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My first Mileage Run

Atlanta, Georgia
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5,176 posts
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My first Mileage Run

I was surprised to discover recently that I am only a few hundred miles away from Medallion Status on Delta. I say "surprised" because I generally don't fly enough in a year to get the necessary mileage for any kind of airline status. However in this case I benefited from a couple of trips to the west coast earlier in the year, plus two sizable MQM bonuses that I received courtesy of my Skymiles credit card. I have some long haul trips planned for later this year and early next, so decided to have a go at a Mileage Run to get the remaining miles for the status upgrade.

Since I'm new to doing Mileage Runs, I decided to try something not too terribly ambitious - just enough miles to push me over the threshold. I've read that ATL is not a great airport to base out of for this sort of activity, but I did find an inexpensive R/T flight to Louisville that departs on a weekday afternoon, has a short layover at SDF, and then returns to ATL by about 8:00 PM on the same day. It cost about $145 altogether and I'll get 1000 miles out of it - not such a great deal in terms of cost per mile, but for a first effort I guess it's not too bad (plus it's a small financial investment if I have to back out at the last minute out for some reason).

Anyway, here's my question. My biggest concern with this is that something will happen in Louisville (delays, etc) and I will miss the return flight to Atlanta. Both flights have the same flight number so I am guessing it's the same physical airplane for both legs. Does anyone have any idea if that's a valid assumption? I figure worst case I can do a one-way car rental and drive home (6 hours) if I miss the return, but would obviously rather fly (note that I only need the outgoing miles for the status upgrade, so no real harm done if that happens).

That's really all I wanted to know, I guess. I know that FlyerTalk is probably a better venue to discuss this sort of thing, but I am not active over there (yet!). My wife is very dubious about all of this and thinks I am crazy, so I am just trying to allay some concerns. Thanks for any advice you all can offer.

-JimG

Brooklyn, NY
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for New York City
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1. Re: My first Mileage Run

What's the flight number?

Leeds, United...
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for Leeds, Bradford
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2. Re: My first Mileage Run

I assume it's DL2064? ATL-SDF 16:21-17:46 and the return (same flight no) SDF-ATL 18:26-19:53.

I see it is the last Delta flight back to ATL of the day, but if the first leg is delayed it is more than likely it would be the same plane doing the return leg.

Once you've got status you're other half won't think you're crazy! ;-)

Atlanta, Georgia
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5,176 posts
16 reviews
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3. Re: My first Mileage Run

Yes, DL 2064 - both flights show the equipment as an MD-88 (but I realize that could change).

"Once you've got status you're other half won't think you're crazy!"

That's what I keep telling her :-)

-JimG

Sunnyvale...
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for San Jose
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4. Re: My first Mileage Run

"Once you've got status your other half won't think you're crazy!"

Or it escalates when you get to my situation when the other half becomes as willing to get a rear-end as sore as yours. The other half is soon going to Bangkok with me so that we're both on a MR together. My status gets her into the international partner lounges which makes it even nicer. Although I'm doing this on United, I can tell you that Delta's got much better fares going across the Pacific than United does. United had a delay on my SJC-SIN mileage run, and I wound up on a Delta flight NRT-SIN. Delta's IFE had the same exact movies so I was able to pick-up where I left off on the UA flights...

Remember: the overseas flights still feed you and give you seatback entertainment in economy. A lot of the international transit lounges don't close at night and make hanging out a few hours pretty nice.

Edited: 12 September 2013, 18:44
Atlanta, Georgia
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5,176 posts
16 reviews
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5. Re: My first Mileage Run

Maybe after I get Medallion status this year, I'll be more adventurous with Mileage Runs next year to maintain it. One issue that I have is that I am pretty big (6'1", 200+ lbs, with long legs) and the "new normal" seat pitch in Economy class just doesn't cut it for me. I can tolerate the tight spacing for shorter flights, but for long haul flights I pretty much have to be in an Exit Row, EC, or (when I can get it) FC.

I am thinking that once I get past the initial hurdle for Medallion status, then it will become easier for me to take longer MR flights next year to maintain it.

-JimG

Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
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6. Re: My first Mileage Run

Silver is nice, and congrats for being so close, but be aware the best perks start at gold. Still absolutely worth it, just be aware.

I've been silver for years, and am making gold on Monday, but my company buys me full Y fares for my tickets, which helps with a) maintaining status, and b) getting upgrades, even as a silver. But every domestic flight I've taken since I made Silver, if I've been disrupted for any reason, I've always ended up in first class on the rebooked flight. That always takes the sting out of a cancelled flight. My husband became a believer when we ended up in first after an awful delay returning from Mexico a few years ago.

Atlanta, Georgia
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7. Re: My first Mileage Run

"be aware the best perks start at gold"

Yes, I am aware of that, but I figure every little bit helps, and you have to start somewhere. I'm happy with any kind of travel perq I can get. My wife and are going to Italy in December, and I'm sure that having some kind of status will be helpful for that trip (if nothing else, the 25% bonus on MQMs will come in handy for next year). I understand I can also apply for status matching on Alaska Airlines - we are considering a trip to Juneau in April, so that's a plus, too.

-JimG

Madrid
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3,236 posts
8 reviews
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8. Re: My first Mileage Run

You need to have a readup on Rangoon mistake fares,and wait for the next installment of that gem to come along.

Atlanta, Georgia
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5,176 posts
16 reviews
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9. Re: My first Mileage Run

"You need to have a read up on Rangoon mistake fares"

Actually I was just reading in the news today about United offering $0 mistake fares from Washington DC to numerous destinations in the US, including Hawaii. If only ...

-JimG

Seattle, Washington
Destination Expert
for Seattle
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6,314 posts
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10. Re: My first Mileage Run

When the madness takes full hold. flyertalk.com/forum/…510931-turkey-day.html