I am the king of short trips; I flew to Beijing for two nights, Buenos Aires and Istanbul each for three nights, but at least those were in Business. Earlier this year I flew SEA-IAD on Alaska, where I got upgraded to First, and immediately got back on the plane and flew back (similar to my first mileage run last year). However, even I think that I may be crazy with the mileage run I just booked. In April I will be doing a mileage run to Hong Kong; flying SEA-DFW-HKG and back in a weekend on American Airlines in Economy.
I convinced a friend to do this with me; it’ll be her first mileage run and really her first experience with collecting miles. I guess if you are going to start, might as well start big.
We will be leaving Seattle at 5:00am on Friday with a quick layover in Dallas before landing in Hong Kong at 6:00pm on Saturday. Our flight then leaves the next day, Sunday, at 2:30pm, getting back in to Seattle after a layover in Dallas at 9:02pm. If everything goes as scheduled. That will give me a whopping 20 hours on the ground (of course customs and transit to/from the airport and advanced check in for the return flight will eat up a good chunk of that… let alone sleeping).
I just got back from Hong Kong two weeks ago and have no vacation left, so I knew it would have to be a quick weekend getaway. I am an AA Platinum elite member from an earlier mileage run to New York which means I at least get Main Cabin Extra for some additional leg room at no additional cost.
I first saw the deal on TheFlightDeal.com and was able to hold the ticket for 24 hours. The ticket total was $548 from Seattle.
It booked in to O class which means I am able to earn 100% Elite Qualifying Miles with Alaska Airlines. SEA-DFW-HKG return will net me 19,566 EQM toward MVP status at a cost 2.8 cents per EQM.
That is nearly enough miles, in one trip, to attain MVP status (or get me a good chunk of the way to MVP Gold).
As a current Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 75k, I will also get an additional 125% bonus Redeemable Miles for a future award ticket (like my Round the World Trip). So in total I will earn 44,023 Alaska miles for a future trip at a cost of 1.2 cents per mile. If I wanted to straight up buy those miles from Alaska, even with the promo they have right now, it would cost me $935 cash (and none of them would be Elite Qualifying).
To make a good deal even better, I got creative with how I paid for the ticket. I usually would use my Citi ThankYou points, but I am still waiting on a big batch of points to be added to my account from a checking account sign up bonus. I don’t have an AA earning credit card.
However, I do have the Chase Ink Plus card. The big bonus on this is that it earns you 5x Ultimate Rewards (that can be transferred to my favorite Hyatt points) on office supply stores. A well known loophole exists where you can get the 5x UR points from certain Ebay venders, specifically PayPal Digital Gifts that happen to sell $100 American Airlines gift cards. I bought 5 for a bonus of 2,500 Ultimate Rewards points that I will transfer to Hyatt.
In addition, I used a shopping portal to get 2.1% cash back on Ebay purchases which will net me $10.50 in cash back in my bank. Also Ebay Bucks, Ebay’s cash back reward system, will give me $10 back for a future Ebay purchase.
Clearly I am crazy to be doing a mileage run to Hong Kong with such a quick turn around; especially in Economy. But sometimes I just can’t help myself.