Up In The Air

While you read this, I am currently airborne crossing the country to my next destination, Portland. This morning, the alarm went off far too early for any reasonable human. Grabbing bags, camera, and all of my many electronics, I was out the door to Philadelphia International. US Airways flight #561 to Phoenix, boarded at 6:30am and took to the skies soon after. Transitioning in Phoenix, flight #408 will take me on to my final destination of Portland, OR.

First things first, why did I go through Phoenix instead of opting for the direct route to Portland? Well that has to do with the fact that I’m in the middle of a Platinum Status challenge. I’ll cover challenges in a later article, but this is basically a fast track to a higher status tier. In order to complete this, I need a certain number of points in a short period. This isn’t an issue for me since I planned a lot of miles in a fairly short period of time, but in order to get these points I wanted to route a slightly longer route to make sure I landed the platinum status as quickly as possible.

This is also a way to renew a status you have, they are called milage or status runs. While I’m not a huge proponent of a mileage run, I can definitely get behind a status run. These are trips specifically designed to get many miles at the lowest possible cost. Status is important to maximizing miles gained, so a status run isn’t out of the realm of usefulness. Some people take trips to specifically renew status and don’t ever step foot outside of an airport. Personally, if I’m going to spend a lot of time on a plane, I want to stay and explore my destination. If I can route a longer distance and get my status renewed, great! The ultimate goal isn’t the status though, it’s the exploration, so I want to get the status while going to a new place.

I digress, the whole point of my trip is to see my Aunt and Uncle in Oregon whom I have not had a chance to visit in many, many years. I credit my Uncle for really advancing my interest in airplanes. He spent his life as a pilot in the military, and still flies to this day as a private pilot. He owns and builds many of his own planes. He was the first one to ever show me how to fly and allow me to take the controls of an airplane… he was a big influence in my life, despite me not having a lot of time to spend with him in Oregon.

This year, I figured it was definitely time to get back to Oregon and see them. It has been well over a decade since I last was out to see them, and I have been looking forward to a few days with planes… this is a short vacation that I am incredibly excited about. Stay tuned in the coming weeks to see the many photos that are likely to come out of this trip. Airplanes and space are my passion, this week will certainly fulfill one of those two.