There are two ways in which people can obtain status with airlines. These are:
- Flight segments
- Total miles flown in one year
I’ve included a chart from American Airlines’ Elite Status Qualification page. This shows how many flights or segments you would need to fly in order to gain status with the airlines. What are the benefits you ask? Look Here. 2011 Elite Status Qualification
|Elite Status||Miles or Points Required||Segments Required|
I’ve read a lot about things that are called Mileage Runs. Let me do some explaining as to how they work. Essentially you find a flight that is a great deal by looking on http://www.farecompare.com/search/flyertalk.html. This is an example from SLC to see where someone might be able to start a mileage run. This would let you know what cities would be a great place for a mileage run. The PPM is the key as it tells you how many points per mile that flight would cost you. It will help you to get maximum miles for the least cost.
The next tool that is used is matrix1.itasoftware.com. This tool helps you to find the most affordable flight to your destination by taking the largest number of stopovers, thereby allowing you to have the most amount of flight segments that will ultimately give you status with the airlines. Here is where you input the flight location. I chose the month long search that shows the entire month.
The next page shows you the month and the dates that work for your search. You click on the lowest price, which is the date with the yellow box. You could also unclick the “1 Stop” box as to allow for more stopovers, which would in turn result in more segments on your way to having status with the airline.
This is the final result. I’ve looked through some of the cheapest flights and it looks like there is a Continental flight that would go through Washington DC, and that would result in a few more miles than flying through Atlanta. It may seem trivial, but every mile counts. You can use this airline miles mileage calculator to see how many miles each itinerary will get you.
I realize that this might be a lot to understand for a beginner, but you’ll get there. Keep hanging with us and watching. Let us know if you have other questions.
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