Flight to Nowhere (Or In Otherwords My First True Mileage Run)

This year has been a rather good year for me and travel, especially with some work related trips to supplement my fairly frequent personal trips.  As a result after starting out as a Silver Medallion with Delta at the beginning of the year (and re-qualifying for next year in March thanks to Rollover MQMs and my trip to Japan) I made the jump to Gold Medallion towards the end of June.  Since then I kept on going to both new and familiar places and soon found myself within striking distance of Platinum Medallion status, sitting at around 72,000 MQMs  I knew that I would want to take one more weekend trip to a west coast destination as well as down to Orlando.  I made it to Orlando a few weeks ago for a great weekend and had gone ahead and booked a trip to Seattle for mid-December.

Around the same time Southwest launched a fare sale where flights 0-450 miles were only $35 one way and increasing over several increments.  Delta wound up matching this sale, with ECP-ATL-BNA-ATL-ECP itineraries pricing out at $65 before taxes.  Seeing as I could do same day turns (and well even same-hour turns, if you want to get specific), I figured why not?  I originally booked a day trip to Nashville in December that would give me plenty of time to leave the airport, go downtown, find lunch, and then make it back in time to catch a return flight to Atlanta.  A couple of days passed and I figured that since it was so cheap, I might as well pick up another run.  At this point I could go ahead and qualify for Platinum in November and my two remaining trips would generate MQMs that would rollover into next year and help with qualification for 2013.

So on a Saturday morning I got up at 530AM, got ready and headed to the airport with it still dark out.  Check-in was a breeze, with the kiosk being able to check me in for all my flights that day, including my BNA-ATL-ECP return legs.  I had expected to run into trouble with having 4 segments in one day, like I encountered while flying ECP-ATL-MCO-MEM-MLI a few months ago.  Even better was that my upgrades cleared on the first three legs in advance (the last as a CRJ-200, isn’t Upgrade Eligible due to lacking a First Class cabin).

Delta ECP-ATL MD-88 First Class Seat 4D

Flying up to Atlanta doesn’t really take that long, and once there I wandered over to Concourse E where it would be a bit quieter in the morning (the bulk of long haul International flights arrive/depart in the afternoon and evening).  I brought my camera along, so I filled my time playing around with that in the empty gate areas and halls.  After killing enough time I went back to Concourse B where I figured I was going to show up with boarding underway, but to my surprise it wasn’t.  Five minutes later however, I was stepping foot through the aircraft door only to find out that the same flight crew from my ECP-ATL flight were working the BNA-ATL flight.  The First Class Flight Attendant recognized me and welcomed me back, but I didn’t say anything about my return BNA-ATL flight….yet.  As far as they knew I was just a regular person going to Nashville (or I so I assume that’s what she must have thought).

Delta Aircraft Parked at Concourse E

Nearly Empty Concourse E

Take Note That My Shirt is the Foursquare "JetSetter" Badge - Definitely Earned That One!

Once up past 10,000 feet, one of the coach Flight Attendants passed through the cabin and asked me “Weren’t you on our Panama City flight this morning?” to which I confirmed and then followed up with “Are you and the rest of the crew working the return back Atlanta today?”.  She, somewhat confused, responded that they indeed were to which I told her that I was going to be on the flight as well (and why I was doing it), which earned me one of those WTF looks.  After informing the other Flight Attendants in the galley, I got one more WTF look while the First Class Flight Attendant was genuinely amused.  None of them had seen or heard of anyone doing this before I later found out as I chatted with her we waited for the jetway to be connected and the door opened.

Right across from the Gate in BNA, I grabbed a pretty decent pulled pork sandwich before I walked back down on the same aircraft.  The only thing I learned is that Delta’s system throws up an “Already Onboard” error when scanning my boarding pass, probably since I was on the same flight number coming up from Atlanta.  Anyways, the third flight of the day was as good as the others, and from my observations I probably got the best service out of all the other passengers.  Win.

Delta Gates in Nashville (Concourse B)

Once back to ATL it was a short layover before I took a hop back to ECP on an ASA CRJ-200.  No first class here, and I had to say goodbye to the awesome flight crew from my first three flights as they were continuing on to Akron/Canton, OH next.  On the plus side I arrived back home 20 minutes early.  Overall, it was a successful Saturday.  I got tons of reading done on my flights, and while I only accrued 2000 miles I made that important jump to Platinum Medallion status.  While doing it caused crazy looks from everyone (especially coworkers, who just don’t understand), it was actually fun since I especially like flying – even if its a “go-nowhere” trip like a mileage run.  I think I’ll be doing this again…

ASA/Delta Connection CRJ-200


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