First of all I wanted to wish everyone a very happy New Year. May it be filled with plenty of travel, upgrades, award tickets, promotions, and of course good service. And more importantly (that’s right, travel isn’t the most important thing in life), may it be filled with good health, family, and friends.
I’ve never been a huge fan of “celebrating” the New Year for a few reasons. First of all, the traveler in me is frustrated by any “countdown” to a New Year. We have 24 standard time zones and several intermediate ones, so there’s hardly a moment where we can all celebrate. Most of my family in Germany celebrated the new year at 6PM my time, while my brother who is vacationing in Brazil celebrated it at 9PM my time, while many of my friends on the west coast will celebrate it at 3AM my time.
Besides, what are we really celebrating? You could argue it’s a “new start,” but at the same time the change of a calendar year in and of itself doesn’t change anything. OK, wasn’t meaning to get pessimistic here…. back on topic!
There is one thing that a calendar year does change for many of us — our elite qualifying miles/points balances. The most bittersweet for me was seeing my Mileage Plus account go from this:
Last year was by far a record year for me. I remember when I made 1K about five years ago, just barely squeezing by with 100,00 elite qualifying miles thanks to various promotions. The following year I once again squeezed by with just enough to requalify. The year after that I earned around 150,000 elite qualifying miles. And the year after that I earned about 200,000 elite qualifying miles. I remember saying to myself I wouldn’t do as much travel as the previous year at the start of 2009, but that plan didn’t pan out thanks to the great fares and even better promotions.
As I start this year I have no intention of surpassing last year’s total. Of course the economy still isn’t great, the airlines are suffering, and so far I’m seeing great fares, so who knows. Nonetheless I’ll start the year off on a good foot and likely requalify for Premier Executive before the month is over. So while I’m sad to see all those “hard earned” elite qualifying miles disappear, I’m ready for challenge that a new year brings
May 2010 be a year filled with happy and (most importantly) safe travels!