Why Mileage Run today?

Old Feb 16, 19, 10:14 am
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Why Mileage Run today?

There was a time when the benefits of top tier status and the awards earned made mileage run a profitable game to play. But today... why?
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Old Feb 16, 19, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by EasternTraveler View Post
There was a time when the benefits of top tier status and the awards earned made mileage run a profitable game to play. But today... why?
Maybe not a lot of "profit" in earning miles toward travel, but there is still arbitrage in qualifying miles and dollar spend for status, particularly in premium economy and, sometimes, business. If your normal travel patterns already get you the status you aspire to, then stay home and relax!
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Old Feb 16, 19, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by EasternTraveler View Post
There was a time when the benefits of top tier status and the awards earned made mileage run a profitable game to play. But today... why?
No reason you can't still do mileage runs with Alaska Airlines. In some cases, like F to Australia on Qantas, they charge substantially less miles than AA (70K vs 110K). They have some partners that accrue 100% in economy (QF) or premium economy (BA).
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Old Feb 16, 19, 2:20 pm
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The game has evolved as time passes.... Right now IMHO it's an Arbitrage game on the EQD/MQD Spend Ratios and then Alaska. I have published plenty of fares on Aeromexico or China Eastern that serve as great arbitrage models...
Alaska is in a sweet spot where some premium fares can give 300% RDMs or 200% EQMs at low costs... classic example is Condor, dirt cheap fares and huge credit miles wise...

The game also evolves as people evolve, I still remember fondly a 2009 Run over a weekend LGA-ORD-MSN-ORD-DUB-ORD-MSN-ORD-LGA all for 300 bucks... or the 3X EQMs also in 2009. As the economy improved, benefits were removed... Also the Credit Card game became huge... buying miles sometimes makes more sense than flying for miles...

Let's see what happens during the next economic downturn...
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Old Feb 16, 19, 10:31 pm
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It's very difficult to put a specific value on status. I do MR's for my DM status because I find significant value from higher priority for domestic upgrades to the choice benefits. You can also do pretty well with mileage earning when flying DL partners, but my primary motivation is the status, not the miles. I also enjoy traveling, so I don't really see MR's as work. You may find them silly and boring and that's fine. Personally, I find the credit card churn and MS games to be silly and boring and have no interest in them. Everyone has different priorities in life.
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Old Feb 17, 19, 12:47 am
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Originally Posted by EasternTraveler View Post
There was a time when the benefits of top tier status and the awards earned made mileage run a profitable game to play. But today... why?
For status with non-domestic partners that provide all the value of domestic status...plus domestic lounge access?
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Old Feb 17, 19, 6:34 pm
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Thanks for the responses. Maybe I should look at Alaska, I know DL and AA are not worth the runs any longer.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 7:26 am
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Its a personal choice. If you can go up one status level and earn the benefits that come with that level for minimal cash outlay, many here are willing to do that.
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Old Feb 25, 19, 1:54 pm
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I don't run for redeemable miles, but I do run for status.

I probably spend a lot more than I should, especially now with business travel having taken a dump again (for me personally) but I do thoroughly enjoy the status privileges, and in some cases (baggage) also save a real amount of money.

And I try to make mileage runs on the routes I have interest in flying anyway. So I might upgrade my regular commute to J if it makes sense. Or I might go to a place I wasn't planning to go to, but where I was interested in going.
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Old Jun 10, 19, 5:06 am
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Thumbs up

Plus, do not forget that most NON-USA frequent flyer programmes are still miles based. I find the Japanese programmes to be very good if you do not care about status. Plus there are sweet spots in the Czech OK programme and the MEA programme.

Personally, I fly with Alaska Airlines and its partners (Qantas, Fiji Airways, Emirates, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines and they all fly into Adelaide, Australia). Most of my Star Alliance flights are credited to ANA. Most of my OneWorld flights are credited to Japan Airlines. I have dumped the big 3 USA airlines for mileage earning opportunities but if you like Status, then a case can still be made for Status runs on the big 3. For me, status is not important as I prefer to stay away from airline lounges and USA domestic flights are not usually over 5 hours long anyway. I can do economy for that long - np.

It depends on where you live, your travel routes and of course your travel redemption goals.
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Last edited by davistev; Jun 10, 19 at 5:12 am
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Old Jun 11, 19, 2:06 pm
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Just noticed this thread a few months late. For me, I've been in a bit of a lull with business travel for the past 12ish months, but I still have windows where I'm traveling weekly for a month (followed by no travel for a month or two). My number one reason for attempting to stay EXP despite my overall travel slowdown is the comfort I get in knowing that I'll be taken care of 90%+ of the time when I want to grab an earlier flight, or if travel is disrupted due to weather/mechanicals or whatever. Additionally, I have a wife and son, and we like to travel, sometimes internationally. Being able to never think twice about baggage requirements or booking fees, being able to upgrade and/or fly free, being able to utilize international lounges, and again, knowing that we'll typically be taken care of when the inevitable thunderstorm strikes--these are the reasons I hunt for LAX-HEL-SIN three-day round trips in I.
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Old Jun 11, 19, 8:30 pm
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Have you gotten good prices on that routing Maxwellh?
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Old Jun 12, 19, 1:39 pm
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When I flew regularly on American, I loved EXP status. Though I hear it has been degraded somewhat since 2011. Still, EXP was excellent.

I moved back to United full time and am gunning for Global Services (GS). Iím in the great position where work pays for most of the travel. GS involves earning 4 million BIS miles, so itís not for the faint-hearted.
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Old Jun 12, 19, 4:56 pm
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Originally Posted by ContinentalFan View Post
When I flew regularly on American, I loved EXP status. Though I hear it has been degraded somewhat since 2011. Still, EXP was excellent.

I moved back to United full time and am gunning for Global Services (GS). Iím in the great position where work pays for most of the travel. GS involves earning 4 million BIS miles, so itís not for the faint-hearted.
So you're gunning for Lifetime GS - not GS on an annualized basis by yearly spend.

David
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Old Jun 17, 19, 2:16 pm
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Originally Posted by EasternTraveler View Post
Have you gotten good prices on that routing Maxwellh?
LOL. Not exactly. Best SIN in I I've been able to come up with was YUL/LHR/HEL/SIN + SIN/HEL/JFK/YUL (or a few other similar ones via YUL or YYZ) in 5 days for $2500. But it doesn't mean that I've given up!
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