mileage run

My first (last?) ever mileage run

Back in June, I wrote about passing on the Jetblue/Virgin America mileage run deal. Basically I said it wasn’t worth the time or extra effort.


I’ll blame @robertdwyer for corrupting me and convincing me that the deal was indeed worth it. In the end, I earned 75,000 Jetblue points and 50,000 Virgin America points for 20,000 SPG points, 25,000 TYP points, and $150. Time will tell whether it was worth it, but what’s done is done and I can’t go back!

mileage run
JetBlue serves Boston so well I decided I’d be a fool to pass on this

In other news, I took the first mileage run of my entire life this morning! We found a $114 fare from Boston Logan to Nantucket, MA. The outbound departed at 6:35 AM and the return departed at 8:00 AM.

Since this might be my last mileage run ever, I thought I’d share some thoughts on what many people often fuss about.

The whole concept of mileage running is kind of weird

Robert and I were joined by Nelumbo from the Saverocity forums, a much more experienced mileage runner. I found the whole thing a little bit surreal.

I woke up at about 5 AM, was out the door at 5:15 and at the gate by about 5:45. It’s pretty surreal to go through security without a bag since I didn’t need one for such a short mileage run. I also decided to use a mobile boarding pass for the first time, which was neat (I sound old).

mileage run
Logan Airport at sunrise

Still, I found it weird to board an airplane for the sole purpose of boarding the airplane. I guess this experience proved to me that it really is about the destination for me, I don’t really enjoy flying for the sake of flying.

Mileage running is better with friends

I joke that I was peer pressured into this, but the reality is, I probably wouldn’t done this if I was going to fly alone. It’s tough to justify getting on an airplane completely by myself, both to my wife and also to myself.

mileage run
A neat way to deplane

Flying with a companion gave me a chance to catch up and talk shop. So I kind of viewed my three hours this morning as a mini miles and points meetup that happened to be on an airplane. I thought that made things much more enjoyable.

As an aside, it is super refreshing to fly without bags or kids (or is that the same thing?).

I was tempted to stay in Nantucket

Simply put, Nantucket is now on my list of things to do next summer, especially if the airfare remains that low. From what little we could tell in the air, Nantucket is a picturesque New England town. I’ve done Martha’s Vineyard multiple time; I think it’s time to check Nantucket off the list.

mileage run
Nantucket Airport feels so New England

Also, if you’re a Boston resident, flying to Nantucket via Jetblue or Cape Air is worth looking into depending on your needs. It’s a twenty minute flight!

I’m probably not doing this again

This was a unique experience, but one I’m not likely to repeat. This Jetblue promotion was really a special case: the 75,000 points should cover our next 1.5 trips to Disney World or so. The 50,000 Virgin America points should be able to cover a nice weekend away for my wife and myself. So that’s worth the points and $150 for me, and I was back in my home within four hours.

Much respect to everyone who mileage runs on the regular, but it’s just not for me, especially for status. If another “promotion so good someone might get fired” comes along, I’d consider, but the 20 minute Boston-Nantucket flight really was the perfect storm!

mileage run
Shorts on a plane, Trevor!
Just an average joe trying to fly his family for less

8 thoughts on “My first (last?) ever mileage run”

  1. Awesome you were able to get in on the deal! Too bad you couldn’t stay in Nantucket longer. We’re doing our first (also will probably be our last) mileage run later this month too for the Jetblue promo. We were able to get in on the $49 JFK-BOS flights so looks like I’ll be spending a weekend in your part of town! Do you have a post on good eats/places to visit in and around Boston? I’m looking at possibly visiting Gloucester since we’ve done most of the touristy things.

    1. Oh nice! Gloucester is good, Woodman’s up there has good fried seafood. If you’re staying in town at all we just discovered a new lobster roll place while doing “tourist Boston” with some friend’s – Luke’s downtown by the library. Feel free to e-mail me if you want to talk more specifics!

  2. Nice flying with you today, Joe!
    We really dodged a bullet avoiding Delta. Think of how foolish we would have felt had we gotten caught up in that.
    As it was we came amazingly close to missing the return flight due to having to clear security at Nantucket.
    True mileage running definitely isn’t for me.

    1. Haha I think we would have been okay. But to think of people who have to make 5 or 6 connections on one run…shudder

  3. Never did a mileage run but it was fun to read about yours. I passed on the Virgin/JetBlue deal mostly because the mileage run I would have had to do was more expensive and I wasn’t sure how I’d use the points. But it sounds like a good deal in your situation. And a special hi to @robertdwyer !

  4. I have to agree with you on mileage runs after doing 2 several years ago to keep EXP. Each of those took an entire day.

  5. Like you, I did my first and likely last mileage run for this promotion. Took a $149 roundtrip last week from BOS-DCA and back to have dinner with my brother for 3 hours. With two kids under 3, it really was quite incredible to not have bags, have a mobile boarding pass, and be able to get from the parking lot at Logan to the gate in less than 15 minutes!

    On a separate note, I have read a lot of your posts about Disney and really appreciate the information. I would love to message you offline if possible with a few specific questions about taking our kids (daughter will be just under 3 and son just under 1) to Disney in January. Please let me know if you wouldn’t mind answering a few questions and what the best way to contact you might be. Thanks again.

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