Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Executive Platinum hoops

CHICAGO. DEC. 8, 5:30 A.M. I am at the coffeepot, steeling myself for a grueling day in the air. O’Hare to La Guardia at 7:40 a.m., Central time. LGA to Dallas at 11:29, Eastern. DFW to San Francisco at 3:45 p.m., Central. And then SFO back to Chicago at 6:20 p.m., Pacific, landing here again a little after midnight. I booked this bizarre itinerary not, as one friend suggested, so I could do all my holiday shopping from Sky Mall. Instead I am running a mileage marathon to retain my Executive Platinum (E.P.) status on American Airlines. ...

Randy Petersen, the founder of FlyerTalk.com and the editor of InsideFlyer magazine, estimates that about 50,000 passengers take off on what he calls “mileage runs” from mid-November to the end of the year. Most of them, according to Mr. Petersen, have the same agenda: “Don’t spend much time or money.” After all, it’s not a free perk if you have to work hard or pay much to get it. My assistant, Kathleen Conway, who plotted my trip, has me circling the United States and flying over 5,400 miles in one day for a total fare of $510 — and all of it in first class.
--Scott Turow, NYT, on maintaining super-elite flyer status. What a colossal waste of time and resources. The airlines should just sell super-elite status for $20,000.

No comments: