Since my travel has started ramping up in 2017, I decided it was time to sit down and look at my strategy for earning airline elite status in the coming year. Which means…spreadsheet time!
A portion of my elite status planning spreadsheet
Where I am Today
I currently have Alaska Airlines MVP Gold, United Airlines Gold, and Virgin America Silver elite statuses. I’ve already credited a couple of trips to my Alaska Airlines account (two on American Airlines and one on Delta). Most of my confirmed flights later this year are on American Airlines or other OneWorld carriers. Continue reading →
Buenas tardes from Cancun! I wanted to tell you all a little bit about how my last year went. In 2016, I blew past my previous record for miles traveled, went all in on gift card reselling, moved to Mexico, and picked up a handful of credit cards and bank signup bonuses along the way.
I flew just over 197,000 miles last year, a significant increase from my previous record of 125,000 miles in 2015. The change was mostly because I did a lot more flying across oceans – my 2015 trips were entirely in the Americas, but I spent a lot more time in Europe and Asia in 2016.
Tonei’s 2016 flight map, courtesy of openflights.org
I’m on a Delta flight from Monterrey to Atlanta right now, and right before takeoff I received an email from Alaska Airlines announcing changes to their mileage program. “Enhancements” is often a code word for devaluation, but for the most part these seem like good things – with one glaring exception.
Alaska and Delta Ending their Partnership Effective April 30, 2017
Buried at the end of their updates and press releases is the big news that Alaska and Delta are severing their partnership next year. People have been predicting this since Delta expanded their Seattle operations several years ago and launched head-to-head competition on some of Alaska’s core west coast routes, and it’s finally happened: the last day of the partnership will be April 30, 2017. After that, Alaska and Delta will stop codesharing each other’s flights, and members of their respective mileage programs will no longer be able to earn or redeem miles on the other airline. However, both airlines will still award miles for flights booked prior to today’s announcement, even if the flights are after April 30 – a very nice move. (No elite benefits will be honored after that date, though). Continue reading →
My partner and I just embarked on a bit of a ridiculous trip for the holidays. This trip started out from a mistake rate for a club room at the Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile – I booked 3 nights at a rate of 3,000 points + €18; normally a standard room award goes for 15,000 points, and the club upgrade is 3,000 points in addition to the standard room rate. About a month ago, well after the hotel decided to honor the reservations, we decided we actually wanted to go – neither of us have ever been to Paris before.
View from the Hyatt Paris Etoile. Photo from hyatt.com.