2019 Mileage Marathon - AA EP status runs
Last year, I did complete my 2018 AA EP status runs, but with the changes in the 2019 AAdvantage program it has become harder to make some inexpensive runs to get status.
What has changed:
Getting short-cuts via credit card spend has been reduced (but not completely eliminated), and at the same time program requirements ($15,000 annual spend) has gone up. Add to that I am temporarily traveling less this year than before, and I have quite a task before me.
Where I am at
Via Barclay Aviator MC spend, I was able to get 10,000 EQM and $3000 EQD. Add to that a very small amount of domestic business travel completed and right now I have...
- EQD = $6,353
- EQM = 21,107
That is very short of the EP requirements of EQD $15,000 and EQM 100,000.
I have two options:
1) Purchase a TON of low-cost long distance runs (which is exhausting, and takes the fun out of flying)
2) Take advantage of the AA business class multiplier, and spend the money on just a few quick trips (spending about the same $$$ and option #1)
I'm choosing to go with option #2.
As the value of a AA EP status is estimated to be $6500, then that is my budget. The trick is to spend well.
How I'll do it:
1) When the Max8 mess happened, I was in Miami (a big Max8 town for AA) and took advantage of that debacle -- I volunteered several times, and as a result I have some AA travel vouchers to use that will offset my business class flight costs. I have verified that their use counts toward EQD.
2) When flying American metal or OneWorld partner metal with American paper (which means that I have an AA purchased ticket with AA flight numbers even if it is a partner carrier), a discounted Business class ticket has a 2x EQM multiplier, and I get 100% EQD credit.
NOTE: it is critical that you fly AA paper with an AA flight number to get 100% EQD credit.
Should one of your flights have another carriers flight number designator, even if you purchased it via AA, then you may get only 25% of that EQD or less, depending on the carrier. Some will not even accrue any EQM! For exact info see: https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-program/miles/partners/partner-airlines.jsp
So, what will I do with this?
It looks like I will need to fly two round-trips to southeast Asia (20,000 miles - about as far as you can go on a planet whose circumference is only 24,901 miles ), at a business class cost of about $4,000 per flight (plus taxes & fees)
Since I have $2800 worth of travel vouchers, that means my spend will be about $5,200 to get to my goal.
Today: EQD - $6353 EQM - 21,107
Flight 1: EQD - $4000 EQM - 40,000
Flight 2: EQD - $4000 EQM - 40,000
TOTAL : EQD: $14,353 EQM - 101,107
Looks like that will get me there, throwing in a quick flight to Miami (or someplace for work) to ensure EQD $'s are complete.
I am open to any ideas that may accomplish EP status with a bit more fun. Did I overlook anything?
Thanks for the read. I will provide updates as they occur.