PNW Mileage Runs: SEA-EWR-MCO on UA for 3.5 CPM

Andycat posted a great mileage run opportunity out of Orlando today, teaching us three lessons. (1) You can always learn how to do this. It was andycat’s first mileage run post, and he did a great job. (2) Most mileage runs are reversible. He described his out of Orland to Seattle. Switch it around and it still works for those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest.

And finally #3: Unfortunately, not all optimizations work because of time zones. Mileage running works best when you head west. It gets earlier and earlier while you’re in the air, making it more likely you can catch the last flight home. When you live in Pacific Northwest, the only mileage runs that do that are international trips. Domestic runs almost always mean either a very early wakeup call, a redeye, or an overnight. That’s the hard truth. In this case you could get more ┬ámiles if you started in Orlando and routed through Pensacola, but the timing just doesn’t work out to do that in the reverse, starting in Seattle.

Like usual, when searching for a Florida mileage run using ITA, specify a connection in Newark or Washington-Dulles. If you leave it open, you may get options that go through Houston, and your cost will go above 4 CPM. Narrowing the options makes it easier for ITA to find the fares and routings that work for you.

ITA calendar search screenshot

In the end, you can expect about 6,390 miles for only $225.20, a cost of about 3.5 CPM. Pretty good price, and pretty good availability this late in the season. I wouldn’t hold out hope for United matching American’s DEQM promo, so get on this if you’re still short of your elite status goal for this year.

ITA itinerary screenshot

Scott created Travel Codex after learning how to travel better on a budget during grad school. He now flies over 150,000 miles every year.
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  • Andycat

    Thanks for the HT. Another poster commented that you can add stops in PNS / CLE for even more miles / lower cost.

    I started much as you suggested, but didn’t include the stops originally – I just scanned the results looking for connecting flights. I’ll play with this a little more tonight to see if I can hone my skills!

    Andycat

    • Scottrick

      The PNS/CLE didn’t seem to work as I started from the West Coast instead. But all the better for those of you on the East Coast.