This is the first of two mileage runs to Seattle in December. Why Seattle?

Since the primary goal of a MR is to get as many miles as possible, Seattle wins by default. People on the east or west coasts can do a cross-country flight. Flying out of Texas, I don’t really have that option. So, Seattle wins because it is the longest distance flight I can do without leaving the 48 states. I could go to Alaska or Hawaii, but the prices for those flights are so high that they are not good MRs.

In order to maximize my miles, I am taking a non-direct route to Seattle. Instead of flying directly (Austin-Seattle-Austin), I flew Austin to Chicago to Seattle, with a return route of Seattle-Los Angeles-Dallas-Austin. That added 1,900 miles to the trip without increasing the ticket price, helping to make it a good MR.

I landed at Seattle-Tacoma airport (SeaTac) at 2 p.m. Some MRs do not allow enough time to leave the airport; I set this one up so that I could go into town and eat some good seafood! Seattle has a great public transportation system, I was able to get an express bus from the airport to downtown, a 25 minute trip for only $1.25!

My first stop was Pike Place Market. This is a must-see stop for anyone visiting Seattle. It features a large variety of shops and restaurants. Some of the shops are aimed at tourists, others are markets selling fresh fish and produce for the locals. You can spend a lot of time here.

One of the highlights is to visit the Pike Place Fish Market. The staff is famous for tossing fish at each other, sometimes, as in the video below, they will even let a customer catch one!

The Daily Dozen Doughnut Company is a popular stop: watch as these mouth-watering bite-size doughnuts are fried right before your eyes. This isn’t really a standard bakery, it’s more of a booth you walk up to, so your order is always “to go.” It’s easy to find, just look for a booth with 20-30 people standing on line in front of it — that’s it! You’ll get the doughnuts, covered with powdered sugar, in a bag. Once they cool off, they make a delicious taste treat as you continue your casual walk through of the Market.

I had a great time visiting the wide variety of shops in the Market and nearby areas. After several hours I took the bus back to SeaTac.

I took an Alaska Airlines flight to Los Angeles, departing at 9 p.m. Even though it was not an American Airlines, flight, I did get credit for the flight because the two airlines have a reciprocal agreement under which they can award miles for each others’ flights. I slept all the way to LA, getting in at 11:30.

I went to the Admiral’s Club to relax, then took a flight to Dallas (DFW) at 1 a.m., arriving DFW at at 5:30. Two hours later I was on a flight back to Austin, landing at 8:35 and was home shortly after 9 a.m.

All my flights were on time, everything went well. This was a good trip, a good mileage run.

Mission accomplished!