What the Mileage Run Forum expects out of you:
We expect you to treat others with respect – If you can’t play nicely, you may be asked to leave
Think before you post
– if your comments are off-topic and don’t have anything to do with the original posters questions or comment, then please refrain from posting. There’s never any reason to bash another poster who may have made a mistake that you yourself may have made when you were new to Flyertalk.
If you have any questions about this, please feel free to refer to Flyertalk’s Guidelines & Rules section.
If you require any clarification on any of the points made, feel free to send a Private Message to one of the Mileage Run Moderators: rcs85551
Any one of us is more than willing to help you out – in fact, that is part of our roles as volunteer moderators for this board. We don’t get paid to be here – we’re here because we love Flyertalk and we’re here to serve.
We expect you to share with others & post your insight and great fares you find. As you spend more time on Flyertalk & in the Mileage Run forum, you’ll soon become an expert on a lot of subjects. Amongst our non-FT friends, a lot of us FT’ers are the best when it comes to planning vacations, doing routings, and getting great fares & deals.
However, when it comes to Flyertalk folks, there are many people out there who are just way better than we are when it comes to finding great fares & maximizing routings. The only reason a lot of us know & understand what we do is because of contributions & posts created by others. Some of us have been able to take advantage of spectacular fare deals due to others letting us know about it.
If you find a really great fare, feel free to post it in this forum. Generally these are return flights, e.g. XXX-YYY routings, bookable on a booking site that you specify, based on the routings in your post.
We’d appreciate it if you titled your fare with the city pair, the base fare, the available carrier, and any other pertinent information.
For example, to post about a $100 base fare (+ taxes & + fees) from New York City to Los Angeles on United Airlines with no minimum stay, you may want to title your post as follows:
NYC-LAX 100.00++ on UA – no min. stay
Then, in the post, you may want to outline other points about the post, for example fare rules if available, what booking class its in, whether it’s valid only on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, whether there are any strange restrictions, etc. Some FT'ers have requested that you also put available dates in the thread titles too - so, if there's a date range & you know what it is, please feel free to post in the thread title as well.
Just a quick note - this is a public forum - which means that not only FT'ers read it, but the airlines read it too.
Be cautious about explicitly posting routing rules & try to refrain from posting them the thread title as it will attract airline yield management attention.
A lucrative route (and this doesn't exist), IAD to SFO via ANC & HNL could be lost if the airlines get wind of people taking advantage of these routes.
Recent examples of routing rule shutdowns: CO via Florida, AA limited routes on some specials, NW transfer limits, DL transfer limits, and most recently NW reduced routing rules on special K fares.
The more the airlines realize mileage runners can benefit, the harder it is to benefit from their rules.
We expect you utilize the search
function – whether you’re new or old to Flyertalk, everyone has questions sometime or another.
As said above, chances are its been asked before.
Try using the search
function first. It only takes a few moments.
We expect you not to post questions regarding specific itineraries here – the Mileage Run forum is not the place for questions regarding specific itineraries.
Well to answer that question, we must first look at what exactly is a true mileage run? The forum is described as:
The place to post airfare deals conducive to mileage running, including possible pricing errors and unusually low fares.
Note: Weekly or other regularly posted fare sales are generally not considered unusually good deals.
This means that specific itineraries – itineraries that are being done with a purpose other than just to earn the miles are not really welcomed here.
In other words, if you're taking a specific trip and want help with routing to find creative ways to get those 14 segments in between SFO and LAX, post away.
Please don't ask for help in finding the best fare for such a trip. Posts of that nature will be deleted without warning. There may be some exceptions made occasionally for newer Flyertalkers – in which case, the post will be moved most likely to Travelbuzz or the airline specific forum with a redirect link left in the Mileage Run forum, however, for most of our members who have been here a while & who we feel should know better, your threads will just be deleted.
If you have a question as to whether or not a post is appropriate, feel free to send a Private Message to the moderators.
We expect you to make a reasonable attempt to post in the correct forum
– In March, 2007, the Mileage Run forum was restructured by the TalkBoard to provide a little more organization. The result is that we now have the Mileage Run Deals forum, with Hotel Deals and Mileage Run Discussion as subforums.
The only thing that should be posted in the Mileage Run Deals forum are currently-available
Please use the 'Alert Moderator to this post' button to report expired/unavailable/never available fares, which will be moved to Mileage Run Discussion and tagged 'fare gone' in their title.
A new thread should only be posted based on a deal that is available at the time of posting.
Any other discussion, such as tools, requests for assistance (with a mileage run – not for a regular “help me find a low fare” trip), etc, should be posted in the Mileage Run Discussion forum.
A general guideline for topics:
Good in Mileage Run Deals:
1) Airfare deals that offer uniquely high value in terms of either miles/points to $$ or expedited status
2) Discussion within the individual threads of ways to benefit from the deal
3) MR Deals threads are not
to be used for meta-discussion of general mileage run issues (nor to complain about or discuss fuel-dumping 'tricks' on fares that are in MR Deals, which belong here
Good in Mileage Run Discussion:
1) Mileage Run tools
2) MR Clinic/Requests
3) General discussion of mileage runs, such as process, ethics, tips for convincing family, etc.
4) MR Discussion threads are not
to be used for any discussion of fuel dumping, fuel dump fares & strategies - EXCEPT in the specialist subthread 'Trick It' lounge thread
- see below.
Good in specialist subthreads (aka megathreads):
1) First/Business class good or great deals? Premium Fares thread in Mileage Run Deals
2) Good fare/sale 'deals', not great enough value as a pure mileage run (a bit more than 3c / mile unit cost)? Good Deals in Economy - city pairs
3) Sharing fuel-dump fare deals or discussing special savings strategies in fare prices through tricks or tips to 'negotiate' certain ticket charges?
Trick It lounge thread
. This includes discussion of fares legitimately in MR Deals which happen to contain a fuel dump.
DO NOT discuss fuel dumps/FD'd fares/FD strategies anywhere else on the MR forums, except here in the Trick It thread
Note: If a fare is bookable on a normal booking site without routing tricks and fulfills the criteria for a MR Deal fare, set out above, it can be posted in MR Deals - even if it's an inadvertently 'tricked' fare. This is a mistake fare, of sorts. Remember, ALL tricks discussion MUST be in the Trick It thread.
Not appropriate for either Mileage Run forum:
1) Please tell me the cheapest fare from XXX to YYY in this period.
Please, NO FARE REQUESTS
. There is NOT a travel agent service on FlyerTalk. Search or Google FT for existing threads on travel booking tools, e.g. ITAsoftware, KVS and discussion of fare booking websites, which might help you find a fare - or contact a travel agent. DO NOT PM Moderators or other FTers to ask for such a travel booking. Thank you.
2) What I Did on my Mileage Run (see Trip Reports forum)
3) What Should I Do in XXX on my Mileage Run (see relevant Travel & Dining destinations forum)
4) General travel site problems, such as “ITA is down” (see TravelBuzz!)
5) Who Else Got In On This Deal [a.k.a. let’s all get together]? see (CommunityBuzz!)
Okay, now onto the fun stuff!
What is a Mileage Run?
A true mileage run is a trip that’s sole purpose is to earn miles or points in a particular travel industry loyalty program. There are also mattress runs where travelers sometimes stay in hotels (or just check-in), just so they can get the required number of annual room nights to attain elite status.
Some people do Mileage/Mattress runs to get to the next level of status – others just do them for the miles, even if they don’t need the status miles.
How do I find & book a mileage run?
Well, that all depends on you. Before asking for help with a particular fare, there are some things that you’ll want to consider. First, what carrier do you need to fly on? For example, if you’re a United flyer, you can earn your EQMs (Elite Qualifying Miles) on US Airways as they are partners. If you’re a Northwest flyer, you can earn EQMs on Delta and Continental, but if you fly on a Continental, you may not get 100% of the miles counting towards Elite Status – so, its important that you make yourself aware of your particular airline’s rules regarding mileage earning & elite status. Depending on your purpose, time constraints, and financial situations – a mileage run that’s perfect for another Flyertalker may not be perfect for you. For example, if you only fly 5K per year, it may not be worth it to mileage runs for the other 20K that you may need for elite status as you probably wouldn’t benefit that much from it. However, if you’ve already flown 70K this year and need another 5K to earn Platinum status with an airline, you may be willing to spend a little more for that last 5K then the person who still needs to earn 20K to get status. Check the Mileage Run Tools thread for a link to VPescado’s guide on How to Construct & Book a Mileage Run – Remember, people will be more inclined to help you if you’ve helped yourself.
I live in a hub city and can't find any great deals - what's up with that?
Often times, it's harder to find great routes & fares from hub cities - a lot of the reason why people are able to make multiple connections is because they are connecting through a hub city. If you live in ORD & are a UA flier, finding a cheap UA fare out of ORD on UA may be tough. Or, if you live in IAH & you're a CO flier, you may have challenges finding a fare. When that does occurr, try finding fares out of nearby alternate airports and areas. Say you live in ORD, you may be able to get a cheap fare to another city & start your mileage run from that particular city instead. Or, try to fly on a partner that may publish more reasonable fares to & from that city. Or take a low cost carrier like Spirit, or Southwest, or JetBlue to a different city where you can stage a run.
I need to go from XXX to YYY and can’t find any cheap fares – can I post in the Mileage Run forum for fare finding assistance? No. As stated above, the Mileage Run forum isn’t the place to ask for assistance with specific itineraries.
Okay, then where should I post & where can I find information on fares? Check out the Mileage Run Tools thread for links to various fare finding sites. If you need help with a specific itinerary and can’t figure it out after trying, you may want to consider posting in the TravelBuzz forum.
Where can I find fare codes & make sense of what everyone’s talking about? Check out the Mileage Run Tools thread for information on this. Need a guide to the abbreviations, try using the Flyertalk Glossary.
How do I book a trip with multiple segments? First, you’ll need to find the routing rules of a particular fare (building a test itinerary on Expedia & checking the fare rules is a good way of getting this information) – from there, after reading the basic information on the posts in the Mileage Run Tools thread, you can try using the airline or third-party distributor’s (Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, etc) Multi-City Routing Page to build the itinerary. Note that the particular fare class bucket must be available.
What’s a fare class bucket? A fare class “bucket” is how the airlines categorize their fares. As we all know, the same itinerary, may price out differently at different times. A last minute fare in the Y-class bucket may run you hundreds of dollars for a simple LAX-IAD nonstop flight; however, if you were to purchase it 21-days in advance, you may be able to purchase it out of a cheaper fare bucket. Or, if the LAX-IAD non-stop doesn’t have a cheaper fare bucket available, but a LAX-ORD-IAD has the cheaper buckets available, you may be able to book the same itinerary, with a stop in ORD, for a little less money. Airlines are often willing to sell a select number of fares at various prices. The lower fares generally have advance purchase restrictions, maximum connection restrictions, and refund restrictions. These are designed primarily for leisure travelers who can plan out their trips well in advance – the higher, less restrictive fares are generally targeted at business travelers who may need the ability to change a ticket at the last minute.
I booked a ticket for a mileage run & now I can’t go, can I get my money back? Generally, no. Some airlines will let you lose $100.00 and have the difference be usable as a credit for a future ticket on their airline. In some instances, you can cancel the trip, lose the base fare you paid and get your taxes refunded.
What about all those $0.00 fares I’ve heard about in this forum? Generally, when an airline loads a mistake fare, it probably isn’t caught. However, if a Flyertalker is lucky enough to catch the mistake, he or she may post it here for others to “get in on the deal.” More often than not, recently anyways, airlines have been honoring their mistake fares. Travelocity has been known to honor the fares & work out a deal with the airlines or hotels even when the airline or hotel isn’t interested in honoring the fare. This is partially why Travelocity has become a recent favorite third-party booking engine. Michelle Peluso, the CEO of Travelocity even joined & posted here on Flyertalk – but do remember, that as always, your mileage may vary and sometimes, the travel companies will not honor the fare or rate if it was clearly a mistake. If you’ve booked a flight somewhere or a hotel somewhere on the basis that you plan on going due to a mistake fare – until it’s confirmed that people have gone or the company is honoring it, we wouldn’t recommend booking non-cancelable reservations.
Should I post mistake fares on this forum? Please feel free to post mistake fares and rates on this forum. Note that Mileage Run gets a lot of exposure and if you find something that you feel like sharing with us, a lot of FT'ers would be thankful. This forum has traditionally allowed mistake fares for travel-related things in the past & until further notice will continue to do so. So, if you find a heck of a deal on a particular airfare or on a hotel - even if it does not earn points - feel free to post here. If you find a great deal on something like luggage or travel accessories - that may be more appropriate for the SPAM forum (note that some FT'ers may not be able to access SPAM until they have a certain amount of time discussing points and miles on the travel-specific forums of Flyertalk). As for cross-posting, generally, it is frowned upon, but if there's a spectacular deal going for air travel that was originally posted in say, the UA forum, and you feel that it should be mentioned here, feel free to PM a moderator first. In order to keep discussion where it should be & where it originated, it may be a good idea to start & close a thread in this forum & temporarily sticky it to the top until the fare/rate is gone.
I get weekly e-mails from Travelzoo – sometimes they have great deals, such as a $250 + taxes transcontinental fare – should I post those here? The mileage run forum generally isn’t for standard fares – which a $250 transcon probably is – its more for those special fares that can earn miles at about 2-3 cents per mile (often even less than that) after a maximized routing.
Someone posted something completely off-topic the Mileage Run forum – their post may have had something to do with an airline specifically or have nothing to with travel at all & is probably some sort of spam – should I respond to it & tell them that they shouldn’t be here? No – there’s no need for that. At the corner of every post, there’s a triangle with a black line in it – if you click on it, you will be able to report a bad post to a Mileage Run moderator and of Flyertalk’s staff. You may post in the thread that you’ve reported the post so that others don’t needlessly send message about the bad post. Once a post is reported, if it’s determined to be unnecessary or unrelated to Mileage Run or Flyertalk, the post will either be moved to the appropriate forum or deleted. Spammers will be suspended – so, don’t spam the forum.
Hopefully this thread will answer any questions you have about the Mileage Run forum and how to participate in it.
As Flyertalk evolves, so will the Mileage Run forum. It is our hope that you can get the most out of this forum and Flyertalk in general. As any other issues or concerns come up, we’ll be sure to address them in this thread.
Feel free to ask any of the moderators any questions that you may have in regards to posting & what is appropriate content.
Feel free to post any other questions or comments you may have.
If you have a suggestion that should be added to this that may help out a new Flyertalker, please feel free to share it.
Thanks for taking the time to read this & once again, Welcome to the Mileage Run Forum!
The Mileage Run Forum Moderators
(and Thanks to our predecessors who wrote this excellent MR forum introduction!)