Some Road Warriors intentionally devise grueling travel schedules — unrelated to their jobs — to quickly accumulate frequent-flier miles and qualify for special perks and benefits in airlines' elite frequent-flier programs.
William Hesch Jr. of Florence, Ky., spent 222 days traveling on business last year — and added five more travel days collecting miles. "Mileage runs are my vacations, a retreat in the sky," says Hesch, a manager for an online auction company. "I went to Alaska and back for the midnight sun in June, and I flew 7,500 miles over the country on a very long September day."
Hesch, 31, says "marathon travel is invigorating" and renews his "appreciation for the Road Warrior lifestyle."
Invigorating isn't the word Road Warrior Kevin Korterud would use to describe the effect too much travel in a short span of time has on him. An "absolute killer" better describes it.
The worst itinerary is flying round trip across the country in a single day, he says.
"I had a one-day-out-and-back between Atlanta and San Francisco for an unpleasant 20-minute meeting about a contract dispute," says Korterud, a consultant in New Albany, Ohio. "The red-eye back was delayed, and I was up for almost 36 straight hours."
Traveling to multiple cities in one week is also an "absolute killer," he says.
"I once did four cities in one week and woke up in the fourth city thinking I was in the third city," says Korterud, who spent about 155 nights away from home last year. "I wondered why the skyline of Chicago looked a lot like Boston — when I was in Boston."