I’m exhausTED!

I’ve always thought there’s no such thing as too much travel, but I think I’ve finally reached that point. Looking back at my travel since the double EQM promotion started in mid-March, I’ve flown around 150,000 miles and 150 segments. That comes out to 50,000 miles and 50 segments per month, which is roughly the same as what most pilots and flight attendants fly.

The funniest part about traveling so much has to be flying out of Tampa, because so many flight attendants and pilots live here and commute. Last month I sat next to a pilot as he was on his way home from a trip, and three days later we both flew back to Washington. He had the three days off, I had class.

After this weekend I probably won’t step foot on another airplane for at least a month, which will be quite a transition. While I’m looking forward to it as of now, I’m sure in about a week I’ll want to fly (but worry not, I won’t).

Either way, I never thought flying could take such a toll on me. For the first time I can remember, I actually took a nap this afternoon. I’m just plane exhausted!

Filed Under: Mileage Runs, Travel
  1. You picked a good time to stop. Y fares seem to have really shot up this week for the busy summer travel season.

  2. Hi Ben:

    I’m back from Istanbul. Had a super experience with Lufthansa F. If I hadn’t found your blog I never would have joined Aeroplan or redeemed miles for an F ticket; would have been happy with C. FWIW, I didn’t find the food on the plane to be anything special, but the food in both the Munich and Frankfurt lounges were awesome.

    If you need any advice regarding your upcoming trip to Istanbul please feel free to e-mail me with questions.

    I have a question for you, why did you travel SO much. After you hit 100K what is the purpose of continuing mileage runs? You’ve said that you opt for cheap tickets so it doesn’t sound like you are aiming for Global Services status. Just wondering.


  3. Hi Despina:

    I’m happy you enjoyed your trip! Sorry for the food onboard wasn’t all that great. I’m hoping it was just poor catering for your flight and not an overall downward trend from Lufthansa. Pretty soon they’ll be teaming up with Ritz Carlton for first class meals, so I expect the selections to get better. Thanks for the offer for Istanbul suggestions. I’ll probably take you up on that closer to departure.

    As far as why I’m flying so much, I do find the systemwide upgrades extremely valuable. Beyond 100,000 miles I get two systemwide upgrades for every 50,000 extra miles. While I don’t use them, I have lots of family in Germany, so they’re particularly useful for travel on Lufthansa in my family’s case. I do most of the boring travel (along with some exciting trips), while I get my family first and business class tickets to where they want to go thanks to miles/upgrades. Also, for passing 175,000 elite qualifying miles I get 25,000 bonus miles through this year’s Elite Choice program.

    I’ll probably also have a more detailed answer to your question in a few weeks, but I can’t discuss it just yet. Stay tuned. 🙂

    Hope you’re time schedule isn’t thrown off too much with jetlag!


  4. I thought I did a lot of flying with trips to Asia and Europe in the span of a month, but you top everyone Lucky.

  5. Wow Ben! I’ve only flown half what you’ve flown during the promotion. I did manage to do it all on weekends only though given that I have to work M-F. I also squished in two vacations where they were short distance and only earned me about 1000 BIS miles.

    No more runs for me till august! But two vacations planned (only about 1000 BIS miles each) before that.

    I”m totally intrigued about what you are holding back about why you flew so much going for 300k eqms so far this year. Can’t wait until you can tell us!

    I ordered two “GGTG” shirts from cafe press today. Looking forward to seeing how the UA staff react to them!

    Get some rest. thanks for all the advice and antecdotes you give on your blog and podcast!

  6. Lucky,

    Does DEQM get you extra Systemwide upgrade? I meant let say you fly 150,000 bis miles=300,000 with DEQM,how many extra cert do I get?

  7. I’ve done 125K during DEQM and had to squeeze in one more flight this weekend. Most of mine has been on long haul though. I have a 2 week break before I fly on business but then nothing until September. I’m looking forward to the break.

  8. Erm, what do you tell your friend? Love to go out with you guys this weekend but I’m flying TPA-IAD-JFK-LAX-SFO-ORD-IAD-TPA for the 10th weekend in a row?

  9. This is a question: do you have any friends? 🙂

    Seriously, do you ever feel like you are missing out on part of the college experience because while others are at parties, hanging out, etc., you’re on an airplane?

  10. @Scholar in Training – I think it’s the other way around – the people at parties, hanging out, etc are missing out! LOL I’m sure Ben has plenty of time to hang out with friends on days when he has class and isn’t flyingl

  11. Lucky,

    Ever thought about selling your live to the Travel Channel? It would make for an intersting show. “The Runner”

    Ok..I have a question for you. Your points are more of a family asset as opossed to your own points. From things you have said in the past, CC chrages come from the family business and your parents see value in your travel as they see the rewards in return.

    Do you or anyone else in your family feel that you have a right to xx% of the points available. You sound so generous with booking trips for mom/brother or German relatives…but is their a point where you would expect that some of the points are yours?

  12. @ HunterSFO — Thanks! Let me know how the shirt works for you. 😉

    @ first — Yes it does. SWU’s are based on EQM’s, not BIS miles. You get two extra for each 50K you fly over 100K, so for 300K EQM’s you would get 14 total (six for 100K and 8 for the other 200K).

    @ Pat — I’m gonna go ahead and say your travel was even tougher. I wasn’t stuck in coach for 14 hours several times. I admire you for doing those runs!

    @ andrewwm — I’ve stopped trying to explain. 😀

    @ Scholar in Training — Nah, I don’t feel like I’m missing out. For one, I can actually remember my weekends. 😉

    @ mudba — LMAO, I think the Loony Channel would be more interested! As far as family travel goes, that’s a good question. I don’t think I’m doing them justice. I love mileage running if for nothing more than meeting new people and building up my Million Miler balance, because I can typically squeeze in a two day trip here and there. Unfortunately I just don’t have time to take that many award trips. The most I can reasonably do is two or so a year. I can use as many of my miles as I want, but I have more than I can use. Therefore I INSIST that my mom, dad, and brother use them when they travel. While they say business class would be fine, I INSIST they fly first. They’ve supported me so much with this hobby (and in general), that it’s the least I can do.

  13. Lucky, how many weekends a year would you say that you’re “on the road”?

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