Rishi Sankar: Ah Trini Travelogue

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More mileage run fun …part deux

Posted by Rishiray on January 23, 2010


So it’s about 6.41am EST and I just finished the third leg of this week’s second mileage run. The fun started in Atlanta and the itinerary went something like this

Atlanta > Charlotte > Denver > Charlotte > Philadelphia > Toronto

So 5 segment and I dont know how many miles, I think the base mileage for this week is about 8400 miles, and this doesn’t include bonuses and possible top ups – the initial goal right now is to hit either the 35,ooo miles or the 50 segments. I am pretty sure that I can do this type of thing regularly as it is not conducive to maintaining any type of heterosexual relationship. Additionally, I’m sure it can’t be that great on the body to subject yourself to 18 hours in the air a week, unless you’re a pilot or hostess.

The great thing about a mileage run from a corporate perspective is that you actually save money for your client and project. Of course, instead of my ticket going direct from

 Toronto > Chicago > Atlanta > Toronto would have cost approximately $1490,

doing the whole week at

Toronto > Chicago > Denver > Los Angeles > Chicago > Atlanta > Charlotte > Denver > Charlotte > Philadelphia > Toronto cost $1300.

 
 How does this type of math make sense??? I’m not even trying to explain it, there are quite a few sites and airline specialists who can attempt to explain it, however in University I did a course called Operations Research. In the course, they taught a section on “Linear programming and optimization”. I got a B in the class because I didn’t care about the whole thing, the class was on Thuesday and Thursdays just before drinking time, but only now do I realize the value of a course like this and I wish I had paid more attention in the class. The irony is that now I actually understand the concepts that they were teaching in the class, never mind the ridiculously complex math and the use of the shitty Excel Solver Plug-in to calculate your optimal rate of returns. However, some math nerds got hired by the airlines many years ago to come up with these models to prove that if you mix 69871 variables like air quality, weather patterns, fart destructive power etc, it is possible for airlines to make a profit. Have you seen how many airlines seem to go out of business? The result of these models is to allow fare hacking itinerary as described that allow a 10 segment itinerary to cost more than a 3 segment itinerary. The emphasis is that the models place a higher expected value on time, and assume that people will spend more money to spend less time in the air. This is a valid assumption, but like any model, there are statistical outliers that can invalidate a model.

11.30am EST
I’m finally back in Toronto, going for lunch. There were a couple close calls tonight, but I made the segment on time, although from Philly to Toronto, the ticket desk had an extra ticket for me in case I missed my connection. The doors were closed for my 9.50am connection from Philly to Toronto, since my connection from Charlotte came in at 9.30am and I had to change terminals, but I got to the gate at 9.47am, so all was good!

Observations from tonight’s 5 segment run – heading past the Carolina Beer Co in Charlotte’s airport

All quiet in Denver

Back to Charlotte

And the grand result of this all

I have to say, I much prefer these mileage runs than one ridiculously long flight with one segment, as you get breaks, I had time to do tons of work and review uninterrupted. Now the final part of the run is the to see the overall miles and segments in my Aeroplan account. That part will take a couple days to post ot my account!!

 

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