Year End Review: Who I’ve flown and Where I’ve Been Summary

By Nick – Random Segments

Overall, this year has been a very light year for me because of some things going on in my personal life.  However, I have been able to gain some new destinations and routes along the way in my travel this year.  So without further adieu, the new cities I have been to or through this year:

  • Vancouver
  • Seattle
  • London
The more interesting thing has been the new lines I’ve encountered this year, and already looking for some more new lines in January of the new year:
Or to put it more in perspective:
And two two new carriers:
  • American Airlines
  • American Eagle
Overall, not too bad of a year, and I finally knocked off the last of the American legacy carriers off my list.  And for other carriers that I have flown this year, even though I may have flown them previously:
  • United
  • Continental
  • Delta
  • Shuttle America
  • Air Canada
  • Jazz Air
  • Express Jet
  • Atlantic Southeast Airlines
And then there are the lounges.
As for hotels, I knocked off quite a few new hotels to the list:
While not as impressive as some, not too bad considering I had a job change and was unable to do much serious travel during the first 9 months of the year.

American Airlines Status Challenge Trip to London: Economy on AA Internationally

By Nick – Random Segments

Let me preface my comments by saying that I am 6’5.  Thus I am a lot more sensitive to legroom than many travelers.  So if you are shorter, take my comments with a grain of salt.  

Overall, the flight was exactly as I expected, mediocre food, crushing legroom, and an average flight crew.  For my flight out, I was able to secure two seats to myself on a 777 by paing the premium seat buyup of $39 (fortunately I won’t have to pay that again).  I was able to get the side seats at the front of Economy, so I was early on in the service order, ensuring I would have my choice of dining.  But for those of you wondering, this is the legroom:


As you can see, it is not a pleasant experience for someone of my height.  Fortunately there was nobody in the row in front of me, so I did not have to worry about someone reclining in front of me.  One big thing that I observed drawing complaints was that AA was still charging for all drinks, even with the meal service.  Especially since this was an overnight flight, and I know many people want to have a drink or two in order to get some sleep since we were to arrive in London at 10:30am.  

For this flight, they offered full meal service, with a beef dish or Cheese Ravioli. I actually went with the beef dish, and really feel that is is appropiate for the flight.  The beef was edible, and the mashed potatoes were flavorless.  However the crime was in the vegatables, which I found quite inedible.


After watching through the Advanced Video Streaming system (Its not AVOD because you have to wait for a new show to start on each program, though it is more options than the old looping film systems.  Shows start about every 15 minutes, but it really is far behind the competition.  Made even worse by AA advertising this system as a Video on Demand system, I really don’t see how this could save money, especially since the 777 is a relatively new aircraft type for American.

I was able to get a couple hours of sleep, mainly by taking over both seats in the row.  About an hour out from LHR, they offered a light breakfast made up of a croissant and jelly.  While nothing major, it is something to put on the stomach before landing.

The blankets were decent, not as good as the old United blankets, but right on par with the new Delta blankets (in fact the main difference is lack of embroidery and a burgandy color instead of red), but certainly better than the blankets currently being given out by United now.


Next Month of Travel: Toronto, to Mileage Runs, to Megado

By Nick – Random Segments

I know, you are still waiting on my report from my status challenge trip to London, and that will start rolling later on this week.  However, I did want to give a preview for all the travel I will be doing in the next month, with new lines, new airlines on some lines, and a wide variety of hotels to explore.  Some of the travel will be done alone, some will be done with a friend, and some will be with a wide group.  

I start off by flying up to Toronto on American, and spending the new years holiday in one of my favorite cities.  Taking no extra time off work, but I do get to enjoy the city, and as the first trip I’ve taken since I started my new job, I’ve decided to splurge and stay at the Park Hyatt Toronto (In addition to it being a little away from the crazy celebrations so I can get some sleep).  I am also using a suite upgrade, because I have 4 upgrades that expire at the end of February, and few trips to really justify the upgrade.  This is a property I have stayed at previously redeeming free Hyatt nights, and it is reasonable, though maybe not up to the standards of some other Park Hyatt properties

Then the next weekend (and I should preface this by saying that my normal weekend is a Sunday-Monday weekend) I am doing a mileage run to DEN, and spending some quality time in the city that was my first work travel trip, just 3 years ago.  This is taking advantage of the DEQM offer on American Airlines, and netting me 6,000 EQM, but with time to enjoy the city.  Denver is one of my favorite cities in the US, just for the views, and the feel of the town.  I’ll be staying at the Grand Hyatt Denver, as it is a property I have heard wonderful things about, and a great rate.  I am also using a suite certificate here, since I will have time, and want to get the full experience at this property.

The following weekend is my true mileage run for the month, with a same day turn to Seattle from Atlanta with Daniel.  Before taking our flight, we will be staying at the Hyatt Regency Suites Atlanta Northwest.  Its closer to the airport than where I live, and the rates were only slightly more expensive than a Hyatt Place, and I do try and get a better experience.  Nothing special here, and this hotel is nothing more than a place to crash where I do not have to drive out earlier to pick him up.

I will be working the next weekend, so I can enjoy the the oneworld Megado, with Daniel, and a few more friends, as we fly and have lots of fun, getting tours along the way and meeting executives from various airlines.  All in all, a nice month, with 30k EQM, and only using my vacation for the megado.  I couldn’t be happier, and after taking February off from traveling, can decide if I can justify making the run to EXP this year (Since I was looking at renewing Platinum, but with only 20k miles needed to requalify, might go for EXP if the fares are right on some of the foreign partners).