Mileage Run Theory

Discussion in 'Mileage Runs/Travel Hacking' started by jmarv357, Aug 28, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. jmarv357

    jmarv357 Member

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    Hello All,

    I was wondering what the prevailing theory was regarding mileage runs for flights that you have to take anyway. I know that typically most people only consider a flight a mileage run if it is at 5cpm or below, but what if you already have to take a flight?

    For instance, I have to fly ex CVG/DAY area to NYC with flights costing around $400 even with a connection netting a terrible 16cpm or so. If I can find some overnight routings through the west cost for $550 or $600 that drops the cpm to 9 or so, that still would be seen as a terrible mileage run, but the marginal cost (assuming the first $400 is sunk) is 5cpm. What do you all think?

    Thanks.
     
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  2. jmarv357

    jmarv357 Member

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    To update with the specific case, the best DL fare I can find on my dates is CMH-ATL-LGA-ATL-CMH for $344 for the horrid 14cpm.

    However I could also travel DAY-ATL-SEA-JFK/EWR-MCO-DTW-DAY for $498. At face value this is 6.3cpm. Not anything noteworthy. However the marginal cpm is 2.9, with redeemable miles at 1.45cpm, which is borderline free. Do others here approach these types of situations in the same way? Or would you all see this as just a 6.3cpm mileage run that doesn't make much sense to do?
     
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  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I usually look at the marginal cost in these situations. I also consider the timing and the impact of missing the business meeting if things go pear-shaped, but I'd consider paying the extra cash for the points at that rate, knowing that the initial cost is sunk.

    That said, is DL the best fare anyways? Or are you already paying extra to get on to DL metal? If the latter then the marginal costs are higher.
     
  4. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    Have you considered CMH-DTW (or ATL)-LGA or something out of IND.

    because this is work related, I wouldn't even think about doing more than that and I'd make sure that your employer knew what you were doing was cost effective and would result in substantial savings over say CVG-LGA.

    Bob H
     
  5. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    This is why I don't mix MR's and business - the accounting is a bitch. I'm supposed to take the lowest logical cost on a reasonable route/time.. so if something close is available then that's technically the [self-reported] limit of what my employer pays. Being an AA flyer, I often find crazy routings with four legs, etc. through two hubs for additional money - and marginally it's a good deal. It's not worth it to me, however, to have to buy that ticket, run through the process to hold another, and submit an expense report for the first one using the second one as a price guide.

    The real problem I run into is when something like AUS-LAX-SFO comes up as the best fare, but I know that I'm more protected against the AUS-LAX leg failing if I route AUS-DFW-LAX since there are multiple AUS-DFW and DFW-LAX flights.

    My win, recently, was convincing my boss that on longer flight (4+ hours) with a small marginal difference from coach to first that the cost was made up for in time savings/ability to work. First he approved me on a 5.5 hour transcon... then did nearly the same thing himself SFO-TPA and reported back how much more he got done not being cramped up against the seat in front of him with a laptop. New quote was "don't make a habit of it." :)
     
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  6. cvsara
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    cvsara Gold Member

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    That's why, in my little company, I like being 'da boss'. I get along real well with the CEO, and he never quibbles about my business related routing. And I always get to keep the miles. :)
     
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  7. BuckleandBoots

    BuckleandBoots Silver Member

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    Wandering Aramean nailed it. What's the additional cost if you get to your destination late? Adding connections increases risk, so if you're not flexible I wouldn't mess with it. (The boss man/client wouldn't approve if I got stuck at LAX flying from CVG to LGA.)
     
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  8. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    As a rule of thumb if a trip has strings attached, then it is not a mileage run. The fact that there are so many considerations for this trip definitely disqualifies it from being a MR, as I understand that term...
     
  9. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    that may be the case now, miss a few meetings or deadlines due to something going wrong w/a crazy run and my guess is the CEO won't be so tolerant.

    Personally I never did crazy routings on way to a meeting but if I was flying home on a Sat or Sun, then the more miles the better (as long as it saved the company money over 'conventional' routing).
     
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  10. cvsara
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    cvsara Gold Member

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    Well, it does help to be 'Da Boss' and CEO all wrapped up in the same body.
     
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  11. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    sure, just saying I wouldn't be pleased w/myself if I missed an important meeting or deadline just because I wanted to max out some extra miles.
     
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  12. Photonerd71

    Photonerd71 Silver Member

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    You got that right. As well as the CFO and worker bee. Only problem is when something goes wrong you can't blame anybody else. :)
     
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  13. cvsara
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    cvsara Gold Member

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    And that is the way it should be. Lead, Follow, Or get the hell out of the way.
     
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