ERJ170 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 6626 posts, RR: 19 Posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 1605 times:
I guess the title says it all. I have seen some pretty amazing itineraries to gain miles but I just don't know how I"m supposed to search to find them. Is there a special website or is it just a hunt and peck or is it building by the multi-city function? Can anyone assist? I want to try doing my first one...
PI4EVER From United States of America, joined May 2009, 599 posts, RR: 2 Reply 2, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 1575 times:
I've done several mileage runs and break it down into:
1. How much time to be gone? One day? An overnight? 2, 3 or 4 days at most?
2. For domestic flying, I think of the farthest points from me. I live in Florida so I think somewhere out west.
3. For international flying I only consider "off-peak" season times due to passenger demand and high fares. You're not going to get a cheap ticket to Sydney from the US from Oct-to-Mar. May more reasonable if you're going to really fly that long of a distance. It can be brutal if you're not going to spend any significant time in a far locale, particularly one you've never been to before. My exception to that rule. Guam. I grew up there and being familiar with the island I can fly there, spend 2 nights and come home. My mileage run to Guam last year netted me 27000 miles at a fare cheaper than going to Toyko and I routed via NRT. I would not fly to NRT, overnight and come home.
4. Back to domestic. Pick the farthest cities to maximize your miles and research ONE-WAY fares. Once you find a reasonable fare, build from that city again checking routings and OW fares to build a multi-leg itinerary to get you back home. My recent example. A mileage run mid-December to SAN. Fares to SAN were cheaper than to LAX, SFO, PDX or SEA so I started with a MCO-ATL-SAN, overnight, SAN-SLC-SEA, overnight, SEA-JFK overnight and LGA-MCO. Fare total $442.00. Booked the complete itinerary on the DL website using the multi-city function because the fare was also calculated on a mileage basis so a heck of a lot cheaper than a simple roundtrip to say SEA. Obviously I couldn't do this in a day and maxmized the best flight schedules and rest periods, but I enjoyed a nice evening in SAN, dinner at Pike's Place in SEA, fun as always in NYC and easy afternoon nonstop home.
It does result in stares and head shakes when someone asks "What did you do this weekend?
Its almost as much fun plotting and researching as the end result so enjoy the whole experience. You can always catch up on any lost sleep at home.
Good Luck with your plans!
reifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1135 posts, RR: 1 Reply 3, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1492 times:
Ideally you know someone with a GDS access, or use ITA software as written earlier. You will need some time to search around, and you will then see what fares are available and which is the allowed routing.
Just some examples:
-Delta will often allow you unlimited transfers for a fare Europe-US, means you can (theoretically) transfer as much as you like. Theoretically because a) there is a maximum mileage permission not to exceed and b) because most GDS, i.e. Amadeus will not allow you ticket more than 12 segments.
-You can fly with CO from NYC to BOG. Nonstop. Or according to the routing: EWR-IAH-PTY-BOG. Same price, just a few bucks taxes more.
-You can fly AZ from BRE to VCE. Ideally you will fly BRE-CDG-VCE (some flights my be operated by AF). But you can also fly BRE-PAR-MIL-ROM-VCE. Same price.
These are just a few examples...
You will not be able to book these kind of things through regular websites like Expedia... You will need to call up to airlines (which can be difficult if the agent is not fit) or just contact a travel agent telling them what flights you exactly want and in which booking classes.
Furthremore you would probably like to book very specific booking classes. Could be that the lowest booking class will give you 50%, but spending a little extra will allow you to book a higher booking class which could make you earn 100%. Even if you could book the selected itinerary through i.e. Expedia they will only give you the cheapest booking class.
Apart from that keep your eyes open for promotions, i.e. double miles etc. Search for mileage runs in aviation forums and sites out there...