As we come to the beginning of the holidays and the end of another year it makes sense to take a pause and think about all of the great adventures we’ve had in 2016. I know there are many people who can’t wait for 2016 to be over, but to be honest, we believe that any year where we get to see the world, have adventures (both good and bad) and live to tell about them, is ok in our books.
So here’s our summary of what we accomplished/endured/gained and lost over the last year’s travel.
First off, the main editorial office for Going Global is in Toronto. We have branches in New York, Bangkok and Shanghai, but the main thrust for our editorial team is Toronto. Therefore Air Canada and Star Alliance figures very prominently in our world. Air Canada’s highest elite status is SuperElite 100k which is also Star Alliance Gold. This year they introduced a minimum spend of $20,000 CAD on Air Canada metal to re-qualify. We’ll have accomplished this. Including Premium Economy and Business bonuses we’ll have surpassed the 100,000 qualifying mile requirement by about 20% as well so we’ll be ending the year as we started, with Air Canada’s top tier status.
We track all of our flights using a brilliant website called FlightDiary. It is the best way to tack your actual miles flown. This year our senior editor logged 110,000 miles which is enough to take him around the world 4.4 times. That’s much less than previous years but it still added up to 33 international round trips, 3 domestic ones and a total of 9.8 days in the air.
On the hotel front we started the year with Hyatt Diamond, Marriott Platnium Elite, SPG Gold and Hilton Platnium, as well as IHG Ambassador and Club Carlson Gold. We’ll finish having retained Diamond in Hyatt which will actually be renamed Globalist in March as part of Hyatt’s World of Hyatt re-branding effort. For next year the qualifications levels will change with Hyatt giving up the minimum stay option and requiring 60 paid nights to qualify for 2018. That’s a lot for a chain with only 600 properties but it’s still our goal.
Marriott is continuing its consolidation with SPG after the merger and in our humble opinion made a very smart decision to grant members of Marriott Rewards and SPG reciprocal status for each program in the middle of 2016 and for 2017. This means we’ll be minimum Gold for each in 2017 but we think we’ll top out as Platnium. The story isn’t as rosy for Hilton where we’ll drop below Platnium and IHG where we didn’t bother with renewing Ambassador status, however we should maintain Club Carlson Gold thanks to an Amex offer.
There are of course other loyalty programs we’re part of such as Accor, Kimpton, Expedia, etc where we’ll probably come out behind next year as we didn’t push them much in 2016.
Filming and producing the website brought us to Asia,North America and Europe this year. In fact we had the most flights in 2016 in Asia. For the year ahead though we have no idea at this point of what it’ll bring. Sure we have editorial ideas and our own bucket list travel items, but as always the market will dictate. One thing is sure though, travel will remain our driving passion.
And so our mantra of 2017 will be, “Travel as much as you can, Travel as far as you can, Travel as long as you can.” Here’s to a great year ahead.