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What are the best tools to setup a mileage run?

What are the best tools to setup a mileage run?

Old Apr 30, 05, 4:27 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: UA 1K; US 50K
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What are the best tools to setup a mileage run?

I'm a newbie. I know this is probably documented somewhere on this site, but I've spent a couple hours reading through posts trying to figure out how to book a mileage run.

This is an actual quote from the USAir mess up:

"DTW-PIT-ART-PIT-LAS-PIT-ART-PIT-LAX-PIT-ART-PIT-SEA-PIT-ART-PIT-PHX-PIT-ART-PIT-DTW
Overnights in LAS and SEA. About 24,000 status miles and 53,000 total miles for $160. Not bad. Thanks FT."

My question is how do you actually book this fare? If you do a multi-stop booking, most of the engines seems to come up invalid fare, etc...

My understanding is that you need to do the following:

(1) Figure out the valid bookings. Expedia is supposed to have a tool (although I can't get it to work) that will show the valid routes. http://www.expedia.com/pub/agent.dll...1114894075856&
Once you determine the From: To: and VIA: city codes, I'm assuming I can bounce between any of the city codes available in the VIA. Correct?

(2) Once I figure out the best route (ie. how many city pairs I want to connect through in a day), how do I get that booking to come up. Everyone seems to talk about the ITA booking engine. (http://www.flyaow.com/classual.htm). If I try a multi city booking through various cities it keeps coming back invalid.

Can someone walk me through the best tools to come up with a booking like the one above? How does he hit PIT 10 times?

Thanks,
DC-USCP-UAPE
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Old Apr 30, 05, 4:45 pm
  #2  
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The person above bought a ticket DTW-ART-DTW & nested 4 seperate RT tickets that connect through PIT each time - ART-LAS-ART, ART-LAX-ART, ART-SEA-ART, and ART-PHX-ART within them when the US fare mistake occured. Also, you're not linking to ITA if you're using flyAOW's page - that's for class availability - see the MR Tools thread above for a link to the ITA Software site.
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Old Apr 30, 05, 5:28 pm
  #3  
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Programs: UA 1K; US 50K
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Bad Example

Since the cost per flight was $1.5 + taxes, multiple RTs make sense.

How about the following actual MR on UA:

SAN - LAX - SFO - DEN - EWR - ORD - IAD - DEN - SF0 - SAN

If I follow the link for ITA in the MR tips (http://matrix.itasoftware.com/cvg/dispatch/prego/submit) and I select whole month, and run it - I don't seem to get this type of connection options. They are all non-stop or one stop. Am I missing something?

Here's my guess on how to do something like this:

Go figure out the fare options (ie. select SAN to IAD, find a good fare using expedia or some other fare engine - sounds like ITA with the whole month can determine best days to search), and then determine the valid TO:, From: and VIAs. The idea would be to do as many valid VIAs as possible.

Then I'd need to go to any fare engine and do a multi-city fare search guessing at the connection times and use the same day. So I'd do (in the example above) SAN to LAX June 7, 6:00AM, then to SFO, June 7, 10:00AM, etc... on through the list. Although everytime I try this I get no flights available. I'm guessing that my flight connection times might not be valid (I am just guessing at possible connection times). Or is there a way (or tool) to see every valid fare routing? Or an easier way to do this?

Thanks,
DC-USCP-UAPE
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Old Apr 30, 05, 5:30 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
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As bhatnasx said, those were multiple tickets. Most airlines only permit you to hit an airport once for a one way routing, so you cannot make a "loop" by hitting the same airport twice, even if the routing includes the city multiple times.

As for the reference you made to VIA's, you can piece together the route, and then remove any intermediate cities - which serves the purpose of allowing you to pick any of the cities in the VIA list provided you maintain their order.
drtravix is offline  
Old Apr 30, 05, 5:34 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Regarding your second message above...

Yes, ITA prefers less stops to more stops. So, you need to force it to look at larger routings.

You can do a month-long search and put...
FROM SEA :: UA UA UA
TO IAD :: UA UA UA

And this serves the purpose of telling ITA to look at flights which have three flights in each direction (on UA, but you can specify any airline, or no preference). This may return flights SEA-DEN-ORD-IAD, IAD-DEN-PDX-SEA.

Play with the different options. You can see all of the ITA options at:
http://matrix.itasoftware.com/cvg/di...dvanced-topics

Good luck.
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Old Apr 30, 05, 5:38 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Originally Posted by DC-USCP-UAPE
The idea would be to do as many valid VIAs as possible.
Another note...

You want to get as many cities in as you can, but usually the fare rules say "MAX TRANSFERS: 8 / 4 INBOUND / 4 OUTBOUND" or something similar. That means you can only have 4 intermediate cities between the source and destination for that fare to apply.

So, the trick becomes figuring out which of the cities in the routing give you the best mileage. A tool I developed to figure this out (based on the routing) is available at http://www.faremetrics.com (and then click Route Expander). It works if you have a complete routing (Expedia sometimes cuts off routings), but it may help you figure out the best mileage-wise routings.
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Old Apr 30, 05, 7:34 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Kansas City, MO
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Try this thread - it explains it well, and it worked for me!

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=421168

Good luck!

H*S
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