AA to Europe

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by pnoeric, Jan 16, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. pnoeric

    pnoeric Silver Member

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    Ok, I know this is kinda of a dumb newbie question and I probably should know already :) but here it is... I'm ExPlat on AA and I'm trying to get to Berlin. I want to stick to AA metal and pay for the ticket since then I can use an upgrade cert and earn EQMs.

    But flying into the UK incurs the crazy arrival tax, right? So I am probably better off looking at the AA non-stops from the east coast to Madrid, Rome or elsewhere, and then getting myself up to Germany (possibly on an LCC, or maybe somehow via stopover?)?

    Would appreciate any tips or tricks...

    thanks/danke :)
    E
     
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  2. newbluesea
    Original Member

    newbluesea Gold Member

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    The tax for LHR is a departure tax (f you connect or stay-over more than 24 hours)

    But since you want to get to Berlin logic would suggest you fly AA to FRA or DUS (or even ZRH for that matter) using your upgradable instruments and then fly on to Berlin on AB which could/would be priced into your ticket or for even more relaxing trip take the train on to Berlin.
     
  3. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Keep in mind that some of AA's partners (particularly the European ones) offer full EQM on non-codeshared flights. BA and AY are great for this.

    Or you can avoid the issue entirely by purchasing the partner flights under the AA codeshare and earn 100% EQM as if you were on AA metal.

    With regards to the upgrade, newbluesea has some solid advice. There really isn't a reason to end the ticket elsewhere and purchase a separate itinerary to continue onward, particularly if you are eager to earn AA EQM.
     
  4. pnoeric

    pnoeric Silver Member

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    Earning EQMs is important but being able to upgrade with eVIP is almost as important :) and they only work on AA metal, I think?
     
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  5. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Right, only on AA metal. But you can still fly on AA to a gateway city like LHR/MAD/DUS/HEL using a SWU to upgrade to business class and then continue onward on partner metal and earn EQM.

    So fly LAX-JFK-LHR on AA metal using your SWU and connect on BA to TXL. Or LAX-ORD-HEL on AA metal and onward to TXL on AY... etc. BA and AY offer 100% EQM on their flights to AA elites. On other European partners like IB or AB you should make sure you book the AA codeshare flights to guarantee you'll get full EQM.

    What I'm trying to say is: you can have your cake and eat it, too. The separate ticket on a LCC you suggested in your original post is completely unnecessary. :)
     
  6. bucketlist
    Original Member

    bucketlist Silver Member

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    Agree that it's best to fly AA & code shares to your final destination. If you happen to pass thru LHR, and are on a connection, you can depart w/out the stiff departure tax. The F lounge is also pretty nice place to visit - the champagne bar is open even in the morning - tho only 2 varieties - the showers are nice and the made to order eggs benedict some of the best ever.

    Also best to have everything on the same pnr - if you have multiple records and something goes wrong, like fog, and miss a connection, you could face steep walk up fares. Have booked on separate records, but then would allow 3 - 4 hours to make sure the connecting flight could be made.

    For some routings the SWU could clear on booking - that should be the single biggest factor in picking a route. Call to the EXP line should tell you if that (booking where upgrade space available) is an option.

    Happy travels!
     
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  7. pnoeric

    pnoeric Silver Member

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    Ah, now I get it-- thank you!

    Thanks very much :) Looks like I have far more options than I realized. Yay.
     
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  8. srptraveller

    srptraveller Active Member

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    Lot's of good advice here.

    I don't think the UK tax need be a worry. It isn't charged to transfer passengers which is basically anyone staying in UK less than 24 hours.
     
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