I am currently UA’s Premier member and need around 9,300 miles to keep my status for 2009, so I have been paying a lot of attention on fares to see how I can get the miles with the least amount money. My original thought was it would take $750+ to do a few domestic trips (as a reference, ORD – LAX is 1745 miles one-way, 3490 miles round-trip), and I was not sure whether I want to do that because first of all, I am currently out of ideas where to go (been to most major cities already), secondly, not sure if the miles I got worth the value!
Here is where mileage run can help. For the budget minded traveler , http://www.flyertalk.com is a great place to go. It will take a few weeks/months of learning the glossary of the FTers use, and to get a hang of how to construct your own mileage run. The idea is of course to get the most miles out of an itinerary by routing it through as many places as possible, with a low price. I have been observing the site for a while and finally was able to pull something off…I’m going to Maui, Hawaii for a few days in the middle of November for only $460 RT! A normal ticket would cost $600 – 900 to go there, I felt pretty good about that and getting close to 9,600 miles. It would be a little risky on the way back, as I routed the trip through many cities, but my fiance has decided to join me and I think it would be very fun doing this together and banking up miles for our wedding related travel.