Thursday, May 14, 2009

Some will think me clinically insane....

So I'm going to Oahu, Hawaii for 20 hours on Sunday. All for the purpose of preserving the right to get exit row seats on American Airlines. Allow me to explain....

Sunday morning I will be doing what's known in the biz as a Mileage Run. Basically, the gist is you find a flight that gives you the maximum amount of miles for the least amount of money. It works even better if you can transfer to and from airports that are out of the way to boost the miles while keeping the price the same. Here's what my Sunday/Monday will look like:

So now you know what I'm doing, a good question is why? Why would you subject yourself to airports and airplanes for that long? Why would you spend more time in a metal tube than you would on a tropical island. Two reasons:
  1. I got a bunch of miles on American from my trips to Paraguay and through a mileage challenge, got Gold Status. This is the lowest level of status and you can get it flying 25,000 miles in a calendar year. The most important thing about this, asides from the fact that I am shallow enough to like status, is the ability to reserve exit row seats. They are blocked out to all but elites until right before the flight. Exit row makes any flight bearable. American also has a double bonus for all miles flown until June 15, so this doubles my trip earnings.
  2. I like traveling. I love airplanes and airports. I have a quasi-autistic knowledge about the industry and fleets that can amaze my friends and scare away females. So as awful as this trip sounds, I'm actually pretty excited about it. I'm on 757s my whole trip except the 767 from DFW to Honolulu, so it will be nice to be on a widebody.
Who does this? Actually there are a lot of people that do this apparently, if these boards are any indication. What makes me a little strange is that I never fly for work, and most of these guys (rare to find women doing this) are road warriors for their companies. I'm weird. I know this.

My schedule will look like this:

Carrier
Flight
Number
Departing
Arriving
Cabin

Booking Code
Flight Status
Notification
Flight
Details
Seats
City
Date & Time
City
Date & Time

AMERICAN AIRLINES
465
BOS Boston
May 17, 2009
07:45 AM
DFW Dallas/ Fort Worth
May 17, 2009
10:55 AM
Economy

O
10F
AMERICAN AIRLINES
5
DFW Dallas/ Fort Worth
May 17, 2009
01:20 PM
HNL Honolulu/ Oahu
May 17, 2009
04:35 PM
Economy

O
21J

AMERICAN AIRLINES
28
HNL Honolulu/ Oahu
May 18, 2009
12:40 PM
SFO San Francisco
May 18, 2009
08:45 PM
Economy

O
10A
AMERICAN AIRLINES
150
SFO San Francisco
May 18, 2009
11:15 PM
BOS Boston
May 19, 2009
07:55 AM
Economy

O
18A

While I'm in HI, I'll be staying with my friend Mikie's sister, Aloha. She has these two super cute daughters that I'm excited to finally meet. They of course have their own blogs, being sophisticated young ladies. I'm hoping to post from the trip. I will be going in to work on Tuesday morning, after a shower at the Boston Admiral's Club.

All told for a little over $450, I will have accumulated 26,306 miles on this trip, bringing me up to a YTD total of 37,994. Not bad for May. I know. I'm insane.

10 comments:

confused said...

it sounds like these miles are costing you more than they are worth. Why pay $450 for 27,000 miles. That isn't even a domestic round trip ticket. Essentially, you are paying $450 to get the ability to reserve a slightly better seat on upcoming flights. But you aren't "guaranteed" that you'll get better seats. Is this really better than just paying a bit more for a better seat (which you can do on United, at least)?

Hero to the Masses said...

Good question. United is terrible. I just don't like them. So in looking at airlines flying out of my airport, the favorites are JetBlue and American. The ability to pay $450 for the rights to expedited security lines and exit rows for the year is worth it for me. I don't spend miles on tickets, preferring to use them for upgrades instead. That's where the real value is.

Anonymous said...

Dude you are crazy. Don't you listen to the VP. Your going to catch that burning swine flu.

Tom said...

The year we went to Africa we also did a northwest vacation to Mexico and got enough miles for a year of Worldperks Silver. Though now we're once again just commoners, it was a good year.

Worth factoring in (if AA does this) to your cost-benefit analysis is the access to 1st class. With silver worldperks, if there are open first class seats, you can have them, though platinum gets first shot, then gold, then silver. Then, once there, drink enough free drinks to ensure the $470 you spent on this ticket was worth it.

maikib said...

you're my hero. and you get to see my favorite three people in the whole world. so you also suck.

Emily said...

Im not sure if this is insanity or genius. Basically, you get a Hawaiian sunset, a Hawaiian sunrise, and leg room. For $450 bucks. I think it might be worth it.

NeasMom said...

I think you should reconsider and stay a couple days at least. Free room board, can't beat it ;). We're looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. I'm hyping you up, telling Nanea that "Uncle Graham" is coming. She loves visitors.

Hero to the Masses said...

I do hope that I meet the hype. Uncle Graham has big shoes to fill. I'll see you ladies and hopefully Noa soon.

Ulli said...

Have some Hula Pie! :)) I lived in Hawaii 5 years, I'd go for 20 hours if I could! COOL!

Anonymous said...

Not a bad start. I wouldn't worry about the people who don't understand what you're doing. They just don't "get it" and this system only works if few people "get it". There's already sufficient elite status dilution with all these challenges and DEQM promos.

You could have managed a few more segments each way likely. Try ITA next time to find additional routing possibilities. Also don't forget to pick up VDB vouchers wherever you can. You can also ask for original routing credit if the VDB routes you shorter. Plus if they gate agent rebooks you into full Y you may get some bonus mileage out of the whole deal.