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Baht Run in Thailand - 84 Flights in 7 Days

Baht Run in Thailand - 84 Flights in 7 Days

Old Feb 1, 01, 12:05 am
  #1  
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Baht Run in Thailand - 84 Flights in 7 Days

“The Baht Run to Thailand”

Well, the idea as I understand it came from a very dear man, known to FlyerTalk as Trvl4free. As his name implies, he is a specialist in getting the best deals and consequently, the best perks. It was suggested to do 100 segments in 10 days or so and thereby obtain United 1K status. I was switching anyway from Delta to UA, so this seemed very plausible. I was going to be in Manila, Philippines anyway, so why not spend a few extra days and top off my UA MP account with the needed segments. So, off to MNL and Thailand I went.

I flew from MNL to CNX (Chiang Mai, Thailand) via TG (Thai Air.) I was able to clear custom in CNX, and I arrived in my hotel room around 8:30 pm on Friday, December 1, 2000. I stayed at the Chiang Mai Westin for a rate of $400.00 for 7 nights booked through Planet Holiday. I had a very enjoyable dinner, and was psyching myself up for the impending assault on my body and senses.

You see, I only had 7 days, and I needed 84 or so segments. To do this I needed to do 12 segments per day. That’s right, 12 segments. My day began Saturday morning at around 4:45 am. I rose and had a free complimentary breakfast, which was included in the room, and went to the free airport shuttle leaving at 6:00 am. My first flight was at 7:30 am and was to a place called Chiang Rai. It is a short flight, as all of these segments are, of about 30 minutes. I obtained my boarding passes for the flights leaving from Chiang Mai (4 of them) in the morning. It did take some explaining however. They did not want to give me the BP’s. They did not know why I was flying to all of these places so many times. At first I was told, “You cannot do this!” I asked, “Why?” After the ticket counter agent asked a supervisor (on the phone, to the person sitting next to her) she said, “OK, but why?” I explained that this was a mileage run – sort of. She nodded in an agreeable way, and proceeded to give me the BP’s and one coupon for a free drink in the restaurant (non-alcoholic, which is ok, since I do not drink.) With my BP’s in hand for the CNX originating flights I waited at the gate for the day’s first flight. I boarded the 727-200 class aircraft in coach and off we went. There was never a safety demonstration of any kind. It seems that Thai Air Law states that any flight of less than 30 minutes and under 10,000 feet does not require them. We met these requirements.

We landed in Chiang Rai at a finger dock. This was nice because it is the only airport of the three flown to (in the first 10 segments) which use them. CNX uses a bus to transport you to the aircraft. I deplaned and rushed sown to the ticket counter at the end of the terminal. I presented them the ticket and they presented me a boarding pass, then I presented them the second ticket for hours later, and they finally gave me that BP too! Now to security and a brief wait of about 10 minutes, and off we go back to CNX.

In CNX, I get out my BP for HGN (Mai Hong Son) and board the flight after about a 15-minute wait. As we land in Mai Hong Son, the aircraft pulls in from of a building (terminal – quite new) and we deplane down roll up stairs. No directions as to how to get to the terminal, but we figure it out – last door down at the terminal, about 100 yards away.) I proceed to the ticket desk and explain what I am doing, and that I need 4 BP’s for 4 flights today. After the same look of shock and wonder she finally does what I request. In later days, this same agent actual has my BP’s and drink coupons pre-printed for me, and as I enter the terminal building, hands them to me and smiles saying, “See you tomorrow.” This was very nice!

The same crews work the first 4 segments, and then I get a crew change for the next 2 segments. Then I have a 2-hour lunch break, then the same crew for the next 4 segments. I was asked up into BC a few times when one lead FA was on duty, but on the other times, I was flying coach, unless I had a BC ticket. This continued for the 10 flights in and out of CNX, HGN and CNI. Now I have two additional flights left. I am going to Bangkok (BKK) and return. It is now around 8:10 pm and I have about 20 minutes before the BKK flight. I am in CNX, and I already have my BP. I am in coach, and this is an Airbus 330 wide body. Nice! I get on and am amazed as to how fast and furious the boarding process is! They push, run over and otherwise trample each other to get on this plane! I find my seat, near the exit, and we are off. We land and I RUN, and I do mean RUN to the ticket counter located in the departure terminal. I get into a line with no waiting and obtain my BP. I then enter through the VIP lounge (I am a Star Gold) and then on to the security clearance then on to the gate. 10 minutes later, we board and back to CNX. I later paid the fare difference (500 Baht) and got J-Class tickets for these BKK flights. The only difficulty was that this was the week of the Kings Birthday Celebration. I believe it was his 73rd. This caused the flight into BKK to be very full. NICE BC!! Nice roomy seats and plenty of legroom – no meal service, but nice to sleep in.) I arrived in CNX around 11:00 pm, and then had the hotel shuttle take me to the hotel and was back in my room around 11:45 pm.

After bathing, and sometimes eating a snack (fruit in the room, etc) I was in bed around 1:00 am, and ready to get up at 4:45 am! This continued for 7 days. On the 7th day, I checked out prior to flying my day’s segments, and then went to the airport with my luggage. I deposited these 2 pieces at the luggage storage location for the day ($2.00 USD charge) and flew my flights, and then checked these pieces just before my flight to BKK in the evening. I was staying at the Amari Hotel in the BKK airport. I was flying out of BKK to the USA on Saturday, December 9 at 7:00 am. I arrived in BKK and in the Hotel around 10:30 pm, and went fast asleep after the usual delousing. Great room! The upgraded me to a suite, and it was a shame I only spend a few hours there!

Things I learned:

There is a nice food court (Pizza Hut and Dairy Queen in CNX) and it is nice to get a little food as often as you can here, as there is not much in Chiang Rai or HGN. The restaurant in CNX is good and the food very pleasant! The food prices were small. My average meal expense was about $12.00 per day, and I ate well! I love Thai Food! The food in the hotel restaurants was considerably more, but it too was worth it. My tickets were Y class, purchased in USA. If I were to do this again, I would locate a Thai Travel Agent and get the M-Class tickets. My difficulty was that I was waitlisted for at least 2 flights per day. They did eventually did clear, but all of the morning and afternoon flight in and out of HGN were FULL! 12 flights per day is rough! I made friend with the FA’s and even had some great conversations with some of the Buddhist monks I sat next to in the planes. I saw plenty of “Ugly Americans”, but mostly, “Ugly French and Ugly Spanish.” (Note to the French and the Spanish – when you have a BP with a seat assignment, it means to get your rear in THAT seat. You CANNOT simply take any seat you want and occupy it!) On one flight into HGN, a Spanish-speaking tour group with the Thai leader took over our flight. There were only about 10 or so of these Spaniards but the refused to sit in their assigned seats because they wanted to “Sit Upfront!” After 15 minutes of them yelling at the Thai Crew, and violating their personal space, they were convinced to move by a few “American Passengers!” We can be persuasive when we have to!

The looks and laughs I received as i kept going round and round in airport were priceless. The Thai people are very gracious, and I want to go back! There is so much more to say...but here are some of the details.

Total Price of the segments was about $1800.00 . The hotels cost me about $500.00 and the small food expense I mentioned above. For me to get the 6 SWU and 1K, I feel it was worth it.

I have lots more and will write it up when I make some more time- Look for the second Installment in a few days.

Thanks!


[This message has been edited by FlyingRev (edited 02-01-2001).]
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Old Feb 1, 01, 5:57 am
  #2  
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"top off my UA MP account with the needed segments"

--hardly what I would call "topping off"

But great report. A gruelling way to earn 1K IMHO.

For next year, you might want to check out the Star Alliance forum with the RTW threads and some surmising how on a RTW LITE fare and very short flights between a number of city pairs, you might be able to do this sort of thing in North America!
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Old Feb 1, 01, 7:40 am
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What was the point of this again???? I understand if you did it year end to earn 1K. But 84 segments????

Have you tried getting UA to comp you to Premier Executive? There's really not many perks for earning 1K (over 1P) in January (unless you have knowledge that you will get systemwides for making 2001 1K in 2001).
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Old Feb 1, 01, 7:46 am
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in 2000: 84 segments were the (discounted) limit for 1K qualification.
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Old Feb 1, 01, 8:04 am
  #5  
doc
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Exhausting just to think about!

Thanks for the great report!
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Old Feb 1, 01, 8:06 am
  #6  
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I was already a comped Premiere Executive. I wanted to get 1K and receive the 6 SWU's in 2000, as well as the 6 SWU in 2001. I also wanted the level of service that comes with being a 1K.

I finished 2000 with 102 segments and over 70,000 status miles. This was all from the end of September to December 2000.

I was a Delta Gold for the past several years, but with their program changes, I moved over to UA, and this Baht Run helped me to make it to 'Real 1K' status!
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Old Feb 1, 01, 11:58 am
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Originally posted by FlyingRev:
I was already a comped Premiere Executive. I wanted to get 1K and receive the 6 SWU's in 2000, as well as the 6 SWU in 2001. I also wanted the level of service that comes with being a 1K.

I finished 2000 with 102 segments and over 70,000 status miles. This was all from the end of September to December 2000.

I was a Delta Gold for the past several years, but with their program changes, I moved over to UA, and this Baht Run helped me to make it to 'Real 1K' status!
Oh. Now it makes sense. It wouldn't have made sense if this was done within the past month.
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Old Feb 2, 01, 6:38 am
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It wouldn't have made sense if this was done within the past month.
Disagree! One would then be a 1K until end Feb 2003! Just gives you 11 extra months of double points and being treated like a king, versus someone who just makes it on December 31 2001, whose credentials also run til end Feb 2003. AND if you asked nicely now, you'd more than likely get 6 x SWU now, and 6 more in Jan 2002.



------------------
~ Glen ~
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Old Feb 2, 01, 10:34 am
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Amazing, That's incredable. 16 hours of flying a day for seven day in a row. Your tough.

Great report!

[This message has been edited by den1k (edited 02-02-2001).]
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Old Feb 2, 01, 3:11 pm
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Originally posted by ozstamps:
Disagree! One would then be a 1K until end Feb 2003! Just gives you 11 extra months of double points and being treated like a king, versus someone who just makes it on December 31 2001, whose credentials also run til end Feb 2003. AND if you asked nicely now, you'd more than likely get 6 x SWU now, and 6 more in Jan 2002.

Whoever does a Baht run in January needs to seek professional therapy.
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Old Feb 2, 01, 10:32 pm
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I'll bite. WHY?
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Old Feb 2, 01, 10:34 pm
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Slow connection, dupe post. OK, I'll bite TWICE!

[This message has been edited by ozstamps (edited 02-02-2001).]
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Old Feb 4, 01, 12:35 pm
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I do not think that Baht Runners need professional therapy. But if I do, I will simply find the most qualified heath professional, and get a UA ticket, then, if needed, use a SWU to upgrade. My 1K status will allow me to get near the top of the upgrade list, and I will undoubtably receive 1K treatment on the plane.

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Old Feb 4, 01, 6:33 pm
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He, he.

Well you forget being able to relax in a Red Carpet Club on the way to your top European shrink, after you've had personal assistance from the 1K desk at the airport, and an automatic 1K First upgrade on your Shuttle flight to the hub. Get your meal order taken first on plane over just so you feel wanted, get double miles on the entire trip, have nearly all the rules bent or twisted or waived if you need to change, alter, or re-route, step off the plane with a bottle of french booze or a large gold box of Godivas if you are in luck, and get the absolute top upgrade cataegory on the way back. And check out one or all of of 13 other airlines Lounges free whilst you are waiting for your flight. And buy duty free on the way home using your special 1K discount coupons.

Oh and if the flight is delayed overnight you'll need to put up with UA automatically booking you a ***** hotel free, with all vouchers and cab transfer, even if only a weather or ATC delay, and suffering the nuisance of accepting aother SWU for the inconvenience to you.

Gee, why woud ANYONE want to do such a run early year and have all this dumb stuff showered on them for 2 years?

Therapy like that I can always use.

------------------
~ Glen ~
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Old Feb 4, 01, 8:58 pm
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And since the wife and 4 year old and I completed the Baht Pass, and since it does get a bit warm in Thailand at times, you can fan us with the 36 (thirty-six) systemwides we now have in hand. On the flight over, we kept chanting, give me a "T", "T", give me a "Y", "Y", give me a "P", "P", give me an "O","O", what's that spell, "NC" (upgrade inventory). C ya upstairs.
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