2014 was a great year for earning miles and points. I travelled more than I had ever travelled before, hence earning more Airline Miles and Hotel Points than ever before. I also made good redemptions taking my family on a Business Class trip to Asia and not paying a single dollar for any personal hotel stay. Just as importantly, I retained Elite status on United (1k) and Marriott and Hilton (Gold on both). In full disclosure, the Marriott Gold was not earned but from my Elite status on United. I also got a status match of Gold on Turkish Airlines, giving me free domestic Lounge access in the US.
Well, today is January 1st and as far as Elite status is concerned, the clock as been reset. (All except for Turkish Airlines which has a 2 year clock). And yes, my 150,000+ Status miles on United are now at a big fat Zero. The slog starts again…
For those who fly United, this will be an interesting year. United has changed over to a Revenue based program for earning award miles (Elite Status Miles earning remains unchanged). For those traveling for business or non-super-cheap leisure travel, this is good news, especially if you are an Elite. For others, not so much. I will post another blog post on some analysis I have done on this change.
Redeeming Miles will certainly become harder. Almost all airlines and hotels are devaluing miles by increasing redemption levels. United has done so by increasing Partner redemption levels significantly. Marriott and Hilton have both raised the category levels of several hotels that now require more points to book award stays. There are some total dumps categorized as category 5 and higher for Marriott especially.
On a personal note, I was not blogging much in the second half of 2014. I intend to make 2015 a more active year for blogging. So, come back often and keep reading.
Safe travels to all in 2015! Here’s to 100% GPS tracked air traffic!