Is it wrong that as I am posting this thread, drool is dripping from the regulars in anticipation of hooking a new addict? (I am not an addict -- yet.) It looks like I will fall short of PLT by around 10,000 EQMs. Being that close to the switch from gold to PLT and knowing I will travel a good deal in 2014 internationally, I'm considering doing a MR for the difference. I have miles on US from a February trip to LGA, but there's no guarantee those will merge and be counted with AA's program before the year is out. The challenge to this is my airport and the cost. MSY doesn't go many places direct, or let's say many places I would want to go. Considerations: Staying on AA or a partner that will still achieve the miles credited to AA. Minimizing cost while maximizing mileage. For any place I'd have to stay overnight or a few days, a safe destination that's not too expensive would be ideal. I don't mind layovers -- in fact I expect them from this airport -- and I don't mind doing multiple layovers in either direction. I despise ATL and will not book any flight that goes through there. International or domestic flights are fine. I don't have any time constraints to book this and am very flexible on the dates. I already have MSY-LHR booked for August-September and November (may be Oct-Nov but I don't have my dates yet). Open travel opportunities appear to be over the summer or late September/early October (staying away from December since the fares usually hike up around then). You might be thinking, "Why not just go through LHR and back and be done?" I already spend close to the maximum months allowed for leave to enter when adding up all my trips for the year, so I don't want to tack on any more time in England than necessary. Thanks for any suggestions you can provide. I'm not looking to book immediately unless something awesome smacks me across the face, but I wanted to get it posted to be able to weigh the options.