Mileage runs for Flying Blue - best routes?

Old Feb 17, 15, 1:22 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Henry III View Post
I can also support the consensus here that segments are generally the easiest/cheapest/fastest way to earn status in FB - unless one does several l/h J trips each year, with short xxx-AMS or xxx-CDG connections (which give you 3,750 level miles on a r/t itinerary).

For the past 4 years I've reached Platinum purely on segments (little or no opportunity for l/h J trips); however, this year, things look rather different: I've had one l/h J (EUR-AMS-KUL-CDG-EUR) plus a r/t J on GA (KUL-CGK-DPS), which already has me on 24,000+ level miles. I have a European 4-segment r/t coming up, then another l/h J (AMS-CDG-JNB-NBO-AMS).

As it happens, I'll reach 25,000 level miles and 15 segments on exactly the same flight! But, thereafter, things start to drift apart, and I project reaching 40,000 miles on my 19th segment. With a couple of extra EUR-AMS/CDG-(L/H) trips later in the year, I expect to hit 70,000 miles on or around my 31st segment (and, hopefully, a few other l/h trips towards the end of the year will give a good roll-over boost to get 2016 going).

In terms of cost, if you shop around, you can find some decent prices for l/h J on SkyTeam partners: e.g. FCO-TPE-AKL on CI in "C" for ~2,000, giving 29,000 level miles (or I've seen LHR-PVG-SYD on MU for about the same price); and don't forget AZ: their l/h biz fares generally earn 150% (^) and I've seen some very decent prices on routes like LIN-FCO-EZE.

-- Henry
You need 60 segments for Platinum! How do you fly so often? Are you a consultant who flies every week?

Thank you for those deals! I live in NYC but I have family in Hawaii so I may try to do that CI deal during the end of the year plus reach Hawaii for some mileage runs. However what is AZ? and l/h biz fares? Aitalia? So class l or H business class fares?

Segments to make platinum don't work if most of my flights are hub to hub like JFK to CDG.

Last edited by FlyingBlueIvory4life; Feb 17, 15 at 1:29 pm
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Old Feb 17, 15, 2:00 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingBlueIvory4life View Post
However what is AZ? and l/h biz fares? Aitalia? So class l or H business class fares?
Respectively, Alitalia and long-haul business class fares.

G
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Old Feb 17, 15, 11:47 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by FlyingBlueIvory4life View Post
Segments to make platinum don't work if most of my flights are hub to hub like JFK to CDG.
It doesn't matter if you depart from a hub, or are bound for a hub; segment runners shun direct itineraries. Delta has multiple hubs; so does AFKL. Instead of JFK-CDG, what about JFK-BOS-CDG? Or JFK-DTW-AMS-CDG?
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Old Feb 18, 15, 12:47 am
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingBlueIvory4life View Post
You need 60 segments for Platinum! How do you fly so often? Are you a consultant who flies every week?
As someone who qualified on segments last year ... no, you don't need to fly every week. If you take a 1-stop itinerary, you only need 15 return trips.

I had a number of professional trips:
- BRU-AMS-FRA-AMS-BRU: 4 segments
- ZWE-AMS-LCY-AMS-ZWE: 4 segments
Then a few private trips to Italy, such as:
- BRU-AMS-LIN-FCO-BRU or
- BRU-AMS-LIN-AMS-BRU

and a few random flights, with only 1 intercontinental trip.
Yes, it's a choice, but it got me there:

- 60 segments (4 from the Dutch Amex Gold)
- 40'376 EQM, including 9'271 rollover, some from Amex spend and 15'853 from 1 intercontinental trip

My 60th segment was on December 26th, credited on December 31st, earned from 17 roundtrips

My travel to FRA continues for the foreseeable future, so I could very well requalify for Platinum this year.

Cheers,

GenevaFlyer
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Old Feb 18, 15, 4:50 am
  #20  
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Originally Posted by GenevaFlyer View Post
- 40'376 EQM, including 9'271 rollover, some from Amex spend and 15'853 from 1 intercontinental trip

I ditched the FB Amex years ago...I wasn't aware that it now gave Level Miles in addition to Award Miles!

Originally Posted by GenevaFlyer View Post
My travel to FRA continues for the foreseeable future, so I could very well requalify for Platinum this year.
Fan and all as I am of air travel, I think you should instead consider BRU-FRA by train
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Old Feb 18, 15, 9:12 am
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
I ditched the FB Amex years ago...I wasn't aware that it now gave Level Miles in addition to Award Miles!
Only for spend with AF/KL, so no major numbers for me, since my business trips are paid by the company directly.

Fan and all as I am of air travel, I think you should instead consider BRU-FRA by train
Amazingly enough, even with the indirect route, it's faster for me to fly than to take the train (need to get to Gare du Nord or Gare du Midi first, while I'm at the airport in 15 minutes by car). But yes, I've done the train as well, or the occasional direct flight on LH to work on maintaining my A3 Gold status.

Cheers,

GenevaFlyer
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Old Feb 18, 15, 2:57 pm
  #22  
 
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Surely the amazing current offer fare of 999 over in the Mileage Runs forum counts as a potential mileage run:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/premi...er-thread.html

I managed to work out 8 segments on that offer last night, although I didn't book it. Pushed it up to around 1,400 or so. In theory, if you play around with it (on expedia for example) and you manage to transit both CDG and AMS, then that makes 6 sectors to and from one of those Chinese airports. If you fly on the offer to XMN, to can continue on Xiamen Airlines and pick up further segments. I was considering a separate ticket onwards from XMN, but I imagine a decent TA could put the whole thing on one PNR, thus protecting you from irrops. Internal flights in China seem to be pricy, though. I am floundering a bit here, relying on FT for advice, for I have no experience with flights in China whatsoever.
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Old Feb 18, 15, 3:13 pm
  #23  
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Be aware that you almost certainly will need to apply for a visa for any such trip to China.
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Old Feb 19, 15, 4:07 am
  #24  
 
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Indeed, but I was hoping to profit from the 72 hours visa free option, with an onward connection within that time. But I am unsure as to whether XMN has a 24 hour rule instead of 72 hours, or whether a separate onward ticket on a different PNR would cause problems, or whether booking a multistop onward itinerary (e.g. with MU via Shanghai) would be allowed because presumably going via another destination (even in transit) within China would not be allowed. I believe the visa free rule means you can't leave the city of transit, so an onward connection with a further transit would not be allowed.

Dumb question, how easy is it to get a Chinese visa for a short visit?
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Old Feb 19, 15, 7:37 am
  #25  
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I concluded that real Mileage runs are not worth it unless you have the Flying Blue Platinum AMEX Card (only for French and Dutch residents). Unfortunately my FICO score at present of 670 - 690 ish will not allow me to get it and also I would need a Dutch or French bank account.

Segment runs are the only cost-effective way to achieve status on flying blue.
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Old Feb 19, 15, 8:17 am
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingBlueIvory4life View Post
I concluded that real Mileage runs are not worth it unless you have the Flying Blue Platinum AMEX Card (only for French and Dutch residents). Unfortunately my FICO score at present of 670 - 690 ish will not allow me to get it and also I would need a Dutch or French bank account.

Segment runs are the only cost-effective way to achieve status on flying blue.
You do not need to be a Dutch or French resident, you just need to have a bank account in the respective countries.
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Old Feb 20, 15, 2:44 pm
  #27  
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Originally Posted by wuzziduzziman View Post
You do not need to be a Dutch or French resident, you just need to have a bank account in the respective countries.
Yes but the banks will not let you open an account unless you have a permanent address in the country. They will not let you use the address of a temporary location.

Also if I stay in France for 3 months - renting a pre-furbished flat there - and move back to the US will I be able to keep my bank account with BNP Paribas or any other French bank?
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Old Feb 20, 15, 10:51 pm
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingBlueIvory4life View Post
Yes but the banks will not let you open an account unless you have a permanent address in the country. They will not let you use the address of a temporary location.
Who told you that?

Non resident accounts are meant for which purpose then?

Also if I stay in France for 3 onths - renting a pre-furbished flat there - and move back to the US will I be able to keep my bank account with BNP Paribas or any other French bank?
See Above.

However many banks will refuse to open a bank account to US citizens and are asking for existing ones to be closed.

Last edited by carnarvon; Feb 21, 15 at 1:58 am
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Old Feb 21, 15, 12:48 am
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by Concerto View Post
...Dumb question, how easy is it to get a Chinese visa for a short visit?
If you are a Swiss citizen:


National Switzerland (CH) /Embarkation Switzerland (CH)
Destination China (People's Rep.) (CN)

[Visa Information - Destination] China (People's Rep.) (CN)

[Information For Normal Passports]
Passport required.
- Passports and/or passport replacing documents must be valid
on arrival.

Visa required, except for A max. stay of 15 days for holders
of normal passports issued to nationals of Switzerland
arriving at Haikou (HAK) or Sanya (SYX) and traveling on an
organized tour [[TIDFT/CN/VI/VS/ID50577]]
Visa Issuance:
- Holders of normal passports can obtain a prearranged visa on
arrival for a max. stay of 3 months at Beijing (PEK),
provided: [[TIDFT/CN/VI/IS/ID43086]]
- Holders of normal passports can obtain a prearranged visa on
arrival for a max. stay of 1 month at Chengdu (CTU), Fuzhou
(FOC), Shanghai (Hongqiao (SHA) and Pudong (PVG)) or Xiamen
(XMN), provided: [[TIDFT/CN/VI/IS/ID43088]]
(SEE NOTE 53943)
NOTE 53943: A visa and invitation letter is not required
for a stay of max. 5 days when arriving at and departing
from Xiamen (XMN). Passengers must remain in Xiamen city
for the whole duration of stay.
- Holders of normal passports can obtain a prearranged visa on
arrival at Chongqing (CKG), Guangzhou (CAN), Guilin (KWL),
Haikou (HAK), Kunming (KMG), Qingdao (TAO), Sanya (SYX),
Shenzhen (SZX), Weihai (WEH), Xi An (XIY) and Yantai (YNT),
provided: [[TIDFT/CN/VI/IS/ID43089]]

- A visa can be obtained on arrival at Hangzhou (HGH), for
tourist groups of travel agencies belonging to the Zhejiang
Province, for a max. stay of 1 month. Fee: CNY130.-.
Visa required, except for Holders of normal passports issued
to nationals of Switzerland can obtain a visa on arrival for a
max. stay of 15 days at Haikou (HAK) or Sanya (SYX), if
holding [[TIDFT/CN/VI/IS/ID57510]]
Minors:
- Passport not required for children travelling with a parent
or guardian, provided[[TIDFT/CN/PA/MI/ID46116]]
- WARNING! In accordance with European Union (EU) Legislation,
all minors who are nationals of Switzerland will be expected
to hold their own passport or National ID Card (where
applicable) when departing from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus,
Romania or a Schengen Member State [[TIRGL/SCHN]].
- An individual visa is not required for children travelling
on the passport of a parent or guardian, provided
[[TIDFT/CN/VI/MI/ID46117]]
Additional Information:
- Travel on a one-way ticket is accepted. However, visitors
are required to hold proof of sufficient funds to cover
their stay and documents required for their next
destination.
- Valid visas or resident permits in expired passports are
accepted, provided holding valid passport of the same
nationality.
- When a visa is used, a round entry stamp is placed in the
passport [[TIDFT/CN/VI/AI/ID45077]]
- Passengers traveling to Tibet must hold a special Tibet
Entry Permit.
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Old Feb 21, 15, 5:27 am
  #30  
 
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Thank you very much, very interesting info indeed. Actually, I'm British, but I suppose more or less the same rules will apply. I am trying to keep my connection in Xiamen down to less than 24 hours (actually arriving at 10h25 and leaving the next day at 10h10) and everything on the same ticket, so hopefully there won't be too many problems there.

These AFKL business fares, if you can build a number of sectors into the trip, make mileage running a viable option here! I can get 6 sectors on the same trip for about 1,170, and only the longhaul segments seem to book into Z, whereas the European segments book into J (which yield a lot more miles, I think). I have no idea what Xiamen Airways will book into.
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