Mileage Running in the Nor’easter – Quickest R/T Run Ever?

Run complete and back at my office desk by 1PM…even during yesterday’s Nor’easter!  All for AAdvantage Platinum status which was already reflected on the AA website this morning.

AA Plat Status American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum Status

I simply had a lot of very good luck. I had blogged a few weeks ago (see – 111 Points to AA Platinum…but “Boost to Plat.” for $699!) about being less than 200 EQPs short of hitting Platinum and weighed my options. I decided to purchase a $59 JFK-DCA fare and then used 4,000 Avios for the return DCA-LGA flight on the US Airways Shuttle. As luck would have it, my easiest run yet was almost derailed by a winter Nor’easter. Both Delta and United issued travel waivers for JFK, LGA, and EWR yesterday, AA did not (New England and upstate NY only). I called and had no luck pleading my case on Monday night. While New York was forecast to miss the worst of the storm, I knew it wasn’t going to be a fun day to travel and my very short run might turn into a full day with potential cancelations.

I was originally scheduled on a 11:10AM flight from JFK to DCA but woke up at 6:30AM knowing I should head to the airport early and try to catch the 8:40. I got to the gate at 8:15AM and made it just in time to board the 8:40 (which was actually on time). The flight itself wasn’t too bumpy and we arrived on time at 9:53AM. At JFK I had no time to access the US Airways kiosks prior to security and so my plan was to run on arrival to the Shuttle area and switch to the 11AM flight back to LGA. However, while waiting to deplane I saw on the AA app that the 10AM Shuttle was delayed until 10:35AM. Perfect, just a few gates over I darted to customer service. Unfortunately, they told me the 10AM was a no go as it was after 10, even if the plane was still there and the boarding door open. Instead, they switched me to the 11AM (I was originally on a 2PM). I then did what any BoardingArea reader would do, I took my 11AM boarding pass over to the 10AM Shuttle gate agent and asked to get on the flight. He quickly printed me a new pass and I was on my way! Awesome, I made it on the 10AM Shuttle…and I sort of loved that my new LGA boarding pass had a boarding time of 9:30A, a time when I was still on the way to DC. At that point they were showing an 11:45AM arrival time, meaning that the total trip from JFK-DCA-LGA during the Nor’easter would have been just over 3 hours, pretty impressive I think!

AA Boarding Pass US Airways Boarding Pass

Well, due to the weather we were further delayed and then had to de-ice, but I still arrived way earlier than I had hoped and avoided the cancelations (only an hour late and it was smooth flying until a few minutes before landing). That 11AM flight I was originally moved to was canceled as was the 12PM and 1PM flight.

Not as complex (and certainly not as many miles / points) as some of my crazy transcontinental runs, but just as exciting! A short taxi ride from LGA to the office and I was at my desk by 1PM. I’m very happy to now have Platinum status in world’s largest frequent flier program and my move away from Delta can officially begin.

Anyone else participate in a year-end run yesterday?

AA Canceled Flights

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  1. As your experience shows, Status Runs at this time of year in the northeast can be risky due to weather. Just completed one Tuesday/Wednesday to keep 1K (2,300 PQMs short) when that same storm forecasts came in on Monday. Kept checking the UA website for a weather waiver, or for my OLCI window to open so I could do a “same day” change to reroute to ORD rather than EWR. Waiver came 2 hours before my OLCI and I was able to rebook the outbound from an afternoon flight (YYZ-EWR-TPA) to a morning one (YYZ-ORD-TPA) having also checked to see there were open F seats on both new flights I was requesting…using RPU got both the new flights and F confirmations. As it turned out, weather cancelled my original YYZ-EWR flight (and ultimately the EWR-TPA) but my pre-emptive changes worked fine. Of course, UA now takes 2-3 days to post miles (return went off as originally booked via ORD) so I won’t see the results until the weekend. And the Status Run also included a 25th stay at a Starwood property to renew my Platinum status (albeit an award night to keep costs of the whole exercise <$300). Requalified for my AA ExecPlat by a considerable margin by October.

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