Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Extreme Travelers: Mileage Runs


So I have found a few articles lately about some pretty crazy things people are doing in the name of frequent flier miles. So I am starting an Extreme Traveler series. We're starting with Howie Rappaport who does 2-3  mileage runs a year to keep his elite status with his preferred airline. Read the article here. What is a mileage run you ask? People taking CRAZY long trips on airplanes just to keep your elite status. Rappaport would be flying from New York to Dallas, Dallas to LA, and LA to Maui where he would have a 90 minute layover and then fly right back. GOOD GOD MAN, at least stay one night in paradise while you're there! And he does this sort of thing all the time!

Does it pay off? It depends on how you look at it I suppose, he travels for work also so the elite status is helpful for him when checking in and boarding the plane. He and his wife also like to travel all over the world and like to fly first class, in the new year they will be taking first class trips to Thailand (jealous), Poland and Bali – only paying the small fees you have to pay when booking with points.

Just to give you an idea I was looking into seeing how many points we would need to take our trip to Thailand in 2014 and to fly First/Business class there and back would be about 620,000 points and about $160 in taxes and fees. HOLY MOLY!!! That’s a lot of points! So now we are doing everything we can to get bonus points. That includes enrolling in the mileage shopping and dining programs and taking advantage of any bonus offers they are promoting. Side note, if you were looking to purchase without using your miles it would be $2,600 for economy and $15,700 for First/Business class.

I have never had elite status so I don’t know how the other half lives (if you are or have been and elite member chime in down in the comments). Currently I am just over 50% to getting my elite status but I don’t think I'll be traveling in the next 6 months and I'm sure some of those "status points" will be expired by then…boo. :(

Happy New Year!


Happy Travels!

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