It has been over a month now since I’ve stepped on a plane for no other reason than to accumulate airline miles. I’ve been traveling quite a bit in the past month, (London, San Fran, etc.), but all with something to do on the other end. And oddly enough, I haven’t even thought about booking a mileage run.
Economics aside (and mileage running can make economic sense if done correctly and you actually enjoy flying), I just haven’t been tempted to mileage run lately. It used to be that I needed to fly at least once a week,
almost just like an addict. But I think I might just be a bit more rational now, which made me consider what really pushes me to mileage run.
Mileage runs are a blast. They really are. They’re relaxing, they’re a way to get disconnected, and ultimately they’re “profitable.” But, if you’re like me and do hardcore, eight segment, 36 hour, 8,000 mile domestic mileage runs, only half the journey is fun. Typically I’ll start out on a flight out of Tampa at 6AM on a Saturday morning. Can someone remind me why the hell I’d actually want to get up (as opposed to go to bed) at 3:30AM on a Saturday morning?
But from there it’s fun. I see my “friends” at TPA, I get to catch up with pilot/flight attendant commuters that I’ve gotten to know from flying out of TPA so often, and typically I’ll even run into a few flight attendants working the flights that I know. I really do enjoy flying, even if it’s just domestically. The first four segments are great. Criss-crossing the country slowly but surely is a great way to let a Saturday fly by (no pun intended), in my book.
Then it gets less fun. You got up at 3:30AM on the east coast and now it’s 8PM on the west coast, or 11PM where I started. You hop on that intra-California flight, and everything is still ok. You’re tired but start asking yourself “why did I choose to do this when I could be at home?” But everything is still ok. Then comes the redeye. At this point it’s 11PM on the west coast, or 2AM on the east coast, so you’ve been up for nearly 24 hours. This is the point where I really start dreaming about my bed at home and seriously ask myself why I’m so insane. I do about 50 redeyes a year, but even so, I ask myself that question every single time I hop on a domestic redeye.
Then there’s flying down the coast after a redeye, where you can’t help but drift in and out of sleep. It’s kind of painful, probably worse than the redeye. And then you get home, all tired, groggy, and cranky. Of course after a good night of sleep it was all worth it, especially when the miles post.
I guess my point is that mileage runs aren’t all fun, even for us flying geeks. While I’m still “addicted” to flying, I find myself less and less enthusiastic about pure mileage runs involving redeyes. But I’ll continue to do them because they make sense.
Is my thought process similar to the other mileage runners out there, or do some of you actually enjoy it start-to-finish? And that’s for those doing domestic, non-PS, 6+ segment, sleep depriving mileage runs involving redeyes (or others as well, I guess).