Mileage Running


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Ben Schlapping presentation at 2012 LA FTU.

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Mileage Running

  1. 1. Mileage Running Frequent Traveler University Los Angeles
  2. 2. Background Information: ben schlappig Boarding Area’s One Mile At A Time bschlappig onemileatatime m
  3. 3. Basic assumptions• Elite status is meaningless• Frequent flyer miles are a scam• Business travelers are stupid
  4. 4. What We’ll Talk About:• How the game has changed recently• When does it make sense to mileage run?• How to use ITA to find cheap fares• How to find availability for those fares• How to maximize the routings• How to lower the cost of airfare
  5. 5. How The Game Has Changed:• The airlines are onto us with our routings
  6. 6. Old Possible Routing:
  7. 7. New Limited Routing:
  8. 8. Which Airline Should You Select?• Pick an airline that offers incremental benefits beyond the miles earned (bonus miles for passing thresholds, systemwide upgrades, etc.)• Pick an airline that has generous routing rules• Pick an airline that can meet your mileage goals – You can’t use Delta miles for international first class – Good luck getting to Tahiti with United miles
  9. 9. American AAdvantage:• Lots of promotions for bonus miles• Eight systemwide upgrades without fare restrictions for top tier elites• International first class lounge access• Generous routing rules when traveling internationally
  10. 10. United MileagePlus:• Six systemwide upgrades for being top tier elite• Four confirmed regional upgrades for achieving top tier elite• Companion upgrades• Fairly generous routing rules for some city pairs
  11. 11. Delta SkyMiles:• Rollover elite miles• Tons of ways to earn miles without flying (both elite and redeemable)• Medallion Choice Benefits for earning Platinum or Diamond Medallion status – Nominate someone to Silver or Gold status – 20,000-25,000 bonus redeemable miles – 4-6 systemwide upgrades
  12. 12. Alaska Mileage Plan:• Partners with American, Delta, Air France, British Airways, Korean Air, Qantas, Cathay Pacific• Top tier status at 75,000 miles on Alaska or 90,000 miles on partners• 100% mileage bonus plus 50,000 bonus miles per year (75,000 flown miles=200,000 redeemable miles)
  13. 13. Tools For Constructing MileageRuns:•• showPricePerMile=true• airline’s “multi-city” search function• FlyerTalk mileage run forum
  14. 14. Mileage Runs vs. Mini Vacations:• If you take advantage of the right promotions, you may never need to mileage run again
  15. 15. Using itaMatrix:
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  21. 21. itaMatrix:
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  26. 26. Colombo premium fares…
  27. 27. Questions? ben schlappig Boarding Area’s One Mile At A Time bschlappig onemileatatime m