Archive for July, 2008

Trying to Build My Miles for the Year

Right now I have one mileage run (MR) scheduled for the rest of the year, an August flight to Orange County, California and back. No odd routing on this one, straight out there and back with a transfer at DFW, but I did find a pretty good fare. The other advantage is that I will be able to spend the day with my relatives, some of whom I have not seen for several years.

But I need to get more miles, so today I looked for some more flights. I have made several trips to Seattle and wanted to see what other locations wer available, so I looked at a MR to Portland on an August Saturday.

The first trip was a good MR routing, earning me extra miles: Austin to Los Angeles to San Francisco to Portland. This was also the lowest-priced flight of the day. Not bad, but it did not arrive in PDX until 4:15 p.m. That left only one option for the return: the return flight left at 10 p.m., Portland to Orlando, Florida, to Dallas to Austin, arriving Austin around noon on Sunday. Total cost, $811 to earn 12,622 miles at 6.43 cents per mile. No way I am spending $811 to fly to Portland!

I looked for another option. Maybe I could pay a little bit more for my outbound flight but get a better deal on the return.

The second trip was better, but still not good: Austin to Dallas to Portland to Chicago to Austin, arriving AUS shortly after midnight, for $638 to earn 9,666 miles, 6.6 cents per mile.

I’ve never flown to Portland before, but have made several trips to Seattle, the most I ever paid for that was $258. I am not going to pay $600-800 to fly to Portland. The worst MR I have ever done earned me 2.9 cents per mile: it is not worth it to pay over 6 cents per mile.

So I will keep on looking. With American Airlines’ parent company, AMR, just announcing that it lost over $1.2 billion in the last quarter, I may have a problem finding a bargain out there.