Virgin America Mileage Run October 2017

Virgin America Mileage Run

This past weekend I did a mileage run on Virgin America that took across the country twice.  Leaving Friday evening and returning Sunday evening, I flew 11,222 miles.  The total flight time of the 6 flights was 26 hours and 43 minutes over the course of less than 48 hours.  And that’s flight time; it does not include the time sitting on a plane during boarding and waiting to deplane.

Virgin America Mileage Run

I purchased the ticket last December for $161.20.  The ticket was considered a PDX-LAX round trip.  However, the routing rules allowed for creativity.  My routing to get from Portland to Los Angeles looked like this:

PDX-SFO Flight 1948 (1:41 flight time) 550 miles
Departure Friday 7:21 PM
Arrival Friday 9:02 PM

SFO-JFK Flight 1034 (5:45 flight time) 2,586 miles
Departure Friday 11:23 PM
Arrival Saturday 8:08 AM

JFK-LAX Flight 1409 (6:07 flight time) 2,475 miles
Departure Saturday 11:27 AM
Arrival Saturday 2:34 PM

And the “return” trip looked like this:

LAX-JFK Flight 1420 (5:36 flight time) 2,475 miles
Departure Saturday 11:20 PM
Arrival Sunday 7:56 AM

JFK-SFO Flight 1023 (5:57 flight time) 2,586 miles
Departure Sunday 10:25 AM
Arrival Sunday 1:22 PM

SFO-PDX Flight 1816 (1:37 flight time) 550 miles
Departure Sunday 3:26 PM
Arrival Sunday 5:03 PM

Cost: I live in Seattle so I had to position myself to Portland for the run.  I was able to book a ticket on Alaska SEA-PDX for 5,000 miles plus $5.60.  The return trip was $84.20.

All in, I paid $251.00 and 5,000 Alaska miles.  Obviously the deal would have been better had I not needed to position to PDX.

Earn: As an Alaska Gold 75K I earned a total of 28,410 redeemable miles (23,410 after subtracting the cost of the SEA-PDX flight).  Total elite qualifying miles earned was 11,722.

Even with the positioning flights, I got a value of 2.1 cents per elite qualifying mile.  For me, anything under 4 cents per EQM is a good deal.  This was a steal.  The cost of redeemable miles was even better: less than 1.1 cent per redeemable mile.

The worst flight by far was the first overnight.  Luckily my friend and I booked a room at the Hyatt Regency at LAX for our long layover to get some sleep, shower and exercise.  I won’t be doing another mileage run like this one any time soon, but for me it was worth it.

Continue reading about my experience onboard including upgrades.

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