I swore off AA five years ago after some pretty egregious treatment over a bunch of nothing. It was actually the straw that accumulated on the back of a very tired, old camel after 25 years as an AAdvantage member. I'm now UA 1K after switch to CO in 2009. The once greener grass is starting to fade, and while I don't hate UA, I'm no cheerleader, either. Several things have me considering that all the good press I've been reading about AA might mean that getting over my grudge could serve me well. My plan is to stay 1K on UA, but put 50,000 extra miles to work at AA to acquire Platinum status as a backup plan. Having my travel currently booked into early May, I'm wondering when might be the best time to apply for a challenge or match. If I do it sooner than I can reasonably start flying, I might not make it. If I wait too late, I may not have time to find reasonable fares. I like to book ahead (obviously), so this is going to require some planning. The input of others who have accepted one of AA's offers would be greatly appreciated. I can do some MRs, if necessary. Can I start booking as they arise and apply for a match or challenge later, still counting my already-booked flights toward the requirement? Thanks in advance for your feedback.