Skip

1 Unlimited Flight Pass * 60 Days * 1,000,000+ miles
October 6, 2005 12:35 PM   Subscribe

The Great Canadian Mileage Run 2005 - Air Canada is currently selling a 2 month unlimited flights in North America pass for $7000. This guy is blogging his way to 1,000,000 Aeroplan Miles.
posted by jeffmik (30 comments total)

 
Has Vegas posted any odds on whether or not he makes it? What's the over/under on the miles?
posted by Todd Lokken at 12:40 PM on October 6, 2005


I think I missed something. What do you get for 1,000,000 miles that you don't get for 999,9999?

He should be embarrassed about using so much fuel. /party pooper
posted by mrgrimm at 12:46 PM on October 6, 2005


I'm not much of a flyer so someone please break this down for me. Here's how I understand it:

1. He paid $7000 for unlimited flights for 60 days.
2. For 60 days, he's gonna fly all over North America.
3. For each flight he takes, Air Canada gives him X Aeroplan airmiles for every mile flown.
4. At the end of the 60 days he hopes to have flown 1M miles and have X Aeroplan miles.
5. He can then use the Aeroplan miles to book regular flights outside of those 60 days. Aeroplan miles "never" expire.

Is that about the gist of it? He's turning $7000 and 2 months work into unlimited world-wide flights for the rest of his life, give or take.

If so, and he's got nothing better to do for 2 mos, that's pretty smart, I think. Reminds me of the pudding guy.
posted by dobbs at 12:59 PM on October 6, 2005


I'll be interested to read more of his story as it unfolds. Cool idea. Too bad Air Canada stopped coming to my city as of last week. Not a lot of freakin' use for Aeroplan miles once the company stops flying near you.

This is a major investment. Will he ever be pissed if Air Canada goes the way of Canadian Airlines.
posted by raedyn at 1:10 PM on October 6, 2005


mrgrimm, there aren't any benefits to making it to 1,000,000 aeroplan points, the cool toys end at 300,000 miles. I wonder if these flights will qualify.
posted by lowlife at 1:12 PM on October 6, 2005


In order to get 1,000,000 aeroplan miles, he only needs to accumulate 700,000 miles, as he can then claim another 300k at the four big threshold bonus levels.

Frankly, i think the guy's a genius.
posted by solid-one-love at 1:17 PM on October 6, 2005


Oh, Not really all that much genius.

Is that about the gist of it? He's turning $7000 and 2 months work into unlimited world-wide flights for the rest of his life, give or take.

I knew nothing about air miles before reading up on the Air Canada site, but basically a mile is not a mile. It's really a point. It costs 115,000 points for a one-way trip between North American and Asia. So that million points he's trying to accumulate will only get him to Japan and back four times, plus two round trips within Canada.

That's for two months' work plus $7,000. Let's say he earns a reasonable wage in his real life and he doesn't get dinged with any $125 no-show fees. He's essentially spending $15,000 on four trips to Asia and back and two trips within the country.

I'm pretty sure that he could finagle a better deal than that by booking carefully.
posted by solid-one-love at 1:25 PM on October 6, 2005


If I was unemployed, I'd love to buy one of these flight passes, and travel hither and yon for two months.

Of course, I'd also want to take a day or two in each destination. Airports of the world aren't very exciting.
posted by I Love Tacos at 1:40 PM on October 6, 2005


Looking on the aeroplan rewards site It looks like with 1,000,000 miles he'll be able to lease 3 BMW 525XIs and still have 100,000 miles left over for flying around.

I say he leases 3 of them in three different north american cities, and then uses the leftover miles to visit his cars.
posted by splatta at 1:44 PM on October 6, 2005


If I was unemployed I don't think I could afford $7,000 and all the associated traveling costs.
posted by phearlez at 1:46 PM on October 6, 2005


100K miles is only enough for 4 NA round-trip flights.

But this guy is my hero. Wow. I actually really like flying. Probably too much. It's a pity I don't travel for business anymore.

Plus, the BMW lease is a bonus gift just for collecting 300K points - it doesn't actually cost anything. So, for $7000 and a couple months of book-reading and movie-watching, he could get a BMW for a year and still have his million miles.

And then for 922K, he could attend the Emmys.
posted by GuyZero at 1:50 PM on October 6, 2005


GuyZero, your link doesn't work for people that aren't logged-in members.
posted by raedyn at 1:58 PM on October 6, 2005


Huh. I didn't think I was logged in. Oh well.

This Reward Experience is for 2 individuals and includes:
  • 3 days/2nights deluxe double occupancy accommodations at a luxurious hotel
  • Dinner at a top-rated restaurant
  • Tickets to Emmy Awards
  • Luxury ground transportation
  • Air travel is not included in this package.
  • Reward must be booked 60 days in advance of the event.
posted by GuyZero at 2:05 PM on October 6, 2005


dobbs writes "He's turning $7000 and 2 months work into unlimited world-wide flights for the rest of his life, give or take."

Not really. I know a guy who's clocked 1.25 million miles on American, and AFAIK he doesn't have "unlimited worldwide flights for the rest of his life".
posted by clevershark at 2:51 PM on October 6, 2005


I Love Tacos writes " If I was unemployed, I'd love to buy one of these flight passes, and travel hither and yon for two months. "

Really?

If I was unemployed, I'd love to be able to feed myself.

Sounds like this is a case of too-much-frikken-money-itis. I don't care if he's not really "rich". He's definitely in the class of people who at the very least have more money to spend than they should. I could use that 7,000, even if it is in Canadian.
posted by Deathalicious at 4:25 PM on October 6, 2005


Regarding aeroplan airline awards - as I read it, 115,000 points gets a round-trip, executive-class ticket to Asia, Tel Aviv or Australia.

The chart isn't clear that the rewards are round-trip (as opposed to one-way), but round-trip is more consistent with what I know of US airline frequent-flier rewards.

So a million points gets something like 8 or 9 round-trip tickets, first class.
posted by WestCoaster at 4:30 PM on October 6, 2005


Why's everybody focused on the schwag? CDN$ 7000 seems like a pretty low price to pay for a two-month rather unique adventure. Granted, spending all that time confined to the not-so-pleasant reality that is modern air travel isn't my cup of tea, but neither is surviving 30 days of McDonalds or dieting via major fast food chains or a lot of the other things da kids to for entertainment these days now that the mountains aren't so high and courting isn't such an ordeal, but hey -- gotta find it where you can, yeah?

Sounds like a great way to leverage the offer.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 5:40 PM on October 6, 2005


$7k only covers the flights. Your range is limited to Canada and the continental US (I received a flyer about it last week) so you're not likely to have overnight flights -- that means staying in a hotel for two months on top of the flight costs. At a median price of $75 a night (and at that price he'll have to spend some nights in some pretty bad roach nests) that's roughly another $5k right there. For that price you still haven't eaten.

So, $7k may be a low price to pay, but it's by no means the only expense involved. Still, I suppose that would provide lots of material for a blog, and if people visited that blog and (theoretically) a certain percentage of them clicked on an ad or two when they visit, the guy could end up recouping some of his costs.

Then again my experience is that people would rather cut off their own hands than click on even context-sensitive Adsense ads (or maybe Google isn't capable of "getting" my home page in a decent way?) so the whole enterprise is a big roll of the dice.
posted by clevershark at 6:20 PM on October 6, 2005


Canadian airlines cannot fly between two US cities, so everytime you take a trip to the US, you have to come back to Canada then head back down to the US - you'd end up spending most of your time on the plane, and very little in the places you want to go.

This is an issue, because this pass is only good for October / November and most of Canada is not such a nice place at that time of year.

Having said all that, I think this guy has a great idea! It is only $75,000 to fly to Australia in Economy.
posted by SSinVan at 6:38 PM on October 6, 2005


It is only $75,000 to fly to Australia in Economy.

Um. 75 000 points?
posted by dreamsign at 7:54 PM on October 6, 2005


This guy appears to be a regular at Flyertalk, which is good because the vets there can provide pointers along the way.

I remember a thread (third post down)when this was first announced where one guy figured out the most optimal routing for this stunt.
posted by smcniven at 8:15 PM on October 6, 2005


Looking at the nature of the basic deal:

Compare $7000 / 60 = $116/day.. most discount flights can be had for, say, $400 on average round trip thus divide by 2 (one day for each leg of the round trip) is $200/day, on average, if you booked normally on discount flights from any airline.. so its not really that great a deal unless you fly every single day for 60 days which sounds like a nightmare.
posted by stbalbach at 8:42 PM on October 6, 2005


Ogre Lawless writes "Why's everybody focused on the schwag? CDN$ 7000 seems like a pretty low price to pay for a two-month rather unique adventure."

Man, it sure is easy to pick out the people with way too much money.

Um, do you have ANY idea how much CDN$7,000 could get you in terms of a two month trip?

I went on a trip through Siberia and China for six weeks. Total cost: around US$2,800 (I got ripped off with the flights, as I didn't have much experience buying non-roundtrip tickets, so the trip probably could have been closer to USD$2,100. Some veteran travelers would still be shocked at that sticker price, but I did stupid things like not haggle quite so much for rooms, took more flights than I needed, and so on).

During that time, I had lavish meals (okay, not in Siberia), travelled to small villages, spent the night in a nomad's tent, walked the Great Wall, met dozens of people, spent 4 days on a train across Siberia (much more comfortable than a plane), climbed mountains, spent the night in a Taoist monastery, got amazingly drunk on vodka with a bunch of Russian teenagers (not all that fun; falls under the "unique adventure" part), walked around the capital of Mongolia, saw pandas up close, spoke the language with the locals (very poorly), ate dinner in a 4 star restaurant in the Jin Mao tower (which, to be fair, wasn't all that great), visited markets, ate street food, and experienced a variety of cultures completely different than my own.

All for the equivalent of around CDN$3,500 or so.
posted by Deathalicious at 2:20 AM on October 7, 2005


This article details how he racks up points and spends no money on hotels by taking multiple short flights each day and eating on the plane.
posted by cardboard at 6:31 AM on October 7, 2005


If I had both the 7Gs and the two months free I'd be on this offer like ugly on a bear just for the journey.

Plus you'd be a minor legend in air traffic circles and there is probably a guiness record in this offer as well.
posted by Mitheral at 6:43 AM on October 7, 2005


There are links to an article in his blog, which explains many of the questions posted here.

He estimates that the 1,000,000 air miles will get him the equivalent of 10 round trip business class tickets to Australia or Asia (from Vancouver I presume, where he lives), which he estimates to be worth $70,000.

He is a cargo pilot, and works one 36 hour shift per week. The rest of his time is spent racking up air miles, and he appears to take the red-eyes quite often, although he is able to sleep at home 3 nights per week.

Some days he just hops from Vancouver to Victoria or Nanaimo, B.C., and back, which are flights under 15 minutes but give him 500 air miles. He thinks he'll get to 1,00,000 in 50 days.

He is employed. He has the time to do it. And it looks like, economically speaking, to be worth the time. Plus he has some (limited) celebrity status and has a great story to tell.

Why not?
posted by joshshmenge at 7:41 AM on October 7, 2005


[oops, change 1,00,000 to 1,000,000]
posted by joshshmenge at 7:43 AM on October 7, 2005


If I had both the 7Gs and the two months free I'd be on this offer like ugly on a bear just for the journey.

Plus you'd be a minor legend in air traffic circles and there is probably a guiness record in this offer as well.


Dying of deep-vein thrombosis is hard to get much notice for since that reporter dude managed to do it in a TANK. Way more cache than on an airline.
posted by phearlez at 10:20 AM on October 7, 2005


He estimates that the 1,000,000 air miles will get him the equivalent of 10 round trip business class tickets to Australia or Asia (from Vancouver I presume, where he lives), which he estimates to be worth $70,000.

He estimates wrong, in both cases. I am ashamed that I live in the same city as him, much less in the same country.
posted by solid-one-love at 9:49 PM on October 8, 2005


He estimates wrong, in both cases. I am ashamed that I live in the same city as him, much less in the same country

Not sure what you mean by that, but he holds (apparantly on a regular basis) Super Elite status with Aeroplan which means he travels a lot, probably with J class tickets. So when he estimates 10 trips worth 70k he probably means business class fares.

Although you can find trans-pacific business class fares for less than 7k apiece if you use a consolidator. And a quick check of Air Canada's prices seem to show $10K YVR-SYD in J.
posted by smcniven at 10:53 AM on October 11, 2005


« Older Isn't Mario passe yet?   |   Al Gore surprises Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post