Buy, or redeem

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by kansaskeith, Feb 14, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    (Lifetime) "Platinum" member here with roughly 100,000 mi. in the account, even after redeeming for F-class Hawai'i travel later this year.

    I have made decisions like the following quite a bit, but for whatever reason am having trouble making up my mind this time.

    Have a chance to go to MLB Spring training in early March in greater Phoenix (me only - party of one), and much to my surprise, F-class "MilesAAver" seats are available ICT-DFW-PHX for the dates I want to go. That would be 50,000 mi. RT, plus $10 T.S.A. fee. Also available are super-discounted coach fares, showing at $111 outbound and $121 back, which if I understand correctly now include most if not all taxes and fees. That's pretty cheap, of course, but I almost always insist on flying F and am fresh-out of "stickers". I would need six to cover these flights, so that would be an additional $180, for a total of $412. Also, there is of course the possibility that unlike redeeming MilesAAver F-class, the sticker upgrades on the Arizona legs would not clear for a "Platinum" member.

    Even at the rule-of-thumb valuation of two cents a mile, $412 is cheaper than 50,000 miles that equates to $1,000 (plus $10 for the T.S.A.), but somehow, I'm tempted just to use the miles to make it 'eAAsy' and certain. I know the math doesn't quite make sense, but I just can't talk myself out of my tentative conclusion. Any advice?
     
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  2. tondoleo
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    tondoleo Gold Member

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    Spring Training is a great joy. Save your money for the great ballpark food and better game tickets.
     
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  3. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Sorry, have to disagree. There are much better uses for 50K miles than domestic F class tickets on segments that total a measly 1196 miles. Pay the cash, even if you end up in Y on the DFW-PHX, it's a short flight. What your redemption is worth ultimately is a personal evaluation though.

    We do agree that spring training sounds fun. :)
     
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  4. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I agree with the advice to purchase the ticket with money, but it's ultimately a personal decision.
     
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  5. mommypoints

    mommypoints Gold Member

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    Honestly, if you really want to do it, then do it. If you want to parlay those miles into a journey to a far off place on an award ticket, hold onto them. However, if you aren't worried about that, then why not use them? They are there to be used in whatever way you deem best. I really believe if you are happy about it than who cares if the redemption value isn't "very good". That being said, I am sure there will be plenty of others who say redeeming at less than one cent per mile is crazy. ;)
     
  6. tondoleo
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    tondoleo Gold Member

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    KansasKeith can recoup the 50000 aa miles with some citi credit cards. You have to understand this is baseball in the spring time. I have not been to AZ for this event. However, I have spent many springs in FL traveling to and watching games and practices with family and friends. It is great. You can't put a value on feelings of bliss.

    Have a great time.
     
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  7. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    Tondoleo I have been both to FL and to AZ for this and as nice as FL is, I do believe its western counterpart is more fun. At least for me. Use some miles and try it sometime!

    I have not been able to go as I have been doing income-tax work at a Wichita accounting firm the last five springs, so am looking forward to this year. I am going to "sleep" on this, and decide tomorrow or Thursday. If one of the two options, miles or cheap money, disappears, well, I guess the choice will be made for me.

    Interestingly last two times I went out there on AA before the 5-year tax hiatus: one time an upgrade didn't clear. And another time it did -- putting me directly behind Cal Ripken Jr. (and his book of Sudoku puzzles) flying out after watching training himself:)

    EDIT:

    Just reserved the 50,000-mile redemption and put it on "hold" til Sunday night to give me a chance to make up my silly uncommitted mind!
     
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  8. icurhere2
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    icurhere2 Gold Member

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    At the airfare and redemption levels you're speaking about, I would (personally) book the revenue fare and proactively select decent Y seats in case the sticker UGs don't clear. While I tend to preach sitting in F when possible (I'm admittedly not small at 6'2", 220), my considerations are:

    1. I have a minimum threshold of AA miles I keep for flexibility with family emergencies and unforeseen events (sufficient miles on all three alliances).
    2. The revenue fare earns double RDM for future trips.
     
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  9. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    My rule of thumb is always use miles if you get 2 cents per mile. Always pay if it is less than one cent per mile. In between one cent and two cents requires thinking. This is less than one cent per mile - slam dunk. Buy the tickets.
     
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  10. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    agreed!!

    I also wouldn't have ponied up for F award redemption to HI as it is a waste IMO but of course to each their own, makes the world go 'round, etc etc.
     
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  11. John777

    John777 Silver Member

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    Some of the HI flights are longer than flights to Europe. On a 763, spending 25k fewer miles (RT) on longer flights seems like a no-brainer to me. Of course the service isn't as good, but the seats are the same.
     
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  12. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    Yeah, I was holding my tongue a bit with Sweet Willie, but I absolutely have a different opinion than him about 75K per person round-trip F class to Hawai'i. Particularly in peakish times like Christmas and near the Fourth of July, which most of these trips have been/will be. Still haven't decided on the AZ options, though I did note the cash-ticket price appeared to have gone up $14 RT overnight.
     
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  13. basiface

    basiface Silver Member

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    I'd just grab an exit row seat and save my miles and $$. Both flights are pretty much up/downs. Not a lot of time to enjoy first class. Plus, with flights that short one can only assume it's American Eagle or MD-80 service.
     
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  14. cwpfly

    cwpfly Silver Member

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    In my mind, a proper calculation includes the loss of miles earned on a paid ticket compared to an award ticket. As such, I would view my "cost" as 50K + 5,472 ((ICT-DFW-PHX)*2*Plat bonus). So, using your valuation, I would view it $412 paid ticket vs ((55,472*$.02)+$10)= $1,119.44

    In my book, I am buying the ticket and would only worry about paying for the upgrades DFW-PHX and back since ICT-DFW is so short.
     
  15. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    My math is completely different - 50K miles is a very large % of an international premium ticket. I suppose if you never travel that way, that isn't your formula. I'd buy the ticket and suck it up for the upgrade co-pay and the chance you'll have to suffer in agony for a few hours.
     
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  16. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    no doubt, I like J or F from the states to Europe but think the reverse is a waste. For me there are key times when J or F is warranted but most of the time I find myself thinking it is only 7-9 hours of my time and I don't have that much of an issue with jet lag so why spend the extra $ or miles? (especially as I burn miles for two people). For an upcoming trip to Malaysia, we'll probably fly in Y over & back, nothing a couple days lounging on a SE Asia beach/pool, along with some cheap massages can't fix.
     
  17. tondoleo
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    tondoleo Gold Member

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  18. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    OK, rather than redeem 50,000 miles for RT F Milessaver, I went ahead and purchased the coach ticket, RT ICT-PHX for $200 + $43.20 tax, and also bought enough upgrades to cover the segments (yes, even the short ICT ones) for $180. Particularly since I am "Platinum," there is of course no assurance the upgrades will clear. (While I was able to assure them I was at least 15 years of age and able to lift 40-some pounds, thus procuring exit-rows for now, I noticed that they were in relatively short supply on this itinerary.) Will think of you all when I pay for my buy-on-board snacks(!), but, seriously, from my actions here today, obviously I appreciate your advice.
     
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  19. tondoleo
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    tondoleo Gold Member

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    Have a great time. Say hello to Manny at A's camp.
     
  20. chef4u
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    chef4u Silver Member

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    On a different note, and I'm not sure if this is the place to post it, but if I purchase an upgrade from "M" to "W", (flying BA) do I get the appropriate class of service miles and qualifying miles etc.? Miles have posted, but only got .50 qualifying miles vs. 1.00 qualifying miles.
     
  21. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    BA flights earn 100% EQM on any fare code. AA no longer credits BA flights less than 100%. Are you confusing points for miles?
     
  22. chef4u
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    chef4u Silver Member

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    Allow me to clarify Destination David:

    According to the AA site:

    World Traveller Plus
    (Premium Economy)
    E, T, W​
    100%​
    10%​
    1.50​


    World Traveller & Euro Traveller
    (Deep Discount Economy Class)
    G, Q, S, N, O​
    100%​
    .50​

    My original ticket was S and I paid for an upgrade to W.


    Should I receive the 10% class of service bonus and the 1.50 EQP for a paid upgrade in W vs S class which offers no class of service bonus and only .50 EQP?
     
  23. Skye1
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    Skye1 Silver Member

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    I thnk the OP made a wise decision. I'd have a hard time spending that many miles on a domestic US ticket,rather than on or towards something international....unless I absolutely, positively had little else in options, and perhaps that's the scenario here.

    I've used an eVIP on a domestic, east coast US to hawaii, for the same "length of time on an aircraft being as long as some int'l flights" logic posted above.

    The ideas batted around of formulae that help people make these decisions are fantastic.
     
  24. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Thanks for the clarification. I think it was confusing because your original question said you were missing "qualifying miles" and not points, hence my question about whether you meant EQM or EQP.

    When you say "paid", do you mean that you had your ticket reissued to a WT+ ticket, or you paid a nominal fee at check-in/online?

    If you reissued into WT+, then clearly you're owed your miles.

    If you paid a small upgrade fee at check-in or online, I'm not sure actually. I haven't seen this question asked or answered from my time on here or TOBB. I do know that when individuals upgrade for a nominal fee on AA metal they do not get the extra bumps in miles/points. While the system makes mistakes, the stated policy is that you get the miles/points for the class of service purchased, not the class of service flown.

    Perhaps the same applies for upgrades on BA metal? I'd suspect so.
     
  25. chef4u
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    chef4u Silver Member

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    I did pay a fee...not at check-in. I went to the BA counter upon arrival in LHR (after my YYZ-LHR flight) and paid a fee to upgrade to WT+ on my LHR-BLR flight. Well worth the price. Just hoping to get my extra EQM and EQP. Can't do much for now...I will have to wait 15 days to submit the request.
     

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