January 15, 2017

The Status of Status for 2017

We're halfway through the first month of 2017 so it's time for my annual update on elite status.  While we traveled a lot in 2016, most of it was award travel.  So for the first time since 2004, I will not hold any airline elite status in 2017.  And I'm totally okay with it.

It really is a great time to be a free agent.  First class airfare (and upgrades) are cheap.  You can effectively simulate elite status (free checked bags, priority boarding, etc...) with airline co-branded credit cards.  Lack of status creates freedom - it's great to be able to pick a flight solely based on schedule, cost and convenience rather than chasing gold, silver, platinum, etc...You can even earn elite status on Delta solely through credit card spend.

That said, I plan on more paid business and leisure travel in 2017 and likely will end up with lowest tier status on Delta or United.  And that will certainly be better than nothing.

On the hotel front, I'm perfectly content with mid-tier status across several programs.  Lounge access, the occasional upgrade, and bonus points are most important anyway.

To that end, here's where things stand for 2017:

Airline:  Will drop to United General member after flying only 12,000 paid BIS (butt-in-seat) miles i 2017.  Emily had already dropped to General although she did better with nearly 20,000 BIS miles.  I already have 10,000 miles of travel booked on United for 2017.  .

Hotel:  I qualified for Starwood lifetime Gold a couple years ago and am pretty happy with that.  I also have Hilton HHonors Gold, Hyatt Platinum, and Marriott Gold from credit card benefits.  Emily also has gold status across Starwood, Marriott, and Hilton.

The biggest downside dropping from Silver to General Member on United will be the loss of Economy Plus access.  Other than that, it probably won't feel all that different.

No comments:

Post a Comment