New and trying to learn how to Mileage run

Discussion in 'Mileage Runs/Travel Hacking' started by TheCubicleEscapee, Apr 22, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. TheCubicleEscapee

    TheCubicleEscapee Active Member

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    I am trying to learn how this works, I have always known about this process but never quite learned how...

    Can someone point me in the right direction... I have easy access to DAL, DFW and IAH.

    This is something I want to learn to do and I think this is a great place to start.

    Thanks.

    Jennifer
     
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  2. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    Hello and welcome @TheCubicleEscapee. The answer will vary a bit from person to person, but I believe general consenus is that a Mileage Run should cost no more than 3 cents per mile. But, the question you have to ask is why you want to do it, and what are your goals? Most mileage runs happen at the end of the year when people are trying to get to the next level of elite staus. But just having that status really does not do anything for you if you are not going to use it. So be sure before you pay out of pocket for a MR, you will benefit (financial, comfort, etc) from a bump in elite status. You are in a good location for a MR, with DFW being an American Hub. I would also sign up for their email communications.

    Thats about all I can share with the information provided. If you wouldn't mind sharing, what are your goals?
     
  3. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    Welcome to MilePoint. :)

    Is there a specific carrier that you're looking to do your mileage run's on? I ask because sometimes getting AA mileage runs out of DFW can be a challenge, just like how getting UA mileage runs out of IAH can be challenging.

    Feel free to ask any of us specific questions you may have about mileage runs. :)
     
  4. Jimgotkp
    Original Member

    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    IMHO, 3 cpm is a thing of the past. Nowadays, a good deal is 4 cpm. Very rarely do you see MR deals at 3 cpm nowadays...
     
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  5. TheCubicleEscapee

    TheCubicleEscapee Active Member

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    Hi! Actually I am an avid United Flier. I have the credit card and everything and man do I pay for EVERYTHING on that card then pay it back at the end of the month.

    So yes my loyalties do lie with UA (I am pretty sure that is the abbreviation you use here lol)

    I actually have 4 flights scheduled with them this month. I have elite status, but I really want a much higher status. :)

    I have been browsing the forums for 2 days now, and I can tell I am going to love this forum :)

    Jen
     
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  6. TheCubicleEscapee

    TheCubicleEscapee Active Member

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    Hi,

    haha I think I have a pretty unique goal, and it is not necessarily for the status. I am an avid traveler as it is. I fly frequently and I quickly get status on both United and American. I just started flying on Delta, so I have an account with them but only have one flight scheduled in the future, so it is not my most common choice.

    I am saving miles. My husband and I are wanting to do an around the world trip when his daughters (my step daughters) graduate from high school in 7 years. So I am trying to rack miles up like crazy so we have them to utilize for flights in 7 years. So we can spend our saved money on more things like food and adventures.

    So that is my true goal. I currently always book the cheapest flights available and I am hoarding my miles for our future plans, he is doing the same. I fly some where monthly either for personal or business. I even try to have layovers to get more miles out of a flight.

    So I guess my goal is just to rack up as MANY miles as I can in 7 years so we can practically fly for free when we take off! I just learned about MA and I thought to myself, what a fun way to see different airports and get miles :)

    Thanks!

    Jen
     
  7. jakem4800

    jakem4800 Silver Member

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    I'd recommend doing it in a 2-3 year period, fly to earn premier 1k on united, only fly star alliance partners, and look for the cheapest fares to any destination that you can turn and burn without a hotel over night or rental car, you will earn 100% bonus on all flights as a premier 1k. Since united will be the only carrier remaining with free upgrades for any level of elite member, I may start up with them. Im disliking this merger between american and us airways. As a current us air member I think we will get screwed out of quite a bit.
    If your a sports fan (like me) go see your team on the road that gets me 30k + miles a year just from doing that.

    Good luck :)
     
  8. TheCubicleEscapee

    TheCubicleEscapee Active Member

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    that is a fantastic idea on the sports team idea. I am a huge Cowboys fan (sorry if you hate them lol I have learned you either really love them or really hate them!)

    I have a lot of friends loyal to American and they are not happy either. I remember the pains when United merged with Continental. It was so sad.

    I love the Star Alliance it does make life easier when I travel international.

    I love the sports team idea.

    Thanks for the tip! that was crazy helpful.
     
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  9. dkelly1110
    Original Member

    dkelly1110 Silver Member

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    As jakem4800 said above, your advanced planning while valiant may be all for naught. The programs can change so quickly, that I don't know anyone willing to make a prediction as to what this hobby may look like 3 years from now with any sense of confidence, never mind 7! We all hope they stay similar to what we have now, but I'm afraid that is unlikely. So what can you do instead? Do still accumulate miles as your travel for pleasure and business normally, but maybe don't go on mileage runs. Save the money you were going to spend on those and set it aside for your "RTW Trip Fund". Miles and points are a depreciating asset, they will never be worth as much as they are today, but if you can save and perhaps even invest wisely, that money will go farther for your goal in 7 years. As you get closer, perhaps that is when MRs and leveraging your elite status to collect extra redeemable miles would be best, assuming that program dynamic still exists in its current form. Likewise playing the credit card sign up game whatever that may look like in the future can add to your balances quickly.

    P.S. Go Giants! :D
     
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  10. TheCubicleEscapee

    TheCubicleEscapee Active Member

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    hahaha.

    I completely understand what you are saying by 7 years, I love traveling anyway, so if it ever comes to the whole use your miles or loose them, believe me I will use them. I just never really thought about MR in a way to gain miles. I have looked at some flights this weekend and found some .04 cpm and I guess the most valuable thing I learned from that is how to calculate cpm.

    I have the united CC and it is the only one I want. I am not a fan of credit cards to begin with, but I do abuse it to earn miles. :)
     
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  11. ariosto

    ariosto Silver Member

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    Welcome to MP and i totally agree with stated by others where in 7 Years your mile accumulation might literally be worth very little so in my case i follow the Earn and Burn (although i do keep at least 200K airline miles avaiallable for emergency) why wait for kids graduation?? i have an adventurous spirit i guess for example this summer family trip to china with both my children whom are elementary students 7 & 11 years old.

    So if you are going to do mileage runs HAVE FUN and keep reading MP.:)

    P.S. it doesn't Hurt to get an Extra CC
     
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  12. TheCubicleEscapee

    TheCubicleEscapee Active Member

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    I know. That is just a goal in 7 years, if I have miles great if I don't I don't.

    It will be a career break that will last over the course of the year. I want to go earlier, but he doesn't until his children are out of school. So that is our agreement.

    I do know I personally have a problem with saving miles, so my "goal" is likely impossible, but a girl can dream. :)

    Thanks for all of the advise!
     
  13. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    1. It's almost certainly a mistake to accrue miles now for a trip in seven years. If you do want to do that, I'd strongly recommend one of the convertible mileage currencies (AMEX Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards) that, hopefully, will replace any hyper-devalued programs with others (if such a thing exists in seven years).
    2. Mileage runs are never the best way to get redeemable miles for use in getting award tickets. You can almost always buy the miles outright from the airline for less than you would pay to earn them by flying.
    3. Like the frequent flier programs, life itself has a way of changing in unpredictable and often undesirable ways. Consider going sooner.
    4. For a trip in seven years, you're probably better off saving money for the first four years then, a couple of years before you go, you can evaluate your actual travel plans and the state of the award ticket market and figure out how best to convert your saved money into tickets (possibly by mileage running then, more likely by buying miles from the airline).
     
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  14. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    Welcome to MilePoint.
    I agree with all of the advice dispensed above but I think that as a UA credit card holder you can be more efficient if you aim a little lower than 1K.

    If you put $25K on your card, you not only get the miles for CC spend but also no PQD requirement for status up to Platinum, which makes MRs reasonable both for RDMs and status.

    If you fly on routes that are not heavily utilized by business travelers then Platinum is pretty much as good as you could want (especially since it allows up to 8 companions on the same PNR to reserve E+ and a 75% RDM bonus). Gold also gets you some very comfortable perks (such as *A Gold for International travel and a 50% RDM bonus), but it is a step down with only one companion on the same PNR allowed to E+ at reservation. Certainly there are differences, but I have been treated well at Platinum and would find it difficult to justify the extra effort and expense needed to move up to 1K.

    2015 will be the first year where PQDs will bite into Premier qualification. I expect there to be a significant drop in the number of 1Ks, so Platinum is likely to be even better.

    Of course UA is likely to change all of this in a year or two anyway so have fun with it and enjoy the flights you are taking now. Seven years is a long way off.
     
  15. TheCubicleEscapee

    TheCubicleEscapee Active Member

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    Larry,

    I feel like I need to say this. I am saving for my trip in 7 years, but again if the miles program is non existent then it doesn't exist. I am not going to let miles go... if they say they are going to start expiring the miles they will get used. It is more of an idea and a planning tool but not what I am banking my trip on. I know now, that I should not rely on it, and believe me I am not. I just hoard miles... because I can thanks to my company paying for a lot of my travel and right now, as long as I add miles they do not expire for 24 months. Also going sooner is not an option right now.... believe me I have tried many different ways to make it an option, but the amount of bills (including child support) does not make it feasible at this time.:( I should have gone in my 20s, that is for sure lol.

    I am curious about the convertible mileage currencies, I will look into this for sure, not just for miles but other options.

    I have been playing with mileage run formula and I agree... paying $75 to boost miles is often cheaper than the run. I guess I was thinking the mileage run would be fun to see a new city. I didn't understand what the main purpose of a MR is, but I am starting to now thanks to this awesome forum, that I have been lurking and reading all day. :) So much valuable information I wish I knew years ago!

    8mihi:

    The card I have is the Mileage Explorer. I really like the platinum status, and believe me I know the perks. My father in law is part of the uber elite 2 million mile club and I see it EVERY time I fly with him (which will be next week!)

    I agree about the PQD it is going to bite into statuses. I am not a fan but it is what it is, and most airlines are taking that route lately. UA does seem to be playing and toying with their program, so we will see what happens.

    I do know I have started gaining a lot of miles thanks to the credit card, and that I book every single flight with the card even business. So I should have a pretty solid status next year, but we will see.

    Thanks for all of the help you guys have been beyond helpful!

    Jen
     
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  16. TheCubicleEscapee

    TheCubicleEscapee Active Member

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    Plus I should say, I have been on this forum for 2 days, and have already learned everything I have been trying to learn just reading articles online.

    So glad I stumbled on this.
     
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  17. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    Mileage programs are changing so much. I shudder to think what things will be like in a few years. I recall my almost constant upgrades, 10 years ago. Easy award trips, airlines that tried to expand their FF programs positively, and real customer service.

    Why look so far ahead? I'd try to go on trips with your step kids, and enjoy travel when/where you can.
     
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  18. TheCubicleEscapee

    TheCubicleEscapee Active Member

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    I travel monthly now... my goal is more a career break type of idea in the future. one of those bucket list things :)
     
  19. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    One problem is that the airlines may announce changes that devalue you miles in the future. In that case, yes, you can use your miles over a three, or six, or twelve month period (if you're able to do that much traveling in that amount of time).

    But another problem is that the airlines may make unannounced, immediate changes in their programs, as American did two weeks ago. You could instantly find your stash of 500K miles, previously worth four round-the-world business class tickets worth only $5K dollars in revenue-based redemption value. Or less. Without the chance to use the miles under the old regimen. I've seen a number of reports of people who'd been saving miles for an AAdvantage Explorer award round-the-world see that option literally disappear overnight.

    And when I suggest that buying directly from the airline is often cheaper, I don't mean using mileage boost or any trick like that. Going to the airline's web site and purchasing the miles outright is generally 3.5 cents per mile or less, and if you only do it when specials are in effect you can pay well less than that. US Airways has frequent specials as low as 1.15 cents per mile. You're limited in the number of miles you can buy per year, but you have years to get to your goal.
     
  20. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    UA has raised prices by so much that I am beginning to think that the PQD hurdles will only block the budget conscious. In this Brave New World it may be that Gold status is the level with the most perks for the least cost if you are happy in coach.
    As a mid tier elite with million-miler status I anticipate that future changes will affect me less, but I also think they will rock the boat less for people who they successfully cross-sell to. The credit card should help with that.
    All the best for your FF career.
     
  21. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    This is a very friendly forum @TheCubicleEscapee but there are many veterans here who have seen devaluation after devaluation and experienced loyalty and customer service go by the wayside. Agreed that who knows what Frequent Flyer programs will look like in 1 year, let alone 7 years. But I also see you have a goal and are working towards it, which is great.
     
  22. jakem4800

    jakem4800 Silver Member

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    Glad I can help, I only vote for the cowboys if they play the steelers haha :)
     
  23. TheCubicleEscapee

    TheCubicleEscapee Active Member

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    That is interesting, I am starting to notice that US Airways always have specials, but never when I can actually go :( I typically always buy direct, unless it is a mistake fare that I catch on hotwire or something... other than that I always buy direct. I think just for my own peace of mind, although I know Kayak and Hotwire are very trustworthy
     
  24. TheCubicleEscapee

    TheCubicleEscapee Active Member

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    Everyone has been super friendly, and I am glad to hear that from vets. It was really a planning tool but then again I suspect I am going to end up using all my miles soon for the Olympics, so we will see. :)
     
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