“I’m from Dallas, where you can fly any major international airline as long as it’s American Airlines.”

I used to make this joke often.  It’s obviously not true, since DFW Airport connects with every major airline alliance and has numerous international nonstops on other airlines, but I always felt like American Airlines was my airline kind of by default.

But I recently eclipsed a major milestone with American Airlines and it made me rethink everything.  What was the milestone?  I eclipsed one million lifetime miles with American Airlines.

How did it make me rethink things?  I’m glad you asked, because I reached out to American and asked if I could borrow a jet to record a video explaining it.  They are used to my wacky ideas by now and were gracious enough to accommodate me.

14 years.  1 million miles.  It’s more than most and not as many as some, but those miles are mine.  So many journeys have began with touching the oneworld logo (for some reason) as I stepped aboard an American jet.  Some have gone well, others poorly, but I look at who I am now and think back to who I was in January 2009 and I realized that, in a way, I grew up on American Airlines.  I grew professionally and personally.  I experienced other cultures that were different than mine.  I developed that sense of generic optimism that Things Will Somehow Work Out that all frequent flyers seem to have.

To be fair, I’ve experienced my fair share of disappointments, setbacks, and delays, but overall American has been a microcosm of my journey as a full-time professional and part-time photographer.  There have been so many wonderful experiences that have begun and ended with American, it was truly hard to put into words!

I know I joked about it in the video, but obviously American does not give you a jet when you hit one million miles.  They give you lifetime Gold status, which is also oneworld Ruby status.  I’m more excited about the sweet luggage tag they send you, personally, but that’s because I’ll maintain oneworld Emerald status (either Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum status with American) for the foreseeable future.

I’m excited about hitting a million miles not because of the benefits, but because of the life I’ve been lucky to live along the way.  Thanks again to everyone at American Airlines who helped coordinate things for me to film this video and for making these million miles fun and meaningful.

…let’s film another video at two million!

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