Status Runs

Some frequent flyers take additional flights to make sure they maintain their frequent flyer status. . . . . . these are often referred to as ‘Status Runs’.

What’s the Point?

There are several benefits of a high status, particularly gold or above.

These include:

  • Free lounge access, for you, and a 2nd traveller.
  • Additional points from flights (up to 75%).
  • Better access to reward seats, especially for business class.
  • Better chance of free upgrades.
  • Several other ‘nice to have’ benefits such as priority boarding

When I used to travel 2-3 times a month as a gold frequent flyer I would estimate those benefits were worth $1,000 – $2,000 a year to me.

Types of Status Runs

Additional Trips: Taking a trip with the main purpose of collecting additional status points.

Extending Trips: This involves planning your flights to get additional points. For example rather than flying Melbourne to Cairns direct If you choose to fly via Sydney and Brisbane you could get up to 50% more points.

Is it Worth It

It really depends on how much the benefits are worth to you.

When you fly often you aren’t keen to fly if you don’t need to. . . . but if I was just a couple of flights away from gold status it might be worth a ‘Status Run’.

Time and Jet Lag

Flying long haul I used to change my watch to the destination time when I got on the plane, which does help with jet lag.

These days I take a different approach.

Use the World Clock Function

At least a day before I travel I make sure that the time for my destination is in on my world clock page.

I can then start planning my sleep patterns based on the destination time.

If the best fit is to sleep on the early part of the journey I will aim to be as tired as possible when I get on the plane.

If its best to sleep until just before I arrive I will aim to be wide awake when I start the journey.

This doesn’t get rid of jetlag . . . . but does help.

Transit Airport Time Are Important

An additional ‘Travel Hack’ is to include any transit airport time zones on your world clock page.

After travelling for 12 or more hours its easy to get confused about the time at your transit airport.

You don’t want to miss your connecting flight by making a mistake about the time!

Seat Etiquette

So what are some of the etiquette rules for economy travel?

Arm Rests

As far as I am concerned the person in the center seat always gets priority for both armrests.

Window seat has the advantage of being able to lean on the side of the plane which gives them more room and they have full use of one arm rest.

Aisle seat has a bit more room on the Aisle side and its easier for them to get up and move around, they also have full use of one arm rest.

For a more direct explanation see what Jim Jefferies has to say.

Hair

Keep your hair on your side of the headrest, not over the back.

Feet

I don’t have any problem if people take their shoes off as long as they keep them on the floor.

I won’t be happy if you then put them on the seat next to me or push them through to the seat in front of you.

Travel Hack – Put your shoes back on if you go to the toilet, that wet patch on the floor isn’t water.

Speeding through Security

No one likes airport security, but if it makes travel safer I’m happy to put up with some inconvenience.

Here are my travel hacks to make security as easy as possible.

  • Give yourself plenty of time so you don’t stress:
  • Wear a jacket or waistcoat with enough zipped pockets for, coins, mobile phones and anything else metal then you can just put the jacket in the tray for X-ray;
  • If they have body scanners, rather than a metal detector you will also need to put you wallet in your jacket pocket as well;
  • If you wear a belt get one with a plastic buckle;
  • Slip on shoes, or elastic sided footwear (in USA only);
  • Have liquids in a zip lock bag in an external pocket of your carry on;
  • Have your lap top/tablet in a easily accessed place;
  • Put your hat in the tray (many hats have steel stiffeners)

If you are travelling a lot around the USA it is worth getting TSA pre-clearance.

Remove Old Luggage Stickers

Unless you want to lose your checked luggage!

History

Forty years ago, and more it wasn’t unusual to see suitcases like this.

I suppose that people regarded it as a harmless status symbol; to show how well travelled they were.

As everything was handled manually at a much slower pace there was less chance of luggage getting redirected.

Now

When you check in a bar code sticker could be placed on your checked in bag.

Sometime there may even be a integrated circuit  chip inside the sticker.

These stickers allow the airports and airlines to run high speed baggage conveyors and sorting systems to get you luggage to its destination.

If you have got an old sticker on your bag then you could find your bag has been sent to your previous destination.

Often a check in agent will ask you to remove stickers, however they may not notice a sticker, or you might use self check in.

Travel Hacks

Before you leave for the Airport:

  • Check your luggage carefully and remove all stickers.
  • Put you own tag on the handle with your name, email address and destination airport. ( add a phone number if you know which phone number you will be using at your destination)
  • Add a sheet of paper to the inside with the above information.

Another Bad Travel Hack

I keep seeing these crazy ideas that don’t actually work such as . . . .

Board the Plane Last

The idea is; you don’t have to get in line and queue, and if the plane is full you might get an upgrade.

Here are three reasons why its a bad idea

Nowhere to put your carry on bag

These days airlines don’t seem to enforce their carry on policies.

That means its likely the luggage lockers near your seat will be full.

If you are really unlucky they will put your carry on in the hold.

You May Not Get On The Flight

Until you have got on the plane you are a candidate to get bumped if theplane is full, or the airline suddenly needs to get crew to another location.

Once you are on the plane these days you are unlikely to be removed. (You may remember United Airlines got a lot of bad publicity when they forcibly removed David Dao Duy Anh, a Vietnamese-American passenger, in 2017)

You’re Not Getting An Upgrade!

I have had many upgrades over the years. . . . . but not one of them was after I boarded.

When it has happened it has been:

  • At check in.
  • At the Airline lounge desk.
  • Called to the gate desk before boarding.
  • As the gate desk as boarding.

Airlines have sophisticated computers and they plan upgrades carefully.