2012 has come to an end. Soon all of our elite qualification meters will be reset to zero, and it will be time to play the game again in 2013. As I reflect on the different status levels I have earned, I can say that it isn’t too different from my previous year. Check out my 2011 status qualifications here.
As Brad mentioned, traveling on United Airlines in 2012 was a chore, at times. My upgrades seemed to clear less, and it bothered me that United was still selling them for peanuts when I was holding out for a complimentary upgrade hours before my flight. Nevertheless, I am staying the course. I am only 143,000 miles away from being a milion miler. Once I hit 1MM, my wife will get the same status as me, and I’ll be guaranteed at least Premier Gold for life. I didn’t fly as many miles this year as I did last year, with a final total of 101,174 Premier Qualifying Miles. I didn’t do any mileage runs or anything like that. It was just a pure coincidence that mostly business travel got me to the exactly correct amount. I’m looking forward to flying United in 2013. I’m hoping some people got pissed off and moved to American, making room for more upgrades for me, but we’ll see. Also, I hope United can get their wi-fi act into gear in 2013. It is much harder to justify a business trip on United during the day if I can’t be online.
I have another post coming soon about why I still think Marriott Rewards is a great program, despite all the haters, and I’m happy to be Platinum with them for another year. This year I hit a total of 88 nights, and I’ll be able to roll 12 of those nights over to 2013, making it even easier to qualify next year. With 601 total membership nights, I’m only 149 away from getting Lifetime Platinum. Gotta love that! I’m actually writing this post right now from my balcony at The Renaissance La Concha in San Juan, Puerto Rico :-).
Starwood Preferred Guest
SPG… Such a thorn in my side… I’m sure that of the three programs I have elite status in, most of my readers would think SPG is the best. For me, it has been a pain in the butt. First of all, SPG rolled out confirmed suite nights. I have tried to use them twice, and both times, they didn’t clear. I still have my initial 10 suite nights that I was given plust 10 more for Platinum re-qualification. So those didn’t work out. I also booked a stay at the St. Regis in Mauritius for my honeymoon, and they pushed back the opening so we stayed at the Four Seasons instead (which was AWESOME). On top of all of that, I am just downright sick of arguing for upgrades at their properties. All of my complaining aside, SPG is still a great program, and SPG points are just so darn valuable… I’ll continue the path and get at least 50 nights at SPG in 2013, and once I’ve finished, I’ll work on Marriott more.
Odds and Ends
I flew Southwest a few times in 2012, and I have a few points there. I’m hoping to use them for a weekend in Miami or something like that. I also flew Virgin America a few times, and I continue to think that Virgin America is the best airline for the infrequent flier. I had a few segments on Delta, American, and Alaska, and I use Alaska Airlines as my “dumping ground” for all those those flights as Alaska is partners with both Delta and American. We also went on a pretty amazing honeymoon this past year as well! I’m looking forward to a great 2013. Happy New Year, and best wishes to you as well!