This year for a number of reasons, I traveled a lot less than the year before. During the first quarter of the year I traveled once. But then, I began to catch up after March. In 2016, by June I had traveled 8 or 9 times. As I have stated before, to me the most important status goal is to reach Marriott platinum. I was about to go for the challenge, but I realized that it made more sense to wait for next year and complete the challenge by March since it would give me platinum status the rest of the year and the following.
With regards to the airlines, at this point, I’m closer to reaching silver status with Delta than with United, but it’s close! I’m thinking about just going for Delta and get United via the Marriott platinum challenge during the first quarter of next year. Here’s the thing, I have not flown on an actual Delta flight since January of last year. The experience on my sole Delta flight was a lot better than flying on American Airlines and United. I got my SkyInches from flying with SkyTeam and Delta partner airlines. One transcontinental flight or a couple of trips would give me enough miles for Delta Silver Medallion status. Then there is the issue of the MQD or Medallion Qualifying Dollars for which there are 2 choices: spend $3,000 on Delta flights or spend $25,000 on the Delta/Amex card to have the $3,000 requirement waived. This would mean 25,000 additional SkyInches, plus a bonus 10,000 MQMs which would put me over the top.
On the one hand, until getting to La Guardia stops being such a pain, I will continue to flight out of Newark for most domestic flights, which means 90% of my flights will be on United. Flying on Delta out of LGA would mean access to a better overall airline, the Delta lounge and the Centurion lounge. Next year, I will also have access to the Delta companion pass, which while not the same as Southwest or not really 2-for-1 isn’t too bad of a deal.
Back to the hotel status front: The Hyatt Globalist Challenge. I still have time to try to make it to the top of the World of Hyatt ladder. Here’s my fear, because of this challenge, the actual value of Globalist will greatly diminish. So far, I have had a great time at every Hyatt I’ve visited. 30,000 points (Hyatt or URs) for a top of the line hotel or 3,000 for a suite upgrade are unmatched in the industry. The perks that come with being a Globalist are also some of the best.
Is the pursuit of status worth the effort?
Perhaps for many people the answer might be, “no.” Especially when dealing with airlines. The actual chances of getting any significant value might be close to zero for lowly silver status holders. Hotels status is easier to get and getting to mid tier can be achieved via credit card. The real challenge is to get to the top if you don’t live on the road or spend like money like it isn’t yours.