The Art of Mileage Running
Travel Blog • Michael Yessis • 07.17.07 | 9:45 AM ET
Few know the ins and outs of airline frequent flier programs like mileage runners, a subculture of hard-core travelers—“airline hackers,” according to a recent Wired story—who create elaborate itineraries and fly around the world with no other purpose but to pad their mileage accounts. “Mileage runners are the high-tech nomadic wanderers of the air,” writes Wired’s Dave Demerjian. “Predominantly male, generally obsessed with flying and miles, and typically employed in white-collar careers that involve significant business travel, they scour the web for cheap flights, phoning in sick or using vacation days to fly the longest itineraries they can string together.”
The runners have their own favored online meeting place (the message boards at FlyerTalk.com) and assorted applications (Great Circle Mapper and ITA Software’s Trip Planner) to help them plot their itineraries.
For his Wired story, Dave Demerjian used the tools to help create two mileage runs for himself, including a 17-hour, six-segment flight. Cost: $196.
What do mileage runners do on such trips? Watch Mileage Run—The Movie: