Alaska Airlines

2016 Year in Cities

Apparently I did a lot of flying last year — 101584 miles worth. I was lucky enough to carried via British 747-400 for many of my trips (my first trip on a 747 since 2006). I climbed the Alaska Airlines points ladder pretty quickly, finally hit MVP Gold 75K (after a couple of close years), and was in their top 10% of mileage earners for 2016.

Many new cities this year, and one state (Hawaii) and one new country (Spain).

  • Seattle, Washington*
  • Bournemouth, United Kingdom*
  • Arbon, Switzerland
  • Lindau, Germany
  • Zurich, Switzerland
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Retford, United Kingdom*
  • Tenerife, Spain
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Heathrow, United Kingdom*
  • Snoqualmie, Washington
  • Stanwood, Washington
  • Lucerne, Switzerland
  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Orange County, California
  • Jamaica, New York
  • Kaua’i, Hawaii

One or more nights were spent in each place. Those cities marked with an asterisk (*) were visited mul­ti­ple times on non-consec­u­tive days. Roughly in order of appear­ance.


Back to Alaska Airlines Plebs Status


I missed reaching Alaska Airlines MVP this year by 652 miles — not to be confused with the time I missed MVP Gold by 2000 miles. I thought about making a year-end milage-run, a process where you “[buy] a low-price airline ticket … and fly not because you want to go anywhere, but to earn redeemable miles and progress toward elite status on your preferred airline.”

Alaska_Airlines_Boeing_737-800_CThe benefit of MVP is free checked bags for myself and Rachel (when she flies with me), which can easily save us $50-$100 per a trip. I also would get first crack at awesome seats such as 6A/F and 17A/F.

If I had been on top of my game, I probably could have accrued the required miles for about $200, which is equivalent to 2-4 trips worth of baggage fees. Realistically, I think there will only be a couple of flights we take this year (Colorado in August, and maybe someplace warm in the spring). This kind of makes it a push in terms of value. Unfortunately, I left it to the last few weeks of the year and it was going to cost upwards of $400 to get a flight that worked with my schedule. C’est la vie.

I suppose the good news is that I’m not traveling as often…though I sometimes miss it.


2013 Year in Cities

After missing MVP Gold by about 2000 miles last year, I started 2013 back at square one:


I started climbing back up the points ladder again, hitting up two new states: Pennsylvania and Missouri, as well as one new country: Honduras!

  • Seattle, WA*
  • San Diego, CA
  • Salt Lake City, UT*
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Solomons, MD*
  • Chicago, IL
  • Bozeman, MT*
  • San Pedro Sula, Honduras
  • West Bay, Roatan Island, Honduras
  • La Ceiba, Honduras
  • Copan Ruinas, Honduras
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Saint Louis, MO

One or more nights were spent in each place. Those cities marked with an asterisk (*) were vis­ited mul­ti­ple times on non-con­sec­u­tive days. Roughly in order of ap­pear­ance.

Unfortunately, while I was able to secure Alaska MVP for another year, I still fell short of MVP Gold by 6,991 miles:


…foiled again.


So This Happened On My Flight Back

After my fight1 was delayed for two hours due to weather, we’re finally getting ready to push back from the gate when the purser2 calls over the intercom for doors to be disarmed. Not good.

The next ten minutes basically played out like latter parts of Gaylord Focker getting removed from the airplane, finally culminating with Philly PD escorting our character off the plane:

  1. Alaska Airlines 37, Philadelphia to Seattle 

  2. head flight attendant