Alaska Airlines Has Amazing Mileage Run Opportunities

Mileage runs are not dead… yet. They may be on life support, but there are still plenty of opportunities to do mileage runs and rack up a ton of miles. The problem for most is that the largest airlines in the USA (Delta, American and United) have gone revenue based in their mileage plans. In other words, you earn miles based on what you pay, not on what you fly. One airline still gives you one mile per mile flown, and that’s Alaska Airlines.

Mileage Runs are FUN!

I mean… sure… you’re in a metal tube for the entire day and you’re eating airline food and watching crappy movies. You’re dealing with airports and the people in them. But there has always been something really cool about the concept of flying just to earn the miles. Ben and I did a Labor Day mileage run on American Airlines two years ago that took us from Seattle to Los Angeles to New York to Panama to Chicago to New York to San Francisco and a few more points in between. It was an EPIC weekend. We earned, together, around 100,000 airlines miles and we got to go to a cool new city.

It does take a special person to want to do that, but if the return is worth the time and the cost, then it’s a win for everyone.

Beer and Ceviche, Panama City

Raspao Panama City

Finding Deals

Alaska Airlines runs deals all the time. If there’s an event, there’s a fare sale. Sometimes it’s just an excuse to sell cheap seats and sometimes the deals aren’t that great… but in cases like the ones we’re about to show you they sure are AMAZING deals.

I was in a Facebook channel earlier for us Alaska Die Hards and someone said there was a sweet deal from New York La Guardia to Dallas Love Field. So I went to check it out, and sure enough, it’s a smoking deal.

Big Apple to the Big D

September and October present some good opportunities. LGA-DAL and back from DAL-LGA for $96. That’s 2,760 miles as a base and as a 75k member we would earn another 3,450 miles for a total of 6,201 miles. 1.5 cents per mile on a mileage run? Even the die hard mileage runners know that’s a steal.

Big Apple to the Big D

Stacking Mileage Runs

Why not have a couple extra mileage runs? You can fly the above flight (LGA-DAL-LGA) and then add another flight LGA-DAL. You’ll end up in Dallas for the night. Have a nice dinner. Check out a show. Enjoy the town. Stay the night.

Then, the next day, you fly DAL-LGA, LGA-DAL, DAL-LGA. You’ll end up back in New York the next day for dinner and sleeping in your own bed. The price actually gets even CHEAPER when you do it this way!

Big D to Big Apple to Big D to Big Apple

In this whole endeavor you’re earning:

  • Base Member: 8,280 qualifying and redeemable miles for $275.80
  • MVP: 10,350 redeemable miles
  • MVP Gold: 16,560 redeemable miles
  • MVP Gold 75k: 18,630 redeemable miles

And, you can have a nice night in Dallas to boot!

It takes some digging

Alaska Airlines miles are some of the most coveted miles in the game right now. You can still find awesome deals if you look hard enough and are willing to spend a few days in a metal tube and a night in Dallas 🙂

Does anyone else know of good mileage run opportunities?

Tip of the hat to Jason Crawford (thanks!)

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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6 Comments

  1. Yeah, the problem is you have to fly on a Wednesday, which means taking 1-2 days off work. Not everyone can do that.

    Plus the airfare cost isn’t the only one – there’s the cost to get to/from LGA ($20?), and overnight hotel costs ($50?), and the cost of eating at a restaurant ($20+tax-tip) when otherwise you would’ve eaten at home ($10).

    So that $137 fare becomes $250+.

    Post a Reply
    • The point of a mileage run is not to be convenient. It’s not convenient to go to Panama via San Fran Chicago and Miami. Your point is valid but it doesn’t lessen the deal. :). And I always find cheap food. Especially if you get upgraded on the plane. But really factoring in food is moot. You gotta eat no matter what.

      Post a Reply
  2. The effectiveness of MRs is in scaling (also helps if you can work remotely and use TMobile’s free inflight wifi).

    Tons of people (self included) did the VX routing PDX-SFO-BOS-LAX-JFK-SFO-PDX (and some repeated it again back to back) earning MVP Gold in 2-3 days. The 100% mileage alone can cover a ticket on JAL in J for me.

    Folks who do MRs have a set routine; packing tons of fruit, utilizing Amex Centurions/PP lounges (if you or another blogger you’re joining have access), saying hi to friends on short notice (as I did for a grateful shower), and hoping for a flight cancel or voluntary bump to net even more.

    Post a Reply
    • Whoa – if I would have know about that route, I would have milked the ever-loving-hell out of it.

      Post a Reply
  3. Great post guys, I am going to plan a few days off to get a MR run out of Seattle.

    Post a Reply
    • Let us know what you manage to book. We might run into one another!

      Post a Reply

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  1. Help us spend 1,664,217 Alaska Airlines Miles, and Win a Free Flight! | No Mas Coach! - […] Airlines to dozens of destinations. Since they’re also the only US program to give miles based on distance (instead…

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