Talkin' Transit, Travel

We Love Travel: WAS EQM Mileage Runs

The view from United Premier Executive seats is so much better

The view from United Premier Executive seats is so much better

For those that fly often, there is not a sense of envy with the gate agent allows First Class and elite frequent flyers to board the plane first. No, there is only lust for such benefits that are often so close yet so far away at this time of year.

See, frequent flyer status is earned annually. For United, you’ll need at least 50,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) by December 31st to maintain Premier Executive status. It may be one up from cattle class, but when you do long hauls to Europe or red-eyes from the West Coast, those emergency row seats or First Class upgrades make the flights oh so much better.

Which brings us to mileage runs – the act of flying just to maintain elite frequent flyer status. It may sound crazy, but there is a whole airline subculture focused on just such acts of desperation. And this year, at 39,200 EQMs, I’m hell-bent on earning 10,801 more by December 31, 2008.

Wanna learn how I’m doing it at no cost to me? Then keep reading…

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Someone doesn’t like United Airlines

I’ve always wondered what United Airlines did to deserve their treatment at Dulles Airport. I mean, really, you guys have the worst terminal in the airport. No, not sort of. They put you out in ghetto, trailer park, bus stations look better than this, terminal. I don’t know what you did (okay, I can imagine a few dozen things) but the travelers are really paying for your sins.

For anyone who has been to Dulles, there are actually two airports out there. The first, relatively nice, airport is the newly expanded A & B terminal. Getting there is a snap. Come out of the security gates and head towards the brand new tunnel. No shuttle buses for you – those are reserved for the low class section. A long set of escalators in each direction, and some moving walkways, and you emerge in to the Dulles equivalent of airport heaven.

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