Saturday, December 15, 2012

Our 2012 Travel Stats - But Who's Counting?

We didn't fly as many miles as the whopping (for us) 130,000 miles we flew in our 2011 wanderings, but we still covered some ground by air, land, and sea with paid flights totaling just over 100,000 miles on United and Air Canada, plus a couple of thousand miles on Jet Airways in India.

We feel very modest about our flying record in comparison to some of our FlyerTalk friends. Consider, for example, Tom Stuker, who this year alone flew more than one million miles.

We also flew on points (airline miles) one-way from Seattle to Frankurt in Lufthansa First Class. Our schedule of major trips by the month looks like this...

January
Honolulu
India with Tom, Ellyn, and Haley
March
Switzerland, Austria and Slovak Republic
Amtrak to New Orleans with Greg, June, Tom and Ellyn
May
Oz Fest in Canberra Australia via London
July
Venice and Mediterranean cruise on Oceania's new Riviera
September
Labor Day with our seven grandchildren
Welcoming Jace Brian Hildenbrand, Grandchild Number Eight
October
Amtrak with Tom and Ellyn from Seattle to Albuquerque
Road trip home via Farmington, Durango, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Reno
November
Transatlantic on Riviera: Barcelona to Miami
December
Road trip to Westbank BC to visit Dennis and Maureen

It was a much quieter travel year than some of our previous ones, but we managed another major house renovation too, converting a large multi-purpose room into a lovely bedroom and a well-organized laundry room.

We're among those who feel betrayed by United Airlines when they reduced the lifetime benefits of Million Mile Flyers like us and we've even let our United Club membership lapse. We're rooting for the success of the class action suit that was filed earlier this year. As paid lifetime members of UA's now defunct Silver Wings Plus program who have been unable to book the fares since the program shut down, we're hoping the class action suit filed on behalf of lifetime members is also successful.

We're also annoyed by the invasive custodial-style searches we endure at the hands of the TSA when we opt out of the X-ray scanners. That takes some of the fun out of air travel.

Despite all of the above, we've enjoyed our year of travel and look forward to more in the New Year.

Along the way in 2012 we added India, Croatia and Ionian Islands (Corfu) to our list of countries, based on the Century Travelers' Club list of 321 entities, a total of 87 "countries" to date. You'll notice the list includes a lot of places that aren't sovereign countries, but it's one harmless way to keep tabs.

Pacific Ocean
Australia
French Polynesia (Tahiti,Tuamotu, Austral, Gambier)
Hawaiian Islands
New Zealand
Tasmania
North America
Alaska
Canada
Mexico
U.S. (continental)
Central America
Belize (British Honduras)
Costa Rica
Guatemala
Panama
South America
Argentina
Brazil
Chile
Colombia
Uruguay
Caribbean
Antigua & Deps. (Barbuda, Redonda)
Bahamas
Barbados
Cayman Islands
Dominican Republic
Jamaica
Leeward Islands, French (St. Martin)
Puerto Rico
St. Barts
St. Kitts
St. Lucia
St. Maarten (formerly Netherlands Antilles)
Turks and Caicos Islands
Virgin Islands, U.S. (St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas)
Virgin Islands, British (Tortola, etc.)
Atlantic Ocean
Azores Islands
Bermuda
Canary Islands
Cape Verde Islands
Iceland
Madeira
Europe and Mediterranean
Austria
Belgium
Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Minorca)
Croatia
Czech Republic
Denmark
England
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Ionian Islands (Corfu, etc.)
Ireland (Eire)
Ireland, Northern (Ulster)
Italy
Luxembourg
Malta
Monaco
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Russia
Sicily
Slovakia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Turkey in Europe (Istanbul)
Vatican City
Wales
Africa
Egypt
Morocco
Senegal (plane refueling)
South Africa
Swaziland
Middle East
None
Indian Ocean
None
Asia
China, People's Rep.
Hong Kong
India
Japan
Korea, North (DMZ)
Korea, South
Malaysia
Singapore
Thailand
Turkey in Asia

We managed to qualify again for top-tier status both with Hilton and Starwood. Believe it or not, the only flight already on our 2013 itinerary is one on points to New Zealand and Australia in May. We suspect there will be other travels in the coming year.

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