Mileage Run Opportunity: $208.20 nets 6,712 United Airlines elite miles LAX-MCI

From time to time when I find a great airfare I’ll immediately tweet some of the basic information – airline, fare, routing, mileage total and “cents per mile†calculation – and just now thought it might make for a good recurring category to feature here on my blog. For a detailed description of my process to find mileage runs, check out my Mileage Running 101 posts, both part 1 and part 2.

I’ll start to review fares on American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United from other cities than just my hometown of Los Angeles, but for this first installment I’ll cover the deal I found on United from LAX to Kansas City (MCI). Flyertalk and MilePoint also have dedicated threads with many more origin & destination combos, so I’d also encourage you to bookmark those pages.

The best mileage runs avoid any type of overnight stay, but this one does require a one-night stay.

Routing: Los Angeles to San Francisco to Cleveland to Kansas City

Date(s): October 26 – October 28, 2011

Travel period: Now through October 31, 2011

Fare: $208.20 all-in [Edit as of 8:59pm PDT, the fare has jumped to $258, as “G” is no longer available on the return. Coincidence, or did some of the nearly 300 people who’ve viewed this since posted actually book it?]

Cents-per-mile (CPM): 3.10

Fare basis: GA7CS (7-day advance purchase required)

Elite mileage accrued: 6,712 roundtrip (assumes 500-mile minimum for LAX-SFO sector if you’re an elite)

Bookable on: United or Continental’s website


a screenshot of a computerI’m definitely open to suggestions on what you’d like to see included in these posts, so please leave a comment. Or, do you think like many members on the frequent flyer boards that publishing deals shut them down more quickly? Those tend to be mistake fares or incorrectly loaded routing rules, so I tend to think these “normal” published sale fares are open game. Your thoughts?


  1. Yes, the same fare is valid originating in MCI, but unfortunately I don’t see any dates available for that $208 fare. Which reminds me I need to add a date range feature into these posts… this fare is only valid for travel through 10/31/11. The G-availability is incredibly limited, which is why I could only find the one option for my posted LAX-MCI itin. Keep faith, though, come first quarter 2012, we’ll see oodles of ample availability for mileage runnable fares.

  2. MCI is a great destination for MRs, and usually quiet in the UA terminal on weekends, where I’d just open up a laptop and work for a few hours. I did several this year, usually for about 1.8 cpm or so. The nice thing about the merger is that since I start in SEA, I can connect through IAH on a red-eye or early morning flight and go almost anywhere to maximize the miles and be back the same day.

    My best MR this year was paying ~$150 to fly SEA-EWR-MIA and back, for over 7K miles, but honestly the delays and short connections were awfully stressful.

  3. @Scott: Incredible 1.8 cpm! Never had one that low.

    @Matthew: Perfect run, 3.30 cpm and no hotels. I’ve ended up doing some 1-nighters to mattress run on top of flying, but your routing is fantastic.

    @Nancy: Thanks, will do!

    @Mangi: Wow, love what you’ve created, as the airlines frequently introduce Biz sales at least a couple of times per year. Not sure if this would be good enough to post, but I recently saw some LAX-SYD Z-fares on United for around $5k r/t… much better than the normal prices.

  4. I found MCI-LAX (through ORD, DEN, SFO, or IAH) for $200 a/i. Looks like I would earn 4490EQMs, and it would be about 4cmp.. Not terrible from MCI, and I can do it as a same-day trip.

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