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January 20, 2015 12:09 ET

Premier Traveler Tracks a Whirlwind Seven-Day Around-the-World Journey

You're in for a Multi-Tiered Adventure as Bill Kizorek Begins a Whirlwind Seven-Day Around-the-World Journey With Premier Traveler Tracking His Every Move

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - January 20, 2015) - Over the next seven days, Bill Kizorek will circle the globe on oneworld, flying American Airlines, Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific and British Airways. Reporting from Phoenix, Dallas, London, Barcelona, Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo and Honolulu, he will spend only three nights in a real bed (Barcelona, Singapore and Bangkok), and four nights on flatbed seats, logging more time in airports and aboard planes than not. 

Every day Bill will be sharing his observations, his assessments, and his scorecard. His comments will disclose far more than the mundane details of airline food and seats to reveal the full experience, including upgrade policies, jet lag and notes on the sights, sounds and people he encounters. 

Check back here for daily updates and commentary on Bill's exciting adventure!

You can find Bill's first installment below, and a preview of part two by clicking here.

Commentary by Bill Kizorek:

Why am I doing this?! At first glance, it seems to be a case of "plane insanity," but there is a method to the madness. Here's how this journey came about:

For years, I have been a top-tier flyer on United, with luggage tags that say, "Million Miler." On United, those are real miles, and I can indeed claim more than a million of them. For years, UA treated me well and I received the perks that normally go with that status, such as automatic upgrades to first class on domestic flights (and to a few nearby countries) and six international upgrades each year. I have already qualified as a 1K flyer on United until 2016.

But... I studied the fine print of the American and USAir merger. I looked at combined new routes; I could not help being dazzled by the artistic new paint jobs on all the AA planes and each one of them looks, on the outside, like they've just been polished. More significantly, my luggage tags for AA say, "Three Million Miler." In reality, I am almost a four million miler! With the advent of the merger, I suspected there might be some advantages in "testing the waters" (I guess "testing the air" would be more appropriate) to see the new AA from the inside.

Enter the rub. Even though I am a Platinum member for life on AA because of all the miles I have flown, that Platinum status is a 50,000 miles-per-year one. I was already close to the top of UA elite flyers (one higher status is Global Services), so I would have to step down a notch and lose out on the kind of perks UA offers (and continues to shower upon me). Although not actively publicized, American has shrewdly figured a way to lure elite travelers: a temporary status match. I asked what they would do to ease the pain for me if I tried them again, and after documenting that I was an active 1K on UA, American sent me this letter:

"We're pleased to grant you a one-time trial AAdvantage Executive Platinum membership... if you earn 25,000 elite qualifying points by flying on select airlines... we will extend your membership until February 29th, 2016."

The challenge began immediately, and I had exactly 90 days to log those miles. I did not want to mess around with a bunch of domestic flights because my schedule was already full with UA flights, so I just coughed up $11,500 for an Around the World Business Class ticket on oneworld. More details on that later. Although many might choke on the lavish recklessness of the expenditure, the final result for me would provide returns far more than these initial costs. I just wanted to set the stage for the story that begins running today (but actually started on the day I received the challenge). 

As this story continues, I will refer back to other details that might be of particular interest to both AA and UA flyers, especially those, like me, who log 100,000-plus miles each and every year.

Check back here for daily updates and commentary on Bill's exciting adventure!

Premier Traveler's Editorial Awards

  • 2014 BEST MAGAZINE ARTICLE, FOREIGN TRAVEL
  • 2014 BEST IN-DEPTH COVERAGE ON A TRAVEL-RELATED THEME
  • 2014 PHOTOGRAPHY, ACTION, 2ND PLACE
  • 2014 THE BUSINESS OF TRAVEL, 2ND PLACE
  • 2014 BEST MAGAZINE ARTICLE: FOREIGN TRAVEL, 2ND PLACE
  • 2014 BILL MUSTER GOLD AWARD: CULTURAL CATEGORY
  • 2013 BEST MAGAZINE ARTICLE: U.S. TRAVEL
  • 2013 BEST MAGAZINE ARTICLE: FOREIGN TRAVEL
  • 2013 BEST BUSINESS TRAVEL MEDIA AWARD

About Premier Traveler: Premier Traveler (PT) was created as an outlet for its readers' voices to be heard. Perpetually on-the-go (both domestically and abroad), with high expectations and a taste for luxury, PT readers always have something to share -- a personal experience, an opinion, a suggestion, a question -- and PT was designed to listen and to get the answers they need.

The open dialogue doesn't stop with letters and emails from readers. PT goes one step further by creating frequent questionnaires on a variety of topics, allowing the editorial team to inject the magazine's content with valuable and relevant insights.

As perennial global travelers, PT readers demand premium products and services but can still appreciate a good deal. That's why they turn to PT for the latest travel news and information, while also learning about exciting promotional offers and losing themselves in candid hotel and flight reviews. This is part of what makes Premier Traveler more than just another magazine, but one that shares a personal connection with its readers.

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