Attn Newbies: Awards thru AA Vacations - A very decent alternative

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by Crush627, Mar 8, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. What was not possible through regular award booking channels; was possible through AA Vacations!

    A bit of background... I'm a total noob, just started the miles game with the citi card bonuses. The entire objective was to make a family vacation happen in May/June. Mission accomplished and then some!

    Lowest mileage awards would have been 140k total (4 ppl DFW/CUN). This ideal scenario was just not possible this close to travel dates... few available awards were horrible dates/times. [​IMG] Through AA Vacations I was able to book for May with great nonstop flights and a great hotel with room upgrade. I booked through the Citi cardholders portal for an additional discount (highly recommend). Bottom line... the mileage portion of the total was 151k, only 11k more than a traditional flight award. The cash portion turned out to be much less than what we were going to pay elsewhere... win/win! [​IMG]
     
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  2. Philphactor
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    Philphactor Silver Member

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    Are you referring to the reduce mileage awards, or something different?
     
  3. No, I used the link below. The discount applies to the land portion of the vacation... meaning the needed mileage is reduced, not the cash portion. When you get to the payment step there is a slider to increase/decrease the miles vs cash, within limits.

    http://www.aavacations.com/default.asp?CORP=CITI
     
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  4. skit53
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    skit53 Silver Member

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    Based on various sample bookings, it seems like they are valuing the miles at 1.21 - 1.22 cents per mile.
     
  5. Skit... Can you explain how you came up with that? I am new, although I do understand that the 'value' of mile is different for everyone. This may be slightly off topic... my original intention was just to point out that there are other options for those of us who aren't yet experts in the fine art of award reservations.
     
  6. skit53
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    skit53 Silver Member

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    Crush627, sure.

    Let's take a sample itinerary:
    JFK-BOS

    Some options shown are:
    $1,142.03 Or 72,100 Miles + $263.60
    $1,727.72 Or 120,100 Miles + $263.60

    That implies that the miles are being used to offset a certain dollar amount:
    72100 Miles = $1142.03 - $263.60
    120100 Miles = $1727.72 - $263.60

    Which means each mile is worth:
    $878.43 / 72100 = 1.218 cents / mile
    $1464.12 / 120100 = 1.219 cents / mile

    Hope that helps!
     
  7. It does, thanks. I assume you are well versed in the miles game, so can I run this past you to see if my logic is sound?

    For our particular trip, destination was set, dates were flexible within the May/June timeframe. While looking at award availability I only found departure and arrival combinations that would make our trip 3 nights or 11 nights; no where near the 5-7 we were hoping for. Even so, when looking at flight details, nonstops were at very inconvinient times and at times only available for the higher mileage amount. In a nutshell... the possiblilty of 140k miles to get us there was not a possibility after all. Fare for the flights we ended up with would have been $2300 total.

    One of our hotel options was $2100 for 5 nights. So if I paid out of pocket for everything $4400, out of budget. So the alternative that we choose, 151k miles plus $1460 cash got us great flights and 6 nights at a nicer hotel with room upgrade. Even if we would have been able to get award flights for 140k, we would have still had to pay $2100 cash for the hotel. Thoughts?
     
  8. gr8 calculation ... need to learn asap for my benefit
     
  9. skit53
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    skit53 Silver Member

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    Unfortunately, that cents/mile number is irrelevant unless you have something to compare it to.

    What most people would do is to compare it to how a mile is worth when used to redeem flights, particularly in premium cabins. This varies wildly depending on route and time...
     
  10. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    I think you would see the same when you book hotels with AA miles
     
  11. pjoalfa
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    pjoalfa Silver Member

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    As skit53 notes, it's all in how you value a mile. In your case I'm getting $0.0195 per mile in my calculation of what it would be worth to you. (4400-1460=2940 2940/151000 = 0.01947)

    2 cents a mile I think is the very least anyone here would ever dream of doing, but this is the trip you can take, where you want to take it, when you want and within your miles balance and budget. If you ask me you did ok for yourself. Not great, but not bad. The 0.012 calculation above would be pretty bad.

    Many people here will tell you premium cabin travel on international is the best value. They're right. But if you weren't or couldn't be going to go to Europe or Asia the point is moot. After you've done this miles thing for a while you'll swim in miles and then take everyone to London or Tokyo in F for 500k and get a 10-12 cent return. But even that's relative. Many say that even if F retails for X (for the 10-12 return) would you have paid it in cash? If no, then they're really only worth however much you were willing to shell out in the first place.

    It's all very subjective. :)
     
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