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Mileage runs

Discussion in 'Qantas Frequent Flyer Program' started by moa999, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. moa999

    moa999 Senior Member

    Jun 23, 2003
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    Seems from reading posts on another Board, that in the U.S. domestic mileage runs are all the go and you are able to buy multi-segment tickets for the same price as a direct flight.
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    Is this possible in Aus with Qantas...
    ie could you book say a SYD-MEL-ADL-PER one day trip for near the same price as a SYD-PER tix, and have a good day checking out the QPs in between
     
  2. QF WP

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    Yes, it is but it takes a long time (using the QF web site) trying to find those sectors that are better value for $ or SC.

    Otherwise, take all the hard work out of it. Use StevePER's Status Chaser Calculator.

    I used it for my Mileage Run across Australia. Very handy tool.
     


  3. Karen

    Karen Intern

    Mar 4, 2005
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    I really don't see the point of this, especially after reading your mileage run report Lindsay.

    Surely the cost would outweigh the benefit? What WAS the cost? How many SC's and FF points did you get? I am especially confused why you did SYD/CBR and CBR/SYD. Isn't the question posed about maximising SC's and FF points for the SAME price or a little more for a flight you would have taken anyway? So while BRI/SYD/CBR/MEL/ADL/PER and back might have made sense if you were in Bribane and needed to go to Perth I am entirely missing the point of just trying to cram a whole heap of flights into the one day.
     
  4. serfty

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    Nov 16, 2004
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    If you have a Platinum Status, you get extra privilges when you fly. At the very least, you get double freqent flyer points. So maintaining status can be a serious issue for someone who travels regularly. Some may get to the end of their "year" and need a certain few number of SC's to reach a level where their status is maintained.

    This is where 'milage runs' come in. There are two basic ways to do this:
    • Route with extra sectors (Such as BRI/SYD/CBR/MEL/ADL/PER) on a necessary trip to increase the SC's gained from the journey, or
    • Travel low cost sectors (such as SYD-CBR-SYD) simply to generate the SC's needed.
     
  5. QF WP

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    There are two ways of looking at mileage runs (let me call them Categories):

    Category 1. As you set it out above (generally with a purpose of flying to a particular place (A) in mind, via B for the same or slightly higher price), or
    Category 2. A trip planned for the express purpose of not where you are going, but instead focused flying to earn either status for the first time, or retaining it, for the cheapest possible price per SC.

    I used my trip around Australia (a leisure MR and thus Category 2) to illustrate the point of using this tool to source the flights.

    The INTENDED flights, class and SC earned were:

    1. BNE/SYD QF501 K class 20 SC's
    2. SYD/CBR QF787 K class 20 SC's
    3. CBR/SYD QF704 K class 20 SC's
    4. SYD/MEL QF427 V class 10 SC's
    5. MEL/SYD QF438 V class 10 SC's
    6. SYD/MEL QF447 O class 10 SC's
    7. MEL/PER QF481 N class 20 SC's
    8. PER/SYD QF518 N class 20 SC'S
    9. SYD/BNE QF504 N class 10 SC's

    Flights 6 and 7 were merged into SYD/PER but for no cost. Total SC's = 140 (almost 1/10th of the way to Plat).

    Costs were $297.89 (BNE/SYD/CBR), $157.38 (CBR/SYD), $238.99 (SYD/MEL/SYD), $96.82 (SYD/MEL), $168.34 (MEL/PER), $237.89 (PER/SYD/BNE). Total = $1,197.31

    Therefore, the $ per SC was $8.55 - the best ones come out at under $6.

    I did the SYD/CBR/SYD as the cheapest prices for flights are generally out of the major hubs (SYD/MEL).

    Karen, I can understand how the majority of people wouldn't see the point of doing multiple flights on the same day exciting or worth the money. I'm wired a little differently - I love flying and travelling to different places. I had the experience of seeing my parents travel internationally every year from 1978 to 1994, and bi-annually thereafter - sharing with me their trips made me want to see the world once I started work. Thus in 1984, it was my driving ambition - to earn for travel.

    This was a general goal - then when FF points and status came about, I wanted to be a part of it. I joined QFF in 1989 (on my first overseas trip to LAX) and have never looked back. I have travelled overseas every year in my holidays (sometimes twice a year). In doing that, I started to earn status with QF [I hit the old program Silver status (equivalent to the current Gold level) in 1993] in and see the additional benefits that I was getting (as serfty pointed out). In 2001 the program was updated and Silver became Gold.

    I had an annus horiblis in 2002. I was diagnosed with malignant cancer and after some radical surgery (that thankfully continues to appear to be successful today), I re-assessed my life and my goals. I made a plan to do some of my life goals now - I flew RTW in First (BNE/SYD/BKK/HKG/LHR/ARN/LHR/MUC/LHR/JFK/LAX/LAS/LAX/DEN/STL/...DFW/LAX/AKL/CHC/SYD/BNE) with Concorde supplement LHR/JFK. At the time, I didn't want to die wondering "what if". I just did it - no use being the richest person in the graveyard. I earned 1,350 SC's from the flights and a truck-load of FFP's (as I became Platinum mid-trip, they were at either +50% or +100%).

    My role in the family business changed when my father "retired" in 1994, so I then started to take over his clients and that necesitated a lot of travel domestically and a bit more internationally to look after clients (plus my holidays still). With that extra travel, I was using my status (Platinum) and there are an enormous number of benefits to status. Once yo have it, you really don't want to lose it - you get used to it (I know that sounds egotistical and yes I'll admit to loving status, but I'm not ashamed of it - in my view, I've earnt it by having my bum on a seat).

    Thus the reason for not only doing the mileage runs (making use of the status benefits) but also to retain my benefits for the future - it is a form of relaxation to me as I am doing something I love which is never a burden.

    As I have a very adequate income and no "bad" debt (I do have "good" debt for negative gearing into shares), I now have a lot of disposable income. Now that I am married though, my focus has started to change and will change further once we have kids. My travel now is 100% domestic, in fact after coming back from my trip to AKL in January, I foresee no international travel (as most of my work is done via email & web these days). But even now, I'm going to make that domestic travel get me Plat each year that I can.
     


  6. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
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    StevePER's link looks like a useful tool Lindsay. Also your comprehensive answers are a generous contribution to this site helping others like myself understand further "the art of flying" :p
     
  7. johnsmith

    johnsmith Member

    Dec 5, 2004
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    Lindsay Wilson

    I am very impressed with the resourcefulness you show to earn points and status credits, if you put this much effort into your job then I am sure you must be very successful. I have a great admiration for people who can use the system legally to get the most out of it, did you know that the combined $ value of all the Frequent Flyer points in the world sitting in people's accounts is worth more than every single dollar of United States currency on issue. I am not sure if this calculation includes the A$500 million of Ansett global rewards points, I guess most people think that they will never earn enough points for a free flight and so the points just sit in dormant accounts. I know quite a few people who travel from Australia to the UK every year and they don't even bother to claim the points, I have tried to explain to them that they can have a free flight to the UK every 4 trips but it doesn't seem to sink in.
     
  8. oz_mark

    oz_mark Enthusiast

    Jun 30, 2002
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    Of the categories Lindsay states, I have only ever done the first category. In fact, there have been cases where doing so has resulted in a slightly lower fare than going on a direct service. Presumably due to the availability of cheaper fare classes on the milk run.

    As Linsay notes that once a Plat, you really do want to stay there. So the way I see it (and looking at my planned travels for the rest of the year), there could well be a weekend of flying for no other purpose than getting SC's later in the year.
     
  9. Karen

    Karen Intern

    Mar 4, 2005
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    Thank you for your detailed reply Lindsay - it cleared a lot up for me. I think what threw me was you were really giving a point 2 example when it was a point 1 question that was asked.

    I appreciate that once one gets status (although my husband is only Gold) one likes to hang on to. I like him to hang on to it too - cause the thought of an airport without the comfort of a lounge is frankly quite a scary thought after years of being spoiled (and yeah, he has retained it for 2006 - yay!). I am also an assidious collector of FF points - but I get mine from my credit card. I've used 280,000 this year and still have 220,000 left, with more coming every month. Not quite sure that I love flying enough to do what you do - the buzz for me is getting something for FREE - but I quite understnad the sentiment.
     
  10. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
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    I've done some mini-status runs in the past - mainly to build up my status to Gold -- and I'm hoping Plat this year (already well on my way even though it's only my first month!)

    I've mainly just chosen longer routings to get somewhere, or take day trips (sometimes using unusual routings) to cities in Aust.

    THe hardest part about it is explaining to the customer service agent what you're doing when you check in and out prints a ream of boarding passes (hehe), or when you end up with the same hosties on several of your plane trips (and I've had that happen too...) Thankfully QF has lots of hosties, and Quick Check makes life easier if you have no baggage.
     
  11. QF WP

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    To those posters above, thank you for the sentiments shown. I love flying but I get a lot from sharing that knowledge with a wide cross-section of people who may be able to benefit from my experiences (and failures). I also receive much more knowledge from this site and particularly Flyertalk.

    Joining a mature small business, it's a challenge as a second generation co-owner to segregate a client base, say good-bye to the original owners' "start up clients" who don't fit the mold of a client I wish to have and specialise in just two areas rather than being a GP to all clients. I'm sure Karen and others can understand that busines model.

    But once it's done, life gets a little easier....and the income starts going up. My wife certainly isn't complaining that there's no pressure on her and she can stop working whenever she wants (although we're hoping that will be predicated by pregnancy). I never wanted my family to be concerned about the money issues...to take them out of play took a lot of satisfaction on my part.

    I'll agree with you there. Most people can fathom why anybody would willingly do a Category 2 MR. But many of the smart FF's will understand that if you are just short of a status tier, the need for a couple more flights to ensure that status is retained for an entire year+ is well worth it (you only need to go to Flyertalk's AA, QF or UA fora to see them discussed ad nauseum).
     
  12. bravoecho1

    bravoecho1 Member

    Sep 10, 2004
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    Lindsay,

    I totally agree. Flew BNE-OOL last year to pick up the 10 SC's I needed to maintain Gold.

    Would have taken a longer flight but time was of the essence.
     
  13. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Another purpose of mileage runs may be to top up an account to get a particular award.

    The approach of adding extra sectors isnt as effective as it used to be due to the secotr surcharges.

    I have just gotten back from a *A RTW with 18 short intra-europe sectors, and had room for a couple more (within sector limit, mileage limit and fitted my schedule) but turned them down as the extra miles weren't worth the extra cost in surcharge in those cases.
     
  14. NM

    NM
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    I still maintain that on a points/$ or SC/$ rate, my style of mileage/status run is very efficient. Its just that the outlay can be significant - but you earn lots of miles/points/status.

    My company pays for economy class international travel. When I need to travel to the USA, I book a DCIR22 fare or DONE4 fare (if its more than 22,000 miles) and I pay the difference between the standard company economy fare and the business class fare.

    Usually costs me something in the order of $3000, but that is tax deductable (its 100% business trip) and I pump my per-diem allowance into the upgraded fare (and eat cheap while I am away).

    One carefully constructed DONE4 fare can earn QF Platinum Status and around 100,000 QF FF points. Its a simple way to earn and retain status and keep the FF account topped up. Over 1000 SC's for $1500 (after tax deduction) is not a bad earning rate. But you have to be willing to part with a fair chunk of money.
     
  15. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Of course if only paying part of the cost of tickets then points/$ and SC/$ look really good compared to the full cost - eg per Lindsay's run.
     
  16. NM

    NM
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    Exactly! But if I am travelling for work anyway, I will do whatever I can to avoid being stuck in the back of the b*s and to avoid the low SC accrual that is offered for discount economy international fares.
     
  17. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

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    Makes sense to me too
     
  18. Platy

    Platy Guest

    Must admit that I have made a few trips business class in the past when nearing my status credit review date, however, I am very curious to ask how you feel when expending time and money on mileage runs when considering the following:

    - some QF members are apparently selectively getting the benefit of accelerated SC accrual whilst some of you are heroically trying to get those last few SCs to maintain your status!
    - the QF FF is going backwards fast so your extra effort and expense is being dliuted as fast as you can maintain your status
    - QF will assess you favourably even if you aren't going to make the required total SCs if you can convince them that your upcoming travel plans warrant continued status at your current level so mileage run may be unnecessary

    Incidentally, from what I can work out your status is re-assessed sometime before your SC anniversay date - I noticed the Platinum expiry date change over in my online profile about a month before the anniversay date, presumably the average rate of accrual was judged sufficient to grant the next year even though the gross number of SCs hadn't been reached yet.....so some of you may be doing mileage runs quite unnecessarily!
     
  19. johnsmith

    johnsmith Member

    Dec 5, 2004
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    This is just an interesting fact for you since you are obsessed with frequent flyer points like me. I was on a Qantas flight when my Status reassessment occurred. Qantas only credited the status credits when the plane landed the next day, because of this I was not promoted to a higher membership level. I complained and they promoted me no problem and didn't deduct the points or status credits that would have expired the day before.
     
  20. QF WP

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    Who, me?? :shock: :roll: Obsessed?? :oops: :lol: johnsmith, you're speaking for yourself...

    No, I'm not obsessed by earning miles, I'm (slightly) obsessed with maintaining Plat status since achieving it in 2002 because of the benefits that I regularly use (and my wife likes as well).

    Work helps a long way to re-qualifying by me choosing to send myself (great when you're the boss and spending your own money) around to my major client (offices in PER, ADL, MEL, CBR, SYD, BNE, TSV and CNS). Top that off with the odd personal mileage run when I need to (hasn't happened often, but last year I needed a start).

    Actually, going to sleep on Platy's interesting comments and respond to them tomorrow or sometime soon.
     
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