A reader emailed me asking about mileage run opportunities on United Airlines from his hometown, Pittsburgh. I do tend to be coast-centric as that’s where you get the biggest bang for your buck on mileage runs, but welcome other origins as well. If you’d like me to research options from your hometown, shoot me an email and I’ll see what I can do.
This one travels from Pittsburgh through Washington Dulles and San Francisco to Tucson. There is technically a 0-nighter when starting from Pittsburgh, but the flight arrives at 12:15am with the next departure at 5:51am. I haven’t hung around an airport overnight in years, but know some hard-core runners who do. I’d tack on a mattress run to such a trip.
One thing to note about the itinerary below is the 31-minute connection in SFO. It’s “legal” per United’s rules, but obviously very tight. What I would try to do is standby on the earlier PIT-IAD and IAD-SFO legs that are available that day. Otherwise, if I got stuck in San Francisco, they’d overnight me for misconnecting and I’d pick up the return and plead my case with Mileage Plus to get original routing credit. They’ve said “no” to me once before, but I ended up getting a $200 cert out of it, so was happy enough.
Routing: Pittsburgh to Dulles to San Francisco to Tucson roundtrip
Travel period: Now through end-of-schedule
Dates I found available: 1/19, 30, 31; 2/1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 20, 22, 28, 29
Number of nights stay: 1
Day of week restrictions: None
Fare basis: GA7CN, 7-day advance purchase
Fare: $248.80 all-in
Elite Qualifying Miles earned: 7,340 (assumes 500-mile minimums)
Cost-per-mile (CPM): 3.39
Example itinerary: Click for full view
Visit my Mileage Running 101 Part 1 and Part 2 posts to get step-by-step instructions on how I found this fare and created the routing. I will soon update these posts as the FareCompare page is temporarily down and the classic version of Matrix has been taken off line.