I’m in New York now, finally getting a breather from all the flights I’ve been doing for the past few days. I landed at 2:30pm a few days ago, having either been at an airport, a lounge, or a flight for a period of three days. During that time, I’ve flown just over 16,000 miles in a span of 53 hours.
This was my routing from Milan to New York.
Instead of the direct which I could have flown on a number of carriers including Emirates, Alitalia, American, and Delta, I flew 307.6% more than I should have for that routing. My flights were on Turkish Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and British Airways in business and first class.
My entire trip worked out to around 39,000 butt-in-seat miles, over a period of roughly two weeks.
How did I book this?
This was actually the tail end of a Aeroplan award Asia-Europe roundtrip booked during when Aeroplan had significantly discount online award prices. I got two segments of Turkish Airlines long-haul Business Class, plus a few other short-haul business class segments for 30,000 miles, an irresistible price. The Asia – North America routing via Europe was the return portion of a US Airways Dividend Miles award for 120,000 miles in First Class, booked when segments on British Airways didn’t incur fuel surcharges.
Leveraging award booking tricks and tips are one of my favourite parts of the miles and points game. I wrote about my approach to mistake fares, glitches, and tricks, something I firmly believe by. Being able to achieve the same redemption for less than others gives you that feeling of satisfaction and of “winning”. In this case, I stacked two tricks/glitches on-top of each other, similar to my trip in August 2013, where my redemption included a Avianca Lifemiles and US Airways Dividend Mile sweetspot to get to Australia for 90,000 miles in business class (unfortunately now dead).
While these flights were totally fun, and at my age worth trying at least once, it could have been slightly overboard. Here are some of the ‘effects’ that came from flying so much:
You’ve been flying too much when…
Your body clock is crazily messed up.
Over the past few days, I’ve fallen asleep and napped pretty much through every hour of the day at some point in time. 6-9pm in the evening? Check! 10am-1pm? Yes! 2-6am? You bet! I’m a terribly light sleeper, but surprisingly now I’m able to fall asleep most of the time when I’m tired. Normally, I don’t sleep in the daytime, because usually that affects how I’m able to sleep at night.
Adjusting quickly to jet lag has always been a challenge for me. Put that on top of being in the west coast, then the east coast, and then various amounts of time in Europe, Asia, Europe again, Asia again, then Europe again, I’m not quite sure of the local time I should adjust to before getting on the plane. Caffeine unfortunately hasn’t helped very much to keep me up – I’ve been so tired I’ve passed out in my bed so quickly I don’t even realize I’ve fallen asleep until I wake up.
Perhaps I should try melatonin, or even regulating how I eat as apparently that’s supposed to help you adjust to timezone changes.
You’ve gone through enough connections and transits to last a year.
I’ve had a flight departing from a bus gate, as well as one arriving at a bus gate. I’ve had connections which didn’t require a security check and those that did. I’ve done a inter-terminal transfer on bus, and a few other intra-terminal transfers via train and on foot. I also managed to get rebooked into paid First Class!
I’ve also had the delight of three international-international transfers in China, one of which required clearing and re-clearing immigration. I was held up at various check-in counters as agents have tried to verify the legality of my routing and that I fulfilled transit/visa requirements. At Narita, an agent even manually calculated the hours that I would be spending in the PRC.
At the Taipei Taoyuan airport transfer counter, I told the agent I was flying to Beijing on Air China. When he asked where I was coming from, I non-chalantly said Shanghai on EVA. I’m pretty certain that he didn’t get many passengers flying that, as the reaction on his face was quite priceless…
I also made a pretty tight 2 hour international to international unprotected connection, from star alliance to oneworld, on two separate tickets. I can’t imagine how my reaction if my inbound flight had been delayed. The only situation I didn’t go through this trip was a delay resulting in a misconnection and subsequent rebooking. That happened to me last January at Tokyo Narita.
Needless to say, I’ve gone through enough transit scenarios for a long, long, while. I’m still very excited for my trip next month, though!
Have you had any situations where you felt you’ve flown too much?