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An airline mileage run is when someone takes a trip for the sole purpose of earning airline miles, which could be for redeemable miles or even more likely elite qualifying miles (Medallion Qualifying Miles, Premier Qualifying Miles, etc.). Mileage runs can occur anytime of the year and could be as quick as an hour flight and back, or as long as an around the world mileage run if in dire need of elite qualifying miles.
Mileage runs can be even more lucrative when an airline offers a promotion for a specific route. A couple of years ago, Delta offered double Medallion Qualifying Miles from LaGuardia, so I booked a flight from New York (LGA) to Denver with just a few hours there and back the same day for $238 and I earned a 8,258 Medallion Qualifying Miles.
However, I know those who are looking to earn upwards of 20,000+ elite qualifying miles and will do trips with all sorts of routing to South America, the Caribbean, even Asia. There’s actually a service that will find you cheap mileage runs for your airline of choice for a small fee.
How To Find Cheap Mileage Runs:
Google Flights: One of the easiest ways to book mileage runs, especially domestic ones, is Google flights. You can log on to the site, and choose your origin and airline and see prices all across the country and then decide on which flight to book. You can earn by alliance partner, and add in which cities you’re willing to depart from as well as desired dates. You can search for a same day trip, or somewhere for a few days.
Juicy Miles Mileage Runs: If you’re looking to earn a bunch of elite qualifying miles or redeemable miles, then having Juicy Miles book you a mileage run is the easiest way to go. They have a team of dedicated specialists who book and search mileage runs. Let’s say you need to earn 20,000 Delta Medallion Qualifying Miles. You’re able to fill in the form with the info, ideal departure dates, and how many elite qualifying miles you’re looking to earn and they’ll let you know what they find.
Book Somewhere You Actually Want To Go: While we mentioned a mileage run is a trip solely to earn miles, it doesn’t always have to be. For instance from New York, I’ve seen roundtrip flights to Las Vegas on Delta and American for $230 roundtrip, which will earn you nearly 4,500 elite qualifying miles. Add in a cheap hotel for a night or two, and you’ll have a nice getaway as well as a mileage run.
Flyertalk Mileage Run Thread: Is there a place online to post about your mileage run you might ask? The website Flyertalk does have a thread called Mileage Run Deals, where you can view deals other members have found and posted. This can be somewhat hit and miss, but sometimes you’ll find a good deal.
Is It Worth it to Mileage Run?
If you’re wondering is it really worth it to take a trip just to earn miles, you’ll have to decide. Having elite status, especially top-tier comes with some awesome benefits. If you’re looking to make Delta Diamond Medallion status, one of the best perks is the 4 Global Upgrade Certificates you can choose every year good to upgrade to Delta One Business Class. For instance, Los Angeles- Sydney is over $8,000 roundtrip per person. With your upgrades you’d be able to use your certificates and upgrade rather than pay $16,000 for these seats.
In fact, come the end of the year several airline such as Delta start selling elite qualifying miles outright. Last year, I was offered to buy 10,000 MQMs for $2,995, which is a lot! As an example, a mileage run for only $800 may earn you 16,000 MQMs, saving you money and earning you more miles.
So yes, if you are on the fence, I’d recommend mileage running and going for that next elite status level you’re trying to hit. Whether it’s on American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, or United Airlines, mileage runs are still a great way to earn elite qualifying miles to earn status!
If you have any questions on mileage runs or if you wish to share your tips, feel free to comment below!
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