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cloudship

Why my friends and co-workers think I am nuts

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So I have developed a new hobby. Flying. Not flying a small plane, mind you - flying commercial flights in order to build up frequent flier mileage.

My chosen airline for mileage is Delta. This past month they had a special - they would double you elite qualification miles for any flights that you booked in April and flew by the end of June. Elite qualification miles allow you to reach certain tier point, a point at which you then gain additional airline benefits. For instance, you can then stand by for upgrades into the next class on most domestic flights. You get to use those special "breezeway" aisles at checking, and you can board right at the beginning (the first group they announce - medallion level fliers). It also gives me a bonus to regular mile earnings that I can then use for free flights and upgrades.

So, for some insane reason, I have decided to try and fly 25,000 miles over the next month and a half. After Delta doubles those miles I should be able to reach a gold level of elite status. Hopefully that will give me a shot at the occasional upgrade as well as faster check-in and at some airports, faster travel through security. I have booked 4 flights - one to LA, one to Vegas, a transatlantic to London, and a last trip to Portland. Total cost was a little more than I budgeted, I ended up spending $1200 instead of $1000 that I had planned, but that included spending more to get to London to visit my brother. Of course that is also going to have a toll on my other spending because I am now spending a lot more on hotels. And getting to the airport and back.

But in any case, it has proven interesting. I have already done the LA and Vegas trips, and spent a day in each. I choose to just spend the day wandering about, exploring the city. Well, in LA I kind of explored the area, as there isn't much of a true "city" there to explore. It is actually kind of interesting - I can now say I have seen a bunch of different places and there is a kind of "jetsetter" attitude that I have developed, always the explorer, never in one place. I find it hard to sit through a weekend at home now. But I have to admit, the flying can get a bit tiring sometimes, especially a 5 hour coach flight with a full cabin. But once I am done I will be able to...fly some more!

Anyone else do this sort of thing?

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I spent several years doing short trips on my days off from work. While I managed to attain silver status on Northwest, I didn't fly loyally on one carrier or another- perhaps to my detriment. I still fly quite a bit- mostly to Florida, but I usually take about two trips out of the country each year. I'm rather impressed that you managed to book all of those trips for under $1300.00- that's quite a feat in these days of overpriced tickets. A word of caution, however- don't expect that the upgrades will always be available and do book ahead for them if you are allowed. Waiting until you get to the gate is usually a losing proposition. While this sort of tripping may seem crazy to many, I fully understand its attraction.

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