visited: 5
New continents: 1 (Australia)
Total countries (excluding U.S.): 10
New countries: 5 (Australia, United Arab Emirates, Korea, Taiwan, Brazil)
New states: 1 (Missouri)

New airlines: 7 (Qantas, Etihad, Asiana, TAM, Virgin Australia, Germanwings)
Total airlines: 17
Total flights: 55
Total airports: 28
Total mileage: 100,070
Shortest flight: Athens to Mykonos (83 mi)
Longest flight: Hong Kong to Chicago (7,790 mi)

Total lost bags: 0
Total lost laptops: 1*
Total lost mifi: 1
Total lost Kindle and phone: 1*
Total broken camera: 1
* = recovered

Best flight: Cathay Pacific First Class Hong Kong to Chicago
Worst flight: (tie) US Airways Charlotte to London (due to delays) // Etihad Abu Dhabi to Washington-Dulles (due to general discomfort and feeling like my ancestors sailing across the ocean in steerage)

2015 Flights courtesy of GCMap.com

2015 Flights courtesy of GCMap.com

Almost all of my flights (44) were on Oneworld carriers, 29 on AA and US Airways alone, and only one on Delta (my only Skyteam flight), which is the lowest I’ve probably had in 10 years. I also did very little Star Alliance flying – just a United award on UA and Asiana to Asia, and flights on Olympic and Germanwings in and out of Mykonos.

On the hotel front, I spent 54 nights at 36 different hotels this year. In terms of best and worst hotel stay of the year, I take into consideration what the hotel purports itself to be. So a cheap 1 star motor inn that is clean and comfortable counts as a “better stay” than a 5 star property that barely exceeds 3 star standards. Worst stay is a tie between two Hilton properties: the Park Lane Hilton in London and the Hilton Abu Dhabi. No hotel stood out as particularly phenomenal this year, but I’d say the Park Hyatt Melbourne, Grand Hyatt Melbourne, Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi, and Munchen Palace were all particularly positive.
Hilton: 12 nights (22.2%), 8 properties (22.2%) – I would’ve thought this would be more, but I stayed a lot of places without Hiltons.

Carlson: 8 nights (14.8%), 5 properties (13.9%) – Surprisingly high given not a lot of Europe travel. Burned a lot of points before they were devalued.

IHG: 7 nights (13%); 4 properties (11.1%) – Nearly all at Intercontinentals.

Hyatt: 5 nights (9.3%), 4 properties (11.1%) – 2 random Hyatt Places domestically, 2 stays in Melbourne, one of which was an annual free night.

Starwood: 4 nights (7.4%), 4 properties (11.1%) – All one night stays. I’ve stopped staying at SPG properties because I always have trouble getting elite benefits honored and it just stresses me out.

Accor: 3 nights (5.6%), 2 properties (5.6%) – Also random, but I actually somehow earned elite status with Accor this year.

Marriott: 1 night (1.9%), 1 property (2.7%) – No coincidence – my annual free night stay.

2015 Youwentwhere Index:

Reviewed Flights, Airports, and Lounges:

See guys, Etihad is really luxurious

See guys, Etihad is really luxurious

Cathay Pacific Business TPE-HKG, the Pier Lounge, Cathay First HKG-ORD, AA Flagship Lounge ORD, and AA ORD-DCA coach
Cathay Pacific Business ICN-TPE and Cathay lounge ICN
Asiana Business SFO-ICN and the China Airlines Lounge SFO
United Domestic First IAD-SFO and United Club IAD
US Airways Business Class MUC-PHL and British Airways lounge MUC
Airberlin Coach CGN-MUC and International Business Lounge CGN
Germanwings JMK-CGN
Olympic Airways ATH-JMK and Melina Merkouri Lounge
US Airways DCA-PHL and Business Class PHL-ATH, DCA Admirals Club, BA Galleries Lounge PHL
US Airways First LAS-DCA and American Express Centurion Lounge LAS
Hawaiian Airlines First HNL-LAS and Sakura Lounge/Admirals Club HNL
Hawaiian Business Class SYD-HNL, Air New Zealand temporary lounge SYD, and American Express Lounge SYD
Qantas Business MEL-SYD and Qantas Business Class Lounge MEL
Qantas Business Class CNS-MEL
Qantas Club Cairns
Virgin Australia coach SYD-CNS and Virgin Australia Sydney Domestic Lounge
Qantas Business Class JFK-LAX-SYD, British Airways Galleries Lounge JFK, Oneworld Business Class Lounge LAX
Delta First DCA-JFK and DCA Skyclub
Etihad Coach AUH-IAD and AUH Preclearance
Etihad Coach IAD-AUH
US Airways Coach LHR-PHL-DCA and BA Galleries First Lounge LHR
British Airways Coach BUD-LHR and Platinum Lounge BUD
British Airways Coach LHR to BUD, Cathay Pacific Lounge and British Airways Galleries Club LHR
US Airways Coach DCA-CLT-LHR and Admirals Club DCA and CLT

Reviewed Destinations:IMG_2832
Rio and Iguazu Falls to come
Gyeongju, South Korea
Seoul, and a DMZ special report
Munich, including Dachau
Cologne: Part 1 and Part 2
The Great Ocean Road
Cairns and Fitzroy Island
Sydney and Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras
Abu Dhabi Part 1 and Part 2
Budapest Part 1 (including Danube Bend) and Part 2

Hotels (not all reviewed, but ask me if you have questions; * indicates review forthcoming):

Spa room Hilton Cairns

Spa room Hilton Cairns

Hilton Budapest City
Courtyard Budapest City Center
London Hilton on Park Lane
Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi
Hilton Abu Dhabi
Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney
Intercontinental Sydney
Hilton Cairns
Grand Hotel Melbourne (MGallery)
Park Hyatt Melbourne
Grand Hyatt Melbourne
Pacific Marina Inn Airport Hotel (Honolulu)
The GEM Hotel Hudson Yards (New York)
Hilton Checkers Los Angeles
Hyatt Place Riverside/Downtown
Radisson Martinique on Broadway (New York)
Hyatt Place Baltimore/Inner Harbor
Millennium Hilton (New York)
Intercontinental New York Times Square
Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center
Geranium Hotel (Mykonos)
Art’otel Cologne
Radisson Blu Hotel Cologne
Munchen Palace Hotel (or “Munich Palace”)
Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile
Conrad Chicago
Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel (Philadelphia)
Imperial Palace Seoul
Four Points by Sheraton Seoul, Namsan
Hilton Gyeongju
Holiday Inn Express Seoul Euljiro
The Landis Taipei Hotel
Caesar Park Rio de Janeiro by Sofitel*
Wyndham Golden Foz Suites (Foz do Iguacu)*
Sheraton Iguazu Resort and Spa*
Hudson Hotel (New York)20150722_144000

Other posts:
Brazil mileage run preview
Losing my laptop at the Cathay Pacific lounge
Korea and Taiwan preview
Greece and Germany preview
Booking Australia flights with AA miles, Part 2
Horrid Qantas Customer Service Intro to Australia and Using AA Miles to get to Australia, Part 1
Ethical travel, LGBT Rights, Abu Dhabi, and Shameful Bloggers

One thought on “2015 Index and YWW Year in Review

  1. Pingback: You Went Where???

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