A Look Back At Our Flights From 2021 (Better Than 2020, But Not Great)

by joeheg

I’ve made it a habit to review our trips from the previous year. It gives me a chance to reflect on which of our travel goals we’ve met and those which I still need to make happen.

In 2020, the year in review was a look back at trips that didn’t happen. We didn’t travel to Texas in the summer to visit Schlitterbahn, as we had for the previous years. We also canceled our long-awaited return trip to Japan. While we did get away on road trips, we didn’t get to fly anywhere.

2021 was supposed to be the year when things started to get back to normal. Vaccines were just around the corner and we could see a light in the darkness. People started to make travel plans instead of canceling them. Things looked good for a while…until they didn’t, with the Delta wave. Then it was looking better again and now we’re back in the Omicron wave.  I’m not an epidemiologist but while things may seem bad at the moment, it doesn’t seem that we’ll end up back in the place we were in 2020 or even in mid-2021. While we’re not traveling anywhere right now, we’re not canceling plans for 2022.

Enough looking forward, let’s look back at 2021. We’ve received comments about how we’ve been living in fear (which isn’t true), we managed to get on an airplane for several trips when we felt the risk level was relatively low.

a map of the united states

Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper

While we thought we’d dip our toes into flying again with a trip to Texas this summer, things changed quickly with the vaccines opening up international travel. We took the chance and flew to Iceland this summer and it was amazing.

We managed to get back to Texas at the end of the summer and even flew up to New York to see some shows in New York in December before things got crazy.

In all, we flew 10,950 miles over 8 segments. Our longest flight was from JFK-KEF on Icelandair, covering 2,593 miles and our shortest flight was from 944 miles from MCO-JFK.

Breakdown by airline:

  • American – 2 flights
  • Delta -2 flights
  • Icelandair – 2 flights
  • JetBlue – 2 flights

I didn’t pay anything out of pocket for our flights this year. I used a combination of British Airways Avios, Delta SkyMiles, Citi ThankYou Points, and TrueBlue points and only had to pay minimal taxes on the domestic flights. Even the taxes on the JetBlue flights were covered by credits from canceled flights in 2020.

This is better than the 6,789 miles we flew in 2020 but nothing compared to the 29,191 miles we flew in 2019.

I already have 9,600 miles in airfare booked for 2022 and that’s just through the first 3 months. Fingers crossed we’re going to be closer to the 2019 number than 2021. 

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