Lately I have been getting asked how did I achieved Executive Platinum so fast for the year 2014 – My answer is simple, spending most of my time flying and barely any time spent at home. I am fortunate to have a job that requires me to travel all over the World and me being the boss to determine the destination I will be wanting to visit on my next trip. Throughout the past years I’ve focused on mainly domestic flights because I wanted to explore more of the US and because my job and duties were mostly in that particular region, achieving Executive Platinum then was tougher because the miles accumulation isn’t as large as the miles I accumulate during my long haul flights but of course segments can always be a way of achieving the status, so it’s mostly up to you and the way you like to plan your travels since we all have our “Travel Style.”
For the year 2014 – I wanted to focus on International destinations because I prefer long hauls rather than short hauls, I am passionate about my job and always have the objective to step away from my comfort zone and discover the World and it’s beauty. It took a lot of planning to transfer some of my work overseas and have the opportunity to travel to the destinations I’ve traveled to this year, of course…A lot of commitment, hard work and dedication got me where I am now so It wasn’t an easy journey to begin with. My tip for seasonal travelers is to determine what loyalty program you would like to join and be part of. I have been an American Airlines frequent flyer since birth, my parents would take me everywhere around the World with them and when I was little older I would always look up to my dad and the way he is treated at the airport by AA staff as he is a million miler and a frequent flyer like myself so I decided to of course open up my Advantage account and start the quest to achieve status.
Tip # 1 – Decide what loyalty program you would like to join.
Traveling can be exhausting and I have felt very tired some months out of this year that I have zero energy and literally pass out right after take off especially with a few back to back long hauls. So keep in mind that if you are wanting to fly as much as we do, it will require commitment and also, flexibility. Which brings me to the topic, if you are wanting to join the advantage program and you are in the quest to achieve Gold or Platinum or even Executive Platinum, that will require plenty of flying but the rewards are great and so are the benefits. Being flexible while flying is also very important, keep in mind that delays, cancellations and schedule change are bound to happen, so always be prepared and have a back up plan.
Gold Status: 25,000 Elite Qualifying Miles.
Platinum Status: 50,000 Elite Qualifying Miles.
Executive Platinum: 100,000 Elite Qualifying Miles.
NOTE: Don’t mistake bonus miles and Elite Qualifying miles, because elite qualifying miles are the miles that counts towards status, meaning: Time Spend in the air aka Flying miles between Point A to Point B.
Tip # 2 – Plan your travels according to your work schedule and be flexible.
Some people have the misconception that some of us Executive Platinums are proud to be spending most of our time on a “tube” at 39,000 feet in the air flying and away from home. Believe me, that is completely false. They are times that I am on board, over the pacific with 10 hours to go until arrival to my destination and I WISH I was home resting, with my family and doing some of my favorite “daily routines.” Of course, that thought changes once I arrive to my destination since I will be able to rest for a few and recharge but the fact of being away from home often is really not so pleasant at times. Traveling can also be draining to the body regardless if you are flying premium cabin, I have flown every flight in premium cabin and my body has been impacted by it, of course – everyones body is different but the tools of the trait is to always hydrate yourself during flight, after arrival and of course, treating your body with kindness if you spend most of your time flying like myself.
Tip # 3 – Rest when you’re at home, hydrate and spend time with your loved ones.
Traveling can be expensive, I know first hand specially if you are planning to go International – Which brings me to the topic that I mentioned above about being flexible, if you find a cheaper fare on a different date and you have no commitment, switch your plans and arrange it to meet the fare you are looking for. I am a planner and normally book my flights months and months in advanced which helps me save some money on my trips so if you know you are wanting to travel in the next few months, start looking for the flight and keep an eye on those fare and if it’s really good, I recommend booking it right away as most likely that deal won’t last very long. For example: Last night I booked a trip to Thailand for $802, tonight is marked at over $1,000. I’ve also been keeping an eye at the Team from the @TheFlightDeal who are constantly posting great offers on flight deals. I recommend you follow them to keep an eye on great air fare deals. They have been a tremendous help.
Tip # 4 – Keep an eye on good air fares and be flexible with your dates, most important don’t wait for the deal to be “lower” because sometimes the deal won’t last longer than a day.
Some of the destinations I’ve had the pleasure to visit this year with their particular routing.
Chicago (2), San Francisco, Miami(3), Dominican Republic, New York(2), London(2), Istanbul, Madrid, Lisbon, Boston, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong(2), Tokyo, West Palm Beach, Dallas, Barcelona, San Jose. Seattle.
Thats a brief overview of the destinations I have traveled to this year with more to come for the month of October, while I love to fly and spend my time in the air – I also look forward to my time at home. I normally plan my flights 10 days apart from each other, for International destinations I stay 7 days, for domestic a maximum of 5 depending how long I have to stay there. So plan your travels according to your type of destination and the time and date you actually arrive to your destination.
Tip # 5 – If you are flying International, I would recommend a 7 day minimum stay not counting the day you arrive to the destination. Start counting the number of stays the following day that way you have more time to explore and tour around.
I achieved Executive Platinum in July of 2014 which is remarkably fast in my opinion, but again with the travel schedule I’ve had this year – I wasn’t surprised about it because I knew exactly when I was going to reach it due to my planning. The way I celebrated it? Being on board American Airlines 777-300ER on route to Hong Kong via Dallas Forth Worth working with AA as a Media Guest to evaluate their newest route.
I hope you have found this blog helpful on the quest to achieving status with your airline and loyalty program of choice. I am looking forward to continue flying the friendly skies and help you all make your travels easier and better. I have some exciting trips ahead and they are all long haul destinations.