Am I Crazy For Going For Status On 3 Airlines This Year?

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Earlier this year I realized that I really wanted to keep some kind of status on United. I am completely and utterly enthralled with the freedom of TSA Pre-Check, even though I still have to take off my shoes (metal heels), which I have on United and not US Airways. I wanted free access to Economy Plus, even if I can only select it the day of as a silver. 🙂  And then I managed to rationalize that with US Airways leaving Star Alliance at some point in the future it would be nice to still have status on some Star Alliance carrier.

This whim was further facilitated when flying United out to Napa. My GPUs hadn’t cleared, so I decided to go ahead and just have them switch to my US Airways number in the lounge. The agent got quite snippy and declared if I did that (even though I hadn’t upgraded using status) that they would immediately bump us out of our economy plus seats. Now the plane was sold out, so I was skeptical that would actually happen, but she seemed so motivated and punitive, it wasn’t completely unlikely.

At that point I decided to apply the 8K eqms I’d be earning to the United status I wanted. Since I could buy whatever additional miles I needed to keep platinum on US Airways, using 25,000 in-flight eqms wouldn’t be a huge hardship.

Although it hurts a little to know you might fly 100K miles a year and not be top status on any airline (which is why it pays to focus on one carrier).

So anyway, having figured this out in February, I thought my strategy was done for the year. Then the amazing deal to Easter Island came up on LAN (which partners with American Airlines). With the class of service bonus for my business class flights I’d be close to 25,000 points needed to hit gold. Was it worth flying an extra 3K miles to lock in status on American? Not to mention there’s a tiny chance, though I personally doubt it, that they might combine eqms from US Airways and American Airlines at the end of the year to determine status for 2014. So it wouldn’t exactly be wasted miles…

AND THEN a friend reminded me about the status challenges they offer — pay a $150-$250 fee and fly 5,000 miles in 3 months to make gold, 10,000 to make platinum. There was a even a chance that they might do a platinum executive challenge for me based on my United 1K status. Having that existing reservation for a 15,000 mile trip is really going to come in handy. 🙂 If only I’d also booked a return to Mendoza I’d automatically have status!


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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.


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  1. Pingback: Crazy Status Mileage Run -- Great BBQ, an Hour in Alaska,and Breakfast with Tiff (Almost) - Heels First Travel

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