Last year, I completed a majority of my mileage earning towards AA Executive Platinum in the Fall, and ended up pulling several one-day mileage run schemes to complete this top tier status. While crazy at the time, I’m of course happy now on the back-end, but it’s worth noting what I did to rack up about 5,000 elite qualifying miles per day.
Luckily, I live on the east coast of the US, so mileage running makes sense to a west coast destination. Fortunately, because of the time differences, I can fly end to end in one day, though it does require an early start and a late arrival.
Let me walk you through this crazy process, since it’s a bit complicated to explain otherwise.
First off, I’d drive to Alexandria, VA, park my car, and check-in at either the Hyatt Crystal City, or Kimpton Lorien Hotel and Spa, and spend the night, ready for an early departure the next morning. Alternatively, there were several days where I would drive up the day of, but because I live an hour from the airport, I was tempted to turn this mileage running scheme into one where I could also check-off hotel nights toward Diamond status with Hyatt or Inner Circle status with Kimpton.
I’d depart on the first flight from DCA, and connect into either ORD or DFW enroute to LAX. Ignore the price here, since I chose the flights here purely based on timing to show an example. On average, I was paying $250 for a round-trip DCA-LAX trip.
Once in LAX, I’d relax in the AAdmiral’s Club for a bit, have lunch depending on whether or not I got upgraded, and then get right back on another plane, connecting in either ORD or DFW, back to DCA.
So, I’d be flying cross country in order to rack up approximately 5,000 miles. Complete with my 100% elite bonus, I’d walk away with about 10,000 redeemable miles per mileage/status run trip.
In order to fully complete the 100,000 mile Executive Platinum requirements off of this, you’d have to do 20 trips. Fortunately, starting the fall, I was at about 50,000 miles, so only had to do about 10 of these hell-trips to make sure I bumped over the 100K threshold. Because the flights all were equipped with GoGo, I could still be online, which was convenient. So, as far as productivity goes, I did get a fair amount done, and also watched several movies I had been meaning to see but never had the time. 🙂
It’s a crazy scheme, but a very fast way of earning status, if you’re able to find the days to do this. I mainly did this on free Sundays, though ran into a few snags on some days with delayed or cancelled flights where I needed to rebook. Looking back on this, the biggest lesson I learned is to gradually earn status, rather than all at the end on mileage runs, though if this is your first time, and you’re limited on time, this may be a good technique for you.
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