Marc Tacchi Has 1,000,000 FF Miles
Marc Tacchi has done
something few line pilots have done. Tacchi, who flies cargo 747s,
has also racked up one MILLION frequent-flier miles as a paying
passenger. And he did it in just two months with just one airline
(not the operator he flies for, either). He calls it the Great
Canadian Mileage Run of 2005.
Why would a guy who's entitled to passes do something like
that? "'People say I'm crazy, doing what I'm doing.' John
Lennon wrote that, and I'm living it right now," Tacchi wrote in
his blog. But he had several reasons. One was, to see if he could,
and another was that, oddly enough, it made fiscal sense.
He was able to buy a 60-day ticket on Air Canada for $7,000
(Canadian, naturally) and his million miles will get him round
trips to Australia worth ten times that. The ticket, called the
North America Unlimited Pass, let Marc fly as much as he liked
between October 1 and November 30.
He took six or eight trips a day. When he first started booking
them, Air Canada assumed he was making a mistake, and they called
and emailed warning him. In time they caught on.
Marc's blog is entertaining, with a little on his day job as a
freight pilot, a lot on the mechanics of the GCMR, as he calls his
quixotic quest, and insightful comments about airports, lounges,
and airplanes (he is not an RJ fan -- "The most hated of all Air
Canada aircraft" -- but then, who is, except airline accountants?).
His favorite Air Canada plane is the 767-300.
What does he think about the Airbus A321? "I have discovered the
most valuable item you can take on this odyssey is a pillow -- the
pillow is useful for sleeping and for protection against those
medieval torture devices -- A321 seats. More than one flight
attendant gazed longingly at my nice fluffy pillow." Ouch.
And... why amass Frequent Flyer miles when "everybody knows" you
can never redeem 'em?
"Air Canada allows its Super Elite Status members to book any
seat on any flight so long as it's open," Marc explains. "Even if
it is a revenue seat, they will make it an award seat. It is the
best program of its kind."
So... are Air Canada's people bummed because this guy cost them
a lot more than the $7k he paid for a ticket? Doubtful. More likely
they are thrilled -- the relentlessly upbeat, positive Marc Tacchi
(above) is a better salesman than they could hope to hire for the
"As far as my travels with Air Canada have gone, 99% of them
have been without incident," Tacchi writes. "Occasionally there is
a weather delay... but all in its been positive."