Mileage Run Opportunity: $167.30 Nets 7,070 United PQMs ONT-SFO-IAH-EWR r/t

There’s a dirt cheap airfare out there right now on United in the Ontario to Newark market. While it’s a roundtrip fare that requires a minimum night stay depending on the day of week you depart, someone might find it useful for an end-of-year mileage run/vacation combination.

The fare rules allow for two transfers and the routing rules offer some interesting options, though availability in the G-bucket is pretty slim for the example I provide below. But other more direct single-city connections have more availability, which increases the CPM of course. But it’s still a darn good fare!

I only looked at Ontario as the origin for my example below, but the fare is also valid originating in Newark. And you can even ride on a 787!

Routing: Ontario to San Francisco to Houston to Newark

Travel period: Now through January 24, 2013

Dates I found available: 12/4, 12/5, 1/8, 1/9, 1/16

Number of nights stay: 3 in the example below, otherwise here’s the restrictions on the fare: If you depart Sun-Wed, return no earlier than the 3rd day after departure; Thu-Fri departures require a return no earlier than the first Saturday; Saturday departures simply require a 1-night stay.

Day of week restrictions: None

Fare basis: GE143FS, 14-day advance purchase

Fare: $167.30 all-in

Premier Qualifying Miles earned: 7,070 (assumes 500-mile minimums)

Cents-per-mile (CPM): 2.37

Example itinerary: Click for full view

Note the tight connection in Houston on the outbound, but there are plenty of more flights throughout the day on which United could book you if you mis-connect (and perhaps get more PQMs for a full Y rebooking).

Use the “Multiple Destinations” option on United’s website to piece this itinerary together.

(Tip of the hat to @airfarewatchdog)

Related posts:

Airfare Pricing Buckets and Airline Fare Basis Codes Explained

Finding Mileage Runs Without the FareCompare Flyertalk Tool

My Mileage Tracking Spreadsheet


  1. Thank you. This is very helpful. I’ve already met my requirement for the year but this is still a good deal for a get away. I found $160 from ONT-DEN-EWR Sat-Tues, Dec 1-4.

    • @FlyThai: Yes, just be sure to add your US Airways Dividend Miles into your United reservation and NOT your MileagePlus number. Also, fyi, if you take this exact routing, you’ll earn about 150 miles less (both Preferred Qualifying and redeemable) than the 7,070 since you’ll only accrue actual miles on the ONT-SFO segment (vs. the 500-minimum for UA elites).

    • @Jk: Yes, sorry, I’m sure the fare has expired by now. I haven’t looked at this market again recently, no, but will post further mileage runs as I find them.

  2. How do you find routes like this? I can’t even find a route like this if I go to United’s website and enter each city for a multiple-destination search (ONT-SFO-IAH-EWR + EWR-IAH-SFO-ONT), let alone a simple RT search (ONT-EWR). The results almost always only have 1 stop!

    • @Jason: This fare expired, but to find a routing like this, I use ExpertFlyer to determine valid connection points for the fare, then head over to ITA Software to search for flights. Here’s my old Mileage Running 101 post explaining it, but I need to update my process as some of the tools have changed (I’ll write up a new one soon). At times, United’s multiple-destination search can be spazzy. I’ve found if I plug in each segment individually AND add the approximate departure time from the ITA Software results, will generally match-up with the same itinerary.

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