It’s almost 2010….

You know what that means. No, I’m not talking about the new years resolutions you’re going to break, but rather the “fresh start” which each year brings in terms of the zeroes in the “elite qualifying miles/points/stays/nights” column of your frequent travel accounts. I used to hate January 1 when I first started traveling frequently. I saw a little over 100,000 “elite qualifying miles” in my account, which felt good. I was always worried I wouldn’t requalify the following year. But now I actually look forward to the new year. My United Mileage Plus account has nearly 400,000 elite qualifying miles for the year, which I can’t help but cringe at. At the same time, each year presents a new challenge, and I’m looking forward to what the new year brings as far as travel goes.

Not surprisingly, this was one hell of a year as far as travel promotions go. I expect much of the same next year. While I wouldn’t mind seeing some more double elite qualifying miles promotions, I’d love to see something more creative.

Anyway, I did something I don’t think I’ve ever done before — I’ve planned a full month in advance. That’s right, my January is already all booked up. Usually I don’t like planning ahead since it often means I miss out on some great promotions. I’d hate for one of the airlines to publish some great promotion early in the year which doesn’t apply to previously booked travel, leaving me in this dust having planned in advance.

My January travel, while not very exciting, will keep me up in the air. It’s all domestic, involves six redeyes, and actually has me staying in some cities for more than a few hours. As I fly more and more and slowly approach million miler status with United, I just can’t bring myself to constantly do direct turns anymore. It’s nice to actually see a city once in a while, even if I’ve visited it a hundred times before.

Furthermore, if my math is right, it looks like I won’t be spending more than two consecutive nights in the same bed (maybe less than that if my girlfriend isn’t in a bad mood). 😉 

Ah, the joys of travel….

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. I just hope that any promos don’t disqualify previously purchased flights… just like the DEQM did in 09. I haven’t booked too much beyond the first quarter. I guess that i’ve just been buying when it looks advantageous price-wise and is a place that I need/want to go to…and just hoping for the best.

  2. Funny, 2010 will be the start of my 3rd year mileage running but it’ll be the 1st year that I HAVEN’T booked that many flights way in advance.

    Perhaps, my confidence in reaching 1K again is a bit higher now? Certainly, UA “enhancements” such as the $150 change fee for fare drops and reduction in the availability of confirmable upgrade space at time of booking have also played a part in my new routine.

    Still, it feels mighty strange and I hope that it doesn’t come back to bite me in the ass and find me next Dec with all those folks desperate to requalify.

    aaah only time will tell..

    happy holidays and safe travels to you Ben and all your readers

  3. I’m not in the least bit worried about re-qualifying on United. Continental Plat makes me a little nervous tho. that is a lot of extra flying and possibly not worth having two top-tier statii in the same alliance. Hyatt’s double-stay credit lasts through Jan 2010 so i will try to get the bulk of my reqaul done during that time.

    My January is booked as well, but so far Feb is open! I’ve also got my first Int’l F award trip booked in April. Woohoo!

  4. GF? I beleive this is the first time we heard it from Lucky.

    I am not worried about requalification for 1K or GS next year as I am loaded with work trips already.

    My hats off to all the mileage runners. I have still not done a MR in my life, although there have been a few odd creative routings. My work or personal trips have pretty much ensure my elite status each year.

    Next year could potentially be the year that I will fly the most on United or any airline travels combined. I used to think getting to 2MM on United was almost impossible, but I am now closing in fast. If everyting stays the same for the next a few years, lifetime 3MM on United is not out of question anymore. Hope UA or its successor will provide/maintain incentives to keep the mutliple-Million Milers loyal.

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