Look Ma, I have a Million Miles

As I was updating the spreadsheet I use to track my miles over the weekend, I happened to glance down at the bottom row, where I show a grand total of all my miles. It said 1,001,238. Cool! I wish it was bank balance that read that, but miles balance is a good start. I am no way anywhere near hard core road-warriors who travel over a million miles in a year (I am an UN-road-warrior, remember). Gary from View from the Wing just wrote a blog post about the Two Million miles he has just on American Airlines! It is still a lot of focus to earn and accumulate this many miles.

Here are some facts about this milestone I have reached:

  • I have not actually flown a Million miles. Probably more miles have been earned from Credit Cards and Bonus Miles than from actual ‘Butt in Seat’ flying.
  • I have actually accumulated much more than a Million Miles. I have redeemed at least 400,000 miles that I can recall. I have also had over 15,000 expire15740_174728209857_119461099857_2903511_8379511_n.jpg
  • All the Miles are not in one airline. That would be another story. They are spread out over United, US Airways, Delta, Continental, British Airways, BMI and ANA
  • More than half of all my accumulated miles are on United
  • Once I figured it out, I picked one airline in each alliance and earn miles in those three programs
  • Even with over 500,000 miles I have on United and the over 200,000 I have already redeemed, my lifetime actual miles flown on United are just shy of 200,000 miles
  • Not all miles are worth the same. Delta’s burn rates are way more on certain routes than United’s
  • The Earn rates were not all the same. I have flown flights on British Airways where I earned 25% of actual miles flown. On the other hand, on United, as a 1K I get 200% miles for every mile traveled
  • I have flown at least 10,000 miles on airlines that have no Frequent Flyer program (IndiGo and Deccan Air of India)
  • I have less than 3,000 miles accumulated on at least two airlines (American and Jet Airways)
  • I have 50,000 miles in a program with a ‘Use it or lose it’ expiration policy (ANA)
  • I have been an Elite with United for over 6 years and have also over the years been an Elite on BMI and US Airways. Being an Elite means more bonus miles
  • I have had or currently have a credit card for United, US Airways, Delta, Northwest, Continental, British Airways
  • I made full use of mergers. Just before the NorthWest – Delta merger, I got a Delta SkyMiles Credit Card. Those miles got added to the miles I already had on NorthWest.
  • I am doing the same with the United – Continental merger. I recently got a Continental OnePass credit card. Those miles will eventually get added to my United balance
  • I transfer miles, wherever possible from other non-airline programs to airline programs. Such as from America Express Membership Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest to appropriate airlines
  • For most hotel loyalty programs, I have earned airline miles rather than hotel points. (I have changed my thinking on this point recently. More on than in another post)
  • I participate in a lot of programs that give free miles – eRewards, eMiles, MyPoints, Dining Miles, etc. No Mile Left Unearned!
  • I have aggressively tracked each trip/mile earning event to ensure I got credit for every mile I earned
  • I have aggressively tracked and managed my mileage balances to ensure that no mile expired unused, as far as I could help it. No Mile Left Behind!

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