First time MR help: MR (AS, AA or DL) from SEA

Discussion in 'Mileage Runs/Travel Hacking' started by JJAnon, Nov 30, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. JJAnon

    JJAnon Active Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I'm ~10k short (quite a bit, I know) of hitting MVP Gold on Alaska. I'd love some help with an MR sometime in December from SEA. I've never done this before, so I'd appreciate some pointers. I tried looking at farecompare, but I'm obviously doing something wrong because I couldn't find a valid fare.

    Thanks!
     
  2. redii

    redii Active Member

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    Flights are rough in December... Everything is terrible with the exception of the upcoming weekend (and I'm going for a two hour stay in Istanbul :D) You can join me out of SEA on 3-DEC, connecting through JFK, two hour turn in IST and have you back home on 5-DEC at 10:23 PM for $1068 -- 14000 miles. DL metal.

    I've never been able to get Farecompare to work either... It gives me a good idea, though, of where I could go for about how much and for how many miles.

    Here's what I do:

    I go to the Farecompare tool, plug in Seattle, and select destinations in Asia, Europe, South America.
    I get a list, sorted by CPM, of destinations.
    I take the destinations and plug them into ITA (http://matrix.itasoftware.net)
    In December, they all suck. I try some hub cities.

    Origin: SEA
    Destination: AMS, FRA, HND, NRT, ICN, WAW, PRG, BUD, SVO, JNB

    See Calendar of Lowest Fares
    December 1st and a month later
    Length of stay 0 days

    I'll also pick a big city and tell ITA to find destinations in 300 miles. You'll get a lot of small airports you've never heard of... and sometimes a better fare.

    I found a DL fare on 12/10, same day turn in AMS. Worth a little over 10k miles, but costs $960 -- if it were $500, it'd be a good mileage run. The lower CPM (cents per qualifying mile) the better - 5 CPM is usually what pros consider to be palatable.

    We can get you to San Juan, PR on DL for $487.25 on Dec 11, spending 50 minutes in SJU, back in Seattle on Dec 12th... but only for 7835 miles. Not quite enough, but 6 CPM... much better of a deal.

    Domestically, you can fly SEA-SLC-HNL and return, 7352 miles, for $457 (same day turn) Also 6 CPM.

    Be creative. Add weird connections in hub cities (sometimes, they don't impact the price much and can add a ton of miles). Read the "advanced routing codes" on ITA -- you'll learn special codes that can alter the routing (such as fare, airline, connection points, number of flights, etc)

    Good luck :D
     
  3. redii

    redii Active Member

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    Just saw a post over on FT -- SEA-EWR round trips for $240 on DL pretty much the entire month of December. 4798 miles if you route through MSP... more potentially through other airports. If you do two of them, you're under $500 and almost have the 10k miles you need.
     
  4. Seacarl
    Original Member

    Seacarl Gold Member

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    Remember that to requalify for MVP Gold it is 40,000 miles on Alaska/Horizon alone, or 50,000 miles if you are including flights on partners AA & DL.

    So if you are at 30,000 on AS, you would want to consider getting 10,000 more on AS, rather than needing 20,000 on DL or AA.

    The problem is that MR's are hard on AS if you are in SEA or PDX. I haven't checked fares, but often the fare to IAH seems to be one of the lowest CPM fares, and you can do a same-day round trip and earn over 3600 miles, so three of those would do it. BOS can also work if you can find days with good fares both ways. That's 4900 miles each. EWR, DCA, & MCO fares are usually too high to make it worthwhile.
     
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  5. JJAnon

    JJAnon Active Member

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    Thanks for all your pointers - I actually flew more DL than AS this year (with a trip to Sydney) so I need fewer partner miles than AS only miles ;)

    I don't think I can quite swing a trip to Istanbul, but the EWR trip looks interesting. Will see if I can get that to work.

    Actually the San Juan trip looks perfect.
     
  6. JJAnon

    JJAnon Active Member

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    Quick question - I'm currently MVP, and it looks like my 50% bonus miles on a recent AS flight also counted towards my elite status. Is that normal? Does it also apply to DL/AA fares?
     
  7. Seacarl
    Original Member

    Seacarl Gold Member

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    Istanbul is a great city and Turkish has a fantastic lounge there if you can get access. San Juan can be an efficient MR from SEA because it is enough further away and fares are reasonable. You kind of need to do a red-eye, however.

    Your bonus miles do not count toward elite status. The only exception is that for flights less than 500 miles, I think they could 500 miles toward elite status. So for me a flight to Portland posts like 124 miles and 876 bonus miles (I'm gold) but I believe it counts as 500 miles towards elite qualification. Adding a Portland stop can increase the value of an Alaska trip.
     
  8. JJAnon

    JJAnon Active Member

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    Don't you need a visa for Turkey? That seems undoable in the next few days.

    Hmm - weird. I can definitely see that my Alaska miles count towards my Elite status this year.
     
  9. Seacarl
    Original Member

    Seacarl Gold Member

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    If you have a U.S. passport you can get a 90-day visa on arrival at the IST airport for $20. It is very fast and efficient. If you have a European passport you don't need a visa at all.

    Lack of visa is not an excuse not to visit Turkey!
     

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