Greetings All – I’ve updated this thread to reflect the changes on FT and I’ve added some new ones that I found while searching for the old links. This thread was created to update the original MR Tools thread
. I can’t find the Primer on FT, however, there’s an archived version of it below.
One of the first questions many people ask is... Why do Mileage Runs?
This thread may help enlighten you on why these take place. The posts that follow will then help you to put them together.
*******The Mileage Run Tools Thread
If you know of a tool or a website that would be helpful to Mileage Runners, please post it - I'll try to update this when new tools are posted. Thanks!
*******Mileage Running, Pricing & Availability Tools
NEW! Glossary of Fare Rule terms
- Here's a glossary from TravelTerminal.com that outlines the definitions of terms used in fare rules.
The Mileage Run Primer
A guide to all that is Mileage Running - Read first, then ask questions. Note:
This is an archived copy that’s found at archive.org – Thanks to tvl4free
for putting it together & StSebastian for finding it.
Hopefully, it will be able to be found on the new FT so that it can be updated & “stickied” to the top of this forum.
[/b]Mileage Run Seminars
FlyerTalker Viajero Joven has been running a series of free seminars for those who are interested. Please click on the above link for the most recent information.
Basics on how to Read Routing Rules
- As this often times is a question, I've added a link to a post that explains basic information about how to read the rules.
Discussion regarding Open Jaws, End-on-End, and Circle Trips
- For those "trickier" mileage runs!
How to Construct & Book a Mileage Run
FT'er VPescado created this handy guide to mileage run planning - check it out! (Thanks, VPescado!)
Travelocity Fare List
Similar to the US Expedia Fare Lists, except you can search particular airlies, which you can only do on the Expedia UK list - different because it brings up rates using a date search as well. (Thanks nor4!)
Here's the UK version of the Travelocity Fare list
Boarding Area's Fare Calendar
and clicking on the Calendar Shopper on the left hand column.
ITA Software Page
Kind of like a super Orbitz or Travelocity
The ITA Software page will allow you to search for multiple leg flights by entering your destinations & carrier information. For example, if you're looking for a flight from BWI to SAN and you want to have four flights each way on NW, you'd enter "BWI::NW NW NW NW" in the departure airport field & "SAN::NW NW NW NW" in the destination airport field. I tested this out and the first fare it brought up BWI-DTW-ORD-MSP-SAN-MSP-MDW-DTW-BWI (all on NW metal) for 350.30 on particular dates that I tried it. If you just wanted to search for a NW ticket for the same dates, it returned a fare of 232 (with CO codeshares) and if you wanted a NW ticket soley on NW metal, it was 339. Be aware that when you do this, that it's bringing up flights, but it's necessarily bringing up the cheapest options or even the ones that allow the most mileage. A useful feature, nonetheless. (Thanks for pointing out this functionality on this tool, USCheapskate! - If anyone's interested in further discussion of this extremely useful site, it can be found on this thread
Also, according to this thread
, you can use ITA to search by booking class - i.e. if you need an L-far for a UA promo, you can search for pricing within that fare class! Check out that thread for future updates, including a Mac platform Mileage Calculator & Tracker. Good stuff! AND...to search by fare basis code, check out this thread!
(Thanks for posting it, SeattleFred!)
ITA Route Language
- learn the tricks of how to refine your ITA searches.
Travelocity Dream Maps
- Enter your departure city & it will bring up where you can go for upto a certain dollar amount. It defaults to Dallas because Dallas is Travelocity's home base (a little fact that we can thank themicah for). However, you can change it's defaults, by using the information in this thread
that Choster put together so you don't have to use Travelocity's defaults.
Flyertalker stewyvr has created a new tool currently called the Dream Map Beta
where one can enter the variables & reference Dream Maps (without the actual map) & pull up fares for the various regions (thanks stewyvr!)
Yahoo's Fare Chase
is still in beta right now - but it searches city pairs with specific dates - similar to Travelaxe, it tells you which sites have the best deals.
A website that allows you to search for itineraries based on either price, availability, or schedule. It shows some, but not all of the fare. (Thanks Super Larry!)
Not sure if this will become a useful tool, but it's kind of neat. You can't use it to book, but you can look up options. No multi-city routing available yet because it's still in Beta - looks like it could be promising. It's self described as:
Kayak is a new online travel site created by the founders of Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity to establish a leadership position in online travel search. Our goal is to help consumers find and navigate the wealth of travel information available on the web.
We've launched a "beta release" to demonstrate some of our capabilities, and we’re adding new features constantly. Please feel free to use our site and give us suggestions on future improvements.
- another fare finding site, seems brand new - by Kayak (see above note) & see discussion here
. (Thanks, ldlha!)
- This is a web-based interface created by FT'er shahn75 - it's kind of like a megasearch engine as it searches one-way & RT flights on Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak & Mobissimo. A useful site if you want to save yourself a few steps!
- A website that has the most recent major fare cuts from destination cities (Thanks thezipper!) The main page
shows cities & some deals out of those cities.
Air Fare Watchdog
is another Air Fare listing site that has information by city. (Thanks, MrAOK!)
Shuly Wintner’s Flight Page
– note that the Availability information doesn’t currently work because of sites that it links to being down. This page also has useful links at the bottom, including the a link to:
The Great Circle Mapper
Fairly accurate estimates of distance earned for routings. Calculates exact distances between points – does not round up to the minimum 500 mile per segment that a lot of the US-based airlines give, which is good for calculating mileage on partner flights that don’t earn minimum mileage amounts. As always, YMMV based on airline.
drtravix's Fare Metrics
- self described as:
Yahoo! Best Fares
Originally Posted by drtravix
...a small site I developed to host some tools for MRs. At least a few more good ideas are coming in the next month or two beyond what's already up there. Current tools include a routing rule expander (which can calculate the maximum mileage for a given set of routing rues) and a flexible distance calculator.
- Here you can enter your home airport & get the best fares to & from there. Currently, it’s set to BWI, but to change it, change the last 3 letters of the URL to your home airport code.
Flyertalker Steam Engine has a new tool that compiles Yahoo Best Fares information from different airports so you can see price differences. The tool is located here
. It's pretty interesting & is useful. I entered WASNYC to check fares just a sample & if one was to be going to SYD out of DC, they may consider that at the time of me writing this that it was over 500.00 cheaper to fly out of NYC & a RT IAD-JFK flight can be as low as 150 all-in. Great tool, thanks Steam Engine!
Flyertalker Ben Edelman’s Page
- (note URL is no longer at Harvard, but at benedelman.org, however the old Harvard link still works – I haven’t used this one in a long time because some of the tools are no longer valid, but there’s some interesting things if you fly AA or want to see the old TWA website. This is a fare-code listing site
that's part of Ben Edelman's site. There is a link to fare-codes of various airlines & what their definitions are on this page.
rmyadsk's Flying Fish Mileage Calculator
, FT'er developed tool that does not need to be connected to the net to determine mileage distances - as always, YMMV by airline (Thanks Vasantn!) See more discussion here.
CoMETS is a new tool developed by SeattleFred - it's been around for a while on Mac, but it's been recently released for Windows.CoMETS is much more than a mileage calculator
. It is a mileage/flight info tracker. CoMETS will help you find the best routing to make the most of your mileage run. CoMETS makes it easy to track the miles and segments you earn; miles, EQM, BIS, segments, and EQS are all tracked separately. Monthly, quarterly, annual, and lifetime totals of all your miles and segments, for each of your frequent flyer programs, are available with a click of your mouse. CoMETS does…well, lots more. (Thanks, SeattleFred!)
Austrian Airlines Search Page
- lists and finds the cheapeast Star Alliance
fares between 2 cities. (Thanks PappaG!) - If this link doesn't work for you, please try this one.
Matthew Clements's Mileage Runner
- site created by an FT'er that has some information regarding MR's and information on United. The link for FFAssistant.exe on Mileage Runner is no longer valid, as of 3/22/04. However, FFAssistant is currently located here
as Mahjonguy changes his website around. It may be moved again in the future. Here, you can download Mahjongguy's tool called FFAssist (on the left hand side of the page) - which according to the description: "is a simple program that allows you to build a trip of up to 8 segments. The advantage FFassist offers is that it will save your trip request for your next session. It also has buttons that slide every date forward or back by 7 days." (Thanks Mahjonguy!) NOTE - This site seems to have changed a bit - however, apparently some of the same information is available - I have not checked it out all the way
Check this site out for some more best fare listings - some parts require pay membership, which is expensive as hell & it doesn't appear to give information too much different from Yahoo! Best Fares which is listed above. It does have a functionality that allows you to search for the cheapest CPM from your home airport - but again, the listings don't provide a lot of information & you have to be paying member to access all the information. (Thanks SFOTraveler!)
KVS Availability Tool
- Click on the link for more detailed information - to be brief here - this tool searches various GDS systems for availability - there's a lite version & a full version available. Due to the method of getting registered (see thread) - this tool is only available to registered FT'ers. This tool also allows one to check award inventory buckets too!
– Another page with a wealth of knowledge & a ton of tools - this site is sure to be a VERY useful page. There's also a booking engine on this site that you can use should you decide to.
Since ITN.net is down (I've removed the link to the Amex-ITN site as it changed), FlyAOW's page has been very helpful. I recently came accross another tool that uses ITN's interface (you even have to set up an account with Expert Settings to view the fare buckets). Travel & Transport
's online booking tool has all the same functionality as ITN. They charge a 20.00 booking fee per ticket purchased, FYI.
- a downloadable tool that allows you to check the availability & seatmaps of the VS flights (thanks pixuk!) Note, some of the functionality of this tool is down, but I'll leave the link here anyways for archival purposes
- Expert Flyert is a fairly full-service paid subscription site. The fare information, routing and fare rules are part of the Premium service for $9.99/mo or $99.99/year. The Basic $4.99/mo service does not include access to fare information. ExpertfFlyer will help the MR'ers not only by showing the routing rules but by showing ALL available fares. The fares can be further filtered by showing only those valid for the date of departure based on seasonality and advance purchase requirements, the user has the choice of whether or not to invoke this filter.
Also, for those interested in securing an upgrade, they also show upgrade inventory for a few airlines such as AA, DL, TN, and AC. Seat maps are also available for over 100 airlines.
The Mileage Run Checklist
- What you'll need for a Mileage Run - everything from the right food to the right documentation.
Why do it?
Discussion regarding Cost per Mile
- Is it worth it?