So, it turns out that I think status is worth the effort…

One day. Literally one day after I posted my thoughts on whether status was worth actively pursuing, I decided to go on a mileage run. Which I’m currently doing, three days after posting my thoughts on whether status is worth pursuing.

What, you may ask, is a mileage run? For the sane people who read this (a.k.a. Chris), a mileage run is flying on your own dime and time for the sole purpose of earning elite status on an airline.

When I posted on Saturday, I thought I wasn’t close to Gold status on American Airlines. But on Sunday, I realized that I was only 3 segments and $40 shy of bottom-tier status. I also had a few gift cards with AA that I could use for a “free” mileage run.

I really value free access to Main Cabin Extra seats. Gold status gets me free access when I check into a flight. I had an open day to do a quick run, on Tuesday. And I already have free access to AA’s Admirals Clubs for a quick, free breakfast at my home airport. And I just recently got an AmEx Platinum card and so I could access AmEx lounges for free. These lounges are quite nifty: food and drinks (including alcohol) are tasty and free and some have spas for free massages or manicures. Which means that all my meals on an AA mileage run would be free.

So now I’m in sunny Miami, with two of my three needed segments under my belt, in the Centurion Lounge, waiting for my flight home. I’ve had a lunch designed by Michelle Bernstein, a manicure (that I promptly ruined by impatience), cocktails created by Jim Meehan, and impeccable service.

So for the cost of one day and a couple of AA gift certificates, I’m getting:

  • AA Gold Status
  • Sunny Florida weather, since I’m flying to Orlando and Miami
  • Breakfast in my hometown AA lounge
  • A fun, free 757 upgrade between Orlando and Miami
  • A yummy lunch in Miami
  • At least three cocktails (I don’t yet know if I’ll get more) in Miami
  • A manicure in Miami

And I should be home for dinner tonight.

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