In January, I mentioned that I need to re-qualify for Star Alliance Gold this year and that I was planning some mileage runs. I was lucky enough to find a good flight combination which earns me lots of miles for a low price.
Now I should say that this was my first-ever mileage run. I’ve never done one in the past and I don’t know how I would feel about the whole situation. After all I was in the plane for 12 hours, basically like a flight to Europe. I flew from Seattle to Orlando via Houston and back all in one day. I left my house at around 03:45 and was back at 00:30 the next day.
The total miles flown was 5 456 miles. All routes earned me 100% of the miles flown with my frequent flyer programme. I had to book a G fare or higher on United to receive actual miles flown. I was very lucky to have found a G fare just below $200 USD, which would get me 5 456 miles.
Anyway, on to the actual mileage run! I woke up at about 03:30 and my dad was nice enough to drive me to the airport and we made it there around 04:15. I proceeded to the United Premier Access check-in counter to print a hard copy of my boarding passes. I had everything on my iPhone, but you never know when your phone might stop working or the battery will die! I got my boarding passes and headed towards security, no bags were checked as I’d be coming back later that day.
After spending some time in the lounge, boarding was called for the flight to Houston. It turned out to be a very foggy day in Seattle.
United’s ‘Priority Boarding’ (basically 3/4 of the people board with Premier Access once you factor in all the credit card holders and purchased Premier Access):
I slept for most of the flight time to Houston, read a book and did some homework. The flight was rather boring and I happen to be tired from not sleeping so many hours.
I had a two hour connection in Houston and headed over to the United Club in Terminal E which has showers! In Europe, most lounges have showers (at least with Lufthansa), however American lounges tend to only have showers in the hub of the carrier.
When we flew to San Francisco, my mum fell in love with this cheese they had in the United Club, so of course I had to bring her some!
About 30 minutes before departure to Orlando, I headed over to gate E8 as boarding started. Once on the airplane, we waited around 30 minutes after the scheduled departure time, turns out they had some issue with the hydraulics and that needed to be fixed. I was not worried about missing the plane back to Houston as it was exactly the same one heading back.
Can anyone spot the plAAne? 🙂
Stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico:
Since the inbound plane was delayed, so was the outbound. Once we landed, I went to the bathroom in the lounge (which was right next to the gate), drank something and went back to the same gate. The faces of the flight attendants were priceless, they asked me first if I forgot something and I said no. They continued to ask why I was flying back and I said I’m on a mileage run. Turns out they were very familiar with the term and welcomed me back onboard!
The flight flew by (pun intended) and we landed in Houston. As the inbound and outbound plane was delayed, I was left with a 30 minute connection back from Houston to Seattle. I ran to the gate and it turned out they weren’t even boarding yet. I headed to the United Club in Terminal C and called my parents (my phone had died) to tell them I’m on my way back.
Again, I slept for most of the flight and when we landed my dad was waiting for me outside of the terminal at SeaTac.
Overall, I would consider my first mileage run to have been successful. The miles posted the following day to my account and I am 5 456 miles in for re-qualification!
Here’s to the next mileage run! (Soon, by the way) 🙂