2015 was the year I probably flew the most, but not the furthest as my year of flying was primarily on American Airlines/Envoy Air CRJ-200 cruising up and down the west coast. Thankfully during the course of the year, I took several vacations overseas and hit up just about every continent which offers commercial air service. I a grateful for the awesome award redemption I took this year which included first and business class flights on some of the world’s finest airlines.
I re-qualified for American Airlines Executive Platinum, and status matched to Alaska Airlines as I am hoping 2016 will bring me more nonstop and direct flying from Seattle. Overall 2015 was a great year, and I am several trip reports behind. Yet, here’s a recap of my total flying for 2015.
2015 flying: 119 segments, 134,111 miles 13 days 19 hours and 4 minutes
Too many people’s surprise, although I flew over 134,000 miles and 119 segments in 2015, the near majority of the days that I flew, I flew economy class! 78 of my 119 segments in 2015 were in economy class. The main reason: American Airlines Crj200s do not offer business/first class!
ALL 2015 economy class flights (above) Focus on US Flying in economy (Below)
The majority of my flying was with American Airlines/US Airways in 2015, and as you can the majority of my flights did not clear/upgrade. In fact due to irrops, missed flights, Crj-200s, upgrades on US Airways only being available to AA EXP at check-in for most of the year, and the lack of upgrades on Alaska Airlines for AA elites, the majority of my flights were in the back of the bus. In addition, I flew a few segments on United where a Silver Elite has zero to no chances of being upgraded.
The cool part of flying economy in 2015, I flew three new routes by airlines I had never flown before. The first was Norwegian Air Shuttle between Stockholm and Gothenburg, the second between Denpasar, Bali and Lubuan Bajo (LBJ), Flores on Garuda, and the third was on Egypt Air between Cairo and Aswan. All three routes were very comfortable and only offered economy class, with the except of Egypt Air, which offered a “business cabin” which was essential economy class with a meal. Not to mention LBJ was the most remote airports and probably the coolest destination I flew to in 2015.
2015 was a good year for long haul business class adventures for me which took me on American Airlines to Rio twice, Gothenburg via London, the Middle East, and South East Asia. Luckily for me, all my system wide upgrades cleared on American Airlines and I experience long haul business class to Rio (twice) and London with AA. Due to delayed flights in SFO, AA even accommodated me on British Airways Business Class on the A380 SFO-LHR on my flight to Sweden! 2015 was also the first year I bought a business class ticket, spending $1100 to fly one way on Qatar Airways from Luxor to NYC via Qatar and Paris (CDG-JFK was operated by AA codeshare).
2015 first class: 4 segments, 21,564 miles, 1 day 21 hours and 8 minutes
2015 First Class flights were extremely limited to just a couple of long haul award redemptions. I used AA miles to fly Etihad’s 787 First Class from Washington DC to Abu Dhabi and then later in the year I used AA miles to fly JAL 777 LAX to Narita, Cathay Pacific Hanada to Hong Kong, and Cathay Pacific 777 as part of a trip to Indonesia. I would say I was much more impressed with Cathay’s first class the second time around then I was in 2014, but Etihad still offers a MUCH better experience and product in my opinion.
2015 was a fun year in the skies. I flew further and experienced more than I could ever imagine, made new friends, and explored amazing destinations. I added several new countries to my growing list (UAE, Qatar, Sweden), and re-explored destinations and new cities within countries I had previous visited. 2015 wasn’t all roses and butterflies, but I am happy to say that I survived economy and the dreaded CRJ-200s! I really hope to never step foot in a tiny regional crj-200 again and for everyone’s comfort I hope the airlines speed up the retirement of this rat traps!
Happy New Years everyone and may 2016 be a fun full year of travel and exploration!
And remember, if you need any help booking award travel, The Booking Guru is here to help!