Friday, February 14, 2014

First Paid United Flight - Million Miler Status

Flight #78 - United Airlines 4171
Newark (EWR) – Madison (MSN)
Friday, Feb 14, 2014 
Depart: 2:18PM / Arrive: 3:53PM
Duration: 2hr 35min
Aircraft: Embraer 145 
Seat: 4A, 4C and 4D (Economy)
Earned: 799 miles
Lifetime Miles: 143,266 miles 

Later on today, we'll finally be returning to our preferred airline, United. This will be my family's first United flight since October when we flew to Phoenix on our free one-way award ticket. It was my final trip as a free Lap Child, just before I turned 2 years old.

Since then, I've had the following flying firsts:
If weather permits, by the end of this afternoon, I'll have completed my first paid United flight, which will start my long march towards United Million Miler Status

Million Miler Status
If over your lifetime, you can fly over 1,000,000 miles on United or Copa operated flights, you will earn Lifetime Premier Gold Status for you and your spouse. Clearly, I don't have a spouse right now, but I might by the time I hit 7 digits.

To show you just how difficult this could be, my father only has 270,720 lifetime United miles flown and he's a LOT older than I am. My mother has only been flying since 2009 but she has 91,127 lifetime United miles.

You'd think they'd have more, but they sometimes fly on partner airlines (Lufthansa, Turkish or Asiana). Regardless if they're paid or award, flights on these Star Alliance partners don't count towards Lifetime Million Mile Status. And clearly, flying on competitors such as American, US, Delta, etc. don't accrue anything for United either.

Our current rate of flying on actual United operated flights is around 30,000-40,000 miles per year. At that pace, it will take me about another 25-33 years to achieve Million Mile Status. I suppose that's not too bad being 27-35 years old and having Lifetime Gold status. And I may have a spouse by then as well.

However, I'm expecting that we won't be traveling quite as much after I start Kindergarden in a few years, especially if my parents decide to give me some brothers and sisters in the next few years. After all, it was relatively cheap for my parents to jetset around when I could sit on their lap for free. If I had a sibling or two, then that will end up being 4-5 paid tickets for the entire family, which will make our signature Long Weekend getaways VERY expensive.

Flight to Madison
So hopefully our flight on this Embraer regional jet shouldn't be too bad. There actually were a few Economy Plus seats (extra leg room), but we didn't want to be separated (Seats 1A and 3D) or have to sit in the back exit row (Seats 18C and 18D). But it's only a 2.5 hour flight and my father's legs are abnormally short, so he should man up and stop complaining.

Oh, and the question of why we're flying to Madison, Wisconsin of all places in mid-February...well, we're going to meet my Chicago friends Jack and Connor (and their parents) to spend President's Day weekend at the Wisconsin Dells, the Indoor Waterpark capital of the United States, if not the world. So while it's probably 10 degrees in Wisconsin right now, we'll be splashing around indoors where it should be a balmy 75-80 degrees.

And oh yeah, Happy Valentine's Day!

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