To end each trip report I try to write a
short summary to sum up the entire experience. With this summary I also wanted to take some time to explain how I was feeling throughout this trip. Mileage runs are an insane concept and I didn’t expect the trip to go as well as it did.
My 2017 year-end AAdvantage Mileage run was by far the most insane trip I’ve ever taken in my life and I’d be lying if I told you that I wasn’t nervous before taking off. In fact, on more than one occasion in the weeks leading up to this trip I considered canceling my tickets and moving on. In the end, I’m so glad I took this trip. No only did I earn American’s AAdvantage Executive Platinum for 2018, but I had a ton of fun along the way.
Booking My 2017 AAdvantage Mileage Run
For those of you who don’t recall, this mileage run was all thanks to a Golden Ticket Fare I purchased from Qatar Airways. Back on July 30, 2017 Qatar Airways published some incredibly inexpensive business class fares. All of the fares originated in Vietnam and were valid for travel to nearly everywhere in the world. The sale only lasted a few hours and in that time I ended up booking two round trips for about $670 each. By comparison, each round trip costs approximately $4,000 today!
The first round trip I booked was from Ho Chi Minh Vietnam to New York (JFK) via Doha. I specifically chose New York because I wanted to fly on Qatar Airways’ new Airbus A350. By booking the A350 in both directions from New York I would also have several hours in Doha to explore the city.
After booking my first round trip I ended up with a problem. My first round trip fare ended in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam. After completing the round trip I’d have to find a way home. When I had that realization the only thing that made sense was to book another round trip. The second trip I booked began in Vietnam, but ended back in Chicago (home). While I’d still have a return ticket to Vietnam, I originally planned on moving that flight into 2018 or skipping the return trip altogether.
My 2017 AAdvantage Mileage Run Reviews
Below is a list of each review I wrote along the way.
- United Airlines 757 Economy Plus Chicago (ORD) To Los Angeles (LAX)
- United Club Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Star Alliance Business Class Lounge Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Asiana Airlines Airbus A30 Business Class Los Angeles (LAX) To Seoul (ICN)
- Asiana Airlines Boeing 747-400 Business Class Seoul (ICN) To Ho Chi Minh (SGN)
- A Day In Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
- Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon Vietnam
- Apricot Lounge Ho Chi Minh Airport
- Qatar Airways Airbus A330 Ho Chi Minh (SGN) To Doha Qatar (DOH)
- Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 Doha Qatar (DOH) To New York (JFK)
- British Airways Galleries Lounge New York (JFK)
- Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 New York (JFK) To Doha Qatar (DOH)
- Oryx Rotanda Hotel Doha Qatar
- Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge Doha Airport
- Qatar Airways Airbus A330 Doha Qatar (DOH) To Ho Chi Minh (SGN)
- Orchid Lounge Ho Chi Minh Airport
- Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER Doha Qatar (DOH) To Chicago (ORD)
Wow, just looking at the above list reminds me of just how much ground I covered in just 7 days. In just a week I flew around 42,000 miles or about two times around the world.
Did I Enjoy My Mileage Run?
Yes! Absolutely, Yes! In the weeks leading up to my mileage run I started to get anxious about my trip. I was nervous about how I’d feel during my travels. I was afraid that the effects of jet lag would be so severe that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the trip.
On the first day of my mileage run I still remember the feeling I had when I woke up at 4AM on Friday morning to get to the airport. It was the same feeling I used to get on Christmas Morning when I’d wake up to see if Santa came. Then, as I sat awake watching the sunrise over the great plaines on the way to LAX I sat back and thought to myself, “What the $*&! am I doing!”
The next several days just kind of happened. I never really had time to sit back and worry about how I was feeling. At some points I was utterly exhausted, but I pressed on and I’m so glad that I did.
Throughout the journey I stayed on Chicago time to minimize the effects of jet lag. This worked well until I landed back in Vietnam for my 7 hour layover. The layover began at 1PM (1AM CST) and ended at 7PM (7AM CST). I essentially stayed up the entire night during the day in Vietnam. I’ll admit, it sucked forcing myself to stay awake for nearly 30 hours, but it was worth it in the end. I slept nearly the entire 8 hours back to Doha and was well rested for the rest of my trip.
Wow, this was truly the trip of a lifetime. It was so much fun flying around the world for a week. During this trip I also got to explore New York, Doha, and Vietnam. While in New York I had the privilege of seeing and spending time with old friends that I don’t see often enough. With future travels I’m definitely going to try to build stops in New York into my itineraries.
Additionally, I loved my time in Vietnam. I only had about 22 hours to explore the city, but in that short amount of time I fell in love with Ho Chi Minh. Vietnam was never on an immediate list of places I wanted to visit, but it’s a place that I look forward to visiting again in the future.