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jfhscott
(@jfhscott)
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June 2, 2011 11:32 pm  

Wandering Aramean, post: 512762 wrote: Only a month late to the party here, but I'm going to disagree a bit.

It is advisable to concentrate earning because having 100K in one place is WAY more valuable than having 25K in 4 different places. That has nothing to do with status.

And while status does afford a bit of increased inventory (just how much depends on the program) and lower fees, that doesn't mean it is always worth pursuing. Don't get me wrong...I love having unlimited free changes and redeposits and call-center access. And as I redeem 300K+ miles each year I definitely am getting my money's worth, so to speak, out of having that status. My last award have 5 changes, I think, for both my wife and myself.

But that doesn't mean pursuing status is key to award redemptions. In most cases the seats I've redeemed were available to all customers, not just elites. And if you're booking premium cabin seats then you get the lounge, check-in and baggage benefits anyways.

True, booking premium seats often "duplicates" the value of status. But I'm looking at a bunch of business trips in Y, and as long as I stay closer to home, award bookings in Y too. I'll be glad to have free bags, easy security, and lounge access on them. (but I'll lose e+ when my current 2P ends this year). To that end, I think A3 Gold thru 2014 is da bomb.


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BurBunny
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June 3, 2011 12:08 am  

Wandering Aramean, post: 512762 wrote: But that doesn't mean pursuing status is key to award redemptions. In most cases the seats I've redeemed were available to all customers, not just elites. And if you're booking premium cabin seats then you get the lounge, check-in and baggage benefits anyways.

Count me in the number of people who rarely redeem miles for tickets, only upgrades, and then most times it is all about status. The huge majority of the time, because I own my own business and can write off the cost of the ticket (but not the value of an award ticket), it makes more sense for me to pay for the base ticket. With few exceptions, upgrades are where I get the bang for my buck.

I'm definitely one who runs for status, and the miles and what I can upgrade into because of the status, is the bonus.

1P, Gold,
Too many cruise, car and hotel programs to list
Come visit me at www.cruiseresource.com


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worldwidedreamer
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June 6, 2011 5:15 am  

This whole game is not as much fun as it used to be. After spending a year as a mid-tier elite with no upgrades, I decided that there are bigger things in life than doing a MR. I'm now content to keep my status at basic elite because it is where I get the most benefits: premium seating, free bags, faster security, etc. Before age 30 I managed to obtain lifetime memberships in the three major lounge networks (AA, DL, UA) and now just want to use the knowledge I l've learned on various different boards to focus on making the travel experience easier.


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kyunbit
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June 6, 2011 3:52 pm  

Wandering Aramean, post: 512762 wrote:

And while status does afford a bit of increased inventory (just how much depends on the program) and lower fees, that doesn't mean it is always worth pursuing. Don't get me wrong...I love having unlimited free changes and redeposits and call-center access. And as I redeem 300K+ miles each year I definitely am getting my money's worth, so to speak, out of having that status. My last award have 5 changes, I think, for both my wife and myself.

But that doesn't mean pursuing status is key to award redemptions. In most cases the seats I've redeemed were available to all customers, not just elites. And if you're booking premium cabin seats then you get the lounge, check-in and baggage benefits anyways.

You are forgetting the award change/redeposit fees if you are not super elite.


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Million Mile Secrets
(@million-mile-secrets)
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June 6, 2011 7:45 pm  

jfhscott, post: 419982 wrote: I hereby announce my retirement from mileage running.
My career was short – only three years, so no gold watch for me. But it does not make sense for me any more. The factors are many, not the least of which is that I am among the unfortunate many who must work to support themselves.

I agree with you that it just doesn't make sense (for me too!). I work full-time and would rather be with the family than at an airport over the weekend without them.

I also don't see Mileage Running as being a good return for my time - once you factor in the opportunity cost and incidental expenses. I blogged today about the Hidden Traps of Mileage Running and why it doesn't make sense for me.

I could make it work though, if I was just a few trips away from a status milestone or was a student or retired.

Then again, perhaps in a few years I'll be converted... 🙂

Get The Most Value From Your Miles & Points | Million Mile Secrets | Big Travel. Small Money


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jfhscott
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June 6, 2011 8:40 pm  

Million Mile Secrets, post: 516694 wrote: I agree with you that it just doesn't make sense (for me too!). I work full-time and would rather be with the family than at an airport over the weekend without them.

I also don't see Mileage Running as being a good return for my time - once you factor in the opportunity cost and incidental expenses. I blogged today about the Hidden Traps of Mileage Running and why it doesn't make sense for me.

I could make it work though, if I was just a few trips away from a status milestone or was a student or retired.

Then again, perhaps in a few years I'll be converted... 🙂

I did not express the cost to me as an opportunity cost, or as involving consequential costs, but that really was what did it for me.

Even while I was running, I really appreciated non-stops, with more EQM's/hour spent from door-to-door to the point that I was ambivalent about whether I should do a nonstop IAD-LHR-IAD or make the routing more circuitous by going thru ORD, with a depart from DCA in each direction. I'd also augment EQM's by doing weekend jaunts to the west coast with friends, and that mitigated things (and they enjoyed the upgrades to the point I called one my "status sponge").

But it has just become too exhuasting, getting a dog squared away too difficult, and it interferes with too many things I value more. I've got a couple million RDM's to burn, and Aegean Gold thru 12/2014, so I will not be slumming it as I burn. But now I can do it more on my own terms.


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MSPeconomist
(@mspeconomist)
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 58664
June 7, 2011 2:05 am  

Wandering Aramean, post: 512762 wrote: Only a month late to the party here, but I'm going to disagree a bit.

It is advisable to concentrate earning because having 100K in one place is WAY more valuable than having 25K in 4 different places. That has nothing to do with status.

And while status does afford a bit of increased inventory (just how much depends on the program) and lower fees, that doesn't mean it is always worth pursuing. Don't get me wrong...I love having unlimited free changes and redeposits and call-center access. And as I redeem 300K+ miles each year I definitely am getting my money's worth, so to speak, out of having that status. My last award have 5 changes, I think, for both my wife and myself.

But that doesn't mean pursuing status is key to award redemptions. In most cases the seats I've redeemed were available to all customers, not just elites. And if you're booking premium cabin seats then you get the lounge, check-in and baggage benefits anyways.

I would disagree, at least from a DL perspective. Status does give apparently much better availability of low domestic coach awards, which are then upgraded for free based on status after revenue tickets. In fact, I just returned from a low award trip (25K miles) MSP-LGA RT (Friday and Monday travel) which was upgraded in both directions in my DM window, six days before the flights.

In addition, status is worth lounge access when not flying international business class, a much better and faster phone line (needed to book upgrades using miles or SWUs as well as for almost all partner awards and any sort of unusual or complicated ticket), and elite check in and security lines when not flying FC or biz.

Status means free unlimited changes on award tickets, which is important since DL tends to release a lot of award inventory very late. Until recently, it also meant waived fees for late award tickets, but DL no longer charges for this, which is bad for me as having the fee waiver only for elites gave elites a bit of an advantage in using this inventory.

DL DM (charter) 1.7+MM, A3 *A Gold, SPG Plat, Marriott Plat Premier, Hyatt Diamond (new from SMD3), LHW LC Access, Raffles Ambassador, ICI (Imperial Club International), Hertz #1 Gold, dirt with Hilton (former Gold), Omni, Loews, CO/UA, AA, etc., former NW PE ~1.3MM, TWA ~1.4MM


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MrHalliday
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June 7, 2011 3:09 am  

I haven't done a MR in maybe two years now.
The credit card sign up bonii are just so lucrative... why bother?

OK, I have paid a few change/re-deposit fees. That is annoying.
But other than that I still fly up front so get almost all the other perks of status.

Still... a good MR does generate some good stories...:eek:


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jfhscott
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June 7, 2011 4:41 am  

MSPeconomist, post: 517012 wrote: I would disagree, at least from a DL perspective. Status does give apparently much better availability of low domestic coach awards, which are then upgraded for free based on status after revenue tickets. In fact, I just returned from a low award trip (25K miles) MSP-LGA RT (Friday and Monday travel) which was upgraded in both directions in my DM window, six days before the flights.

In addition, status is worth lounge access when not flying international business class, a much better and faster phone line (needed to book upgrades using miles or SWUs as well as for almost all partner awards and any sort of unusual or complicated ticket), and elite check in and security lines when not flying FC or biz.

Status means free unlimited changes on award tickets, which is important since DL tends to release a lot of award inventory very late. Until recently, it also meant waived fees for late award tickets, but DL no longer charges for this, which is bad for me as having the fee waiver only for elites gave elites a bit of an advantage in using this inventory.

All true, and part of the calculus one must consider.

And as this poster has noted upthread, even burning without status is harsh. And I do not doubt that he woudl acknowledge that decisions must be made according to each person's circumstsnces. For me, I'll have to be more certain that I want to make a trip prior to commiting, lest I pay redeposit fees. And I do hope that many of my redemptions will be in classes of service which provide benefits anyway.

At bottom, I hope I have struck an appropriate balance for my circumstances and that others will be able to strike informed balances based on their own.


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Million Mile Secrets
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June 7, 2011 2:08 pm  

MrHalliday, post: 517064 wrote:
The credit card sign up bonii are just so lucrative... why bother?

I agree with you wholeheartedly...and hope the credit card bonus bubble never pops!

Get The Most Value From Your Miles & Points | Million Mile Secrets | Big Travel. Small Money


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Seeksreal
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Posts: 350
July 6, 2011 9:02 pm  

I admire your strength. I dipped from 1K to 1P for a year and it was pure torture! I may need a winning lottery ticket or an intervention soon...

Flying is an addiction--it gets me high every time!


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planeluvr
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July 7, 2011 10:25 am  

I never pass up a good MR but I'm more choosy now. 😉


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flamingo
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Posts: 1241
July 7, 2011 10:45 am  

Million Mile Secrets, post: 516694 wrote: I agree with you that it just doesn't make sense (for me too!). I work full-time and would rather be with the family than at an airport over the weekend without them.

I also don't see Mileage Running as being a good return for my time - once you factor in the opportunity cost and incidental expenses. I blogged today about the Hidden Traps of Mileage Running and why it doesn't make sense for me.

I could make it work though, if I was just a few trips away from a status milestone or was a student or retired.

Then again, perhaps in a few years I'll be converted... 🙂

Totally agree --> Family 1st:)


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jbcarioca
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Posts: 17626
July 7, 2011 1:32 pm  

I really do not quite understand this "making sense" thing. :confused: What has 'making sense' to do with a deep addiction? :pI have cut back myself, having dropped AA pretty much, although I am lifetime Platinum. I still cannot seem to get away from US CP and DL Diamond, both of which I do with the help of ridiculous MR's. I have let a few hotel programs lapse though, does that count? Posting a reform like this on milepoint is slightly provocative anyway isn't it? Are we not here to celebrate the very absurdity of our addictions?


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Punki
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July 7, 2011 2:21 pm  

We did things a little differently. Since we were in a position to accumulate a lot of miles, we split them between *Alliance and One World. As we are beginning to burn them, this has worked out well. When we want to go somewhere, I check the options using my UA, DL, AS and AA miles and pick the one where we get the best deal. So far, we have only flown first class or business class award tickets and have been treated extremely well regardless of status. Interestingly, we seem to find better deals more often using AA miles so that is where I am currently concentrating our earning as much as I can.

It is a bit of a pain to have to be sure of our plans at the time of booking or pay a penalty, but that really isn't such a big deal as we rarely change our flights.

It's all good.


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