Question: I am hoping you can help me please. Due to some illness and surgery, I find myself 9,000 miles short of reaching my AAdvantage level. I am trying to get these miles in the least painless way as possible and know that purchased miles do not count towards awards. I live in the DFW area and was thinking of getting some of the miles by taking a couple of days by flying DFW/MCO/JFK/ORD/LAX/DFW. But I am not even sure if those would be “qualifying” miles. If I can do something like this, I am hopeful with a few trips to East/West coast for a weekend would complete my quest. I realize that flying to Europe for one trip would take care of the problem, and if that is what has to be done, then I will consider that as well. As you can see, I am not a “savvy” traveler, but keeping my AAdvantage level is helpful when I travel … a few less headaches to deal with. I can only imagine how busy you are, but if you are able to help me with any helpful information I would greatly appreciate it.
WiseFlyer: As travelers, we always are wary of when any illness or surgery can pop up and impede our best efforts to travel, and I’m certainly sorry to hear of your recent woes. Here’s to better times–both in getting around and getting back into the air. I’m worried that your proposed DFW/MCO/JFK/ORD/LAX/DFW might be a bit too early to tackle if you haven’t been feeling well and have great news for you. American AAdvantage is allowing members to “boost” their mileage account for the purpose of re-qualifying for their elite levels in 2015. I’m not sure if you are 9,000 miles short for Gold or 9,000 miles short for Platinum, so will address both, in case the information can assist other readers. Let’s start with Gold. Your proposed itinerary will certainly do the trick, with time and money. The boost American is offering right now will do that same trick–but with money only and my guess is that no matter how much time you might spend on Expedia or ITA, you’ll still need to spend a bit. Since you are within 15,000 miles of requalifying, you can put away the suitcase for the weekend, and with a contribution to AAdvantage of $499, have your requalification done from your armchair and be good through February 2016. Now, if your goal is requalification for Platinum, and the 9,000 miles is what is short there, your wallet will be slightly smaller but then again, the benefits are greater at Platinum. For this requalification from your armchair, the contribution to AAdvantage will be $899. It may be that airfares and time away on the weekends work out to be less than the $899 requalification fee, so only you can balance the two estimated costs for being a wallet-carrying AAdvantage Platinum member for 2015. P.S. Don’t ever worry about not being a “savvy” traveler. Truth is that many “high flyers” I know really aren’t all that savvy themselves and the other truth is that we’ve all been “not a ‘savvy’ traveler” at some point in our lives, though some of us might refuse to admit it. I think you are more savvy than you think. You know where you are in requalification for elite status, you also know that requalification offers a benefit package that makes it worth trying to achieve, and you also are savvy enough to get around a keyboard in figuring out a routing that will work for the miles you need. Bottom line: I see real promise for you! Here’s to great health and an elite requalification that works best for you. By the way, details for this offer are available online at aa.com.