Trip Report – The Comfy Run: Introduction

Seattle to San Francisco
Aloft San Francisco Airport
San Francisco to Atlanta
Atlanta to Newark
Fairfield Inn & Suites Newark
Newark to Minneapolis
Minneapolis to San Francisco
San Francisco to Seattle

With the planning of the first MR well and truly complete I was always on the look out online for a 2nd mileage run.  1 was definately not going to be enough and every couple of days I would check the flyertalk mileage run deal forum scouting out either good fares on Delta or Hawaiian.  Hawaiian would come and go out of San Jose but other than that there was nothing.  Plus the fact that it was lucky to be 2 or 3 flights meant that the use was minimal at best for me to get a good run on HA.  So I kept looking at all the deals.

One day at work trolling the mileage run forum at lunch, I came across a deal from Newark to San Francisco.  Checked through the thread, yep good in reverse.  What made it even better was the fact that people were having luck in getting it in F for an extra $100.  SOLD!  That would be perfect for me as I had failed to move on the Peurto Rico deals late december.  So I did what I could to get that flight booked before someone realised that it was more than likely a mistake.

The hardest part of organising the flights was the choice of what cities to connect in.  As I was going to have to position to SFO that would be another hurdle but I could only get one stop in each direction.  Thankfully I found a date that didn’t restrict me to MSP but I had choices.  I found that I could either do Atlanta over or on the way back.  SFO to ATL on an international configured A330 sold that segment.  But on the way back, could I get DTW.  Well not the best weekend I couldn’t.  Two possible dates but the MSP back dates were heaps better for the positioning flights.  So that sealed the deal.

Positioning flights went to United as VX was out as they don’t go late enough and on the way back was just crap costs.  I could of gone alaska for a bit cheaper but with my MSP return meant 5 hours on the way back.  I couldn’t get around it at all and decided if I am going to have 5 hours in SFO I may as well go with United cause i can chill in the lounge.  So that’s what I did.  In the end the run looked like this on a map:

My Mixed Delta & United Mileage Run

My Mixed Delta & United Mileage Run

And the flight list ended up working out as follows:

Friday 1st March
UA6426 – Seattle to San Francisco – 2013-2225 – CRJ-200
Satruday 2nd March
DL1580 – San Francisco to Atlanta – 0630-1402 – A330-200
DL2142 – Atlanta to Newark – 1635-1900 – A319
Sunday 3rd March
DL5819 – Newark to Minneapolis St Paul – 0805-1018 – E175
DL2105 – Minneapolis St Paul to San Francisco – 1135-1349 – 757-200
UA971 – San Francisco to Seattle – 1932-2141 – A319

A good mixture of Aircraft, services and 2 new airports (Atlanta and Newark).  All up the cost wasn’t to bad really.  Good return on investment since the status credits off the SFO-EWR F flights would pretty much give me at least 50% of my needed credits for the year.  The UA flights were a little pricey but it wasn’t to bad and that would give me some more points towards my LH redemption I want to do.  Even better the cost of the mileage run went on my new AA Citibank card so that would count towards minimum spend.

Next up in the planning was the hotels.  I wanted to stay somewhere different in San Fran as the last time I stayed at the airport it was a hotwire bid and although we got it ok, it failed compared to what we thought it was going to be.  No hits at the usual industry rates and I didn’t get any love from Club Carlson at all, so I tried Starwood.  The new Aloft San Francisco Airport came up with a pretty good price for an SFO airport hotel (some wanted $200+ for the night).  I had never stayed at an Aloft and the price was good at $80.  So that was set.  Next up Newark.  Like barely any choice unless I wanted to trek all the way into New York city but that would up my accomodation costs exponentially.

Backwards and forwards I went through sites till I made a decision.  Fairfield Inn & Suites Newark Liberty Airport.  Why this hotel?  Well I decided I might as well burn one of my Marriott vouchers for the year (i get 7 industry rate vouchers a year) and for a 1 night stay at $44.  Well worth it.  What i REALLY should of done after I booked all this was reverse that train of thought.  Since I would get maybe 5 or 6 hours at most in my hotel in San Francisco this would of been the time to burn the voucher or go somewhere really cheap.  Then go for something half decent in Newark for around the $100 mark as I had a half decent departure time.  Well hindsight is great but it was all set.

I didn’t end up booking the car parking till about 2 days before as I was looking into options ready to test out a new car park if needed prior to my big trip home in april (which is an epic tale all of it’s own).  With that all set and definately going carry on with my mileage run luck in MSP, it came down to the day of departure, ready for my comfiest mileage run so far (my trips back home had only ever had a max of 2 segments in business, this would be 4).

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