Getting from Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis is not all that complicated. For me, it usually involves nothing more than a connection in Atlanta. But, with the baseball season winding down and time running out in terms of maintaining my elite frequent flyer status for 2009, I am going -- as they say -- the extra mile to get from Point A to Point B.
Tomorrow's journey to St. Louis takes me first to Atlanta, followed by out-of-the-way connecting stops in Phoenix and Salt Lake City, before shooting back east to the Gateway to the West. It'll take 13 hours. I'll touch down in all four U.S. time zones. More significantly, I'll add an additional 2,000 miles to my cache.
What I'm doing, in the vernacular of frequent fliers, is commonly referred to as a "mileage run." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mileage_run). My goal is 50,000 miles flown for the calendar year. Achieving it means I'll be upgraded, at no additional cost, from coach to first class about 90 percent of the time in 2009. It's a small luxury. But when you're on the road 100 nights a year as I am, it's worth every mile.
So think of me tomorrow as I bounce around the country. I'm taking a good book and a fully charged XM radio receiver.