I love a good mileage run. A mileage run is even more fun when you get to fly with friends. Last run, I sit down in 1st class next to my seat mate and he is on a mileage run and reads the blog. This time, well:
I sit down and do a courtesy nod to my seat mate as he is reading his e-book. Then, after a bit, I ask if he is flying for work or going home? He answers:
“I am doing the same thing you are, René”!
You are kidding me. Scott reads the blog and is on almost all the same flights Kathy & I are on for the next 3 days. Crazy and it was great to get to know you Scott and hope to fly with you again!
This run I did something I normally don’t ever do (or try not to), that is I went some place other than the airport (and airport hotels don’t count in my book). I rented a car from Thrifty (more on that later) on Ultimate Rewards points to make that part almost free and drove down from Phoenix to Tucson. I love the 75 MPH speed limit on the way through the desert. I found it hard to concentrate on the drive as there was just so much to see, but especially all of a sudden a parking lot full of aircraft appearing in the distance. I was told they are for scrap, but did not have time to go look up close (maybe next time)!
I have some dear, life long friends in the Tucson area who I ski each year with in Salt Lake. They showed me around the area and it was really an experience! The Arizona desert is about as extreme opposite as you can get from my Swedish heritage. Rather than cold and rolling rocks you have dry foliage and flat lands surrounded by peaks bursting up all around you.
But then it was back to the task at hand; the task of racking up as many frequent flyer miles as I possibly could in as little time as possible (that is after all the point of a mileage run right?)!
Mostly I spent a ton of time on Delta Jets, many of the 757-200 variety as you see above and below. All were in 1st/business class other than the starting and ending CRJ200’s to and from South Bend.
I also flew a fair amount of time on Airbus 319’s & 320’s as well as MD’s. I really wish Delta would add power to these jets. Missing power ports is really frustrating when you are flying this much. With only a few hours between hops I felt a bit like a power leach looking for an outlet. My phone was fine thanks to my power brick, but laptop life is only so-so.
One flight from Texas, as you see in the video above, produced a “steam” bath that was rather unique and I had not seen to this degree ever before!
But let’s now get to the numbers. I used 20,000 FlexPerks points that came with the card & cost me only 3 visits to my Vanilla store to get the full bonus points so that cost was $19.75 to reposition me from South Bend to Phoenix to start my run. I am not counting my car (paid with Ultimate Rewards points anyway) as that was a personal extra and not part of the “run”. I then paid out of pocket to Delta $144 each for the 2 round trip tickets for the run. Thus total cost out of my pocket all in was just $307.75
13,784 MQM’s brings me to a 2.2 CPM
31,014 RDM’s gives me at least $310 in value
I thus eked out a $2.25 gain on this run, but the drive from home to the South Bend airport washes that out so really let’s call it break even. Not a bad haul for that many more MQM’s (medallion qualifying miles) that I will end up rolling over into 2014.
If you are keeping track this year, the net push for this run has had a positive impact on my “running” totals for the year. I have still only spent $1,600 and have gained 46,000+ MQM’s at a CPM or “cost per mile” of just 3.5 cents. Also, I am nearing 100,000 RDM’s or Skymiles earned (if you count the bonus miles for a few little issues & customer service complaints I am over 100k this year). At a very conservative 1 cent value for Skymiles I have almost reached Gold Medallion status for just $600 on mileage runs alone this year! At my personal value of 2 cents per Skymile I am $400 ahead for the year.
I have 4 more runs booked this year that will net me over 45,000 more MQM’s. If all my math works out I will meet the MQD’s (medallion qualifying dollars) minimum spend on my AMEX Reserve card by the end of Feb2014 and with the bonus MQM’s from that card have just about locked up my Diamond Medallion status by March 1st of 2014 all the way through FEB2016! 🙂 Anyone game to join me on my next run? – René
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