Travels in 2016

This is a rather late entry, as I realise I forgot to do a 2016 travel recap. I had a little more activity than the previous year, travelling as far West as Perth and as far East as Fiji.

Despite the slightly larger map, I only flew one more flight comparatively, and not many more thousand kilometres. That said, 2017 looks set to be a huge year. But you’ll need to wait till the end of the year to hear more.

Travels in 2014

Despite deciding 2014 would be a slow year, it started with a bit of a flurry as I was given the opportunity to shoot for Platinum One status with Qantas. To get there, I needed to put in just a little more flying though. This lead to me almost doubling the amount of miles I flew, though actually flying 4 less segments.

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Understandably, a large chunk of the mileage came from a trip to Europe, but I still did my fair share of flying in Australia this year, beating last years purely domestic total by a hundred miles or so.

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Looking to the year ahead, my travels should drop off even more, and I’m not expecting another international trip, as those happen every few years or so.

Qantas Platinum One

At the end of January I achieved the top status with Qantas, Platinum One.  The only way you get this is with a lot of flying, and while I’d like to get the other “top status” some day, Chairmans Lounge, I’m not in a rush to become a politician.

The pack arrived today, complete with new white Q tags, a lovely white frequent flyer card, and the gift I’d forgotten about, a branded iPad case.  I’ll definitely be using it!

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Ultimately, I don’t think I’ll manage to retain this status in the next year as it took far too much flying to achieve. But it’s cool to be there. Now it’s time to see if I’m treated any differently.

Travels to KTA

The past couple of days I’ve been travelling. Burning and earning points, but more importantly status credits, to improve my frequent flyer status.

A thread on AFF inspired me to do this post, about food. As I was travelling business class, the food was generally of a higher standard. I made sure I took photos and am sharing them here.

Travels in 2013

With 2013 coming to a close, I thought it appropriate to provide a snapshot of my travels this year, and a review.  It certainly was a big year, stretching the East Coast from the top, right down to the bottom.

From Thursday Island to Hobart
From Thursday Island to Hobart

I’ve had a few enjoyable trips this year, so it’s hard to pick just one highlight.  New destination for the year goes to HID (Horn Island/Thursday Island), right at the top of Queensland.  It’s a completely different world up there, and I really enjoyed seeing that.

Attending the QFM 25th anniversary dinner in LRE (Longreach) was also a great experience, giving me a chance to network and meet some influential people at the museum, all of them really friendly.

At the end of the year, my last trip to Sydney for a train trip to Canberra on two private carriages was something one of a kind.

Next year, I expect my travels to drops off as I enter university and take on that workload.  Having now seen the regional destinations of QLD on QantasLink, my focus would be to see regional ports in NSW, VIC and SA, however they’re not high on my list, as I just want to relax and focus on studies.  I expect I’ll head to AFF events when I can, and two gift vouchers for Christmas should help cover some of that.

Flying Mad

Flying… an expensive hobby of mine!

I have a route planned out that I want to take that would make me look like a nut case by a lot of people. The journey will be the reward, with the destination to just get back to the start. It’s crazy, I know.

Map to Nowhere

To be fair, the route came about because of a trip report that had been written by someone else, taking in a marvellous 9 flights in a single day just to get back to where they started. However, I’m looking to build on that, to take 14 flights in 2 days, and only because it can’t be done in just the 1.

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What exactly does that mean I hear you ask.  It means flying a route thats roughly the shape of Queensland in order to go no where.  I suppose ideally most would want to stop at each destination and do some exploring, but I feel I’ll see enough from the air.

Leaving Brisbane on a Thursday morning, I stop at Toowoomba, Charleville, Quilpie, Windorah, Birdsville, Bedourie, Boulia and finally Mount Isa in the late afternoon, to round out the day.

The next day, a Friday, I depart Mount Isa in the morning, to stop at Doomadgee, Burketown, Mornington Island, Normanton and Cairns by mid-afternoon.  I then take a flight home on a different carrier direct to Brisbane that evening.

What isn’t set in stone is the dates this happens on.  The only thing that is, is that it has to be a Thursday and Friday as the service doesn’t always run exactly as it does on other days, and I’m not sure I want to be spending too much time in Mount Isa.

Status Runs

Status runs are enjoyable to me, they’re something that I enjoy as I like the experience of flying, and I like having status… in fact, status is great. That said, I’m not a vocal person, I don’t push to the front of the queue and demand service first because my card is the shiniest, but I like to have the shiniest card, just because. World we live in?

So tonight I’ve been struggling with a dilemma. There’s a status run I can do, it’ll get me to the next tier: Platinum. At that tier I’ll be able to dine in the First Class Lounge whenever I want, I wont need some other Platinum to fly with me and guest me in, yet it comes at a cost.

I like saving, and I don’t like spending. I’m a bit of an impulsive buyer though, I see something I want and have to have it, before fully realising the damage. Sometimes I give myself time to think and all I end up doing is swinging backwards and forwards talking myself in and out of the item in question. That’s what I’ve been up to tonight.

I think the best way to let others help me is to lay it all out. I need you to know exactly what this will cost me, and you need to come into this with an open mind.

The status run in question starts and ends in Townsville. So I need to get there and back first. There’s a sale on that ends tonight. At those prices I can get there and back for $250. If I wait and book outside of the sale it will be an additional $88.

The next step is the actual status run portion. In one day I would fly TownsvilleBrisbaneDarwinBrisbaneTownsville. I’d leave at 0555 and get back at 2135. My entire day would be spent in a Business Class seat in the air, or in a Business Class lounge on the ground. There’s a fair chance I’d get a few drinks in and I’d be heartily fed through all 4 flights and all 4 lounges on the ground (counting Brisbane twice).

The total cost of this day in the air and on the ground would be 48,000 of my valuable points earned through other flying and shopping endeavours, and $239.49 of my hard saved cash.

The very next day I’d do it all again. And yes, that’d be another 48,000 points and $239.49.

Between all this flying and lounging, in fact every time I ended up in Townsville, I’d be spending the night in the airport, as there’s no money left over for hotels. That’s 3 nights on an airport bench in the tropics in summer. It’s also quite possibly, 4 days in the same clothes.

By the time I get back to Brisbane (for the 5th time) I’ll have barely 1000 points to my name and have used the money I’d saved for just such an occurrence (but that I still don’t want to let go of), however by February I’ll have made nearly half of the points back.

It is an addiction, but isn’t everything in life? At least I can be proud I don’t smoke or do drugs, right?

For all of that, Platinum probably wont give me much above Gold, I’ll undoubtedly not get any free upgrades and receive the same level of service I have done as a Gold. Unless I travel far and wide, which isn’t very likely for the next couple of years, I probably wont notice anything different. I will earn 25% more points, and I will have access to a slightly better lounge, and yes, I will have access to the beloved First Class Lounge should I fly alone.

I realise I wont be happy if I get to Platinum, but I also wont be unhappy, in the grand scheme of things a plastic card wont change my outlook on life and be a magic fix that solves all my problems.

And the bottom line is, the longer I go on and try to justify things, the less sense I make.

So I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t, exactly what do I do?

P.S. I’m probably looking at that extra $88 already!