Monday, January 18, 2010
The "mileage run"
I have a friend who is a big time international salesman. He normally carries a balance of over a million frequent flier miles. Yesterday, he send me an email from Frankfurt telling me about something he'd never encountered. While at the Admiral's Club in Frankfurt, he ran into five people from Dallas who were doing a "mileage run." These five people flew into Frankfurt from Dallas, did an over night at a hotel near the airport and flew back the next day. The goal was simply to rack up frequent flier miles so they could reach Executive Platinum status sooner. This group was willing to spend $450 to make an unnecessary trip in coach simply to increase their frequent flier status.
A few years ago, when I needed one more trip at the end of the year to maintain my Executive Platinum status, I considered doing something similar myself. However, good sense kicked in. The group I am talking about is flying on their own money in mid-January! And, according to my friend, they will do it several more times...and he thinks it is a GREAT idea!
According to the thinking, for around $4500, a person can rack up 100,000 miles quickly and then reap the benefits of this advanced status for the remainder of the year. They will get several system wide upgrades which means they can fly in Business Class with the price of a coach ticket. They will get more frequent flier miles for every trip plus priority service. They will be automatically upgraded to first class on domestic flights and gain some additional access to airport clubs.
Still, they are flying around 10 trips that they are paying for themselves...in coach...and not lingering long enough to really enjoy the benefit of being there.
I still do not get it. It must be the thrill of the adventure...doing a crazy thing with your buddies, all jam packed in coach, hitting a hotel, drinking a few German beers, crashing and flying back home for a day then repeating. Like running a marathon or something. Then, when it is time to take a serious business trip, you have all the advantages of your status to smooth the trip for you.