5/25/13

Mileage Run To Easter Island

map


"What's going on in Easter Island?", asked a cheerful American Airlines agent as I checked-in for my afternoon flight at New York's JFK airport. "You're the fifth passenger going there I've seen today".

Now I've got some explaining to do.

Back in February, the online frequent flier community Flyertalk was abuzz with what everyone thought was a mistake fare. American Airlines was selling business class tickets from New York to Easter Island for less than $1,100 - way cheaper than coach which normally sells for more than $2,500. Business class cost somewhere in the region of $6,000-$8,000.

It turns out the price wasn't even a mistake fare, just an incredible stroke of an airfare deal luck. There I was staring at the computer screen, giddy with excitement. For something so good as this one, which is very rare, I faced the dilemma of making a quick decision. One moment it's there, the next moment it's gone.

So I jumped on it. Never mind if I haven't even got a clue if I could get days off from work. Remembering that I have an unused $100 American Airlines gift card, I applied it to the fare which brought the price further down to $950! Two days later, when a friend of mine tried to book the same flight, it was all gone.

What excites me about this trip - besides flying into one of the world´s most remote islands (and therefore quite a remote airport at that) - is my first foray into mileage running. No, this has nothing to do with putting on my sneakers and making a run somewhere. As Wikipedia puts it:
"A mileage run is an airline trip designed and taken solely to gain maximum frequent-flyer miles, points, or status.[16] If a traveler has already achieved some sort of elite status, then that traveler will earn bonus award miles on top of his or her actual flight miles. Depending on the program, that traveler will reach its goal sooner if the miles he or she accrue are elite qualifying miles.[16] A mileage run may allow a traveler to (re-)qualify for a beneficial elite level, which requires a minimum number of miles to qualify.[17] The value of a mileage run is frequently computed in cents per mile (CPM) where the total price of the ticket is divided by the total number of base miles accrued."
Most mileage runners book cheap flights and do a quick turn around at the destination airport. Often this involves same day and just within a few hours after arrival. Quite a punishing trip indeed especially since these are intercontinental if not long international flights. In my case, I decided to make a longer trip out of it, staying five days in Easter Island and three days in Santiago, Chile.

As an AAdvantage member,  I look forward to generating elite qualifying miles on this trip and earn benefits later. The flights involve American Airlines from New York to Miami, connecting to oneworld® partner Lan Chile to Santiago before changing to another Lan Chile flight bound for Hanga Roa in Easter Island. All flights are on Boeing 767.

Flying time? Per segment, it's more than two hours to Miami, eight hours to Santiago, five hours to Easter Island. That should give me plenty of time to sleep on Lan Chile's flat bed seats. And hopefully meet those other four passengers. Let the fun times roll.

12 comments:

  1. Can I slid into your backpack? I'llbe quiet haha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure if you'll even fit hehehe!

      Delete
  2. Hmm, I think I should make an account on Flyertalk! Ayos ka rin Dennis! I was able to raise my status on United due to my flying last year, but I am pretty sure I will lose that this year. :-/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Flyertalk is part of my daily routine. It's like a treasure trove of info for deals. Worth being a member really if you want to join in the forums and be heard.

      Delete
  3. Those who can, do. Those who can't, just read your blog, just like me :)

    As always can't wait to hear about Easter Islands. You trailblazer, you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I think you can do this trip. Just keep your ears to the ground and read Flyertalk. As someone based in the US, you have opportunities lurking somewhere.

      Delete
  4. Of all introductory posts to your trips since I've became one of your blog's huge fans, this one's the most fun to read! I felt your excitement from booking the flight to its steal-price that even got cheaper to a $100 less. Amazing! Iba ka talaga, Dennis! Ang status mo, ELITE! hehehe! :p

    So what's going on in Easter Island?

    We'll be waiting!

    Next post, please. hehehe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I do try to keep my status hence the constant search for great airfare deals (that will earn elite qualifying miles of course).

      Delete
  5. That was a very good deal indeed. I would love to go to Easter Island when I'm in Chile (don't know when) but I know the price would be prohibitive. So where are your pics of Easter Island? :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you go off season (June-October), you'd most likely get decent fares between Santiago and Easter Island on Lan Chile.

      Delete
  6. So awesome! Looking forward to reading about THAT trip!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks, so happy to finally get this off my list Nina!

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...