100K Miles in 1 Year

My quest to earn Premier 1K status on United Airlines

Trip Report: US Airways SAN-CLT-FLL-CLT-SAN

March 5, 2012 – March 6, 2012

San Diego (SAN) – Charlotte (CLT), US 199, A321, Window, 14F, Economy

Charlotte (CLT) – Fort Lauderdale (FLL), US 989, B-737, Middle, 6B, Economy

Fort Lauderdale (FLL) – Charlotte (CLT), US 1490, A320, Window, 14F, Economy

Charlotte (CLT) – San Diego (SAN), US 198, A321, Aisle, 25D, Economy


I joined Flyertalk in February and I’m not sure why I didn’t do so earlier. After some searching around the forums, I found info that flights to Fort Lauderdale were reasonably cheap. A search on ITA Software led me to a flight to FLL on March 5th with a return on the 6th. Since it was spring break and I had time on my hands, I felt that racking up miles sooner was better than trying to scramble and get them later. I booked my first mileage run and couldn’t help but feel surprised and excited that I was flying to Florida (without even stepping foot out of the airport) just for the miles.

I was glad that I decided to fly on a Monday night since the airport wasn’t very crowded. While I was looking at the departure/arrival board past security, a lady who just got off a flight frantically asked me where the flight to Washington Dulles was departing. Since United flies out of Terminal 1 in San Diego, I told her that she needed to get exit and walk over to that terminal since we were in Terminal 2. Not sure if she made it or not.

Window seat legroom on A321

Our flight to Charlotte wasn’t crowded and the guy in the aisle and I were lucky enough to have the middle seat empty. I tend to book the aisle seat since I like having direct access to the bathroom and getting stuff from the overhead without bothering anyone, but after a so-so experience in the aisle seat/exit row seat in February, I decided to get a window seat. I knew that I wasn’t going to use the bathroom and I knew that I wanted to get some sleep so the window seat just made sense. Best decision since I slept for about 90% of the flight. I’d choose the window seat over an aisle seat (even in the exit row) any day for a red-eye flight.

The layover in Charlotte was brief. Got some breakfast and took some time to look over emails. The flight to Fort Lauderdale was on time but unfortunately quite crowded. For some reason, I decided to book the middle seat (don’t do it) since I was up front and the flight was so short. I also just wanted to try it out. Unfortunately that was a huge mistake since the guy next to me didn’t understand that larger items needed to go in the overhead bin, not on the floor taking up some of my legroom.

US Airways @ FLL

Three airlines in one shot

The terminal I landed at was not connected to the others and since I didn’t want to go through security again, I decided to stay put until my flight back to Charlotte. There was really nothing special here although I did appreciate the free wi-fi.

Legroom on A320

Our flight to Charlotte was delayed and it was looking like we were going to be two hours late.  In the end, our plane showed up a little earlier and we ended up about an hour late to Charlotte. Since a ton of people were making connecting flights, people without connections/with more time were asked to wait. I had a window seat, no luggage in the bin, and plenty of time so I decided to wait and take a few extra pictures.

Legroom configuration on A320

Row of US Airways planes, including one with retro livery

More US Airways planes

Back in Charlotte, I headed over to take a picture of a Lufthansa plane going to Munich or Frankfurt. It was kind of fun just hanging around that area because the gate area was completely empty once everyone boarded. I didn’t have a good shot of the plane since it was inconveniently positioned for taking pictures.

The flight back to San Diego was on an A321 which meant wi-fi so the five hours went by quickly. We made it San Diego on time. I still couldn’t believe that I had just left yesterday and was suddenly back in San Diego. On the other hand, I was happy to know that I racked up 5418 miles on trip.


Premier 1K mileage count: 23303 miles down,76697/100000 miles to go


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