I’m Going to Dallas (For 3 Hours)!


As I have mentioned a number of times, I am going for MVP Gold 75k status with Alaska Airlines. While Alaska itself has kind of a lackluster route network (as least they fly to Cancun!), and Alaska may not have an industry leading first class product, it absolutely has the best mileage program of any US airline. 70,000 miles one way for Emirates first class on some of the longest flights in the world? Why not!

Here’s how to qualify for MVP Gold 75k:

  • Earn 75,000 elite qualifying miles for flights on Alaska Airlines
  • Earn 90,000 elite qualifying miles for flights on Alaska Airlines and Alaska Airlines partners (including American, British Airways, LAN, Cathay, and Delta)
  • Fly 75 segments on Alaska Airlines
  • Fly 90 segments on Alaska Airlines and Alaska partners

That 90,000 mile requirement is 10,000 miles less than most airlines’ top-tier elite qualifying thresholds. Not only is the threshold significantly lower, but the benefits are are enormous. Here are some:

  • 50,000 free miles when you qualify
  • Four yearly confirmed upgrades from economy to first class
  • Unlimited free space-available upgrades from economy to first class.
  • Decreased Board Room membership cost.
  • 125% mileage bonus.
  • Free main cabin extra seating when flying on American.
  • Free snack basket when flying in economy

Given the benefits and the lower than average qualifying mark, it would seem that, if you want to go for airline status, it would be most logical to go for status with Alaska. While the complimentary upgrades only work when flying on Alaska, the mileage benefits work on all partners, which include airlines spread across both the Oneworld and Skyteam alliances. Since Alaska isn’t a member of an alliance, you have more choices when it comes to what you can use your miles on. And, if you qualify for MVP Gold 75k, you will have something like 150,000 miles, including that freaking awesome 50,000 mile bonus.

In order to qualify for MVP Gold 75k, my family will be doing a fair amount of mileage running over the coming months. For those not familiar with what mileage running is, it is a trip taken solely for the purpose of earning miles. Often, these trips only last a few hours or days.

My first mileage run of the year will be on February 2nd, on which I will be going to Dallas… for three hours.

Allow me to explain. American Airlines is an Alaska partner, and you earn 100% of miles flown on AA when crediting to Alaska. Needless to say, this is an AAwesome deAAl. It makes me hAApy when I get 100% of miles flown in almost all economy fare buckets,  something that is getting harder to find these days.

And so, when American was having a fare sale between San Diego and Dallas, we decided to jump on it and use it as a a mileage run. All totaled, the flight should earn about 2,500 miles, and was super cheap, coming out at roughly 3.8 cents per mile, which is a great deal. So we decided to buy the flights.

The flights we got gave us a three hour layover in Dallas before turning around and flying back to SAN. Thanks to my dad’s American Express Platinum card, we get access to the Centurion Lounge DFW, which, as I have heard from a friend of mine who visited, is pretty great. So the plan is we spend three hours in the Centurion lounge and then turn around and fly back. Here’s the timing of the flights:

AA2283, SAN-DFW, departs 12:35, arrives 5:35. Boeing 757
AA1581, DFW-SAN, departs 9:50, arrives 10:46. Boeing 737-800

I will be planning to post an introduction, as usual, and review these flights/lounges:

Airspace Lounge SAN
American Airlines economy SAN-DFW
Centurion Lounge Dallas
American Airlines economy DFW-SAN

Looks like a fun quick trip to me, and its my first same-day-turnaround mileage run!

About the Author

I'm Alex, and I am an enthusiast in all things travel: miles and points, airplanes, airline products, and more. On this blog, you can read my take on recent travel/ commercial aviation news, trip reports, ramblings, rants, and opinions, and I'll even share some of my aviation photography from time to time. Hope you enjoy reading, and happy travels!