Mad Dash to EXP in Dec

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by Mike Reed, Nov 5, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Because of my accident in early October, I lost 16 segments worth of travel that would have put me a flight away from EXP. Now I'm not going to be able to consider air travel again until December at best, probably the second week/weekend. I actually use my EXP status and it has value to me, and I'll be using it next year both domestically and on an RTW itinerary in the summer... so I'm going to have to make a (series of) run(s) for it. None of the business trips I booked have any significant value left after change fees (they were short, cheap trips), so I'm paying for this out of pocket.

    I'm currently at 83 EQS and 67,525 EQM, meaning I need 17 EQS or 32, 475 EQM.

    I can earn 16 EQS in just four domestic round trips out of Austin if I'm connecting through somewhere, and something like AUS-DFW-SAT/HOU/TUL/OKC/etc. is pretty simple to do. Given that I don't care where I'm going since I'm just turning around and coming back, I'm looking at just seeing what's on NetSaaver for a given weekend and taking it.

    I'm not thinking I can get 30K+ EQM for the same price I can get four domestic four-segment round trips, but I'm open to options if people have ideas. Also, even though this is probably sacrilege, I'd prefer shorter segments (I want to spend as little time as I can actually flying vs. collecting a few hundred extra EQM/RDM per round trip).

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. FriendlySkies
    Original Member

    FriendlySkies Gold Member

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    Do you have any SWUs left?
     
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  3. Seat6A

    Seat6A Silver Member

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    Mike, EZE and SCL are 13k miles +/- from LAX. Long runs are the way to go. AA from DFW has ramped up the long runs lately; MAD, SCL, EXE, HNL, NRT and more. Do several long runs especially if you have the SWUs. I think ur in Texas so the tiem zones wouldn't hurt you as bad, but also less miles. I did SCL last weekend and am in Argentina this week to qualify. We were hit on client travel this year. I'm going to get over it by requalifying exp.
     
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  4. brodyf

    brodyf Gold Member

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    Mike, I'd go for the mileage runs, but that's just me. If your leg isn't up to 10 hours in a low pressure environment though, then you're onto the right idea of taking 4 four segment shorties. If you did AUS/TUL once a week, plus one AUS to DFW for good measure, you'd have this done in no time. And it would probably only cost about $1300 out of pocket. If you think your travel will be up around the EXP level again next year, then $1300 is money well spent for the benefits of EXP.
     
  5. clscholes

    clscholes Silver Member

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    You might add ICT to that list...DFW has been running specials through them lately...I would say MCI but they jacked the rates back up.
     
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  6. clscholes

    clscholes Silver Member

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    Out of curiosity, can you travel Tues./Wed? If so, you could do 17 segment in 8 trips for under a thousand...I know that's a pain, but it is possible. Even just a AUS-DFW 2 segment 9 times gets you there.
     
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  7. clscholes

    clscholes Silver Member

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    That wake up time for the AUS-TUL flight would be brutal, but hey, the things we do...I say go for that. Half the trips from what I suggested, even if it is a bit more money.
     
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  8. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    I can easily position to LAX, especially with a non-stop AUS-LAX. I might even consider using miles for the flights since I have a bit of an excess right now (depends on price). What I'd really like to do is a quick-turn... minimizing time away from home. This is a route well worth looking at, though. Three of these round trips vs. 4 other shorter ones, though, could make a difference.

    I'll definitely be around EXP level again next year as well as having an award trip x3 already booked including PVG, DEL, AMM, FCO and DUS, so better lounge access policies are worth it.

    As for the leg, I'd think it would be okay by mid-December. I'm supposed to be able to walk on it again starting the last week of November, and mid-December would be two months post-surgery and no open wounds/incisions left.

    That's a REALLY good point - I have three left. That would make the LAX-EZE routes suggested earlier much more palatable.

    Likely not, as it would interfere with work. I should be able to do 16 segments in 4 trips from AUS through DFW to somewhere... the real goal is minimizing cost using the "deals of the week" and such.

    Great feedback all!
     
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  9. FriendlySkies
    Original Member

    FriendlySkies Gold Member

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    Second question: do you have a Brazilian or Chinese visa?

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
  10. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    I do not. I'd have to get a Brazilian one, and for China I'd look to book some sort of triangular routing so I could use the transit visa program.
     
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  11. ballardFlyer

    ballardFlyer Gold Member

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    If china you can do cheap and short CX RT flights from PVG to HKG to qualify for 72hr china transit visa on either or both ends of the inner HKG trip. Does require a bit more time though...

    IMHO I'd do RTs from AUS for segs. Time is more valuable.
     
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  12. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    I tend to agree. :)
     
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  13. Captain Oveur
    Original Member

    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    This is what I am thinking about doing. AA has some ridiculously good options LAX-PVG.

    You can do LAX-PVG direct RT for about $760 in December. Or, better yet, do LAX-ORD-PVG (almost 19k miles) for about $860.

    I'm looking at doing the PVG-HKG option as mentioned above, where fares are about $250 USD RT, AI to skirt the visa requirement (which would cost about the same $250 for the visa cost and courier to apply for you in person).
     
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  14. ballardFlyer

    ballardFlyer Gold Member

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    You can do avios for CX flights saving the $250. It is bookable on BA.com.
     
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  15. Captain Oveur
    Original Member

    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Does O class on CX get any EQM on AA?
     
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  16. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    No. But considering that @ballardFlyer was discussing booking with Avios, I wouldn't expect credit anyway.
     
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  17. Seat6A

    Seat6A Silver Member

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    Keep in mind that using miles for flights those flight do not count for qualifying. Which is why i use miles for lodging not flights.
     
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  18. Seat6A

    Seat6A Silver Member

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    Also, at 75k miles you can earn one more SWU that is good until Feb 2015. And... I assume you have a business extra account, you should be able to use a one way upgrade from it to get to EZE.
     
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  19. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    17 segments will be 8,500 EQM minimum, so I'll cross 75K no matter what. The SCL/EZE options aren't bad... but I'm really considering short segments to take less time.
     
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  20. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Looks like I might have found my trips. AUS-DFW-DEN for under $200 r/t a/i. Four of those, < $800, and I'm only short one segment. I can pick that up anywhere... and I'm likely to take one more domestic trip after Christmas, but not sure where. I'm going to put them on hold and see if I find anything better.
     
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  21. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    For what it's worth, AA matched UA's $666 AI fare LAX-PEK (AA doesn't have a direct, so it's LAX-ORD-PEK), so I'm doing that.

    Plus the $140 for the Chinese Visa (going to stay six days).
     
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  22. wrxmom

    wrxmom Gold Member

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    Even better when you route LAX-MIA-ORD-PEK :)
     
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  23. Seat6A

    Seat6A Silver Member

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    Mike, anyoen who qualifies EP on AA gets a special hat tip. That's a lot of short haul flights on a long haul airline! Also, as a backup, they just sent an email with a way to buy the status if all else fails. I posted it here.
     
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  24. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Yep. Two years ago I was over 150 segments. This year I would have been over 120 with 20 on non-AA metal, so I'm playing catchup. Given that I actually USE the benefits of the status, $800 out of pocket is worthwhile for me (especially vs. the boost-up).
     
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  25. Seat6A

    Seat6A Silver Member

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    Mike, what routes do you fly that you make it on segments? I rode with a guy two years ago who was at 85 segs and based in Austin. He didn't think he would make it. but i went online and helpe dhim find AUS-DFW-OKC/MCI routes that he could do weekends and i think he made it. Wow, segs on AA. Wow!
     

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