With more than half a million miles flown among them in a calendar year, these five people know more than a thing or two about juggling the multifaceted life of a sky dweller — which is exactly why they’ve been crowned the winners of our 11th Annual Road Warrior Contest.

Every July, on American Airlines planes around the world, ­readers just like yourselves crack open their laptops, bust out their tablets, snag their cellphones or even grab pens and paper (hey, whatever works, right?) to answer the questions and challenges put forth by us for our annual Road Warrior Contest. This year’s prizes included 200,000 to 500,000 AAdvantage bonus miles, tech products from Bose and ­Samsung, Avis car rentals and, of course, the highly coveted Road ­Warrior cover photo shoot, which took place at the breathtakingly beautiful Grand Del Mar resort in San Diego.

From the thousands of entries we received, five unique individuals stood out from all the rest by, among other tasks, writing compelling essays (incorporating 10-plus idioms, per contest rules) explaining exactly why they deserved to be crowned this year’s warrior of the skies. And the proof’s in the pudding for our winners: They flew 502,097 miles among them in 2011 alone.

The Grand Del Mar
Somehow — between commuting from Miami to Boston, running a chocolate company, maintaining trade agreements for a major aerospace-and-defense company, collecting squid from around the world and juggling the birth of a first child — our five winners found the time to sit down with us and tell us a little bit about their lives, their passions, their travel secrets and, oh yeah, just exactly what they plan to do with all those hard-earned miles.