I know this is a bit lengthy, but bear with me. The below story includes how I found the fare and the interesting journey home that I had.
The day after the Star Mega DO 3 I did the following mileage run on US Airways. I found it by pricing out one-way tickets. First, I wanted to get as far west from DEN as possible, SAN had the best fare. Then I looked to go as far south from PVD. Found some good fares to FL, but the connections wouldn’t have worked to get to PVD that same day. DFW and IAH were similar, so I decided to go with IAH since I have never been to that airport. From there I just had to make my way back to PVD. These three one-ways priced out much cheaper than a DEN-CLT/PHL-PVD itinerary. Since I was using a voucher (I got from a bump on a Mileage Run last year) I had to call US reservations. I got a very helpful and friendly America based US agent on the phone and prefaced the conversation that it would be an irregular itinerary. I read the flights I was looking for and she was most helpful in assembling the itinerary. When it came time to pay, I was expecting to pay about $60-70 over the cost of the voucher, she said that all that was due was $10. I was NOT going to argue that with her. We confirmed everything and got payment processed no problem. As we’re completing everything she jokingly commented that I must be doing this for the miles, as no “sane” person would book such a routing. I said happily that she was absolutely correct.
Fast forward to the actual run. I was upgraded on all my flights except the PHX-IAH leg, but luckily I was in an exit row. I blearily eyed boarded my first flight from DEN-PHX and greeted the friendly flight crew upon boarding. Uneventful flight as I slept most of the way (only got a couple of hours at the Hyatt Place DEN as the partying at SMD 3 Hyatt charity dinner was fantastic.). Landing in PHX I made my way to the US Club before my flight to SAN. I greeted the agent working the check-in desk, she asked where I was flying to and I responded SAN. She let me know that there were no delays on that flight. Got some breakfast and used the internet. On my way out she wished me a good day, I responded with “I will see you in a couple of hours…mileage run.” I didn’t realize how fast the flight from PHX to SAN was as it clocked in just over an hour. Upon landing and de-planing, I asked the flight attendant if this plane was the flight schedule to go back to PHX. They said it was and I followed asking if I could keep my bag in the overhead as I was on this same flight back to PHX. Again, I got the “are you mileage running today” speech from then, confirming their assumption and having a few minute conversation on it, explaining my routing to them.
San Diego Airport was a nice layover airport but they had no Star Alliance Lounge so I took a little walk around the terminal before finding an outlet to charge the electronics. Boarding began and I happily greeted the same flight crew again. Good but uneventful flight. Back in PHX I saw that the flight to IAH was full so I went to the gate and asked to if they were looking for volunteers. They said they might and put me on the list. I told them I was going to the club, but would be back to check on the status of the bump. I was greeted by the same lounge agent who gave me a big smile and welcomed me back. I used the time to look for additional routes I could use to get home that night. Back at the gate it turns out they didn’t need me to bump but graciously thanked me for offering:-) I looked through the windows to note the tail number of the plane down before boarding (I keep track of things like that) and noticed it was the same equipment as I had flown on from DEN first thing that morning. I boarded the plane and greeted the flight attendants. They recognized me from the morning and were a bit surprised. They said, “you had a long layover” , I replied that “while you did a turn to the SNA, I did a turn to SAN…mileage run”. I was sooooo in with the flight crew it was kind-of nice. They asked if I was in first, and I said no…upgrade didn’t clear, exit row. I ended up getting a little bit of extra nice attention in coach from them. That flight was good as well, even told the flight attendants that if the gentleman traveling in military uniform wanted a drink or any snacks, that I would like to take care of it. The flight attendants told him of my offer, but he didn’t order anything. Still glad I made the offer. In IAH I had a brief stop, was going to go to the Continental Presidents Club, but it was on the other side of the terminal. Decided to spend the time hunting out something marginally healthy to eat for dinner. Found a Mexican place that had taco salads. Picking it up, I went to the boarding gate and boarded first from IAH to PHL. There were some crazy issues with a very large lap child who the parents claimed was under 2. He. Looked more like 3 or 4 to me and the flight attendants. On our way, we flew around some thunderstorms before landing which was cool to see from the sky, looking out at them and seeing the thunder clouds tower into the sky and the lightning below. Upon landing at PHL the same woman who claimed to have an under 2 lap child got up as the plane was still taxing. The pilot had to hold short of the runway for 5 minutes as the woman was brought back to her seat. By the time we got to the gate, they but a ramp hold on at PHL because of lightning so we were stuck on the ramp, at the gate, with no jet bridge to get off. Luckily all flights were delayed so I wasn’t going to miss my connecting CRJ at PHL’s F terminal to PVD. I boarded the regional jet and slept the rest of the way to PVD. All said and done the most interesting mileage run I have taken to date.
Here is the routing, all done in one day: DEN-PHX-SAN-PHX-IAH-PHL-PVD
Total miles flown – 4431 Preferred Qualifying Miles | 7397 Redeemable Miles (Because of Status Bonus) | CPM = .002 | Cost of flights $10 (used a $375 voucher)
US Airways A320 at Gate in PHX
Planes At The Gate In SAN
View After Takeoff From SAN
Thunderstorms From 27000 Feet