Cleared 3 systemwide upgrades FRA-DFW

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by tom911, Jan 7, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Just booked my most expensive AA trip ever at $1,112 into Berlin Tegel and home from Frankfurt in February. Bringing a set of non-status friends along for their first trip to Germany. Haven't seen any sign of those fares dropping over the last few weeks so it was time to buy and bite the bullet.

    Routing SFO-JFK-LHR-TXL, return FRA-DFW-SFO. Plenty of upgrade availability on domestic legs. Expert Flyer was showing C5 on FRA-DFW a few days ago, then C3 this morning, and by this afternoon was down to C2. Itinerary was ticketed within 15 mins of booking on-line, something I'm not used to on international flights. Called EXP desk hoping to grab those two seats, and miraculously another one becomes available and we all clear (hidden EXP availability could have been in play).

    Waitlisted on JFK-LHR as it was not showing any availability. Business is wide open and confident those will clear before departure. Should have about 60K knocked out for 2013 after this trip. Ground stops will include Berlin, Leipzig, Munich, Salzburg and last night in Frankfurt.

    First trip of the year is tomorrow on a domestic routing to Florida and back--upgrades all cleared at 100 hours. Good start to the New Year.
     
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  2. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    60k for this trip? How?
     
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  3. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    He said "should have about 60K knocked out for 2013 after this trip", so I assume he's talking about his total booked travel on AA for the year so far, vs. just this one trip.
     
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  4. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    I'll have 60K towards the 100K I need to EXP requalification. Always have a lot of travel over January-February, though this year I only have the one international trip due to the higher fares. Ended up booking SMF-NYC in place of a second Europe trip and will do four nights there.
    Have already cleared my first six domestic upgrades for 2013 with two more in limbo. Hopefully those will clear by departure.
     
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  5. TheBOSman

    TheBOSman Silver Member

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    Better than me. My opening flight of the year coming up (BOS-DFW then connecting onward) was already at F0 on EF as of a week before the flight. All seats assigned as well. Flight is upcoming, I can only hope that someone cancels.
     
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  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    That's the thing that surprised me most. I wish I could say that. What's your secret -- flexibility?
     
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  7. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    It was actually $30 cheaper if I could move the travel dates both around to midweek, but then there was a chance of missing the upgrades and I had already coordinated our travel dates with German rail tickets which vary based on what dates you travel and how far out you book. Germany fares from SFO have been running around $1,100 the last few weeks. I paid $850 two years ago when I had a bunch of free Hyatt nights with a promo there. Last year I did award travel on Lufthansa. Not much out there to Europe this year for under $900 (LHR, MAD are in that range).

    Our rail tickets worked out to $141 each, including $15 of seat reservation fees for each traveler. On two of the routes, Leipzig-Munich (ICE) and Salzburg-Frankfurt (EC), which are 5 and 6 hours long, we were able to book in first class for $10 more per person. If we had stayed in second class, and didn't book seats, we could have done the same trips for about $106, but really can't risk finding 3 adjoining seats on an ICE or EC train on our own, and the $10 extra for the longer trips is a bargain.

    Rail segments:
    Berlin-Leipzig
    Leipzig-Munich
    Munich-Salzburg
    Salzburg-Frankfurt
     
  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Yes, I have booked first class ICE tickets myself that were close to (or, I believe, one time cheaper) than 2nd class tickets. And I agree that reserving seats is advisable. Have seen too many people wandering around looking for a seat.
     
  9. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Just noticed a change in some Europe fares on Kayak. I repriced my itinerary and it dropped from $1,112 to $1,052 with identical flights, so we'll each take a $60 hit. I remember the "old days" when I could call AA and get a voucher for the difference when that happened. Not now.
     
  10. nldogbert

    nldogbert Silver Member

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    That were some fast SWU clearing. I have never heard of them clearing 3 places so fast. Business must be down from FRA. From my side, I was also surprised that my request from BCN-MIA on the 767 cleared within a week from requesting. Cleared upgrade to F from J for travels in August 13 already for LHR-MIA. Hopefully by that time the route will be on the new 777W.
    Cheers!
     
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  11. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    There's still some flights to/from FRA showing as high as C5. Two years ago the three of us flew into LHR and cleared at booking. The return flight from BRU did not have any upgrade availability. 10 mins after my call, I got a call back that AA had cleared all three of us from BRU. Probably much easier to do this in the winter on off-peak days.

    Tempted to book another for March to use a $500 bump voucher. That would have to be to/from FRA on AA metal. I'd add some separate rail or air onto it. Warsaw by rail is an option at 29 euros from Berlin.

    Tom in the ORD H/K AC
     

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