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Flights 53 and 54 of the year

Nerves and worry give way to cautious optimism and excitement.  It’s finally here.  A weekend in San Diego and then onwards to the gay cruise.

9 speedos, 10 other swim suits, tank tops and several theme party outfits crammed in my 40 lbs suitcase and away I go.

There's no formal dress code on this cruise other than in the specialty restaurants. Perfect for me. Shorts and flip flops won't be turned away at the dining room. 👌🏻

I don't think I've really mentioned it here on the blog, but on my flight home from Africa back in September, I qualified for Executive Platinum status with American Airlines.  It’s the highest status available other than Concierge Key which is invite only.

American Airlines Executive Platinum perks

Here's an overview of the benefits of American Airlines Executive Platinum:

Accelerated mileage earning rates

  • 120% mileage bonus: Earn 11 AAdvantage miles per qualifying dollar spent on American or a 120% status bonus on qualifying partner airlines.

Free upgrades

  • First-class upgrades: Top priority for unlimited complimentary upgrades on flights within North America — including upgrades on award tickets. Upgrades clear up to 100 hours before flight departure. ***I rarely get denied an upgrade to first-class when I pay for economy on domestic flights!

  • Upgrades on Alaska Airlines: Unlimited first-class upgrades on Alaska Airlines, clearing as far out as 120 hours before departure.

Airport perks

  • Free bags: Get three free checked bags on American and Alaska Airlines and an extra baggage allowance on other Oneworld airlines. ***I don't really care about this one. It's nice to have the flexibility with how outrageous baggage fees are, but when traveling solo and being mobile...1 bag and my camera equipment as a carry-on is all I want.

  • Board first: Board in Group 1 boarding. ***why do you want to get on the plane first? So your carry on is directly above you and they haven't run out of space for your carry-on. Plus...when you get to read below, it gives you chance to have a pre-takeoff cocktail.

  • Speed through the airport: Get priority check-in and priority security (where available) when flying American, Alaska or other Oneworld partners.  ***this one is HUGE folks.  When I was checking into my return flight from Amsterdam I was the ONLY person in line for the Emerald One World Alliance line where as economy line had several hundred people in it.  I was checked in and thru security in minutes versus hours.

  • Top-tier lounges: Enjoy the best-available lounge when flying on qualifying routes — including American Airlines Flagship Lounges and Oneworld first class lounges.

Onboard perks

  • Best available economy seats: Select extra-legroom or preferred seats for free. Plus, get complimentary extra-legroom seats on Alaska. ***getting to pick exit row seats for free on international flights is HUGE when you don't pay for biz/first class.

  • Free alcoholic drink and snack: Upgrade didn't clear? You'll still get a free alcoholic drink and snack in economy. ***Cheers 🍻

Extra flexibility

  • Complimentary same-day flight change: Get free confirmed changes to another flight on the same day.

  • Guaranteed availability: Book at least 24 hours before a flight and get guaranteed seats — even on sold-out flights.

Dedicated support

The American Airlines Executive Platinum phone number is 800-843-6200. Dialing it will connect you with the Executive Platinum service desk where you can talk with representatives about reservations, upgrade options, award claims, general AAdvantage account inquiries and more.


There’s said to be 50,000-60,000 Exec Platinum members worldwide.  60,000/331,000,000 US population is is .018 of the population.  I cracked not only the top 1% but the top .02% of the US population!  Lol

The things I love about airline travel.  The sunsets.  The music playlists.  Being just that much closer to the stars and the moons.

Tonight, a bar date with Misty, a friend that lives and bartends in San Diego.  Saturday will be the beach and Coronado.  Sunday brunch.  Monday a drive to Long Beach and embarkation onto the Navigator of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) for the Atlantis Cruise.

Cheers friends

Cole from Colorado

A rebel with a cause.  Finding purpose in this thing called life.



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about me:

Hey!  I am Cole from Grand Junction, Colorado. In 2023 I stepped on all seven continents, in a single calendar year, solo!

The year continues to shape my life and my lust for travel.

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