Zach Honig’s 2019 travel stats: miles flown, status earned and more

Dec 24, 2019

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The Points Guy team has just exploded over the years — I began my TPG journey as Editor-in-Chief in 2015, where we worked in a small shared office with just four desks.

Now, more than 100 writers, editors, social media managers, video and podcast producers, web developers, business developers and many other colleagues work around the clock to bring you the content you see today, in the U.S. and beyond. I’m not even the only “Zach” anymore — we have Zach Griff, Zach Wichter and Zach Bartholomew, all on the TPG team. And we’re still looking to grow!

Over that time, I migrated to my current role as Editor-at-Large, where I produce our daily newsletter (I definitely recommend signing up — right here!) and have much more time to travel the globe, producing content from rural Alaska to Sydney, Australia, and everywhere in between. My very last trip of the year took me from Newark (EWR) to Cape Town, South Africa (CPT) on United’s inaugural Dreamliner flight — it was easily one of the most memorable of my life.

At the end of each year, I usually share a number of travel stats, with the exception of 2016. Here’s how my own air travels have broken down since I joined The Points Guy in April of ’15:

2019: 223,152 miles
2018: 223,864 miles
2017: 333,521 miles
2016: 239,715 miles
2015: 170,371 miles

Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.

Remarkably, my 2019 total was less than 1,000 miles shy of what I flew in 2018. I’m going to sum up some of my more interesting statistics, too, including:

Longest flight: 8,053 miles from Hong Kong (HKG) to Newark (EWR)
Shortest flight: 172 miles from Lisbon (LIS) to Porto (OPO)
Total miles flown: 223,152
United elite-qualifying miles: 237,662
American elite-qualifying miles: 19,398
Delta elite-qualifying miles: 2,022
Travel nights: 126
Holiday upgrades gifted: 40

How did I “gift” so many upgrades? At the end of each year, I dedicate some time to helping United elite members donate their expiring upgrades (now called “PlusPoints“) to travelers headed all around the world. So far I’ve helped bump 40 flyers to Polaris business class on long-haul flights to Shanghai (PVG), Sydney (SYD), and many other cities, and I’ll continue the effort through the end of January. Head over to my Instagram page (@zachhonig) and click on my “Free upgrades” Story highlight for more details.

In the end, I earned just two elite status tiers based on my travels:

I also re-qualified for the following hotel tiers based on my credit card perks:

  • Hilton Diamond (Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express)
  • Hyatt Discoverist (World Of Hyatt Credit Card)
  • IHG Platinum (IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card)

The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

As for next year? I already have trips booked to Colorado, Hawaii, Paris, Bogota and Cartagena in January, and I’ll be working my way back up to United Premier 1K — a potentially challenging feat in 2020. Like Zach Griff, I’ll likely be booking more flights through partners, to earn more Premier-Qualifying Points (PQPs) than I otherwise might.

Stay tuned to this site, TPG’s social accounts (Instagram and Twitter) and my own Instagram and Twitter for much more to come!

Featured photo of United’s 787-10 Polaris business class by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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