In about a week, I embark on a trip I take once or twice a year. The destination is irrelevant as it's simply to rack up enough miles to re-qualify for top-tier frequent flier elite status.
It's called a "mileage run," and for about $320 I'll accrue 7,718 miles. That will put me over the top of the 100,000 miles required for United Airlines' top-tier Premier 1K status for 2013. United's parent is United Continental Holdings' .
I'm flying from Los Angeles, through Washington Dulles International Airport , to San Juan, Puerto Rico. And I turn right around and leave one hour later, arriving back in Los Angeles less than 24 hours after I left.
Crazy? Maybe. But I'm not alone.
Hundreds of frequent fliers take these types of trips annually to ensure they surpass the threshold needed for status. The benefits of mileage runs for status far outweigh the cost in time and money.
With all of my regular travel already planned and on the books for 2012, I calculated that I'll be short about 7,000 miles from achieving the top level in United's program for the 2013 program year. If I passed on the trip, I'd be a Premier Platinum, which in itself is pretty good. But achieving United's top status will get me the following perks not available at the Platinum level:Page 1 of 3 | Next Page