What are your plans for the weekend? For one Singaporean man and his mum, their weekend itinerary consisted of hopping on consecutive flights over tens of thousands of kilometres.
The goal, however, wasn’t the destination, but to earn frequent flyer miles.
And from photos shown of the journey, a majority of the flights appeared to be taken on first or business class.
It is an effort that undoubtedly only the privileged can afford, not to mention the carbon footprint that such an endeavour would generate.
That’s probably why the Singaporean traveller has taken some heat online for what he dubbed a “weekend mileage run”, reported Coconuts Singapore on Monday (May 15).
The original video by TikTok user Amadillos documenting the entire process, however, is believed to have been removed, but has been reshared by the news website.
In the series of slideshows, Amadillos shares his epic three-day journey to the US and back to Singapore.
The first leg of the trip? A “repositioning” flight from Singapore to Indonesia, before the duo hopped on an All Nippon Airways (ANA) flight to Tokyo.
From there, it was another flight to San Francisco, on what appeared to be ANA’s new Business Class suites known as ‘The Room’.
Upon landing, Amadillos shared that they “had a hard time” trying to explain the quick turnaround flight to immigration officials there.
Then just 12 hours later, the mother-son duo were back on a plane for the flight back to Tokyo, before heading onwards to Singapore.
In his slideshow, Amadillos gave quick reviews of what he ate on board, giving props to ANA for the quality of its meals and making comparisons to Singapore Airlines.
“SQ take notes on catering please,” he wrote. In another slide, he also noted the plush seats on board, commenting, “This makes SQ Business look tiny”.
In another photo, it appeared that Amadillos’ mum also managed to snag some exclusive merchandise available on board from the popular Demon Slayer anime.
Describing the last leg of their flight back to Singapore, Amadillos stated that they’d done “nothing but sleep, eat, eat again” the whole time and were feeling bloated as a result.
In his parting shot, Amadillos shared that the total journey had spanned a whopping 29,904km over three days.
Some netizens, however, were none too impressed, with many reportedly shocked by the unnecessary display of excess, Coconuts reported.
“Oh so you’re rich rich, not just rich,” wrote one commenter.
Several were also concerned about the negative impact of his actions on the environment
“What in the CO2 emissions,” commented a user on TikTok.
Wrote another disapproving commenter: “I’m all for using planes for a reason! Not really for this though. Your mileage balance is not more important than the climate.”
So, what exactly is a mileage run?
A well-known term in the travel hacking community, a mileage run is a flight taken for the sole purpose of accruing frequent flyer miles or elite status with an airline, according to online sources.
In its report on the topic, Forbes noted that while the point of mileage running is to earn or maintain your airline status, potentially saving you some money in the future, it still does require quite a significant output of money upfront, not to mention time, in order to do so.
Other reports online also stated that travellers in first or business class flights could actually do more damage to the environment and are responsible for more emissions, due to the larger space and baggage allowance accorded, thereby increasing the “load” of each passenger.
According to an online flight emissions calculator by Myclimate.org, a roundtrip flight from Singapore to US and back for two on Business Class emits 16.9 trillion CO2. In contrast, the average amount of carbon emssions generated by an individual in the European Union per year is 8.4 trillion.