Mileage Runs

5 Feb

You may wonder what a mileage run (MR) is. I don’t blame you, I never heard of the term until I got involved in the world of frequent flying.

A mileage run is a trip that is taken solely for the purpose of accumulating miles with the airline or alliance. Yes, it sounds…crazy.

There’s a variety of reasons while people embark on mileage runs. Usually it comes down to two things, achieving elite status with the airline and/or taking advantage of a running promotion (some promos let you get x2, x3 the miles flown).

Here’s a handy chart with the benefits you can enjoy for having elite status in American Airlines. My airline of choice.

A true MR is considered to be one in which you fly to a destination land, get off the plane and immediately head back. Sometimes even in the same aircraft with the same crew. Note: I hear their faces are priceless when they see you boarding again.

Currently on a quest to become Platinum with American Airlines, last week I went on my first mileage run. After much searching, MCI to SAN was the best mile-for-your-buck (aka, cents-per-mile) fare available. I ended up flying MCI-DFW-SAN-DFW-MCI and spending 4 hours roaming San Diego. From 6am to midnight, almost 9 hours were spent up in the air.

Arrived to SD at 10:30am and made sure to enjoy the 4-hr layover:

Like every other out-of-towner visiting the West Coast. A must stop. Incidentally, also a pre-workout meal.

May as well get a workout in, no?

Gold’s Gym SD. The view from the cardio theater.

Some post-workout replenishment:

When you’re this close to the ocean, sushi is mandatory.

About two hours from catching my flight back, I thought I would start walking towards the airport and take on some sun:

Sunny San Diego at a chilly 52F.

However, about 45 minutes into my hiking I decided to get a cab and get my ass back to the airport. Despite only having a carry-on,  a MR is not the time to cut it close to the gate!

Got back with a few minutes to spare and off I was.

Later, Pacific. Always a pleasure.

After a 65min layover in DFW and landing at MCI at 12:04am, the deed was done.

I am now 1,770 EQPs closer to platinum status.


3 Responses to “Mileage Runs”


  1. Traveling by the Experts (Paul Van Dyk) « Tripping to the Beat - June 27, 2012

    […] number one: We must never contradict the immigration authorities. (Listen up, international Mileage Runners!)  No matter how wrong they are. In South Korea, I was sometimes paid directly by the club at the […]

  2. More Mileage Running and Status Matches « Tripping to the Beat - October 25, 2012

    […] in February I introduced you to the concept of mileage runs. Those insane trips to somewhere and back for the sole purpose of accruing […]

  3. Mileage Running – A Play by Play « Tripping to the Beat - November 2, 2012

    […] of my Mileage Run rituals  is getting a workout at the final destination. In part to check out the local Gold’s Gym, in […]

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