Its December. Holiday season, travel time for people to visit family, winter vacation time, but for the mileage junkie (sorry, the ‘mileage aware’ traveler), it is the time to make sure they make their status level. It is the time for the Mileage Run.
I have been fortunate that every year I end up so far away from the next level that I have never had to consider a mileage to reach an Elite Status level. It would take two round the world trip thru Tokyo, Singapore and Dubai (IAD-NRT-SIN-DXB-IAD) to get me to 1K on United this year. Hmm, tempting… I do not want to think of how I would react if I was say a couple of thousand miles away from 1K. Would I do a Mileage Run? (Oh Yeah!)
I met two Mileage Runners at IAD this past Tuesday. I was on my way for a short round-trip to Raleigh (RDU). One was a middle aged gentleman who was proudly announcing to everyone his reason to fly to San Francisco (SFO) to reach his next Elite level. He was under 5,000 miles short and a round trip to SFO was doing the trick.
The other person I met was on a more elaborate plan. He was on my flight to Raleigh. He was doing a segment run. He was going to hop on five planes that day to make it to Premier Executive (1P) on United. He was actually doing what we call a Segment Run. My the end of the day I felt really sorry for him. Due to the weather up North, almost all flights on the East Coast were delayed. I hope he made it home on time. (Don, if you are reading, drop me a note and let me know how it went?).
The Mileage Run or its sibling the Segment Run are a great investment of time and money for someone who travels a lot and values their upgrades, the access to lounges when traveling internationally, the double miles earned or just the treatment one gets from an airline during irrops, by being an Elite. I have written multiple articles on the benefits of Elites. I have however seen people go over board. If do a 20,000 mile Mileage Run to hit an Elite level that needs 50,000 total miles to reach, you are nuts. On the other hand, if you were going to travel any way and make it a Mileage Run by elongating your trip (IAD to BOS via SFO), then good for you.
To all the Mileage runners out there – safe travels and Merry Elite Status. Ask Santa for DEQM (Double Elite Qualification Mile) promo’s next year!
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