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Discussion in 'Mileage Runs/Travel Hacking' started by Anders Andersen, Feb 10, 2011.
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or is it only durable from the USA
(it seems that all the good deals are from the US)
I've done several! However due to minimum stays etc. it is a bit more difficult. If you travel westbound you will usually need at least a day off due to the Saturday night rule making you land again in Europe on Monday morning.
Travelling eastbound the schedules/prices are usually not as good though India may be worthwile and quick.
What I usually do is segment runs instead. Have another one coming up in September that I hope to be 20+ segments in a week.
Last year a bunch of US-based folks were busy booking positioning trips for a MR initiating in BRU! 'Tis possible
This is my general method as well, although I have flown to the US and then made a MR while on vacation. My parents are happy as they get to see the grandkids and I can escape for a few days.
Mostly due segment runs when needed.......
One of the issues for Europeans doing mileage runs is that, in so many FF programs in Europe, the cheap fares do not earn miles - or only earn a few miles. It makes the cents per mile very expensive.
I'm just back from a MR to the west coast - europe to LAX and back in time for work on Monday morning
12.5k miles for just over €400 isn't great, but it's better than I'm used to from this side of the atlantic.
I find it best to do with LX on a short runs in Z. And if you manage to get in to some kind of mile promotion, you can do a very nice, short MRs with minimal strain on your body and wallet
The European FF programmes are generally less generous, especially on cheaper fares. Remember that, in most case, a mileage run is really a status run, so you want fares that count fully towards status.
Of the major European schemes, BA does not directly link status points with distance travelled - you are more likely to get bumper status points by doing lots of segments, and so ironically a BA flyer looking to do a status run would do it in the US via AA anyway.
BMI does offer 1 status mile for every mile flown with most partners, so you'll often find BMI people doing cheap flights to the US on *A airlines. I'm not sure exactly how Miles & More works but I think they are more restrictive on cheap buckets.
The OP also ignores the key differential between US and non-US fliers. Outside the US, if you want to travel in business class you have to pay for it. No automatic upgrades for elites, no upgrade vouchers etc. The only key benefit of elite status (if you fly in Economy) is therefore lounge access, plus little extras like a better baggage allowance which may or may not be necessary. You therefore have less motivation to spend exessive $ or hours chasing status.
Except for us OK-flyers (and FI I believe) of course where elite status DOES grant free upgrades. But in general, you are absolutely correct - that is one perk that is lost. Then again, free lounge entry is not necessarily a benefit with American based programs.
At times to the USA also has some nice deals. But due to it being transatlantic travel you do get all the stay-rules. I basically doubled the EQM on a getaway trip by sprinkling some MR on it... The hard part is finding the fares, since most of the tools are USA centric in that regard, and positioning flights in Europe are a lot tougher to get EQM on for USA-based programmes...
CO/UA has a nice AMS-SEA deal, via IAH at EUR 450 or so, 3.7 $cpm without taxes, or about 3.3€cpm with all taxes and fees. I remember a nice EUR 400 a while back for AMS-DCA via IAH. So there are nice/good deals across the pond, within Europe the hard part still is getting EQM's on either EU or USA based programmes...
If Europe-based, you also have the option of flying to the US on one ticket and flying home and back on a ticket that starts in the US. Do this as many times as you like, and when you're done you fly home on the return sector of the original ticket. This gives you access to the cheaper fares ex-US and makes the Saturday night stay rule easier to deal with.