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This California in December thing seems to be a trend now that NPS works for a silicon valley company. What that means is a week-long delay in the start of our annual no fly nöel thing.

So how did 2018 stack up? Well the tripometer was up year over year after many years. And most of the travel was international. This year we visited:

  • London (twice)
  • Inverness
  • Stuttgart
  • Neuremberg
  • Tokyo
  • Kyoto
  • Oslo
  • Sardegna
  • Malta

Lots of time outside the confines of the broken United States and its Orange Caligula of a “President.”

Here’s the graph.

The annual tripometer. Trips are up for NPS.

Because of all of the international travel, we had some interesting impact on loyalty programs. It’s not even clear we’ll make inner circle this year at Kimpton (horrors)!

Other than the “not really Virgin America” we have no loyalty anymore for any airlines. Treat them all the same and let the chips fall where they will. Use money to “upgrade” by starting out upgraded. My my how things have changed.

A direct comparison of international business class shows United has the best service. Here are two examples.
Delta
United

Anyway, time to stay home by the fire for a while.

And Now No Fly Nöel

December 18, 2015

True. We have not been on an airplane since November. But all these trips to Washington and Philly in cars are encroaching on our no travel respite.

Now it’s time to rest our bones beside the fire. Even if it is a really big fire and we’re dancing.

Solstice Fire 2014

Solstice Fire 2014

This year was the lightest travel year on record since 2002 with only 21 trips (not counting the last three!). Travel is becoming manageable, and that’s good.

Tripometer 2015

Tripometer 2015

Thanks for reading NPS! Salubrious solstice to all.

Travel was thankfully almost reasonable this year, down to thirty trips off last year’s forty-two. (FWIW, we’ll shoot for 25 in 2015.) But we did do an out of character trip in December, delaying the start of no fly noël by a few days. We’ll make up for it somehow.

tripometer for 2014

tripometer for 2014

In 2014 we finally gave up completely on United airlines which topped its awful 2013 behavior with an even worse 2014. Bye bye United. You are too broken to pay money.

So lets sit by the fire and regain our sanity. Maybe with a Liberal or two. Then we’ll do it all again.

United Gold->Platinum Ripoff

February 10, 2014

This week, United sent me some dead tree mail “offering” a “limited-time opportunity to ensure Platinum status for 2014.” Seems that I only flew 68K miles on United, so I need 7000 more to make Platinum this year (what used to be 100K).

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 3.34.51 PM

Guess how much United wants to charge me for that? $1449.00

Wrong.

United, after 1.5M miles and ten years of 100K status, you have sealed your fate with this nonsense. I’m flying any other airline I can find this year. Too bad IAD is a United hub.

Jeff Smisek somehow managed to break the United loyalty program.

No fly Noel 2013

December 1, 2013

No question about it, 2013 was a rough year of travel. My plan to do around 30 trips turned into a complete FAIL with a 40% higher than planned 42 trips. Ouch.

In 2014 I am getting serious about travel reduction. My plan for next week is to create a centralized travel plan for 2014 WAY ahead of time and stick to it. You heard it here first—I am shooting for 20 trips max next year. Truncated air travel will be accompanied by revitalized business-related guest house usage at Coal Stove Sink. It’s better to have guests here at my house than it is to fly around too much. I guess that will mean fewer talks as well.

The 2014 Tripometer does not lie: TOO MUCH TRAVEL

The 2014 Tripometer does not lie: TOO MUCH TRAVEL

To add insult in injury in the too much travel department, United airlines continued to suck throughout 2013. I am not a fan of busses, and airplanes have become busses somehow. Just awful.

Even with all of those trips, I managed to accumulate only 68,691 miles on United which means my status is going to drop to Gold (where because of my lifetime 1,527,990 miles it will bottom out forever). United, I am done with you. (Hey Jeff Smisek, you suck so much you just lost a loyal customer.)

Fortunately I had much better luck with hotels. Kimpton rocks my little travel world. Hopefully I can keep that going in 2014.

For now, I look forward to resting my weary bones beside the fire during December. Much needed battery recharging begins now.

Four years ago, I was upgraded on every United flight I flew across the country except for one. Then came the era of Jeff Smisek (2011, 2012), mostly likely the worst CEO of a major company in the United States.

These days, getting an upgrade on United is impossible. Who cares about loyalty when you can cram your customers on broken old airplanes because they’re pretty much stuck with you?! I used to kinda like United about the same way I liked Honda. Now I just feel ripped off and stuck in a very bad airplane marriage.

I gotta tell you, flying across the country on United equipment in “economy plus” is not a happy experience. I am an unsatisfied customer.

And all of the United employees I meet think their boss sucks too.

JEFF SMISEK, please retire. Pretty much anybody could do a better job than you are doing.

All your suck are belong to Jeff Smisek, worst CEO in America.

All your suck are belong to Jeff Smisek, worst CEO in America.

Introducing TravelCloud

January 19, 2013

It’s pretty obvious that I should have been categorizing and tagging posts since I started this blog back in late 2009. Today I “tagged and bagged” 2012, 2011, and 2009. I ran out of energy to do 2010! I’ll do it one of these years, promise.

What categorization gives you, fair noplasticshowers reader, is a way to cut through the massive content pile on the blog. Two of my favorite tags are:
horrible
cocktail recipe

Snapshot or TravelCloud on 1.19.13

Snapshot or TravelCloud on 1.19.13

To the right you can see the actual TravelCloud. And you can click on it too.