Two MILLION miles

February 18 2006

Well, it's not quite the dubious accomplishment it sounds like, but that first digit is now a two...

Image:Two MILLION miles

As many frequent flyers observe, milestones in mileage programs are bittersweet.  It's a good thing to receive bonuses and rewards, but on the other hand, it means that we flew enough to earn those perks.  This particular one, though, has been in my sights for a couple of years now.  While it's not a formal, published program component, most American Airlines flies who hit the two million milestone are rewarded with lifetime AAdvantage "Platinum" status.  That means early boarding, shorter check-in queues, and upgrades for a long time to come.

While it was a good target to hit, I didn't do too many silly things to get there.  My main worry was that AA would "move the goalposts" -- change this benefit to be awarded once hitting 3,000,000 or some other factor.  The AAdvantage program is 25 years old this year, so 2-million-milers are not exactly a club that can be counted on one hand.  I've heard of people with more than 20,000,000 miles earned...impressive (and/or insane ;)).

One great thing about AA's program is that they count all earned miles, not just actual flying (as United and Delta do).  Ergo this number is a bit deceptive.  I estimate that I've flown somewhere around 750,000 "flying miles" on AA/oneworld so far...the rest are bonuses, credit card spending, hotel stay credits, etc.  Add in travel on United, Delta, and their partners, and it's probably a cool million actual.  That's a lot of time sitting in a flying chair.

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