Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Getting the most miles

Tomorrow, Thursday, I'll be making a "mileage run'' -- a trip just to snare the miles that will push me into the next level of elite status.

I'm already Gold on American -- which means I've flown 25,000 miles already this year. And being Gold comes with my favorite reward: Instead of standing in the Economy Class lines for check-in, I get to stand in the Business Class line.

Now, you might think that's not so important in an age of electronic check-in, but I travel a lot internationally, which generally involves checking luggage. And I have to show my passport to an agent even if I check in online. So not standing in the hours-long economy line really matters.

So why bother with Platinum? Well, last year I let myself slide 5,000 miles short -- and I was sorry.

On American, being Platinum means you're much more likely to get upgraded.(Those electronic upgrades you earn by flying aren't worth anything if the Platium and Executive Platinum fliers have snagged all the Business seats.) And, you get double miles ... a worthy bonus if you use your miles for snagging free long-haul flights, like I do.

Of course, actually using your miles to get free tickets can take some perserverance. I'll share tips about that in this blog tomorrow. I'll have plenty of time to write....10 hours and 25 minutes in the air, fying from Miami to Los Angeles and back.


PHOTO: Who wouldn't want to go Business? New business class seats on the Airbus 380; photo by Getty Images.

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