It’s the last week of the year and I’m looking back at our travels from 2018. While I usually have an idea of where we will be going during the upcoming year, I don’t have as clear of an idea of how we’re going to be getting to those places.
Going back to my year in review post for 2017, the majority of our flights were on Delta with a scattered number of flights on American, JetBlue, Southwest and United. How did 2018 compare to our pattern from 2017? Quite differently, as it turned out.
The one major change from the previous year was that I flew more than Sharon, mainly due to my attending the Frequent Traveler University seminars in Seattle and Washington D.C. and my quick trip to New Jersey for my class reunion. I ended up taking 22 flight segments covering 19,399 miles, which is the same number of flights but an additional 1,000 miles from last year.
My longest flight was from Seattle to Orlando at 2554 miles and the shortest flight was Orlando to Atlanta at 404 miles.
Sharon flew 12,276 miles over 16 flight segments. Her longest flight was Orlando-Chicago, clocking in at 1,005 miles.
The most interesting thing was how we flew those segments.
- Southwest: Joe 8 – Sharon 6
- Delta: Joe 4 – Sharon 3
- Frontier – Joe & Sharon 4
- American – Joe & Sharon 3
- JetBlue – Joe 2
- Alaska – Joe 1
All of our flights were in coach except my flight from Seattle to Orlando where I purchased an upgrade for my red-eye flight, the one leg of my overpriced last minute award ticket from Atlanta to San Antonio where I got upgraded to Comfort Plus on Delta and our American flight where I was able to pick out Main Cabin Extra seats due to Sharon’s short-lived Platinum Pro status.
Things I realize looking at our travels from the last year. We did keep to our word and traveled closer to home this year. Besides Seattle, which was more work-related than leisure travel, the furthest we went was Chicago and that was only because we wanted to see a Phil Collins concert. When flying together, we also managed to only book one connecting flight (and one flight where we stopped but continued on without changing planes). That’s a huge advantage of living somewhere like Orlando; there’s a huge number of places we can fly without needing to make a connecting flight.
I was surprised by the number of flights we took on Southwest. The combination of available destinations, reasonable prices and not having to pay for a checked bag meant they were our airline of choice this year. I’m not surprised that Delta is second on the list, as they are our second favorite airline. I always look to see if they have flights available because of the consistency of the product and the reliability of their scheduled flights.
If you would have told me at the end of 2017 that the airline we’d fly the third most in 2018 would be Frontier, I wouldn’t have believed you. Yet it’s true. We took multiple flights with them and survived. After doing so, we’ve decided that while it’s a perfectly suitable way to travel and probably better than flying basic economy on some other airlines, we’d prefer flying with a different airline if at all possible.
The last thing that I didn’t expect was to see the only flight with JetBlue this year was my quick trip back and forth to Newark. We really like flying JetBlue and I even signed up for the JetBlue Plus co-brand credit card so we wouldn’t have to pay the checked bag fee. The main reasons we didn’t fly JetBlue this year was because their flights didn’t fit our schedule well and their prices tended to be much higher than other airlines.
Finally, when adding up the miles flown this past year, I’m still not flying enough to try and be loyal to any one airline. My miles flown wouldn’t qualify me for status with any airline and I’d much rather shop based on price and convenience anyway.
We’re already looking at trips for next year and I have one set of flights already booked. Oh and that thing about not traveling far from home, that’s changing next year as well but I’ll have more on that later once I firm up the details of the trip.
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