Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 Year in Review

So I know all this "Year in Review" stuff is cheesy and cliche, but what else do you expect me to write about for the last Flashback Friday of the year? ;)

2012 not only brought the birth of my first child, but it was my busiest year in travel to date. I set out on a quest to become a United Million Miler so I can share my status and benefits with my family, and I figured after a few years of making 1K, I'd be there. I didn't quite make it to my goal of 100,000 miles this year, because after all, I didn't get started mileage running until late May, but I did make Platinum for the first time with United Airlines.


In addition to making 3 routine trips to Hawaii and one to visit family in Wyoming, I mileage ran to EWR (x2), JFK, MCO, MCI, DSM, ABQ, PDX, and MNL. My travels took me through 26 airports, along 50 different routes, and through 4 countries and territories. I took some great pictures for along the way, met some great people, and even made a few new friends. I checked the United Island Hopper and catching a wave at Waikiki off the bucket list. I visited all of United's domestic hubs including Guam. The only hub I didn't reach was NRT, but technically I still have until May 2013 if I want to say I hit them all in one year. I flew for 85,005 Premier Qualifying Miles with UA and 605 miles on Alaska, after a VDB opportunity I couldn't pass up.

Speaking of VDB's, I earned 3 of them for $750 to help finance my cause. There were many more e-certs (most of them unsolicited) to go along with that. One trip to Hawaii over the summer was worth a record $1100, after just about everything that could go wrong, did. Of course I wouldn't want go through it all again (especially with a 5-month old baby in tow), but stuff like that is what helped keep my trips well below $.02/mile in 2012. If you've read some of my earlier posts, you already know that I didn't have the best year with United, especially when traveling with my family, which is why we are choosing a new airline for 2013. The one good thing I can say in their defense is that they do take care of their elites (eventually), and their generosity in the form of compensation will keep me flying (by myself) at least for another year. I haven't given up on becoming a Million Miler and a Star Alliance/Premier Gold for life, and hopefully someday United will again be our airline of choice. I'm ending 2012 with 777,155 lifetime United flight miles; I'm simply too far invested to just walk away at this point.

The goal (again) for 2013 is to make 1K on United and now (at least) MVP on Alaska. When I'm not flying, I'll still try to earn as many miles and points for free, while continuing to blog about my exploits here. 2013 will also feature my most lucrative mileage redemption to date- a trip to Singapore, Bali, and India in late February/early March which priced out to around $40,000! Of course there will be more on that also. It will be our son's first out-of-belly trip overseas and my first time on a Singapore and Thai A380.

CJ's 2nd trip to Maui at 5 months. Hanging out at SMF.
Speaking of baby, he earned 16,284 butt-in-carseat miles with United, and flew for a total of 18,145 miles after you count lap-childing (most of which was also done in his car seat- I'll post later about how to pull that off, so stick around). Having a baby by far has been my biggest adventure, and after seeing what a good little travel he is becoming, I'm even more determined to earn as many miles and points as I can so that we can continue to share the world with him. Overall, 2012 was a great year, but I have a feeling there's even more to look forward to in 2013 and beyond.


  1. Can't wait to read how your baby got miles for being a lap baby. Have a 1 1/2 year old grandson and 2 more on their way. Would love to pass this secret on to their parents.

  2. He didn't actually earn for the lap-childing (mileage redemption), rather he saved me 25K miles and still got his own seat. The other time involved a VDB, but I don't want to give too much away just yet ;)

    Congrats on the new little ones! :)