Live Blog: A Mileage Run to Anchorage — 33 hours of InsAAnity

Three weeks ago, I flew to Anchorage for the weekend to kickoff my status challenge to American Executive Platinum.  Well, today, I begin the last trip to finish that challenge of 25,000 Elite Qualifying Points in three months… only I’m completing this challenge in a mere 21 days!



In order finish this challenge, I’ll be flying from Washington, DC to Anchorage and back today via Boston and Dallas-Fort Worth.  Yeah — I won’t be leaving the airport.  By my best estimate, this trip will take about 33 hours, from 7:30am this morning, including about 25 hours in the air.  Most of this travel will be on American Airlines in first class of a B757-200.  The shorter two legs from DCA-BOS and BOS-DCA will be operated by US Airways. This seemed like a good idea when I booked it.  After all, I will achieve Executive Platinum Status after this run, but… it’s a lot of domestic flying.   I’ve only done one straight turn on a mileage run before, and it was from DC to LAX.  My friend Angelina did this direct turn a couple of weeks ago, and she had nothing but terrible things to say about  it.  Here’s to hoping my run goes better! I’ll be posting a running string of updates during this mileage run.  It’s going to be painful.  I hope to keep this post entertaining!  Here goes nothing!

2:25pm EDT, Sunday

So over 32 hours and over 10,000 miles later, I’ve touched down at Washington National Airport.

I’m a bit tired, but it wasn’t really as bad as I thought it would be.  Thanks US Airway and American for six on-time flights during this run!

It’s all over!  American Executive Platinum is now secured until February 2016!

12:55pm EDT, Sunday

Back in Boston! We got in on time from DFW and had to hoof it to my separately booked US Airways flight to DCA.

Slept most of the flight from DFW-BOS, which was great because I feel rested now.

Breakfast onboard the last flight was quite good. The quiche was very good, and was probably my favorite breakfast item I’ve had on a plane ever domestically. A fresh biscuit and a nice helping of fruit made for a good breakfast.

Just this last short leg and I’m done with this run!

7:55am CDT, Sunday

Good morning from the Terminal C Admirals Club at DFW!

Well, that flight went by quick.  I managed to get a decent amount of sleep on that six hour flight, though there was quite a bit of commotion.

Somewhere during the middle of the flight, the FA came on frantically asking for a doctor.  The medical equipment was retrieved (it was above my seat), and off they went to the back of the plane.  I passed back out, but woke up again when they’d moved the sick passenger to the seat in front of me — I think the doctor gave up his seat or something.

Ah, well.  Went back to sleep and woke up as we were descending into DFW.  I skipped the continental breakfast since I wasn’t at all hungry.

Upon arrival here at DFW, I was dragging pretty bad.  Enter the showers at the Admirals Club.  I’m a new man now!  Feeling good to go — just a little tired, but I’m going to finish this thing strong!

Bout to head off to my flight to Boston here in a few minutes… enjoy some scenic pics from our approach into Anchorage earlier.

8:38pm AKDT (12:38am EDT), Saturday

Back onboard the same aircraft. This time for Anchorage back to DFW. Had some halibut at Humpy’s in the terminal even though I wasn’t hungry.

I’m pretty tired at this point. Ready to sleep on the plane. But…

There is a lap child sitting directly behind me in first class. The kid has been whining and kicking my seat already and we haven’t left the gate.

This may not be good…

Good Night, interwebs. See you in Dallas.

5:43pm AKDT (9:43pm EDT), Saturday

Hello from somewhere just southeast of Ketchikan, AK.  The Gogo wifi cut out about 90 minutes ago after we flew over the beautiful Canadian Rockies.

Settling in here now more than halfway between DFW and Anchorave. I’ve met a few other people on this trip who are doing the same thing as I am – a direct turn mileage run. This includes my seat mate, Naveen, who is a reader of my blog!  This is validation for me that someone other than my parents actually reads this thing!  Anyway, we’ve had a nice conversation about points, miles and travel for about the last hour.

I’ve also met another travel blogger, Simon from Running for Status, who is doing something even more exhausting than a straight turn mileage run – he’s running a marathon in Anhchorage tomorrow morning, and then flying back to Boston via DFW on Sunday night.

Yeah, you win, Simon. You win.

So, I was able to listen to the live radio feed of the 45-17 Auburn victory over Louisiana Tech, thanks to Gogo wifi. Technology is a pretty amazing thing!  War Eagle.

Having a drink with ESPN Gamecast while listening to the Auburn game

Having a drink with ESPN Gamecast while listening to the Auburn game

For dinner, I ordered the infamous beef with mustard sauce for dinner, and… yeah.  Let’s put it this way – I’m glad I got full at the Centurion Lounge at DFW (thanks for guesting me in, Simon).  Otherwise, the salad was fresh and tasty, and the chicken appetizer was pretty good. However, the main entrée – the beef – was a kind of a pot roast type dish, and it was bad. The mashed potatoes were bad too, but I think it’s because there was blue cheese in them, and I HATE blue cheese. Luckily, the ice cream desert somewhat redeemed an otherwise pretty bad meal.

Dinner on AA279

Dinner on AA279

Highlight of the meal

Highlight of the meal

I’m starting to fade a little bit a lot, but that’s a good thing considering it’ll be well past 11:00pm ET by the time we land in Anchorage. That’ll let me get some good sleep on the flight back to DFW.

Powering through this thing!

3:54pm CDT, Saturday

Onboard my DFW-ANC flight after a quick bite to eat in the DFW AMEX Centurion Lounge – what a great place. Settled in my seat on this 757, which will be my home for the next 15 hours. Can’t wait to blast out of here so I can get wifi to follow the Auburn game! My dad is going a great job of texting me updates. So far, so good! Seven hours to Anchorage!IMG_8590

2:15pm EDT, Saturday

Greetings from somewhere over southern Kentucky. So I ended up being a nice guy after boarding and agreed to change seats with a couple, moving me from seat 4F to 1E.  Now this may not seem like that big of a deal, and I guess it’s really not, but the legroom in the first row is quite restricted compared to the rest of the first class cabin.  I guess I’ll chalk this up as a #firstworldproblem.

Everything is going well thus far.  The flight has gotten back to an on-time status, and lunch service finished up.  I had the beef enchilada or burrito, or whatever the hell it was.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t bad at all — actually pretty tasty.  The chicken appetizer was nice, as was the small salad and pretzel roll.  The key lime pie dessert was just meh.

Lunch on AA226 - not all that bad

Lunch on AA226 – not all that bad

We’ve got around 90 minutes or so until we arrive at DFW, so I’m going to sit back, relax and enjoy the flight (and a beer or two).  Gogo Wifi is working well slowly chugging along… life ain’t too bad right now.

Chugging right along

Chugging right along

11:00am EDT, Saturday

Here I sit in the Terminal B Admirals Club in Boston.  I just watched my plane land from DFW.  It appears the delay will be minimal, so if nothing changes, I should be okay with my connection.  Boarding starts in about 25 minutes.  I’m starving now, but will wait for lunch onboard!

9:13am EDT, Saturday

Short, uneventful flight from DCA-BOS.  Had a perfect view of Manhattan as we flew northbound.  It’s a beautiful morning here in Boston. I was unable to change to the earlier flight to DFW, as it was completely sold out.  According to the agents here in Boston, there’s only a slight delay due to flight crew, and it shouldn’t be anything major.  We’ll see about that…

 7:15am EDT, Saturday

Now onboard my short US Airways flight to Boston. Had a quick, ten minute cab ride to DCA. I’m now seated in seat 1A on this A319. My upgrade cleared at checkin as a AA Executive Platinum — not bad! IMG_8560.JPG

 6:18am EDT, Saturday

Well, we’re off to a concerning start.  I woke up this morning to an alert from American that my BOS-DFW flight was delayed.  With the posted delay, I’ll have about 40 minutes to make my connection to ANC.  Given that there is only one DFW-ANC flight today, a missed connection would present a significant problem.  To combat this, I’ll look into switching to an earlier flight if I get to BOS in time for it. Time to call the cab….

10 Thoughts on “Live Blog: A Mileage Run to Anchorage — 33 hours of InsAAnity

  1. I’m also doing an ANC run today out of Boston, but on DL, not AA. For my 5 hr “stay” in Anchorage, I’m renting a car and just driving around. Left on a 715 flight this morning, will be back at 1045 tomorrow morning. Why do we do this to ourselves? 🙂

    • I don’t know. I just don’t know. If you have time, drive the Seward Highway to Girdwood / Alyeska — it’s a beautiful drive. Grab a bite to eat at Jack Sprat or the Double Musky Inn in Girdwood. I’ll be on the AA flight that turns there tonight, right next to the Delta gates.

      • No way! My DL return ANC-MSP had a medical emergency also! Small world, 2 runs on 2 different airlines and same situation. Our lady ended up ok but there were about 6 doctors who ran over when they called and were with her for atleast 30 minutes. Scary stuff.

        • Yeah, I’m not sure how many doctors responded, as it happened towards the back of th emplane. All I knew is that dude was sitting in front of me when I woke up. I guess it ended fine for everyone.

  2. Good luck. I did a few Mileage Runs last year, including a one day to Honolulu and back on Thanksgiving day. I was at HNL for 20 minutes!

    embrace the insanity!


  3. I’ll be on your DFW-ANC flight today in F, if you recognize me from BACON say hi!

    • I hope I’ll recognize you! If not, give 5F a shout! Hopefully I’ll make my connection — BOS-DFW is delAAyed a bit — only 40 mins.

  4. Two questions: How much would this run cost in $$? And two, what benefits for having an AA Platinum status justify this run (cost and time)?

    • This run in economy can be had for around $350 round trip in economy. In first class, it’ll run around $850-950, if you get a good deal. I’m doing this particularly for Executive Platinum status — the top tier in American’s AAdvantage Frequent Flyer program. The benefits to Executive Platinum status can be found here: The most important ones to me are unlimited domestic upgrades, 8 systemwide upgrades, 100% mileage bonus on flown miles, and award flexibility. Now, this certainly isn’t worth it for everybody, but considering the amount I fly, and the fact that I’m 6’4″, it’s worth it to me.

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