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“Mileage Runners” try to get as many frequent flyer miles as possible by planning flights with as many connections as possible. [Wired via BoingBoing]
Wow, I feel the same way about this as I do about credit cards that give you free (LOL) miles for charging tens of thousands of dollars:
The hassles FAR outweigh the benefits.
As one of those mileage runners, its not just segments (which I think is an unbelievably painful mileage run), but flying just for the sake of miles – for example on a really cheap fare to singapore in the off-peak season for upwards of 20k miles. Or flying NYC to London through Dallas, which itself turns into a 12k mile trip. The point behind mileage running is accumulating status and miles at as low a cost as possible. For example, if you are a business traveler who is going to be 25k miles shy of top-tier status on United, for around $300-1000 dollars you can do a “mileage run” and make that up. In exchange for that you get 8 domestic upgrades, 6 international upgrades, access to a dedicated phone center when there’s weather troubles, etc. and a variety of other small perks. I think that’s definitely worth the money (for someone who travels a lot).
Or you could buy, like, 10,000 Healthy Choice meals like they did in Punch Drunk Love. That shit was real, right? Right?
@spinachdip: Actually, it was. Search on snopes, it was a true story.
@Secularsage: They’re perfectly free (I pay off my card every month), or damn close to it (okay, I pay $59/year for the card). I use the card for everything that it’s possible to use it for, and the miles add up.
There are no hassles. There are no blackouts. If I exceed the “saver” fare, I can pay double miles and get a seat anyway.
Since I would otherwise use a credit card for everything that it’s possible to use it for, this card makes it damned good choice.
For everything you’d ever want to know about milage runs, see [www.flyertalk.com]
Agreed about the credit card usage to rack up FF miles. Yes the card does have a cost of $60 or so a year, but if you charge every thing you can, personal and business, the miles will rack up rapidly, total free. The wife and I make two (2) trips yearly to Hawaii and haven’t paid for a ticket in over 6 years! I juggle five (5) different airline cards, pay them all off every month, and those miles send even my children on trips and plenty of miles to spare. IF you CAN’T or WON’T pay the balance in full every month then you will be in big trouble over this one, not for the non-payer. Now time for lunch, and a CC payment at McDonalds.
up until now i’ve only been a mileage whore. now i have found my true calling.
@Secularsage: Eh? I did MSP-ORD-SFO-ORD-LHR-IAD-ORD-MSP on United twice last fall for under $500 all-in. That’s 12,910 redeemable miles for each r/t plus another 12,910 in bonus miles due to my status. That’s 51,640 miles total — enough for two r/t domestic coach tickets and it pushed me well over to 1K and all the perks MZITO listed.
And in about a week, I’m doing a r/t out to Hong Kong. Something like 16,600 miles miles plus triple miles due to a promo PLUS my elite bonus: 66,400 redeemable miles. That trip was going to happen regardless of mileage opportunities, but it does show just how quickly you can bank miles if you’re clever.
My brother does this, plans it so he spends one full day flying. Sometimes he’s on a plane of primarily other mile runners. It does save him hundreds of dollars, but I think you should think of your lifestyle before you do it. My brother benefits from the miles because he has friends all over the damn place and takes several mini-vacations a year. If you only fly once a year, then mile running prolly isn’t worth it for you.
And remember the pudding guy, the god of mileage runners….
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