My 2015 Travel Year In Review

With 2016 now very much underway, I think it’s time to look back on 2015 and recap my travels from the past year! Of course one trip pretty much dominates the year with my three-week Around The World itinerary that I took in June. This marked several firsts, including my first time to many new places (and a continent at that!), but also had several repeat appearances. My work took me back to familiar ol’ San Diego for extended periods of time, so I got to spend more time in that great city; and there was even a super impromptu road trip to Atlanta and a weekend in Orlando catching up with an old college roommate and friend.

Oddly enough though, outside those two road trips and my RTW trip, there really wasn’t any other personal travel. I wish I had been able to do more, but I just remind myself that I had the equivalent of many years worth of trips all rolled into the RTW – so I don’t quite feel like I missed out or stayed home all year! In fact, by my estimates, I spent somewhere over 25% of the year away from home.

As the year ended, I also found myself in a situation where I had to do a status run in order to maintain my Delta Gold Medallion status. Since my RTW was an award ticket, all my trips were work trips so I didn’t have the usual cushion from personal trips to help round out keeping status. I wasn’t going to let myself drop to Silver Medallion (Even fewer upgrades! No Sky Priority! No International Lounge Access!), so in mid-December, I flew out to Los Angeles for a one day trip. Which gave me just enough to bounce my MQM total over 50,000 and give me a little bit to start 2016 out with.

In terms of other elite statuses, I was able to re-obtain Hilton HHonors Diamond status which due to very little work travel in 2014 I dropped to Silver in April, got back to Gold in May and Diamond in October. SPG Gold I easily re-qualified for and I think may have been the first time I qualified based on Nights versus stays. I’m waiting to see what happens with the announced SPG-Marriott merger, and may be adjusting my hotel elite status strategy in 2016. I also still have Hertz President’s Circle (thanks to my Delta Platinum Medallion status that I had through Jan 2015), and Avis First Preferred Plus.

If I had to pick the big highlights from my travels this year they would be:

  • Flying Around The World – I mean how could it not be #1 on the list?
  • Seeing the Penguins at Betty’s Bay outside Cape Town…then “hugging” one in Dubai.
  • Blowing the tire of my rental car in South Africa, within the first two hours.
  • Finding myself very carefree on Mahe Island, the Seychelles for a few days.
  • Catching up with an old friend from high school who now lives in Bangkok as I was passing through.
  • Impressing the people of Tokyo with my singing abilities in that basement karaoke bar.

Number of Flight Segments: 45
Number of Airlines: 4 (Delta Air Lines (35), Kenya Airways (6), Vietnam Airlines (2), British Airways (2))
Total Miles Flown: 62,168
Time Spent in the Air: 6 days, 6 hours, 37 minutes
Average Flight Distance/Length: 1,382 Miles / 3 hours 20 minutes
Longest Flight: ATL-JNB (Atlanta, GA to Johannesburg, ZA) – 8,439 miles, 15 hours 21 minutes
Shortest Flight: LAX-SAN (Los Angeles, CA to San Diego, CA) – 109 miles, 51 minutes
Aircraft Flown On: MD-88 (8), 737 (6), 717 (5), A319 (5), 767 (5), 757 (5), 777 (3), E190 (2), 747 (1), A330 (1), A321 (1), 787 (1), CRJ900 (1), E175 (1)

Definitely Not As Much Flying In First Class As I Am Used To!

Airports Flown Into/Out Of/Through: ATL, ECP, SAN, NBO, JNB, LAX, DTW, NRT, HAN, BKK, SEZ, DXB, SEA, ORF, CPT, PLZ
Number of Connections in ATL: 16

2015 Flights Completed

SkyMiles Earnings:
SkyMiles Status: Gold Medallion in 2015 | Gold Medallion for 2016
Total Medallion Qualification Miles Earned: 52,519
Total SkyMiles Earned: 94,675
Total SkyMiles Redeemed: 0

Countries: South Africa*, Kenya* (Transit Only x3), United Arab Emirates*, Seychelles*, Thailand*, Vietnam* (Transit Only), Japan
Cities: Atlanta, Orlando, San Diego, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Knysna (ZA), Dubai, Victoria (Seychelles), Bangkok, Tokyo, Norfolk, Los Angeles
Number of Trips: 10
Days “On The Road”: ~100 Days
* = “new” countries

2015 Trip Reports and Reviews:

Ok, So the Trip Reports section is rather bleak this year and I’m still working on the RTW trip. That darned day job likes to get in the way! But that being said, really my RTW trip was the only notable one in 2015 that wasn’t for work. Yes, I drove to both Atlanta and Orlando, and yes I probably should have written up at least about the hotels (Hilton Atlanta, DoubleTree Orlando East-UCF), but I didn’t. I’ll make the annual promise to do better this next year…

And that folks, was my 2015. 2016 isn’t going to have as epic of travels as my RTW trip, but as things stand now I am going to New Zealand in the first half of the year – cashing out nearly all my Delta SkyMiles (160,000 of them!) on a business class award that will also allow me to spend a day in Seoul, Korea. That trip will include flying in the upper deck of one of Korean Air’s 747-8I aircraft with their new Presige Suite business class product. I’m pretty excited about that right there as I’ll be able to finally check that off my travel list!

This entry was posted in Travel, Year In Review. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

There are no comments yet, add one below.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: