The concept of the “mileage run”, as it traditionally has been known, is pretty much dead. Back in the day, before most airlines started adding dollar spending requirements for status, you could book 1 or 2 super long cheap flights to Asia and walk away with top-tier airline status. Now, the mileage run is a dying art, relegated to the niches of the miles and points world.
I’m not big on airline status, so until this week, I had never actually booked (and completed) a mileage run myself.
A mileage run opportunity
Earlier this year, I got an email from Frontier Airlines offering a promo on elite status for flying 2 roundtrip flights by February 28th. The text of the email says you’ll earn Elite 50K status (mid-tier), but the fine print of the email says that you’ll earn Elite 100K (top-tier) status. I am hopeful that I’ll get top-tier status but even the mid-tier status will be helpful for our family, especially now that kids up to 14 fly free on Frontier
I already had a roundtrip flight to Orlando on Frontier booked for early January, so this actually only cost me ONE additional roundtrip flight on Frontier, which is what I just booked.
Booking my mileage run
So what was the cost of my mileage run?
$72.95! I did have to pay another $60 to join the Discount Den, but with even one flight on Frontier (which I already plan on later this year), that will pay for itself. AND, because of the aforementioned kids fly free deal on Frontier, I can take my daughter with me (it won’t be as exciting as her first ever business class flight, but I’m sure we’ll still have fun). I’ll also need a hotel night in Orlando but good thing I have lots of points!
Notice $0.00 for Seat Assignments – that’s because I’ll once again be using my trick to get a good seat on Frontier for free
And if I do end up with Elite 100K status, the $73 I spent today will actually more than pay for itself in checked bag and carryon fees! (Only on Frontier… 😀 )
Should you book a mileage run?
So should you book your own mileage run? Of course it all depends on your unique situation (so run the numbers yourself), but the answer is almost certainly “no”. What I would typically recommend as a rule of thumb would be if you’re not flying enough organically, then it’s not worth paying extra to get the status.
Having said that, if you ARE looking for mileage runs, I have an affiliate relationship with the folks over at Juicy Miles, and I know a few of their award bookers who do a great job. So check them out if you’re looking for award booking or a mileage run booking.
What’s your favorite mileage run story? Leave it in the comments