Each year I tell myself that I will be traveling less than the previous year, though inevitably I end up traveling more. So I won’t do that this year, though my travel plans for 2013 are not as ambitious.
Much of where I go and what I do will depend upon what I decide to do with my time. I must admit I’m drawn to focusing full time on Award Expert and Live and Let’s Fly, but there is that law degree that I’d like to put to good use. The thing is, I’ve become accustomed to working for myself, setting my own hours, traveling whenever I wish, and not being constrained by limited vacation time and conventional working hours.
Consequently, working for a law firm is not the route for me. Anyway, I think blogging and award booking is more lucrative and have no desire to sell myself to a company, even in exchange for a generous salary. But Germany beckons again. I miss it there, I love the airline industry and the work environment, and I have more personal reasons for moving there. So perhaps I’ll be back in Germany in the next week. Or perhaps not. Returning to Germany as an American is admittedly logistically difficult, so I may find myself merely making frequent trips there this year. Time will tell. In any case, I stay busy wherever I am as long as I have a computer with internet access.
But I do have some more adventures planned this year. The highlight of the travel year will be a trip in Singapore Airlines Business/First/Suites to Australia late in the spring—I’ve been looking forward to flying Singapore for years and having the chance to enjoy an aspirational product on an aspirational airline will be a great thing. Look for more travel to the Middle East as well, the last of Eastern Europe (Georgia and Armenia), a trip to Central America, and more Caribbean island-hopping. My country list is approaching 100 and I intend to well-surpass it this year.
I also intend to reach million-mile status with United Airlines this year. I’m getting close and will soon reflect back on my last nine years with United.
Feel free, if you’re so inclined, to leave feedback in the comments section below on what you’d like to read about this year. Yesterday I mentioned that my 2012 Year in Review was really more of a preview of what you have to look forward to reading about in the coming weeks, but let me know if there is something else in particular you wish to read about.
As for mileage earning predictions in 2013, I do anticipate we’ll see a massive devaluation of the US Airways program, though if the merger with American Airlines goes though, we may see the adoption of the AAdvantage program with relatively little change (in an effort not to tick off loyal customers as AA emerges from bankruptcy protection). Still, US Airways mileage “quantitative-easing” has lead to an over-supply of US miles and I believe the carrier will do something to shield their liability, most likely inflating award charts. With Starnet blocking rampant and getting worse, Dividend Miles is no longer a reliable program to bank your points in. Again, do not buy any points from US Airways until you have placed your award reservation on hold.
I also predict an announcement from Delta this year about a transition to a revenue-based mileage program, despite a recent statement by Jeff Robertson suggesting otherwise. If it happens, it will be a game-changer, but you need not burn all of your Delta miles now. Let’s wait and see what happens. Delta miles have also become much less valuable since Air France and KLM stopped releasing generous amounts of premium space to Europe, though with Virgin Australia, Korean Airlines, China Southern, Saudia, and Aeroflot, you still have some great options (and now add Malyasian Airlines and China Eastern to that list).
Miles and points remain a depreciating asset, so I believe it is always preferred to burn points sooner rather than later. Let us know if we can be of help. And as an afterthought, I have a funny feeling Aeroplan points will become even less valuable this year, with more fuel surcharges and award chart inflation. Let’s hope I am wrong.
I wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2013.