When flying just to get more air miles is worth thousands

What's the Deal with Conor Knighton

Having elite status on an airline can be very valuable.  You get free checked bags, priority boarding and security, access to better seats, waived booking fees, and at the top levels, complimentary upgrades.

Airlines award status based on how much you fly in a calendar year, which means, towards the end of the year, it's worth checking to see how close you are to the next level.  If you're close, you should consider taking a trip just for the miles.

What you’ll have to do is fly somewhere, turn around, and flight back.  It's called mileage running, and hardcore travelers do this on cheap fares all the time.  They realize the general public might not understand. However, elite perks are valuable.  And the miles alone have a value - especially when flying a long, cheap flight. 

Top tier elite status on American Airlines comes with free first class upgrades across the U.S. and eight system wide upgrades anywhere American flies.  That means you can book a cheap fare to Shanghai and upgrade it for free to business class. That's potentially worth thousands. 

So you can understand why fliers might spend a weekend, and a few hundred bucks, to get to that next tier.  Just don't expect airport security to always understand.

Have you ever taken a trip just for the miles?  Let us know in the comment section below.

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



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