Creating "runs"

Discussion in 'Mileage Runs/Travel Hacking' started by TravelBear, Jul 1, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

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    What am I generally looking for to make a run worth while?
    I live in a small town which generally requires a connection that usually bumps prices up quite a bit.
    Can someone please point me to a Run 101 thread or something?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Not sure there is an intro thread but, as a general rule, you're looking for a fare that is disproportionally cheap relative to the number of miles flown. If you can find a fare around 3 cent per mile flown you're doing pretty darn good these days.
     
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  3. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    It's worth noting that quite frequently to get anything approaching that sort of CPM you need to a way to position to another airport in a manner that does not kill the value proposition.

    Out of somewhere like MSP you're lucky to even approach that on a mistake fare.

    In terms of what makes a run worth while, I would suggest to try to put some sort of valuation on the benefits that you'd get out of the miles, whether that be award flights, elite status benefits like upgrades and priority security (don't overvalue free bags beyond the cost of a credit card...), etc.

    Plugging your home airport into http://www.wandr.me/Fare-Finder.aspx at least gives you a starting point for what's realistic in your market and in nearby markets, although connections are not accounted for, nor are taxes/surcharges/etc (so just use for domestic flights for your purposes)
     
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  4. martyfly

    martyfly Active Member

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    Hi TravelBear,

    Couple of tricks I've read and figured out as far as mileage runs.

    - I also use the price map on fare compare.com to find inexpensive flights and then work from there.
    - ITA website is really helpful for figuring out which airlines are offering possible MR deals to specific locations.
    - once I find a possible MR, I start plugging in different connecting cities to see if there is a way to increase the number of mileages without increasing the fare
    For instance, coming out of San Diego on United, I'd look to see if I can fly to LAX or SFO then IAH and then onto my final destination. Doesn't always work, but great deal when it does.
    -being a premier member helps- united give a 500 mile minimum on flights under 500 miles to Mileage Plus Silver and above. Additionally, each premier level gets a percentage bonus on miles. Silver gets an extra 25%, Gold 50%, etc. so for me as a Silver UA, if there is a a SAN-LAX connection, I get 625 miles for a 120 mile flight, so calculate those bonus miles as well.

    There's a lot a different ways to find these MRs, so keep reading thru and most of all, keep practicing using the online tools.

    Marty
     
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  5. AA_EXP09

    AA_EXP09 Gold Member

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    What I would do is try and position somewhere else, and do several low cost runs.
    For example, for flights I can easily position to LAX/SEA/LAS/SAN/SFO with relative ease.
    Also, I will just use places that my job takes me and do MRs after the job if I need to.
    Who says you have to go home right after work?
     
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  6. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

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    I think the BIG issue is my home.... AVL. The largest metro area is at least 2 hours away so the price jumps due to the connection (generally), but that's another issue.

    So do those of you who do MRs actually stay long at your destination or do you do the run simply for the miles and return home ASAP? Or, are you working a hotel run into it? (which would seem more efficient)
     
  7. martyfly

    martyfly Active Member

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    I think it really depends on of there are good MR with good hotel deals. Don't think I'd want to overnight in NYC or Boston because a hotel would set you back $$$. But would try to combine a MR with a mattress run. I just did SAN-BWI for an original price of $200 with a planned stay at a Carlson Club hotel for their big points program ($92 and near airport).

    Doing a San Diego to Wichita run later in the summer which is a same day (same plane into and out of Wichita) so no hotel needed.

    You may run into less options because of your situation/location, but keep looking and things will turn up.
     

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