Approximate cost to earn 4MM GS Status

Old Sep 5, 19, 11:56 am
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Approximate cost to earn 4MM GS Status

This may be the ultimate mileage run but because the only published way to guarantee GS status is to fly 4 million miles on United, hypothetically speaking, what is the least amount of money that would be needed to achieve this? I know for this to be even remotely feasible it would have to take place over a number of years but assuming one could make this the ultimate mileage-running end goal, what is the least do you think one could spend to earn 4 million butt-in-seat miles?
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Old Sep 5, 19, 12:14 pm
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Would have to be all UA, but at 5 cpm (which is just a few long haul cheaper routes -- SFO-SIN in economy, maybe HKG nowadays) you would be north of $200,000


See Making Lemonade Out of Lemons (How I made lifetime GS)

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Sep 5, 19 at 12:20 pm Reason: classic thread
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Old Sep 5, 19, 12:17 pm
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Deep-deep discount economy fares seem to bottom out around 2.5 cents per flown mile. So if you somehow had enough time and flexibility to stick to only those routes, you might be able to get to 4MM for about $100k (before airfare taxes).

However, it is a little bit difficult to find those fares, and much more difficult to live a life that allows you to frequently fly them.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 12:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Chris2013 View Post
because the only published way to guarantee GS status is to fly 4 million miles on United,
False.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 12:25 pm
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In addition to the 6-figure cost, why would someone be willing to waste years of his/her life flying for no real purposes to gain GS status? Of course, once gaining GS, one still has to fly to enjoy the GS benefits otherwise the GS status is useless.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 12:26 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Would have to be all UA, but at 5 cpm (which is just a few long haul cheaper routes -- SFO-SIN in economy, maybe HKG nowadays) you would be north of $200,000
By my quick Excel math, that would be 237 round trips SFO-SIN. And, assuming you could nail an average fare of $750, you'd be looking at just south of $180,000.

Jumping further afield, if you were able to tack EWR-SFO on at both ends, you'd only need 182 round trips. I'll assume $850 average fares for this, or $154,000 total.

Fun exercise, but you can count me out.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 12:27 pm
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Originally Posted by fumje View Post
Deep-deep discount economy fares seem to bottom out around 2.5 cents per flown mile.....
However, it is a little bit difficult to find those fares, ....
Especially as this project would only be UA flights, no partner flights, And we are talking MR, so short stays?

The other expenses, hotels, ground transport, more expensive travel food, .... will add to the costs
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Old Sep 5, 19, 12:39 pm
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Pay $50k to passplus to get GS immediately for the year

3 day rotation
T: 6PM EWR-SFO (1hr layover), SFO-SIN (T+2 6am)
(2hour turnaround)
T2: 8am SIN-SFO then SFO-EWR (T+3 1am)

Sleep from 1am to 6pm (assuming u live in NYC area), repeat cycle

You can get 120 cycles (365 days/3day cycle), so 120*22k = 2.6 million miles

Assuming $800 per trip, so ($800*120) = $96k/year

Do this for 1.5 years, you hit 4mm


​​​​​then u regret flying. And wonder if you can spend that $150k more wisely
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Old Sep 5, 19, 12:46 pm
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As mentioned, mileage-runnable fares bottom out between 2 and 3cpm (getting better as Asia routes continue to tank) so probably low 100k range to pay for 4MM BIS. EWR-SIN for $5xx is probably a decent starting candidate. There was a fun thread where we calculated it was probably physically impossible to fly 4MM in one year, although you could get pretty close.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 12:50 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Especially as this project would only be UA flights, no partner flights, And we are talking MR, so short stays?

The other expenses, hotels, ground transport, more expensive travel food, .... will add to the costs
Agree, it's difficult to find all- or mostly-UA itineraries at that cpm rate, and even then the real cost would be significantly more.

For example, even going exclusively to SIN (one stamp), a new passport would be needed after about 170 trips.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 12:50 pm
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The toll that 4MM will take on your body is not something to aspire to.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 12:51 pm
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Let me give you another way to look at the "true cost" of achieving GS by miles:

intl flight radiation exposure = 0.55 mSv per 100 block hours

4,000,000/500mph avg speed = 8000 hours.

8000 hours/100 * .55mSv = 44 mSv

44 mSv/.1mSv/chest xray = 440 chest Xrays!
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Old Sep 5, 19, 12:54 pm
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Originally Posted by fumje View Post
Agree, it's difficult to find all- or mostly-UA itineraries at that cpm rate, and even then the real cost would be significantly more.

For example, even going exclusively to SIN (one stamp), a new passport would be needed after about 170 trips.
If u have global entry and visit signapore more than 2x over 24 month, u can register for the frequent traveler program , use egate when entering/exiting Changi (no stamp)

Or don't enter Singapore at all. Stay in transit area
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Old Sep 5, 19, 12:56 pm
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There's currently $390 flights from ZFV to PEK, via EWR and SFO.

Disregarding the Amtrak portion, that's roughly 17000 BIS miles round trip.

4,000,000/17,000 = 235 ish round trips.

235*$390=roughly $92,000

Assuming 4 days for one RT, that's 2.5 years of flying back and forth to Beijing and you (should) get 4MM
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Old Sep 5, 19, 1:02 pm
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Originally Posted by UA_Flyer View Post
In addition to the 6-figure cost, why would someone be willing to waste years of his/her life flying for no real purposes to gain GS status? Of course, once gaining GS, one still has to fly to enjoy the GS benefits otherwise the GS status is useless.
Just was pure curiosity, nothing more.
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