Suggestions for my first MR

Discussion in 'Mileage Runs/Travel Hacking' started by MSYgirl, May 3, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    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.) :p

    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.
     
  2. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

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    You're getting into summer where mileage run fares tend to be sparse. You might do better for waiting for Oct-Dec when the better domestic fares traditionally return.

    Look at two west coast trips via ORD for something simple. I don't like taking more than 2 flights in each direction which generally keeps my east coast trips under 20 hours. For example, MSY-ORD-SFO is almost 2,700 miles one way and you could probably come back the same day. If you wanted to overnight, airport hotels at SFO can easily be found for under $100 a night on weekends providing there's not a huge convention in San Francisco (things like Oracle World). Be very careful here as airport hotels do sell out when the really big conventions are about.

    You could also do LAX or SEA but not as many miles as SFO.
     
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  3. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    Thank you very much for the suggestions. I'm not adverse to going to a foreign country to hit the 10k in one fell swoop and I will take a bunch of layovers, but a domestic route is appealing as well. I recently did a MSY-DFW-SNA RT, but the EQMs only totaled 3,306 total. While your proposal covers almost 5,400, I wonder if I'd rather reach the 10k in one trip and be done with it. It's something for me to consider, and I appreciate your help.
     
  4. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

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    This last year there really haven't been cheap fares to Europe on AA. I paid $1,100 to go to Frankfurt and $800 for a combined London/Dublin flight. Unless there's a big Europe sale, you're probably going to get the better value, in terms of miles per dollar spent, with the two domestic trips (thinking you'd find winter prices of around $300 RT for those). If you wanted to go to Dublin AA only offers seasonal service from ORD which I think ends in early October, but they also offer year round service now from JFK--that might be the best value in terms of Europe. I avoid flying home from London because of the extreme departure taxes there, as well additional taxes when upgrading.
     
  5. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    Yeah, my usual RTs through London run around $750+. I have seen AA advertising some pretty cheap fares to special destinations with bonus miles, so I wonder if I should be looking at those promotions. I might be able to find one to satisfy the jump from gold to PLT and get a good reward at the same time. I noticed the London fares skyrocket until around the end of August from experience (and it's evident again this year while I'm booking my Aug/Sept. flight), so I do think the October suggestion is sound advice. Thank you for your input. :)
     
  6. thesterlingtraveler

    thesterlingtraveler Gold Member

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    Careful with those bonus promos. Most likely the bonus miles are not elite miles. Make sure you read the fine print. Good luck on finding a good MR to get that extra 10k EQMs. :)
     
  7. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    Yep, I read the fine print. I expect to need around 10k in EQMs, and the bonuses are just that - bonus (I'm not factoring them in the total). I'm always on the lookout for those elusive double EQM offers, rare wildebeests that they are. Thanks for the heads up though, and your well wishes for this newbie.
     
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  8. thesterlingtraveler

    thesterlingtraveler Gold Member

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    No problem... I actually recently booked my first MR as well.
     
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  9. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    For foreign travel, an obvious choice would be Buenos Aires, connecting on AA through MIA to EZE. Summer is low season down there and would be a good break from the heat and humidity of NOLA for a long weekend. It is probably a bit less than 10K miles unless you can do a creative routing but would be a fun way to get a lot of miles.
     
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  10. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    The humidity is evil! I did some searches, but quit after it gave me a headache. I found some routes that would get me to 10k, but where I am having a problem is price and class. I'm trying to keep the costs down, yet I have no clue how to determine what class I need to book. I just see the names, not the actual codes. I don't know if this is necessary though; even when I travel in O I get miles as a Y (I'm guessing because of the gold status).

    EZE is an interesting suggestion. I'd probably return as fast as possible; reading another RTW's report from there stated that muggings and pickpockets operate in large groups so you have to be very careful.

    Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  11. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    Today I booked a RT through LHR, and with some creative sleuthing and probably inspiration from here, I checked each route possibility around my preferred times to get the maximum EQMs for my trip (a difference of 1,307 EQMs). In calculating my total needed and considering I get the same route for my next LHR in October, it looks like I'll only need 7,805 EQMs instead of 10k, making a quick hop around the US sufficient (unless fares go on sale to somewhere else in the interim). Thanks for all of the suggestions thus far. I am slowly starting to think and search in terms of EQMs instead of just guessing and booking, so MP has been a great tool for me already.
     
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  12. thesterlingtraveler

    thesterlingtraveler Gold Member

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    Glad you found something. Have fun!
     
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