My Past Year in Travel: 2015
2015 was a doozie when it comes to travel for me.
- 150 Commercial Flights (From July-Dec I flew between Raleigh and Tampa nearly every weekend)
- About 105,000 miles between American Airlines and Delta
- 0 Award Travel 🙁
- Only 4 Countries outside of the US
I managed to squeak by and get AAdvantage Executive Platinum thanks to a mileage (segment) run near the end of 2015. I also managed to get Delta Silver Medallion by flying them when my American flights were delayed or cancelled and a trip to Europe with Mallory.
My First Mileage Run
I knew it was going to be close in about September when I calculated how many trips it would take to reach the coveted Executive Platinum, which some of my colleagues/inspiration behind this blog Brian “The Points Guy” and Lucky at One Mile at a Time ranked as the most valuable airline loyalty status. It takes 100,000 miles or 120 segments to qualify.
I would have to make the Raleigh to Tampa trip every weekend and throw in another two segments to qualify on segments, which seemed to be the only possible way with the time that remained. I knew this wasn’t going to work since we were hosting Thanksgiving and would be visiting family in Pennsylvania for 3 weeks around the Christmas holiday. So I started reading about and playing around with the idea of going on a mileage run. Mileage runs are basically flying to accumulate extra miles (in my case segments) at an inexpensive rate so you get greater rate of return when you cash the miles in for award travel.
After coming up with some possibilities I ended up booking 6 different one way flights with my itinerary as follows:
RDU – CLT – DFW – PHX – DFW – PHX – LAX – SAN – LAX – AUS – DFW – PHX – DFW – CLT – TPA
14 segments, would get me just about 21,000 miles for just under $800, which is <$0.04 per mile.. pretty good I think.
The trip almost ended before it started because of a delay for no particular reason on my first leg RDU-CLT. I had to sprint across the Charlotte Airport to make it with about 30 seconds to spare. Not only was it less expensive to stick with AA hubs, but I would have been able to figure out another route if for some reason I missed a flight or was delay. After the first flight all of the rest went off without a hitch. I began my journey at 5:50 PM Thursday night and arrived in Tampa at about 11:00 AM Saturday morning. It was a long 38 hour trip, but with lounge access and upgrades to first class on about two-thirds of the flights it wasn’t that bad. If I needed to do another status run I would try to find a destination where I could spend at least a day instead of staying in airports/airplanes for 38 hours.
The Year Ahead
Because of all the traveling last year I had a good chunk of miles in both American and Delta accounts. I already cashed some in to fly between the Maldives and Hong Kong next month on Cathay Pacific Business Class, and I have had my eye on availability between Abu Dhabi and JFK in Etihad’s First Class Apartments (Only 90,000 miles each way until American de-values its awards).
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