Gadling’s guide to mileage running — Should I book a mileage run?

Mileage runs aren’t for everyone. Most obviously, you should be within reasonable distance of an elite tier (or your own personal goal – 2k miles short of a 50k reward ticket comes to mind) before you consider pulling the trigger.

If you’re doing it to achieve or maintain elite status, you need to be a frequent enough traveler such that you can enjoy the perks of elite status and extra miles. If you’re a twice-a-year-to-visit-the-parents sort of flyer, it may not be worth your effort.

You also have to consider the time, financial and ethical ramifications of your decisions. Yes, you are burning money to go somewhere you don’t need to go just to earn miles. You’re also dumping tons of carbon into the atmosphere along the way (even though the plane would still fly without you). Carbon offsetting can help you allay those concerns.

For me, the formula happens to work out pretty well because I have a relatively flexible schedule, friends all over the country, a little disposable income and nothing to do on the weekends. I also enjoy the beauty of travel, making new friends in strange places, people watching and working the system. And I take sadistic pleasure in riding around in airplanes.

But everyone has their own motivations. If you find that you happen to fit into some these categories, follow along while I show you how to book the best mileage runs.

Continue reading to How to find a mileage run >>