This saturday was pretty typical in many ways. I lounged around, watched some TV, took a nap, and surfed the internet. The only difference is that I spent my entire saturday on planes and at the airport. I’m writing this post onboard an American Airlines 737 on the last leg of my trip contemplating the future of Mileage Runs (Trips taken for the sole purpose of earning miles).
Here are the Vital Statistics of Today’s Flight
Washginton (DCA) to Las Vegas (LAS) via Dallas (DFW)
Miles Flown: 4494
Cents Per Mile: 6.2
Total Miles Earned: 8988
As a pure mileage run( I never actually left the airport) this trip is not among the best value. Usually 4-5 Cents-Per-Mile is the goal, but still there were a few benefits for todays trip. First, I was able to complete it without an overnight stay. Other than money, the big cost for mileage runs is time. Completing a trip in one day without taking any Vacation days is key for me these days. Also when I mentioned lounging around, I was referring to the two American Express Centurion Lounges currently open in the US. Today was my first visit to the AMEX lounge at Las Vegas Airport.
The decor is very similar the Dallas location.
I think the Dallas lounge still wins as it offers complimentary SPA treatments. But I did think the Las Vegas lounge had slightly classier food than the TexMex food at DFW.
Speaking of food the other fringe benefit of today’s mileage run was I well fed. Three legs in American First Class meant breakfast, lunch and dinner + Snack box/ Gin and Tonic for the one coach flight on my trip.
I got these upgrade for being an Executive Platinum level member of the American Airlines AAdvantage program. My main motivation for today’s trip is to maintain that elite level for next year which will require me to fly 100,000 miles on American and its partner airlines. I value this for the free first class upgrades and also for the ability to book mileage award tickets and make changes without penalties. This is extremely valuable because it allows you to book trip speculatively and cancel them if things don’t work out.
I am pretty happy with today’s trip. I even won some money in Vegas ($4.00 from plays slots for 10 minutes).
Stayed Tuned for my next post, I plan to talk for about the death of mileage running.