Here’s How You Know You Think About Miles WAY Too Much!

This just never gets old for me.

You know you think about miles too much when:

  • You hear the words “mile a minute” and find yourself pondering the concept of earning bonus miles as a function of time.
  • You answer the question, “How many miles per gallon do you get?” with “It depends on what credit card I use.”
  • You unthinkingly ask your non-frequent flyer friend why she is taking the nonstop flight to London instead of the connection through Syracuse.
  • You check 4 times a day to see if Cathay Pacific opens up a second first class award seat — or whether you’ll be faced with a choice of traveling with your spouse in business or deciding which one of you sits up front.
  • One half of your brain keeps trying to calculate the cost/mile value of a mileage run against a baseline of a $24.98 San Francisco – Paris ticket, leading to a temporary conclusion that a $507 New York – Singapore trip is “expensive”.
  • You criticize your spouse for not spending enough (“doing your share”) on the credit card last month.
  • You see a lone shopper in the grocery store place a box of Nutrigrain bars in his cart — and you have to bite your tongue not to ask him if he will be using the 100 miles on the box.
  • Your teen learns that the best way to ask for something is “It’s on sale, and you’ll still earn miles for it!”
  • When all your friends are in debt to you because you always pick up the check at lunch.
  • One of the first things you do with the person you are training is to go over the airlines and routes out of their local airport, and which mileage programs will work best for them.
  • When you have not only YOUR frequent flier and credit card numbers memorized, but also the numbers for family and friends that you book travel for.
  • You know all your mileage balances within 50 miles, but can’t remember your phone number.
  • You used to drive past half a dozen gas stations and ten extra miles to the Shell that accepted Diners Club even though the “low fuel” light on your dashboard had been on all day. You miss the days when nobody accepted Diners Club, because the card’s perks were better.
  • The only thing you use Excel for is tracking miles, and you write to Microsoft asking them to include class-of-service bonus spreadsheet function to the next version of Office.
  • You walk into a meeting at the office and people ask, “So where did you go last weekend?”
  • You buy flowers for your wife so you will earn partner credit in a shopping portal promotion. What’s worse is when she asks you if the florist is a partner.
  • A loved one passes away and you think that the funeral home accepting your miles-earning credit card mitigates your loss.
  • You book an international trip because you don’t want to waste a Systemwide Upgrade domestically.
  • You plan day trips to cities you find boring just because there’s a websaver and you can get free booze in the lounge.
  • You get a big goofy smile when you hear “Rhapsody in Blue”

(* Culled from multiple folks, these do not originate with me but I don’t have all the attributions unfortunately.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »



  1. Renting cars you’ll never drive for that extra 20K Grand Slam miles… buying a $1 stock share with a broker for one more partner hit…doing that and more for multiple family members all the while betting you made the Grand Slam with the least dollar cost possible for that 100K! Ah, the good old days…

  2. o Getting upset at your spouse or child for not using the “correct” card of the “correct” primary cardholder for a specific purchase.

    o Getting upset at your spouse or child for forgetting to go through the “correct” points or miles portal when making an on-line purchase.

  3. Gary,

    You may have to drop this one: “You unthinkingly ask your non-frequent flyer friend why she is taking the nonstop flight to London instead of the connection through Syracuse.”

    With the push towards revenue base earning, going out of your way geographically just isn’t really rewarding anymore.

  4. @Dan – unless you’re chasing segments or qualifying miles, which I tend to do the last few months of the year…

  5. Suggesting to your husband that you dine out one night and he immediately replies with, “Which restaurants are we allowed to eat at?”

  6. At least Rodin got permanent status, though Bronze sounds like it’s probably low-tier status.

  7. Saw a license plate that ended in EZE and thought, Buenos Aires! Then I couldn’t stop seeing airport codes! I’ve got to move to a larger state with more complex license plate numbers!

  8. Thank you, Gary!
    May you and yours have a wonderful year.
    My wife an I are laughing.
    Yep, you see a good deal at a store. You run outside and order online at the same store so you can get portal miles/points.
    You get an emergency text from your spouse saying: “Which card am I supposed to use?”

  9. I just love the occasional whimsical, fun read about travel having and traveling, especially during a time I can’t travel.
    Happy Holidays, Gary.

  10. At Teresa Henning: If you listen closely to that ad, you can hear the screaming of someone being dragged out of their seat. 🙂

  11. I read these to my wife and some were just so true for us that they weren’t actually funny 🙂


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *