New Years festivities are heating up in Ho Chi Minh City, but I am at the airport waiting to catch my late Lufthansa flight back to Bangkok. Recalling my pickpocket incident in Bangkok (and because my brother and I will be departing early in the morning for Beijing) we have elected to camp out at the airport tonight. The bill for our one-night stay at the Park Hyatt Saigon was over $500, so it will also be nice to save a few bucks tonight.
I will not review all the industry news that occurred this year, but I will recount some of the personal highlights of my travel year before looking ahead to 2011 tomorrow.
February – The most relaxing three days I have had in years at the Westin on Denarau Island in Nadi, Fiji
June – Brief trip to Montreal, which raised the eyes of at least two border officials + United Airlines severely curtails generous routing rules, effectively ending the conventional mileage run
August – Trip to China and North Korea scrapped due to work and re-scheduled for December (sadly, the North Korea portion of the itinerary will have to wait till a future time)
October – Weekend in Germany on Continental where a uniformed mechanic swiped my seat and relegated me to the back of the plane. (BTW, I remain unhappy with CO’s response and handling of this issue) + A spectacular time at United’s Family Day in San Francisco
November – Fun night at the FT Awards in Houston
December – Departed on long-anticipated trip to Southeast Asia and China after Christmas
There were some big news items that hit us this year, most notably the Continental/United merger. We still do not know what the combined mileage program will look like, but I think it is safe to say that the days of routing through four cities and $250 compensation for inoperative audio on a two hour domestic flight will soon join the United tulip as relics of the past.
While those two changes will have minimal impact on most travelers, for people like me who often travel purely for the sake of miles and used generous routing rules and compensation to sustain top-tier status for little money out of pocket, earning miles is going to be much harder in the months to come.
I thank all my readers for their support this year and look forward to a new year filled with blog content and analysis that is both informative, entertaining, and original.