A Los Angeles graduate student is going viral for how he avoided paying Bay Area rent while attending the University of California, Berkeley.
In a now-viral Reddit post, user ‘greateranglia‘ wrote a post titled, “I survived living in LA and commuting to Cal by plane over the past academic year to save on rent, AMA.”
In an interview with KTLA, the user, who wishes to only be identified by his first name, Bill, says all his professors and classmates knew he was a super commuter, “My classmates, instead of asking ‘What’s for dinner?’ they would ask ‘When’s your flight back?'”
Bill says he was living in Los Angeles with a rent he could afford when he got accepted into a one-year Master of Engineering program at Cal. Knowing he would return to Los Angeles after graduation, he wanted to avoid having to pay rent in the Bay Area.
Bill commuted between LAX and SFO at least three times a week during the academic calendar year for classes, “My classmates thought I would quit week one, but I treated it as a trip more than a commute,” Bill said.
On a typical day, he would wake up at 3:30 am and head to the airport for a 6:00 am flight from LAX to SFO. Then, he would take the 8:30 am BART to get to Berkeley. Class started at 10:00 am. After a full day of classes, he would do the commute in reverse and get back home to L.A. around midnight.
Bill kept an incredibly detailed log of what he spent on his super commute on Flyertalk. He spent a total of $5,592.66 on his commute between LAX and SFO during his one-year program.
Of that, $671.29 was spent on BART, $520.00 on parking, $1,948.27 on gas, $39.96 on inflight WiFi, $1,552.10 on Alaska flights, 407,500 Alaska miles, $758.24 on Southwest flights, 156,945 Southwest points, $71.30 on United flights, 5,500 United miles, $15.60 on Avianca flights, 6,500 Avianca miles, $15.90 on Spirit flights.
He took a total of 238 flights and flew 92,089 miles. The engineer in Bill led him to solve the number of minutes spent on his commute: 75,955.
Asked if he would do it all again, Bill answered yes, “This is probably one of the craziest things I’ve done in my life, and I’m so glad I made it through, without missing any classes. That itself is a miracle.”
By the way, his favorite airline? Alaska Airlines, “Because they were happy to give free upgrades and their agents are really nice,” he said.