Sunday, August 24, 2008

Trips, and Mileage Runs!

Many of you all know I love to travel. I do it a lot and I enjoy it so much. Well I have two more trips coming up one is a mileage run and one is to visit someone else. I sometimes fly for the fun of it. Yes, I know, it is weird. Some people collect stamps, I collect Airline Miles. Whose miles do I collect? I typically fly on American Airlines. Yes I know I am an employee of Southwest Airlines, and used to work for them but I do like to fly First Class occasionally, something, Southwest Airlines does not offer!

What is a mileage run you ask? Thanks for asking! It is people like me who truly are crazy, nuts and simply pay money to the airline to fly them to a destination, without leaving the airport, and turning right around back to where they came from. I have done this a lot. I am doing another mileage run on American Airlines to Miami, Florida-MIA. I will be flying St. Louis (STL) to Chicago-O’Hare (ORD). Then two hour’s layover in ORD. Then I will be flying the famous Boeing 767-300 aircraft.

A huge wide body plane, with two aisles in the plane. (This is not the first time I have been on a wide body, but would be the first time on a Boeing wide body and a 767 no less!)

Then I will fly this aircraft to MIA Airport. I will get off the plane, and I have literally 52 minutes in MIA Airport. Yes, you heard. No, I will not stay overnight in Miami, go see the city or stay in a hotel. No need to. Not the point of my trip.

I will catch another Boeing 767-300, back to ORD, and hopefully upgrade to First Class in the process as well to try and sample out one of the brand new business class seats they offer in Business and First Class. It is luxurious and so comfortable and relaxing to fly in. I land back into ORD, to connect again to one of the last flights back home to St. Louis (STL) Airport. I then am done with my mileage run, and I go home. I wait a few days, and see my mileage has been posted.

What do the miles offer exactly?! Well again glad you asked! Airlines typically offer two sets of miles you have regular miles which can be earned by regular flying, hotel stays, credit card purchases really anything. Then you have what is called ELITE Miles. These elite miles are ONLY earned by actually flying on the airline and for every mile you fly actually you get on elite mile back in return. After so many miles you then become and have an elite status. The program differs for every airline, but in American Airlines, after reaching 25,000 elite miles you become Gold. The benefits then help you out in the future. It can be anywhere from free upgrades to First Class, priority in check in, fast lane for security, being able to check bags for free without having to pay for it. It really varies for every airline. What if you are not trying to be elite but just want to earn miles with the airline? That is fine too! Most airlines offer a free, round trip ticket in coach domestically within the 48 states after 25,000 miles. That is the minimum. Then again it varies by airline per program.

In AA’s case, 25,000 miles gets you a free, round trip coach ticket domestically in 48 states. 30,000 miles gets you a free, round trip ticket to Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean and sometimes Hawaii also. 35,000 and beyond, sometimes 40K, 45K, again it depends on destination and class of service (Coach, Business or First Class), such as Europe, Asia, that sort of thing. In my case, I am doing what is called a Gold Challenge where I must fly 5,000 elite POINTS within a three month period, once I meet that, I become Gold Elite Status and I get the benefits with American Airlines, like I listed up above.

Naturally, every time I fly and travel to visit someone, I try as hard as I can to be booked on American Airlines to continue the mileage. This is why I urge anyone who flies, whether 5 times a year or once a year, to SIGN UP for the mileage program, it is free and easy to do. If you all have any questions, comments feel free to ask me here how you can earn your way to possibly flying first class as much as you can!

Now you are probably just wondering HOW many miles, hours, and flights I have flown on?! Good question! I have so far up to date, flown 214 flights, flown 133, 830 miles, and flown about a total of 353 hours of flight time so far! Where have I been flight wise? Here is a route map showing it!

Now, who am I exactly visiting? I will be flying to Philly to go see the Bionic Woman, Miss. Abbie Cranmer! I whined to her that I had to see her SOME weekend, and she goes “Well get your damn ass up here!” So we collaborated on a weekend, and she got the idea it would be super awesome if I flew up for the “Walk for Hearing” event (which she mentioned and I linked to) and attended this with her while visiting her at the same time! I agreed and got to looking for airfares. The date we agreed on was weekend of October 18th, same as the Walk for Hearing event. So I decided to fly up October 17th, and return October 19th.

I found a great deal on American Airlines, for 200 dollars round trip. I would be connecting through Chicago-O’Hare International Airport once again! Oh boy. This airport is known for tremendous delays, and is one of the world’s busiest airport, and the 2nd busiest airport in the United States in terms of passenger movement. Once I got the itinerary underway, she and I texted back and forth making sure the times worked out and they did. BOOK IT, CONFIRM IT yelled Abbie to me through the text. Ok, Ok! I AM BOOKING!!!

So, with that, my itinerary was booked! So yet another trip begins for my next mileage run! I am looking SO forward to meeting Abbie and sharing a wonderful weekend with her. We have had so many fun times chatting back and forth it is literally going to be like seeing an old friend again. I hope Philly and your town is ready for me cause once I arrive, it is gonna be a rowdy weekend!



J.Matheson said...

you're crazy! LOL

Anonymous said...

Like my dad, who's been a pilot for 40-plus years, says, "I'm hard-wired for flying." :)


Anonymous said...

I have never heard of a mileage run ever, its just so umm different is all I can say, lol. I actually for some reason sounds a bit of fun. Well I'm sure every once in a while you have to go to a hotel sometimes dont you? Well if you do I hope you come to where I work at The Hampton Inn.
Here is info on really great promotion we're doing and comtinue to have fun or your mileage runs!!!!

Hampton Inn is offering 10% of their best rate available until 9/1/08 we’re also giving away some great prizes leading up to the TEAM USA competing at the Olympic Games. Good Luck!!;jsessionid=SXEZ4FIZDCG4OCSGBJF2VCQ?it=specials,dreams&cid=om,hx,dreams,specials

Sarah B


Check out this funny video, called "Ballad of a Traveler", it is hilarious. He totally sums up the travelers experience:>

Abbie said...

I'm sooo excited! I think we are going to have a great great weekend. People are going to think I'm your mom and I don't even care :)

I have never heard of a mileage run either but I don't call myself an expert in travel perks :) unless you call bookmarking gas buddy an expert :)

Seek Geo said...

Hi Alex!

Ohh.. these links are pretty colorful! :-D

I still can't believe it you actually would fly to Miami for the day just for doing milage run. I just do NOT get it but then again, you are an aviation freak so why am I not surprised? He he.

Ah.. that reminds me, I need to call CO to reactivate my acct since it was suspended for some reason so I can check to see if they posted milage on the last flight to Nicaragua and returned home from there as well. I definitely probably need your help with that when we get around to it since it's all new to me!

As much as it can get scary flying into Chicago-O'Hare International Airport but I always enjoyed going there, so beautiful airport building and it's huge! I never get bored there for sure!

Thanks for all info on how milage works, it helped a lot! :-P Oh and indeed I have to agree with Jarom on that one. you are crazy! LMAO - we still wuv you regardless! He he..