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2019 Mileage Marathon - AA EP status runs  

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zebraitis
(@zebraitis)
Silver
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 61
August 29, 2019 3:13 pm  

Hi folks.

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.

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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  

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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.

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Estimates:

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

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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.

Happy contrails,

Vincent


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