Booking extra 'free' leg on FF ticket ... primer?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by mikesteg, Jun 1, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. mikesteg

    mikesteg Silver Member

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    I know I've seen a number of articles on this, but I can't seem to get the right search to find them via google. I won't bother you with details because I don't want someone to do my homework for me. I'm just looking for a primer (MP or FT posts, blogs), since I can't get it to work.

    It would be on AA from Europe to DFW, ideally adding a leg to Costa Rica or Belize. Business Saaver. At this point the flights aren't available (for June 2013), but I want to be informed if we choose to do it.

    If I can get some references, and I still can't figure it out, then I'll come back and ask some (hopefully) informed questions.

    Thanks!
     
  2. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Are you trying to optimize a award ticket, fuel dump or both? For the award ticket, I don't think you can add an international leg without paying more miles.
     
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  3. mikesteg

    mikesteg Silver Member

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    Thanks. I'm trying to optimise an award ticket...

    I thought that most of what I read talked about adding a leg to the Caribbean or Hawaii when coming from Europe. Still, I could add a leg to visit family in the US. Better than nothing. :)
     
  4. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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  5. mikesteg

    mikesteg Silver Member

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    Thanks, that did the trick. I was doing it right, but trying to go to Costa Rica on the extra leg doesn't work. Adding a 1-way "domestically" to HNL does work, so we might just have to live with that. :p
     
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  6. bluedot

    bluedot Active Member

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    How long until each airline changes the award ticket rules to prevent our beloved free add-on one ways? I've noticed quite a bit more publicity about this lately.
     
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  7. Extra Pack of Peanuts

    Extra Pack of Peanuts Silver Member

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    For AA, you're allowed a stopover at a North American gateway city each time you travel internationally. If used right, this allows you to add an extra leg on beginning and end of your trip (giving you a free one-way ticket to anywhere in North America). For example, if you live in New York, you could book Anchorage-New York (stopover)- Paris, Paris-New York (stopover)- Honolulu. This is instead of simply booking New York-Paris, Paris-New York.

    Also, however, it allows you the possibility of adding a leg in the middle of your trip if it falls within the MPM requirements. This post might be helpful, as it explains all 3 options:

    Maximize Your Miles: Stopovers and Open Jaws on American Airlines
     
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  8. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    Have an award ticket First Class on Cathay Pacific. Booked two one-way awards as our AA miles were in to separate accounts. The return is HKK to JFK - again on Cathay and using AA miles. Could I add an AA EWR to LAX leg onto that itinerary a few months later?
     
  9. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

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    I am not well versed in the AA rules - but I would say no. If it was the other way around HKG-LAX and then add LAX-JFK, I would say yes. As much as we all like to do it, I think that keeping inline with the "normal" routing (i.e., directionality of the travel) will apply here.
    AA experst please correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  10. Steven Schwartz
    Original Member

    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    Good news. Did it yesterday and the agent never flinched! Ended up with two "free" tickets in First Class to LAX - three months after my return from Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific. Cancelled the one-way First on United and will now use those 50,000 miles for the return flight when they open up.

    This felt like stealing! An amazing benefit that I would NEVER have thought of on my own. Thanks to all! :D
     
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  11. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

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    To the OP. It appears that you are trying to book at 330 days out. Award tickets are only good for one year from date of booking. So you will need to make sure that your "extra" legs fall within that time.
     
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  12. thrashsoundly
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    thrashsoundly Silver Member

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    For ideas and rules on how to add the free "one-way" on to award tickets, I'd suggest visiting milevalue.com where it is explained very well for multiple carriers.
     
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  13. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    I've been trying to do atl-sfo-hkg-bkk and the agent says it is "over" the allowable mileage of 9k! This means no one can do an AA east coast to anywhere is SE asia except HKK or NRT! And clearly your mileage returning to the other coast is over 9k (so I guess u are lucky:)) .
    Can anyone help about this 9k rule?
     
  14. Extra Pack of Peanuts

    Extra Pack of Peanuts Silver Member

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    I have no idea what 9k rule the rep is talking about.

    AA will allow you to go 15% over the Maximum Permitted Mileage. The MPM is calculated between your origin and destination, in this case, ATL and BKK. The MPM for ATL-BKK is showing as 11,073 on Expert Flyer. You should be able to exceed this by 15%, meaning you should have 12,733 to play with.

    The ATL-SFO-HKG-BKK route is showing that it would be 10,115 on milecalc.com, so you should be fine.

    Maybe call back and speak to another agent?

    I'm assuming that HKG is just a connection?
     
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  15. Extra Pack of Peanuts

    Extra Pack of Peanuts Silver Member

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    The MPM for HKG-JFK is 9,666. With the extra 15% from AA, you should be able to fly 11,115 miles. Milecalc is showing HKG-JFK-LAX is 10,547.

    Wow, amazing! I never would have thought that your routing would have sneaked in under the MPM +15% allowance without actually running the numbers. Pretty awesome! Congrats on that too. It's a neat little trick, eh?
     
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  16. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    Your numbers are a bit off ... you would need to use the MPM for HKG-LAX, since that is the ultimate routing with a connection at JFK.

    AA actually allows 25% over the MPM, not 15%. United allows MPM + 15%.

    HKG-LAX has a MPM of 8698 miles, so MPM + 25% is 10872. HKG-JFK-LAX is 10547, which fits.

    This is a great way to get both a longer flight in CX F + AA transcon F, and is definitely useful if you live near NYC or LAX.

    However, it won't work for SFO, due to lower MPM + longer routing. MPM for HKG-SFO is 8298, MPM+25 is 10372, and actual routing HKG-JFK-SFO is 10658. (Yeah, it blew my mind too when I realized JFK-SFO is a longer flight than JFK-LAX by 111 miles!)
     
  17. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    You're allowed 13841 miles so I don't know what the agent is saying. Both CX and AA have a fare for a Pacific routing. Even a routing like ATL-LGA/JFK-SFO-HKG-BKK would fit in that (11323 miles).
     
  18. Extra Pack of Peanuts

    Extra Pack of Peanuts Silver Member

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    Daemon,

    Thanks for clearing up my two mistakes. Mixed up United and AA's overage allowance and the NYC and LAX thing was an oversight. Whoops!
     
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  19. estnet
    Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

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    The old call back and try and try again worked -

    I'm not sure if the first (and second) agent was confusing Asia 1 and Asia 2 awards, but from what I gathered the rules are somewhat convoluted if u use CX since it has something to do with "allowed" routing for a CX ticket. What is interesting is a few agents just quoted an allowed mileage (and when I asked where I could see it - they couldn't tell me) but Asia 2 is USA to se Asia and you can't do that from the east coast (but it works for hkk which is Asia 1) for 9k miles.
    Yes HKG was a connection, where did you find the MPM? The agents (s) seemed to have a LOT of trouble finding this and apparently the fact that I was doing a stop over in SFO made their system "break" the fare (maybe causing it to default to Asia 1?)
     
  20. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    I use ExpertFlyer for MPM.

    The stopover in SFO shouldn't break the fare, so I don't know what was up with their system. Both HKG and BKK are in Asia 2, you don't touch Asia 1 (Japan, Korea, Mongolia) on that itinerary at all.
     
  21. estnet
    Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

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    Yes the whole thing was really weird, esp. b/c I had 3 different agents tell me that the "maximum" miles US to se Asia was 9k - wonder what they're reading?
    One agent even told me that she "sees the problem a lot" and often has to book onward flights from hkg as a separate award - I wonder how many extra miles AA has collected?:(;) Knowledge really pays here!
     
  22. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    You booked a one-way award using AA miles for CX F HKG-JFK, stopover, AA F JFK-LAX? That's terrific.

    I had trouble booking JL J NRT-BOS, connection, BOS-SAN because it over-exceeded the MPM for NRT-SAN; said it had to be two awards. (I especially wanted to route via NRT-BOS for the 787.)
     
  23. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    JL is starting the 787 on NRT-SAN direct in December. You can do NRT-SAN(stopover)-BOS (or anywhere else on the east coast).
     
  24. anabolism
    Original Member

    anabolism Gold Member

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    I was booking an award for a friend to accompany me on the trip (I was on a revenue ticket) and we didn't want to wait until December (much nicer to visit Japan in May than in December). If we had booked NRT-SAN then we wouldn't have bothered with BOS, but since the flight was NRT-BOS we wanted to get back to California.

    There's a significant difference between MPM on the NRT-SAN (6,667 or 8,333 with 25%) versus HKG-LAX (8,698 or 10,872 with 25%) routes. My desired NRT-BOS-SAN is at least 9,289 which exceeds the 8,333, while the poster's sweet HKG-JFK-LAX is 10,547, which is under 10,872. Good job!
     
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  25. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    The flight from So Cal to HKG is 3 hours longer than to NRT (about 1700 miles). MPM has more leeway when you have a destination that's farther away.

    In AA's Asia 2, CMB is the furthest destination I can think of. CMB-YVR has an MPM of 13117. You could fly CMB-HKG-JFK(stop)-YVR all on CX for 13014 miles and still stay in MPM.
     
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