2013 flew by incredibly fast—just incredibly fast. Looking back at the year I marvel at what was accomplished and think about how the airline industry and my own livelihood has changed.
When I started law school, I had every intention of becoming a full-time attorney. Thoughts of working in the travel industry did not register outside of a legal role. Having a legal degree in my back pocket is still a remarkably valuable chess piece, but three years into Award Expert, I do not see myself practicing law anytime soon, save for legal analysis in this blog.
Running a business has its perils and my clients will attest that though I do good work, there are still some rough edges to work out. But I am excited about what is in store. Tomorrow I will look ahead to 2014, but it is going to be a very different year than this one.
I hit MillionMiler status on United this year, and will soon begin a series entitled “Life with United” as I look back upon my lifetime of flying with them.
With mergers shrinking competition and airlines seeing black instead of red, it was a painful year on the loyalty front. Delta duplicitously devalued its award chart without notice and United announced plans to massively devalue its award chart. It is only a matter time before US Airways and American do the same and with their merger now complete, look for higher airfares in 2014.
Miles and points are the ultimate depreciating asset—building up points like a bank account is a fool’s game when inflation worse than a banana republic sets in to wipe out the value of your hard-earned points. You still have a month to use your United points at the old award chart and it is in your interest if you have travel plans outside of the Americas to book your trip now or at least before the end of January.
I do believe in New Years’ Resolutions. It should not take 01/01 to kick a back a bad habit or start a good one, but it is a logical reset point. As I look back on 2013 the one regret I have is that I let work and travel get in the way of physical fitness. There is a time for everything, but taking care of your body is of paramount importance and I trust that as I reflect on 2014 next year, I can say that it was a very healthy year.
Personal Travel Highlights of 2013
April – travel to Germany
June – Park Hyatt hotels in Melbourne, Canberra, and Sydney, Singapore Business from SYD-SIN-LAX
July – No travel
August – Breakfast on American Airlines
September – United comes through in a pinch, LOT 787 Business Class from ORD-WAW-FRA
October – AMS-TPE in EVA Royal Laurel Class, Kuala Lumpur and Cambodia, including the new Park Hyatt in Siem Reap, Austrian Airlines from PEK-VIE-BRU in Business Class, Brussels Airlines from BRU-JFK in Business Class
November – travel to Germany
December – MillionMile flight with Captain Denny Flanagan on DEN-LGA, another trip to Germany
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