@bmvaughn shared this with me yesterday, and now The Flight Deal has posted about it, too. I don’t need any more mileage runs for this year, but there are several opportunities left in December and a ton of space if you look out as far as April of 2013. It’s never too early to start planning; I often find mileage runs are cheaper and more available early in the year rather than later, so think about how much travel you expect to do and book your 2013 runs NOW if you think you’ll need them.
The best way to route from Seattle to Orlando on United is via Newark or Dulles. So your search query on ITA should look something like this, requiring a UA flight number on every segment, and with at least one connection in EWR or IAD in each direction. I’ve done a monthlong search for any date in December, witha stay of 0-1 nights (this allows either a same-day or next-day return).
I saw about 8 to 12 days of availability in December, but things really open up next year after the holidays. Unfortunately I didn’t find a same-day turn, but I didn’t look very hard. Instead, you’ll have to overnight in Orlando. The nice thing about Orlando is it’s a great spot for mattress runs if you still need some stays for hotel status this year. On the return, you can stop in both Newark and San Francisco for extra miles. Total haul? 7,232 PQM for only $219.
This requires a long layover in Newark, but you could use it for a shower at the United Club if you opted to sleep in the airport. A single stop in Newark without SFO is possible for a slightly higher CPM.