Monday, August 26, 2013

Hello Alaska. Goodbye Alaska

Over the current 36 hours (Noon Sunday to Evening Monday) I will have travelled 9694 miles on American Airlines.  Indeed, as I type this, I'm currently drinking a gin and tonic and eating some warm nuts on my way to Chicago.  I travel a fair amount for work and play, but this purpose of this travel is simply to travel.  I'm on a mileage run.  I've explained this before in previous years, but wanted to discuss it as I had many friends this weekend totally confused.

I'm currently Platinum on US Airways, and in late April, American Airlines sent me an offer to make Platinum there if I flew 12,000 miles by August 31.  I didn't think it was a problem as I had work travel, but I didn't get to fly only American and found myself short, by like, a lot.  Making the challenge means having status on American until the end of 2014, so I really wanted to do it.  So I found a flight to Alaska for around $350 and booked it.  And then I realized I was going to be about 600 miles short.  So I needed to tack on this flight tonight to Chicago.

Now, if I'm being honest with you, Platinum on American and US is pretty good but it's not the best.  It's the second highest level of status and status is really like the analogy about sled dogs.  Unless you're the lead dog, the view never changes.  So I would very much like to get that level of status, because they come with systemwide upgrades or SWUs, usually pronounced SWOO.  This lets you take your $500 ticket to Europe in Coach and upgrade to Business.  It's the holy grail.  The granddaddy of the domestic upgrade.

Also to keep it real, you should be mileage running at the start of the year, because you get the status for the following year, so why not get the most out of it.  And to further preach, the best way to do this is just a few TPAC (Across the Pacific) runs because those can be 18,000 miles roundtrip each, meaning you don't have to keep flying 30 domestic legs.

This is weird.  It's not normal.  I get that.  But my friends spend money on clothes or golf clubs or pre-natal care.  I choose to spend my money on this.  I said before that most people thinks that their vacation starts when they get off the plane.  Bullshit.  I say it starts when you get to the airport.  But you have to play the game right.  Instead of saving money by flying Spirit (I think I vomited in my mouth a bit) why not fly an actual airline and have champagnes and a lie-flat bed.  It's not that hard.  I'm not bright, and I can do it.

My tortellini is here.  God Bless American Airlines serving dinner on a 2 hour flight.  I hope Doug Parker doesn't screw with that if the merger goes through.  This carrot cake is delicious.


Kimber said...

So what did you do while you were here in AK?

Hero to the Masses said...

Got off the plane. Used the bathroom. Grabbed some snacks and got right back on the same plane.

Don't judge me.