Category Archive for 'AA'

20,000 Starpoints Transfers Into 30,000 USAirways Miles This Month; Where Should You Transfer?

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

-USAirways Offer Linky
-SPG-US Transfer Linky

Yesterday I wrote about the promotion for transferring Starpoints into American miles.  Turns out there’s also a promotion for turning Starpoints into USAirways miles through July 31st with the same rules I wrote about yesterday for the American promo.

Sure, in 2015 the American and USAirways programs will be combined. But in the meantime there are several differences:

1. You can transfer Starpoints into anyone’s USAirways account, the names don’t have to match (though this can change at any time). Transfers into American require matching names.

2. USAirways requires round-trip award travel while American sells one-way award travel.

3. USAirways allows for a free stopover while American doesn’t (with the exception of when 2 awards price out lower than 1 award like US-Europe-Israel off-peak)

4. American allows free date changes on award tickets. USAirways charges $150 for that.  American charges $150 to cancel a ticket but just $25 to cancel additional awards at the same time. USAirways charges a flat $150 per ticket. American charges a phone fee for tickets that can’t be booked online while USAirways waives the phone fee, however USAirways charges a $25-$50 award processing fee which applies even for tickets made online.

5. American has very strict routing rules. You can’t fly to Australia via Asia for example. USAirways has much more lenient routing rules.  American also requires a “paid published routing” on awards, USAirways does not.  American’s system prices awards correctly. USAirways has booked several 40K awards to Israel and South Africa for DD readers like this one among several other “bugs” I’ve heard of.

6. American can book travel on El Al, USAirways can’t.

7. USAirways charges 50,000 miles for domestic first awards on 3 class planes, such as JFK-Los Angeles, JFK-S. Francisco, and Miami-Los Angeles on American as well as JFK-Vancouver on Cathay Pacific.  That rate goes up to 65,000 if you book after July 31st which is the same rate American charges.

8. USAirways charges just 120,000 miles to fly first class to Asia on Cathay Pacific, the biggest bargain in the entire mileage game. People have even been able to book the 110K business class ticket to Asia with a stopover in Israel along the way.

9. If you have a Barclays US Airways Premier World MasterCard you can get a 5,000 mile discount on USAirways awards (besides for free checked bags and pre-boarding). That means round-trip domestic awards are just 20,000 miles, off-peak coach awards to the Caribbean for cardholders are just 20,000 miles round-trip, and off-peak awards to Europe or South America are just 30,000 miles round-trip if you fly on USAirways. Off peak First Class/Envoy awards to the Carribean are just 45,000 miles and to South America are just 55,000 miles round-trip if you fly on USAirways.

10. Round-trip coach to Israel is 80K, business to Israel is 120K, and first class to Israel is 180K. With the card USAirways flights to Israel are 75K in coach and 115K in business.  On American round-trip coach nonstop to Israel is 90K coach, 135K business, 180K first.

HT: Freddie, via DDF

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20,000 Starpoints Transfers Into 30,000 American AAdvantage Miles This Month

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

-AA Offer Linky
-SPG-AA Transfer Linky

From now through July 31st you’ll earn 30,000 AA miles for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred. Normally you would earn 25,000 miles for a 20,000 Starpoint transfer.

You can transfer up to 60K Starpoints per day to maximize the bonus (which would earn 90K AA miles per day).

No, this isn’t like 2010 when 20K Starpoints became 33,750 AA miles and those miles counted towards lifetime AA elite status. And AA still allowed free stopovers and had a killer OneWorld round-the-world award chart.  No, those days are long gone and are never coming back.  But take what you can get.

Note that AA is notorious in zealously shutting people’s account down if there’s even a suspicion that miles in it were sold or bartered.  They also shut down people’s account without warning or appeal for manufacturing signup bonus threshold spend on their credit cards by dabbling in refundable tickets like some unscrupulous brokers are known to do to unsuspecting prey.

American’s award chart is by far the most generous out there, and it will be hit with a major devaluation in early 2015 when their program is merged with USAirways.

In the meantime there are some great values to be had, like 55K in business or 67.5K in first on Cathay Pacific one-way to/from Hong Kong.
-You can fly nonstop on El Al to Israel for 45K coach or 67.5K business.
-Between 10/15-05/15 you can fly to Israel with a free stopover in Europe for 40K in coach.
-Between 10/15-05/15 you can fly to Europe for just 20K in coach each way.
-Between 03/01-05/31 and 08/16-11/30 you can fly to South America for just 20K in coach.
-Between 01/12-03/08 and 08/22-12/15 you can fly to Hawaii for just 17.5K in coach.
-Between 10/01-04/30 you can fly to Japan or Korea for just 25K in coach.
-A flight between Tel Aviv and the Maldives is just 17.5K coach, 25K business, 35K first.
-A flight between Tel Aviv and Thailand or Hong Kong is just 22.5K coach, 30K business, 40K first.
-A flight between Tel Aviv and Australia is just 30K coach, 45K business, 60K first.

There are only major fuel surcharges for flying on British Airways, but there are plenty of other partners to choose from to avoid them.

HT: AJK, via DDF

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AAdvantage MAAsacre News Continues To Trickle Out

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Part 1: American Modifying AAnytime Award Chart Rates
Part 2: The Other Shoe Drops: American Eliminates Free Stopovers On Awards
Part 3: The Unannounced MAAsacre Continues
———————————————————-
The new American is at best clueless, though I’d just call it deceitful.  What a shame the government didn’t make good on their threat to block USelessAirways’ CEO Doug Parker from taking over American.

Clueless because they don’t know how to just give all the bad news in one shot.  They’ve updated different parts of their website without any announcement, leaving us to try to figure out the damage.  Just rip off the band-aid in one-shot please!

Deceitful because it’s wrong to make changes without giving prior warning.  That’s not loyalty, that’s punishment.

Deceitful because they emailed everyone this press release which makes the masses think that good things are happening.  They make everything sound great when the only mildly good news here is that the USAirways credit card will finally play catch-up and give free luggage.

The latest bad news:
-AA award ticketing fees for international tickets booked over the phone will climb from $25 to $35 per ticket. These fees are mandatory for tickets that can’t be booked online like flights on El Al and Cathay Pacific.
-AAdvantage Gold and USAirways Silver members will only get 1 free checked bag when flying AA, the same as any AA credit card holder.
-Alaska MVP members will go from having 2 free bags when flying AA to apparently not getting any free bags.
-Full fare passengers will go from having 2 free bags when flying AA to not getting any free bags.
-AAnytime award passengers (who just got hit by massive increases) will go from having 2 free bags when flying AA to not getting any free bags.
-AAdvantage Platinums flying on USAirways will go from having 3 free bags to having 2 free bags.
-USAirways Golds and Platinums flying on USAirways will go from having 3 free bags to having 2 free bags.

Unannounced changes are wrong: #AAdvantageMAAsacre

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The Unannounced MAAsacre Continues

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

More nasty surprises since the elimination of stopovers and new AAnytime award chart I covered in the wee hours of the moring:

1. On the USAirways side of the airline they have updated their partner award chart by raising the business class award from the US to North Asia from 90K to 110K round-trip.  This was a real redemption sweet spot, especially since joining Oneworld with that rate working for Cathay Pacific.  Bizarrely though, first class remains a real bargain, unchanged at just 120K.  Even more bizarrely other awards like Caribbean/Mexico/Central America to South Asia remain at 90K in business class.

Their High level award has also been split into 2 levels for travel starting in June. This I could care less about.

2. American has eliminated their aspirational OneWorld Explorer/Round-The-World award.

I was able to take a 16 flight segment first class round-the-world tour back in 2010 off of their awesome, yet underutilized Explorer award chart.

aa syd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never got around to finishing those trip notes, though I did cover Khao Lak , Chiang Mai , Melbourne , and Sydney.

And now it’s gone. Completely unannounced.  At least United (which does still offer a round-the-world award) had the courtesy of letting us know several months ahead of their devaluation. This is just wrong. #AAdvantageMAAsacre

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The Other Shoe Drops: American Eliminates Free Stopovers On Awards

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Ever since American started allowing one-way awards they have allowed for a free stopover at the North American international gateway. That meant 2 free stopovers on a round-trip award.

That policy created all kinds of loopholes.  If you were flying from Tel Aviv to JFK it allowed you to add on a free ticket to anywhere in the US50/Canada at any point over the next year.  Then you could fly back from say Kauai or Los Angeles to JFK and onto Tel Aviv anytime in the next year as well for just the price of the US-Tel Aviv award.

I’ve had a lot of fun at DansDeals Seminars over the past few years demonstrating just how far you could take that by combining awards and transforming 2 peak one-way awards that may have cost 52.5K or 55K miles into 1 off-peak award costing just 20K or 25K miles by using stopovers.

Of course people will say that bloggers have killed another deal, while others will be mad that I never explicitly made a post spelling out this stuff in full detail.  In the end I felt that a seminar was a good medium to convey these kinds of tips with illustrated pictures and away from the prying eyes of the airlines.  Though slowly but surely these loopholes are being plugged.

DDF member PlatinumGuy was the first to report last week that stopovers were going to be eliminated.  He called it the first major hit of the American/USAirways merger.  As of today with the launch of the new American AAnytime award chart it seems that they have indeed quietly taken away the ability to take any stopovers on an award.

I’ve confirmed this on AA.com as well as with several phone reps.   Another one bites the dust.

For now USAirways still allows for a free stopover, though they require you to book a round-trip award.  Other airlines, like Air Canada, Delta, and United still allow for a free stopover on a round-trip award as well. Alaska even allows for a free stopover on a one-way award.

You can still have up to 15 stopovers on an OneWorld Explorer/Round-The-World award ticket booked with American miles.

American provided no official notice of this rule change or of the new AAnytime award chart changes. Enjoy the lucrative SAAver award chart still offered by American and USAirways while you can as they’re probably going to change that one day as well without warning.  Though hopefully that won’t happen until the programs are combined, most likely in 2015.

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American Modifying AAnytime Award Chart Rates

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

I’ve never redeemed miles for an AAnytime award, but American did have the best value AAnytime award chart, charging only double miles to book an award without capacity controls.  Personally I don’t care too much about the AAnytime award chart so I’m not too worked up over changes to it.

Here is the old award chart which remains in effect for travel through 05/31.

Effective for travel starting 06/01 this new award chart will go into place. The cheaper MileSAAver award rates remain unchanged but AAnytime award are split into at least 2 levels.

On some routes the AAnytime changes are minor.  For example coach AAnytime within the US48 goes from being 25K each way to being either 20K or 30K each way.  Business AAnytime within the US48 goes from being 50K each way to being either 45K or 55K each way.  However First AAnytime within the US48 is hit hard, going from being 65K each way to being either 85K or 95K each way.  First AAnytime is only for airplanes with 3 cabins like JFK to LAX and SFO, most domestic first class is sold as business.

For flights to Europe coach AAnytime goes from being 60K each way to being either 45K or 65K each way. The premium cabins are harder hit. Business AAnytime goes from being 100K each way to being either 110K or 135K each way. First AAnytime goes from being 125K each way to being either 140K or 175K each way.

Of course partner awards aren’t effected as those only have the MileSAAver level anyway, which remains unchanged.

Again, for anyone that normally redeems at the lowest levels, nothing will change here. I don’t think it’s fair to compare this change to Delta’s upcoming 5 tier award system.  Delta rarely has availability in the lower tiers and I don’t trust that they ever will.  American will continue to have peak and off-peak MileSAAver awards as they always have and I fully expect that American will continue to offer the same about of MileSAAver availability that they have in the past.

HT: Yosef and Lucky

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6 Cards=600K And Counting…

Monday, March 31st, 2014

The biggest card bonus out there now is the 100K bonus on the Citi AAdvantage Executive card.

I first learned about it and wrote about it on January 28th.

Since then my wife and I have already gotten 400K bonus miles with 2 cards each and just yesterday we were approved for our 3rd card each. That will bring our total to 600K bonus miles.  It’s more than enough miles for 2 people to take 16 flights in first class on an around-the-world OneWorld ticket. Been there, done that already.

Tidbits worth knowing:

-Yes, you need to figure out how to spend $10K in a short period of time. So this isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking for big bonuses with less spending take a look at this post.

-Yes, the card carries a whopping $450 annual fee, though it’s refundable if you close it within 37 days of that being billed.  Sometimes the fee is billed on the first statement, sometimes on the second statement.   Sometimes the first statement comes right away, sometimes it takes a month. YMMV.

-You get a $200 statement credit which posts after you spend $200 on anything.

-Lots of people have reported that they had their American mileage account permanently closed with all miles forfeited for gaming this card by buying and cancelling refundable tickets.

-The miles sometimes post on the first statement after completing spending and sometimes don’t post until the 2nd statement after completing the spending. YMMV.

-Generally speaking you can apply for 1 Citi card per week and 2 per rolling 60 day period.

-I got lucky by racking up 3 million lifetime miles with American and getting lifetime Platinum status before 2011 when they stopped counting credit card miles towards lifetime status.  If they still counted it that way I’m pretty sure there would be a whole lot more lifetime Plats around this year :D

Stay thirsty, my friends ;)

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Earn American AAdvantage Miles On Facebook: Extend Your Mileage Expiration Date

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Earn American AAdvantage Miles On Facebook

Play trivia games and earn AA miles.

I maintain an extra Facebook account with no friends for apps like this where you have to share your complete friend list and more.  You can skip having them post on your wall, but in the games they will offer you more miles to do that.

Frankly it’s probably not worth most people’s time. Each game/trivia earns just 50 to 100 miles.  Though more importantly for some, the miles will extend the expiration date of all of your banked miles for another 18 months. But who knows when they will get around to crediting miles earned from this promotion  Wondering when your other miles expire here’s a chart. And here’s a quick and easy way to extend them.

All together you can earn about 1,000 miles if you are pretty bored and complete everything. You can also earn more miles by flying on specific paid flights.

Here are the answers for the AA trivia that earns a whopping 50 miles:
-330
-DFW, LAX, JFK, MIA, ORD, CLT, PHL, PHX
-American Eagle
-http://www.aa.com/findyourway
-All of the above

HT: jmansour, via DDF

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Discounted American Awards: Las Vegas And Los Angeles

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Update:
-Here is the link for the Las Vegas promo details.
-Here is the link for the Los Angeles promo details.
The discounts are valid for bookings made by 02/27
.
———————————————-
I can’t seem to find any promotion details yet, but American is having some discounted award specials right now:

-Connecting or nonstop flights to or from the US48 and Las Vegas through 04/04 are pricing out at 10K miles each way instead of 12.5K miles each way.

-Nonstop flights to or from the US48 and Los Angeles through 04/04 are pricing out at 10K miles each way instead of 12.5K miles each way.
Cities with nonstop American service to Los Angeles include: Albuquerque, Aspen, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, El Paso, Eugene, Fayetteville, Fresno, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, Monterey, Nashville, Newark, NYC (JFK), Oklahoma City, Orlando, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, Redmond, Reno, S. Barbara, S. Diego, S. Francisco, S. Jose, S. Louis, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Santa Fe, Tucson, Vail, Washington (DCA/IAD), West Palm Beach.

Find the full terms of this promotion or more valid cities? Post a comment!

HT: rapsjr, via DDF

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A Sad, Sad Day For ATL, CLE, DCA, And MSP Flyers

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Within hours of British Airways launching the Avios program in November of 2011 I noted how the 4.5K short-haul flights like from LaGuardia-Cleveland were real bargains.

There are currently 4 daily round-trip flights between Cleveland and LaGuardia but they will soon kill the route thanks to the USAirways merger.

No word on the status of the 1 daily flight between Cleveland and JFK, but that’s typically tough to get on an award and if the flight stays on it will likely become near impossible.  Maybe if we’re lucky we’ll see CLE-JFK gain a daily frequency but it seems unlikely.  There’s just too much competition on the route with 3 daily Delta flights from CLE-LGA, 8 United flights from CLE-LGA, 1 Delta flight from CLE-JFK, and 6 United flights from CLE-EWR. There are 2 daily Airtran/Southwest flights from nearby CAK-LGA. And Frontier also starts CLE-Trenton, NJ twice a week starting next month.

Even worse off are folks from Atlanta and Minneapolis.  They don’t even have service to JFK and their LGA flights are being axed as well.

Routes that will soon be killed as per today’s announcement:
Atlanta-LaGuardia
Cleveland-LaGuardia
Minneapolis-LaGuardia
Augusta, Ga.-Washington DCA
Detroit-Washington DCA
Fayetteville, N.C.-Washington DCA
Fort Myers-Washington DCA will become seasonal only
Fort Walton Beach, Fla.-Washington DCA
Islip, N.Y.-Washington DCA
Jacksonville, N.C.-Washington DCA
Little Rock-Washington DCA
Minneapolis-Washington DCA
Montreal-Washington DCA
Myrtle Beach-Washington DCA
Nassau, Bahamas-Washington DCA
Omaha, Neb.-Washington DCA
Pensacola, Fla-Washington DCA
San Diego-Washington DCA
Savannah-Washington DCA
Tallahassee-Washington DCA
Wilmington, N.C.-Washington DCA

New additions:
Los Angeles-Washington DCA goes from 1 flight to 2.
Charlottesville, Va.-LGA
Dayton, Ohio-LGA
Greensboro, N.C.-LGA
Knoxville, Tenn.-LGA
Little Rock, Ark.-LGA
Louisville, Ky.-LGA
Norfolk, Va.-LGA
Richmond, Va.-LGA
Roanoke, Va.-LGA
Wilmington, N.C.-LGA

HT: kracked dude, via DDF

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American And USAirways Cross-Promotion Flight Bonus

Monday, January 13th, 2014

-Credit an American Airlines flight to USAirways Dividend miles and get a 50% bonus.
-Credit an USAirways flight to American AAdvantage miles and get a 50% bonus.

-Registration required via the links above.
-Valid for flights flown 01/13-03/02.

In other words if you are flying on American from JFK-LAX-JFK and credit the miles to USAirways you’ll get 4,950 base miles and 2,475 bonus miles.  Eventually the mileage programs will be merged into one.

HT: YOSEF, via DDF

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Aeroplan To USAirways Transfers May Not Be Dead And Other Items You Need To Know For The Final Months Of USAirways

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Update (as promised in the post I made below last July): You can once again use Points.com to transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to USAirways via Aeroplan.  You will get 84,011 USAirways miles for trading in 100,000 Aeroplan miles.  Those USAirways miles will soon become American Aadvantage miles at an equal ratio and you can use them currently for American or Star Alliance flights.

You can transfer a maximum of 100,000 miles out of an Aeroplan account per year.

————————————————————————————–

The article below was originally posted 07/25/13.
For more updated into see these posts:
-American-USAirways Merger Finalized
-American-USAirways Reciprocity Starts Today

————————————————————————————–

USAirways as we know it will soon become American and join the OneWorld alliance. It’s a big loss for the Star Alliance.  It’s unknown when exactly this will happen though November 1st has been tossed around as a potential date.  There will likely be a period when you can transfer miles back and forth between the programs before they all become American miles.

Here is what you need to know.

1. Aeroplan Transfers.
You used to be able to transfer Air Canada Aeroplan miles (and by extension American Express points) into USAirways at a 1,000:840 ratio via Points.com.  Currently all transfers to/from USAirways are unavailable.  While some have reported online that this is because of the upcoming merger I confirmed with a points.com chat agent that it is only due to technical difficulties and they are working to restore that functionality.  The agent also said that the transfer ratio will remain unchanged when the USAirways transfer functionality is restored.  Of course the agent can also just be in the dark. I will post an update if and when the transfer ability is restored.

Bottom line: Nobody can tell you for certain what is going on, but hopefully people will still have a last chance to convert their Aeroplan and AMEX miles and points to USAirways with just a 16% haircut. Those USAir miles will soon become more valuable American miles.  Why do I say that they are more valuable? Sure there some advantages to USAirways miles but American miles can be used one-way. You can get a free stopover on a one-way flight which means you can get a free domestic round-trip to places like Florida, California, Alaska, or even Hawaii on top of an international round-trip award ticket (Only one allowed on USAirways though it does has more flexibility). You can change your travel dates for free ($150 on USAirways).  You are able to change your travel dates even after departure even on partner awards (Not allowed with USAirways).  You can redeposit additional award tickets at the same time for just $25 ($150 on USAirways). And you can easily book first and business class travel on award winning OneWorld airlines like Cathay Pacific with no fuel surcharges, something that is blocked on Star Alliance award winning carrier Singapore.  I run through the difference between Cathay business and first on their JFK-Vancouver flight in this trip report.

2. Aegean Star Alliance Gold
The easiest way to earn what can possibly be a lifetime of Star Alliance Gold elite status is going away.  I wrote about Aegean Star Alliance gold status in this post. It only takes 19,000 flown miles to earn the status and so far people who have it are reporting that it doesn’t appear to ever expire though it’s recommended to credit at least 1 Star Alliance flight to the program every 3 years after earning it to keep your entire account active.
Now the Aegean gold program isn’t changing but Aegean doesn’t credit miles or only gives partial credit for cheap airfares on most airlines.
USAirways is the one exception where you can almost always receive full mileage credit with Aegean, even on deeply discounted airfare rates.
Star Gold gets you and all of your companions 3 free 70 pound bags when flying on airlines like United and free lounge access at some 1,000 affiliated lounges worldwide when flying on the Star Alliance. In fact Aegean Star Gold even gives free United domestic lounge access-something that United Star Gold doesn’t even offer to their own elite members.

Bottom Line: The clock is ticking if you want to go on a mileage run to pickup 19,000 miles on USAirways to credit to Aegean for their amazing Star Gold program. While it may cost you $1,000 to book the flights to earn that, just figure out how much you’ll save on baggage and lounge fees for you and your family with the Star Gold status.

3. Starwood point transfers.
Starwood point transfers are a little funny. Some airlines require that the name on the Starwood account and the mileage account match. Others do not.
Now you can transfer Starwood points to other people in your household, but if you don’t have the same address then it can’t be done easily.
American requires that the names match in order to transfer Starpoints to miles.
USAirways does not require that the names match-you can transfer points to anyone.
Both offer 25,000 miles for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred.

Bottom line: If you want to transfer Starpoints to eventually become American miles without the hassle of doing intra-Starwood transfers (something that you can get banned for if you abuse repeatedly) then you’ll want to transfer them to USAirways before Starwood kills the ability to transfer points there.

4. Travel to Israel.
American is effectively banned from flying to Israel thanks to leftover TWA pension obligations.  If they fly a plane to Israel it would likely be repossessed by those who feel that American assumed TWA’s liabilities and owe them lots of money with interest.
They are trying to settle those issues but if they don’t we may see the end of the USAirways flight from Philadelphia to Tel Aviv.
If they do work out those issues expect American to shift the flight from Philadelphia to JFK and/or Miami.
Beware that El Al may decide to sever its relationship with American if they become a competitor and you may no longer be able to use American miles on El Al. Though if El Al would do that they would lose codeshare access to other US cities that they get from American though they can always set one up with an airline like JetBlue.

Bottom line: Lots of unknowns on this one but if you want to fly on El Al with your AA miles then you should book travel now. If you want to use your United miles to fly to Israel on USAirways book that now as well.

5. Surcharge-free travel.
-DansDeals broke the news back in January that ANA had stopped collecting a fuel surcharge for travel on United and USAirways. That post has lots of info on their program.
They have an awesome award chart (38K miles to Europe, 60K to Israel, etc) and allow 4 free stopovers and it stings to lose the USAirways option though at least there’s still United.
-Same story with Singapore as I wrote about here. If you have those miles you’ll be losing a valuable surcharge-free partner though United remains an option and of course those miles are awesome for redeeming on Singapore business, first, and suites class.
Lufthansa charges a fuel surcharge on most airlines except for USAirways, so you may want to redeem those miles for travel on USAirways before they leave the Star Alliance. I wrote about their program in this post about Barclay bank cards. There’s no fuel surcharge on domestic United tickets but once you cross the ocean Lufthansa charges a fuel surcharge to travel on United.
-Note that United miles aren’t affected nearly as much as these program as they never collect a fuel surcharge for award travel. In fact once USAirways is gone they are one of the only carriers that can still say that.

Bottom line: Star Alliance miles on many foreign carriers will be worth less thanks to losing a valuable surcharge-free partner.

Have any other tips? Hit the comments!

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American-USAirways Merger Finalized

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Update 12/09: The merger has been finalized.
Estimated key dates (subject to change):
01/07/14: Earn and redeem miles between both airlines. Lounge and elite status reciprocity.
03/30/14: USAirways’ final day as part of the Star Alliance (Last day to redeem United miles for travel on USAirways and vice versa for travel through February 2015).  United lounge reciprocity will also end on this day.
03/31/14: USAirways’ first day as part of the OneWorld Alliance. (First day to redeem BA Avios for travel on USAirways. Lots of additional 4.5K award routes in the Northeast corridor.)
——————————————————————
Originally posted on 11/12:

The DoJ has settled and will not oppose American from merging with USAirways. The merger is expected to close in December though the USAirways brand will still remain separate well into 2014.

What does that mean for you?

1. Less competition means higher airfares for consumers. Sure Southwest and JetBlue may pickup a few slots/gates being vacated by the new American but those are hardly cheap carriers anymore. They offer more frills than the network carriers.

2. The Star Alliance loses a key partner as the American brand and AAdvantage program will survive in the OneWorld alliance.  USAirways has a strong east coast presence and great domestic first class availability.  They are also a great option for flights to Israel.  USAirways will exit the Star Alliance on a yet to be determined date in the first few months of 2014.

3. The USAirways program with its generous award chart and all of its generous routing rules will be swallowed by American’s program.
-American has very strict routing rules, they don’t allow you to fly to Asia via Europe or to Australia via Asia or Europe. USAirways allows you to fly pretty much anywhere via anywhere so that it’s possible to fly to Asia via Tel Aviv for just 60K in coach or 90K in business with no fuel surcharges.
-USAirways doesn’t require an award ticket to be on a published paid fare routing while American does.
-USAirways doesn’t have a maximum amount of miles you can travel while American does.
-USAirways allows a free stopover anywhere while American only allows it at the North American gateway city.
-USAirways agents also aren’t very good at geography-at least 2 DD readers have booked tickets to Johannesburg via Tel Aviv and were charged only the amount needed to fly to the Hawaii.
-We’ll also lose 35K round-trip off coach peak awards to Europe and South America, 25K off peak awards to the Caribbean, and 60K off-peak business awards to South America.
-USAirways doesn’t charge fuel surcharges while American levies heavy fuel surcharges for travel on British Airways.

-On the positive side American does allow one-way awards and even gives a free stopover at the North American gateway.

4.  American currently has 2 award charts, a region-based award chart good for all partners and a distance based OneWorld chart.  Both offer very good values and are ripe for a devaluation.  Expect one as soon as a combined program is announced.

5. There will likely be a period of time where you can transfer miles back and forth between USAirways and American while they both still have their current generous award charts.  Take advantage of this while you can.

6. DansDeals broke the news back in January that ANA had stopped collecting a fuel surcharge for travel on United and USAirways. That post has lots of info on their program.
They have an awesome award chart (38K miles to Europe, 60K to Israel, etc) and allow 4 free stopovers and it really stings to lose the USAirways option though at least there’s still United.
Same story with Singapore as I wrote about here. If you have those miles you’ll be losing a valuable surcharge-free partner though United remains an option and of course those miles are awesome for redeeming on Singapore business, first, and suites class.
Lufthansa charges a fuel surcharge on most airlines except for USAirways, so you may want to redeem those miles for travel on USAirways before they leave the Star Alliance. I wrote about their program in this post about Barclay bank cards. There’s no fuel surcharge on United tickets within the western Hemisphere but once you cross the ocean Lufthansa charges a fuel surcharge to travel on United.  Still they have some bargains left for transcon and Hawaii flights, especially in business class.
-Note that United miles aren’t affected nearly as much as these program as they never collect a fuel surcharge for award travel. In fact once USAirways is gone they are one of the only carriers that can still say that.

7. The easiest way to earn what can possibly be a lifetime of Star Alliance Gold elite status is going away.  I wrote about Aegean Star Alliance gold status in this post. Now the Aegean gold program isn’t changing but Aegean doesn’t credit miles or only gives partial credit for cheap airfares on most airlines. USAirways is the one exception where you can almost always receive full mileage credit with Aegean, even on deeply discounted airfare rates.
Star Gold gets you and all of your companions 1, 2, or 3 extra free bags and free lounge access at some 1,000 affiliated lounges worldwide when flying on the Star Alliance. In fact Aegean Star Gold even gives free United domestic lounge access-something that United Star Gold doesn’t even offer to their own elite members.

8. You can transfer Starpoints to anyone’s USAirways account, the names don’t have to match. American requires that the names match.
Though you can still transfer Starpoints to another Starpoint account with the same address on file.
Both offer 25,000 miles for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred.

9. American is effectively banned from flying to Israel thanks to leftover TWA pension obligations. If they fly a plane to Israel it would likely be repossessed by those who feel that American assumed TWA’s liabilities and owe them lots of money with interest.
They are trying to settle those issues but if they don’t we may see the end of the USAirways flight from Philadelphia to Tel Aviv.
If they do work out those issues expect American to shift the flight from Philadelphia to JFK and/or Miami.
Beware that El Al may decide to sever its relationship with American if they become a competitor and you may no longer be able to use American miles on El Al. Though if El Al would do that they would lose codeshare access to other US cities that they get from American though they can always set one up with an airline like JetBlue.

10. Operating hubs or major operations in Charlotte, JFK, LGA, Miami, Philadelphia, and Washington DC simply can’t be sustained. There will be cutbacks in capacity and hub downgrades which will lead to higher airfares and fewer award seats.
Phoenix also seems redundant between Dallas and Los Angeles.

11. Bright side: There will be many more flights that you can use your BA Avios for thanks to the USAirways network joining American. So good news for fans of those BA short-haul awards.

Those are my thoughts. What are yours?

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American: Fly Round-Trip To Hawaii For 30,000 Miles

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

American: Fly Round-Trip To Hawaii For 30,000 Miles

-Book by 09/13
-Travel between 09/11/13-12/17/13
-This is only valid for travel on American, so this won’t work on Hawaiian’s nonstop flight from JFK to Honolulu.
-You can also book one-way travel for 15K so say you want to fly on El Al from Tel Aviv to NYC for 45K American miles you can just book Tel Aviv to JFK, stopover in NYC for as long as you want, and then book NYC-Hawaii for the same 45K miles. Then you just need 15K miles to get home (unless you go home for free by tagging it onto a future trip to Tel Aviv for example with a stopover in NYC).
-American serves Oahu via Honolulu (HNL), Kauai via Lihue (LIH), Maui via Kahului (OGG), and the Big Island via Kona (KOA).

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West coast people should bear in mind that it will be cheaper to use their BA Avios as it’s only 25,000 Avios from the west coast to Hawaii on American (bookable on BA.com) or on Alaska (searchable on aa.com but bookable only by calling BA).
Plus you can transfer points from AMEX MR (1:1), Chase UR (1:1), and Starwood (20:25) to BA but only Starwood transfers to American (20:25 ratio).

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Play Disney Planes Game And Earn A 10% Off American Airlines Coupon

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Play Disney Planes And Earn A 10% Off American Airlines Coupon

I earned a 10% off coupon after hitting 3 of the cloud surprise icons. I stopped playing and registered after I hit the 3rd cloud and was told that I’d earned a 10% coupon.

10% off terms:
-Book by 08/31.
-Fly between 08/15-11/15
-Not valid for travel 08/30-09/02
-Travel must originate in the US but can be to anywhere worldwide.
-Reward requires instant purchase and may not be applied to previous reservations or reservations placed on hold.
-Only one Reward may be used per reservation, for up to two people in the reservation.

HT: jmansour, via DDF

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2,500 Mileage Rebate On An Award Booked On AA.com

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Award Map Promo Registration Linky

Register for the sweepstakes above and you’ll get a 2,500 mile rebate for one award booking on aa.com

From the fine print:
-Member must register for Award Map promo before redemption occurs.
-Members will receive 2,500 miles off flight award redemption for AA and partner flights.
-Miles must be redeemed during Jun 26-Jul 24, 2013 for travel between Sep 4-Nov 20, 2013.
-Award itinerary must be booked online on aa.com.
-Each AAdvantage member account is only eligible for one rebate during this promo.
-Please allow for 6-8 weeks for miles to be posted to your account, after travel occurs.
-Miles will be credited to the AAdvantage member account from which the redemption occurs.

A one-way award flight from Maui to Kauai on AA.com is 5,000 miles. With this rebate it would only set you back 2,500 miles. If you have an AA credit card you would also get a 10% rebate on the full rate so you would get a separate 500 mile rebate dropping the price paid to just 2,000 miles.

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Then again Hawaiian charges for luggage and I’d be happy to book you a flight using my DansDeals corporate account which entitles you to 2 free bags on Hawaiian.

A one-way domestic 12.5K award would be 8,750 miles after the 2,500 mile rebate and the 1,250 AA card rebate.

This can’t be combined with the AA credit card reduced mileage awards as those have to be booked over the phone.

HT: jmansour, via Gary

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New Format For Citi AAdvantage Reduced Mileage Awards

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Citi AAdvantage Reduced Mileage Awards (June-September)

From now on the cities will actually rotate every month instead of every quarter, click on the link above to view the monthly discounted cities through September.
The really good news is that you can now receive the discount on one-way travel.

A one-way discounted coach award with Platinum level credit card is 8,750 miles and a round-trip discounted award is 17,500 miles.
Of course as the Platinum level credit card also gives a 10% rebate on award redemptions (up to 10,000 miles can be rebated per year) that will make the effective one-way price 7,875 miles and the effective round-trip price 15,750 miles.

To book these awards just call AA’s AAdvantage desk at 800-882-8880 and reference the following award code:
7,500 miles off Coach: TD8X7A
7,500 miles off Business/First: UD21X2A

While BA Avios can be a better deal for short-haul nonstop flights, bear in mind that you pay for each flight segment when redeeming Avios, whereas with AA miles you pay a flat rate for the entire journey.

It’s worth noting that because you can now book one-way travel you can also take better advantage of hidden city award ticketing.
Say you are Miami based and want to fly to Los Angeles.
You can book a one-way from Miami to Monterey, CA for 7,875 miles and get off the plane in Los Angeles:

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For the return you can book a one-way from Los Angeles to Washington DC and get off the plane in Miami:

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Unlike when you arrive from an international flight where everyone must claim their luggage at the gateway US city, this won’t work if you have checked luggage.  However if you can travel light or are willing to ship your suitcases (it’s cheaper than you think) then it can save you a nice chunk of miles, especially if you are traveling with several people.

There is a $25 phone fee and some people have had success getting them to waive the fee as it can’t be booked online.  You may want to hold the award you want online and call them up to book it and then you can argue that you created the reservation online and shouldn’t be subject the the phone fee. YMMV.

While the discount is intended for the destination city, some people have reported success getting the discount applied for originating from one of the cities on the list and flying to any city in the US49 and Canada. YMMV definitely applies here as well.

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Getting AA Benefits On A Flight Booked Using BA Avios

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Related posts:
-Flying Round-Trip To Israel On Air Berlin For 40K Starwood Or 47K American Express Membership Rewards Plus $81 Tax: A Tutorial
-Getting To Israel On The Cheap With BA Avios And Air Berlin
-Save $400 On Fuel Surcharges To Israel By Booking Avios Rewards Via Iberia Instead Of British Airways!
-Booking With Avios? Check Those Surrounding Airports!
-Using BA Miles To Fly In Business Class For An 80 Minute Flight Can Make Sense.
-Flying With An Infant With Miles In Business Or First Class? Start Collecting Air Canada Miles Or British Airways Avios
-Short-Haul Flights: BA Avios Versus LAN Lanpass.
-BA Miles Are Now Avios…For Better Or For Worse.
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Numerous people have asked me how they can get their AA benefits when booking their tickets with BA Avios.

If you have AA elite status and have your AA mileage number connected with your BA reservation you will be able to choose seats with extra legroom and be able to go standby on other flights for free. If you have an AA credit card you will be able to check free luggage that way (though occasionally you get free luggage anyway when booking with BA Avios).

Earlier this month I faced the ever-so-tough option of dropping $1,150 on a ticket from Cleveland to NYC (due to not staying for the required 3 night minimum stay to get a low fare) or spending 9,000 Avios for a the same flights. At a value of nearly 13 cents per Avios that’s just about the easiest “redeem or purchase” scenario you will ever have for a coach flight.

It’s also why I love real miles over proprietary points like those from Capital One. The same flight would have required 115,000 Capital One points!

BA Avios really fills the gap left by my American and United miles. I hate burning those miles on short domestic trips as they’re so valuable for international business and first class trips. Thus the combination of different types of airline miles is what really allows you to derive maximum value.

It also doesn’t hurt that you can transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards, Starwood Starpoints, and Chase Ultimate Rewards points into BA Avios. Plus BA doesn’t charge any last minute expedite/close-in fees, doesn’t collect massive fuel surcharges for flights on AA within the Western Hemisphere or on Aer Lingus, Alaska, Air Berlin, LAN worldwide, and only charges $2.50-$10 (just the 9/11 fees) to cancel a domestic award.

It’s important to remember that BA.com doesn’t search for all partners (you need to call to check for awards on Alaska, Aer Lingus and others) and that it often only searches for nonstop flights, so you may need to book 2 separate tickets to find connecting flights. For example even if NYC to Chicago or Miami comes up with zilch you can always try booking NYC to Cleveland and Cleveland to Chicago or Miami.  You’ll pay more Avios than you would for the nonstop but as BA charges for each flight segment it won’t make a difference in the Avios required if you book a connecting flight as one ticket or as 2 separate tickets plus AA will be able to check your luggage straight through to your final destination. Plus you can “stopover” for as long as you want by booking connecting flights separately. Of course BA.com also won’t search for nearby airports so you may want to search for Philadelphia to Miami before throwing in the towel.

Anyway back on topic. While there are quite a few ways to add your AA number to your reservation, here’s what I do without having to pickup the phone.

-When booking a BA Avios award I leave my BA Executive Club number in my reservation.

-After booking I go to https://www.finnair.com, go to the “My Bookings” section, enter my last name and BA record locator, and press continue.

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-On the next page I scroll down to “additional details,” select American from the drop down menu, enter my American AAdvantage number, and confirm the change.

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-Now I still need to get my American record locator to select elite seats on AA.com so next I go to https://www.checkmytrip.com and under “new trip” I once again enter my last name and BA record locator.

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-There a few places on the next page to find your American record locator, but the easiest way to find it is to click on “PDF” which will download a summary of your trip with a record locator that you will be able to use on AA.com.  The red box that I’ve made on the PDF is where you will find the AA record locator.

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-Finally just go to AA.com, click on “My Trips,” enter your name and AA record locator, and you will be able to select preferred seats if applicable, and you will be able to confirm that your AA mileage number is in your reservation so that you will receive free checked luggage if applicable.  You may need to logout of AA.com to be able to manually enter the record locator.

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-What was your favorite use of BA Avios? Hit the comments and share!

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AAdvantage Credit Card Reduced Mileage Awards For April-June 2013

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Related: Q1 Award List

Q2 Reduced Mileage Awards Linky

-You can book tickets for 7,500 less miles than American Airlines regularly charges if you have an eligible AA card.
-Consumer cardholders also get a 10% rebate on miles redeemed, so a coach reduced award will now cost just 15,750 miles round trip after the instant 7,500 mileage reduction and the 10% (in this case 1,750) mileage rebate.

To book these awards just call AA’s AAdvantage desk at 800-882-8880 and reference the following award code:
7,500 miles off Coach: TC8X7A
7,500 miles off Business/First: UC21X2A

Below is a sample list of some of Q2’s valid destinations, origination is allowed from any US48 City.
While BA Avios may be a better deal for nonstop short-haul flights, bear in mind that you pay for each segment when redeeming Avios, whereas with AA miles you pay for the entire journey.

-Atlanta
-Charlotte
-Cincinnati
-Cleveland
-Colorado Springs
-Columbus
-Dallas
-Detroit
-Houston (IAH and HOU)
-Miami
-Minneapolis
-Nashville
-New York (LGA)
-Newark
-S. Barbara, CA
-S. Louis
-Salt Lake City
-Vail, CO
-Washington D.C (DCA and IAD)

-Calgary
-Montreal
-Ottawa
-Toronto

Note: Some readers have reported success in:
-Originating from one of the cities on the list and flying to anywhere with a 7,500 mile discount.
-Getting them to waive the $25 phone fee as these can’t be booked online.
-Getting a 3,750 mile discount on one-way travel.
-You can always pull a hidden city trick (for example for fly JFK-LAX-SBA and just get off at LAX), though you’d probably have to forgo checked luggage.

YMMV! (Your mileage may vary)

HT: Ya’alili, via DDF

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Thoughts On The American-USAirways Merger

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Update: 02/13, It’s on folks.

————————————————————

This was originally posted on 02/06:

It seems that American and USAirways are all but certain to announce merger plans next week.  I sure hope they don’t, but that’s where the arrows are pointing.

What does that mean for you?

My guesses:
-The American brand and AAdvantage program will survive.
-The new airline will be part of OneWorld.
-We will lose a great way to earn Aegean Star Alliance Gold. Mileage Run anyone?
-At some point you will be able to transfer miles back and forth between your AA and USAir accounts. Your miles and lifetime statuses will be 100% safe.
-There will be more short-haul flight destinations for BA awards!
-At some point you will lose the ability to transfer AMEX points to USAirways at a 16% loss.
-While multiple people have been able to duplicate ticket from NYC to South Africa with a stopover in Israel for 40,000 USAirways miles such system issues don’t happen over at AA.
-The ability to route via a 3rd continent that USAirways allows on awards will end. AA doesn’t let you go to Australia via Asia or Asia via Europe. While with USAirways you can fly to Asia via Europe in business class all for just 90K miles.
-The easy to churn Barclay USAirways card will be phased out and harder to churn Citi AA cards will become the sole credit cards for the combined airline.
-There will be a new award chart that is likely less generous than AA’s or USAirways’ current charts.  Though that won’t come until the merger is complete in a couple years.
-USAirways’ Doug Parker will be running the show while AA’s Tom Horton will step aside.
-USAirways still hasn’t fully integrated with America West…should be fun seeing how another airline in the mix will stir that pot.
-Fewer airlines=less capacity=fewer award seats across the board.
-Fewer airlines=less capacity=more expensive airfares across the board.
-USAirways route network adds almost no value to AA’s route network. They have virtually no presence in Africa, Asia, Australia, or South America. This is clearly a merger of the unwanted ones that were left behind at the prom.
-AA has never flown to Tel Aviv due to pension issues that were left behind by TWA. While AA didn’t merge with TWA there were still threats made about seizing their aircraft should they fly to Tel Aviv. Should be interesting to see what happens now. I’d imagine they will try to work something out behind the scenes rather then ending USAirways’ Tel Aviv service, but perhaps they won’t be able to? Assuming they do work things out and continue to fly to Tel Aviv I’d have to imagine that there’s a strong chance they the service switches to AA’s Miami hub instead of Philadelphia.
-Speaking of hubs, it seems unlikely than an airline would keep 4 East coast hubs open. Charlotte, JFK, Miami, and Philadelphia likely can’t all be sustained, though in order to gain regulatory approval look for them to lie and say they will all stay open before they start to downsize one or 2 of them once the merger goes through.  Phoenix also seems redundant between Dallas and Los Angeles.  In other words all of USAirways’ hubs are at risk here.

So what are your guesses?

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AAdvantage Credit Card Reduced Mileage Awards For January-March 2013!

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Reduced Mileage Awards Linky

-You can book tickets for 7,500 less miles than American Airlines regularly charges if you have an AAdvantage Select, Executive, or Business credit card.
-Consumer cardholders also get a 10% rebate on miles redeemed, so a coach reduced award will now cost just 15,750 miles round trip after the instant 7,500 mileage reduction and the 10% (in this case 1,750) mileage rebate.

To book these awards just call AA’s AAdvantage desk at 800-882-8880 and reference the following award code:
7,500 miles off Coach: TB8X7A
7,500 miles off Business/First: UB21X2A

Below is a sample list of some of Q1’s valid destinations, origination is allowed from any US48 City.
While BA Avios may be a better deal for nonstop short-haul flights, bear in mind that you pay for each segment when redeeming Avios, whereas with AA miles you pay for the entire journey.

-Atlanta
-Boston
-Charlotte
-Cincinnati
-Cleveland
-Columbus
-Colorado Springs
-Detroit
-Houston (IAH and HOU)
-Indianapolis
-Kansas City
-Minneapolis
-New York (LGA)
-Newark
-Orange County, CA
-Philadelphia
-Pittsburgh
-S. Barbara, CA
-S. Louis
-Washington D.C (DCA)
-West Palm Beach

-Calgary
-Montreal
-Ottawa
-Toronto
-Vancouver


Note: Some readers have reported success in:
-Originating from one of the cities on the list and flying to anywhere with a 7,500 mile discount.
-Getting them to waive the $25 phone fee as these can’t be booked online.
-Getting a 3,750 mile discount on one-way travel.
-You can always pull a hidden city trick (for example for fly JFK-LAX-SBA and just get off at LAX), though you’d probably have to forgo checked luggage.

YMMV! (Your mileage may vary)

HT: Ya’alili, via DDF

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Like American Airlines And AAdvantage On Facebook And Get 500 Miles

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Like American Airlines And AAdvantage On Facebook And Get 500 Miles

A short 1 page survey is required.

More importantly than the 500 miles for some is that this will extend the life of all your miles by another 18 months.

HT: jmansour, via DDF

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American Airlines Double Mile Promotions!

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

For non-elite members:
-Earn double elite qualifying miles for all flights from 11/01-12/31.
-Earn double redeemable miles for flights between 11/16-11/26.

For elite members:
-Earn double elite qualifying miles and double redeemable miles for all flights from 11/01-12/31.

Registration is required and can be done with the links above. The code for all offers is AATHX

HT: Yosef, via DDF

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100 Free AA Miles Via Facebook!

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

100 Free AA Miles Via Facebook

Better than the free miles is that this will extend the life of all your miles by another 18 months.

HT: jmansour, via DDF

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Have United Elite Status? Match It To American!

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Update: 6:30pm, The program has been pulled due to overwhelming response (from disgruntled United elites), however some AA representatives are still processing status matches. At this point you may have to make a few phone calls until you get a rep to enroll you in the match. Either way this will be dead very soon.

American normally doesn’t match elite status from other airlines. They have a challenge that grants elite status after you pay a fee and complete a flying challenge, but only for Gold or Platinum status

For a limited time they are poaching matching United elites to the following levels:
United Silver=AA Gold
United Gold=AA Platinum
United Platinum=AA Platinum
United 1K=AA Executive Platinum
United Global Services=AA Executive Platinum (or Concierge Key according to some reports)

You can call AA and ask for AAdvantage customer service by calling 800-882-8880. The elite status will be valid until 02/29/13.

Now the challenge lasts for an extra year if you complete it in July or later. Does this mean that if you wait until July do do a status match that the status will last until 02/28/14? Possibly, but then again this is a limited time offer and definitely may be pulled before then.

HT: FT

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AA.com Now Showing Award Availability For 3 Partner Airlines!

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

AA.com added the ability to search for and book awards on Alaska Airlines not long ago and has now added the ability to search for and book awards on British Airways and Hawaiian Airlines.  As always, fuel surcharges do apply for travel on British Airways.

AA.com’s search calendar makes it much easier to find award flights than BA.com does for their own flights, so this is definitely a welcome addition.  Hopefully they will add the ability to book all partner airline flights in the near future, such as world-class carriers Cathay Pacific and Qantas.

Click to enlarge screenshots:


Sample Alaska (AS) and Hawaiian (HA) flights on AA.com from S. Diego to Honolulu.

Sample Hawaiian (HA) flight on AA.com From Sydney to JFK via Honolulu.

Sample British Airways (BA) flight on AA.com from Orlando to the Maldives via London.

Or you can see AA logic: Where a flight on 03/17 from Honolulu to Seattle costs 22,500 miles but a flight from Honolulu to London via Seattle on 03/17 costs 20,000 miles and you’re also free to stopover in Seattle for as long as you want.  I discussed this more at length in this post on Hawaiian Airlines flying nonstop from JFK-Honolulu starting in June.

HT: Yosef, via DDF

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AA Finally Makes Their Credit Card Competitive.

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Co-branded airline cards were suffering.

As new cards kept arriving that offered the ability to transfer points into real airline miles (that are worth significantly more than points that can’t be transferred into airline miles), often with lower annual fees, that also earn more miles per dollar than on the airline card, the co-branded cards were becoming completely useless. Even though they often offer double miles for purchases on their airline, other cards do even better than that for airfare.

-Starwood effectively earns 1.25 miles per dollar spent.
-Starwood business earns those 1.25 miles per dollar plus has Open Savings for up to 10% automatic cash back at places like HP, Microsoft, Fedex, Hyatt, and more on top of points.
-Premier Rewards Gold earns 3 miles per dollar on airfare and 2 miles per dollar on gas and groceries and a 15,000 point bonus when you spend $30,000 in a year, effectively making all purchases worth at least 1.5 miles per dollar if you can reach that threshold.
-Freedom with Exclusives earns 1.1 miles per dollar spent plus 10 miles per transaction and 5 miles per dollar in rotating categories (currently for grocery stores-and of course for gift cards sold at grocery stores).
-Sapphire Preferred earns 1.07 miles per dollar spent and 2.14 or 3.21 miles per dollar spent on dining, airfare, hotels, and car rentals.
-Ink Bold, Ink Cash, and Ink Classic earn 5 miles per dollar on office supplies (and gift cards sold at those stores) and on cable and telecom bills and 2 miles per dollar on gas and hotels.

To combat that Delta and United spruced up their offerings with benefits that make it worth having their cards.

-United MileagePlus Explorer gives the first checked bag for free you and a companion, priority boarding, the ability to always redeem for a standard award, your miles will never expire, 2 club passes every anniversary, and in a bid to make their card more competitive, a 10,000 miles bonus every year if you spend $25,000, which makes your effective earning at least 1.4 miles per dollar. The other big benefit they add is free primary car rental CDW coverage, as nearly every other credit card only gives coverage secondary to your own personal car insurance coverage.

-Delta AMEX gives the first checked bag for free for you and 8 companions and priority boarding as well. Plus it gives 20% off on food and entertainment spending on Delta flights. No real incentive to put any spending on the card though.
-Delta business gives the same as the consumer card, plus has Open Savings for up to 10% automatic cash back at places like HP, Microsoft, Fedex, Hyatt, and more on top of points.

The AA card didn’t offer any compelling reason to be a cardholder besides for the rotating reduced mileage awards.
Finally they have added some more reasons to be a cardholder:
-First checked bag for free for you and 4 companions
-Free priority boarding
-25% off in-flight purchases
-A 10% refund on award redemptions, of up to 10,000 miles refunded per year. The automatic refunds will process within 8 weeks of redeeming the miles.
-They have gotten rid of the ridiculous mileage earning cap (that no other card has) and reintroduced double miles on AA purchases.
-If you spend $30K on the card in a year you will get a $100 AA travel certificate.

Effective today, if you currently have the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Visa Signature, Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage World MasterCard, Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard, or the Citi Select AAdvantage American Express card you now have these benefits as well.

All in all not enough to make it worth spending on the card, but it can make having the card worthwhile if you travel on American.

AA, Delta, and United all waive their annual fee for their cards for the first year, and then charge $95.
I’d imagine it’s only a matter of time before USAirways introduces a card with waived baggage fees as well, as they are the odd one out after this move.

HT: ChAiM’l, via DDF

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AAdvantage Credit Card Reduced Mileage Awards For April-June 2012!

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Reduced Mileage Awards Linky

You can book tickets for 7,500 less miles than American Airlines regularly charges if you have an AAdvantage Select, Executive, or Business credit card.

To book these awards just call AA’s AAdvantage desk at 800-882-8880 and reference the following award code:
7,500 miles off Coach: TB8X7A
7,500 miles off Business/First: UB21X2A

You may be able to avoid the $25 phone booking charge by first placing a reservation on hold at aa.com and then calling up AAdvantage to have them reduce the cost of the award by 7,500 miles and ask for the fee to waived since it was originally booked on their website.

Below is a sample list of some of Q2’s valid destinations, origination is allowed from any US48 City.

-Charleston
-Cincinnati
-Memphis
-Minneapolis
-Omaha
-Tulsa

-Calgary
-Halifax
-Montreal
-Ottawa
-Vancouver

Note:
-Some people have had success with being able to originate from any “destination” city and fly to any US48 city for the discounted rate simply by holding the ticket on aa.com and then referencing the award code above to an AAdvantage agent to get the required mileage reduced by 7,500!
-Some people have also had success booking a one-way award for 8,750 miles (3,750 reduced miles)
-Neither are officially allowed, so your mileage may vary based on the rep you get!

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AAdvantage Credit Card Reduced Mileage Awards For January-March 2012!

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Q1 Reduced Mileage Awards Linky

You can book tickets for 7,500 less miles than American Airlines regularly charges if you have an AAdvantage Platinum Select Consumer or Business credit card.

To book these awards just call AA’s AAdvantage desk at 800-882-8880 and reference the following award code:
7,500 miles off Coach: TB8X7A
7,500 miles off Business/First: UB21X2A

You may be able to avoid the $20 phone booking charge by first placing a reservation on hold at aa.com and then calling up AAdvantage to have them reduce the cost of the award by 7,500 miles and ask for the fee to waived since it was originally booked on their website.

Below is a sample list of some of Q1’s valid destinations, origination is allowed from any US48 City.

-Atlanta
-Charlotte
-Cleveland
-Colorado Springs
-Kansas City
-Minneapolis
-New Orleans
-S Louis

-Calgary
-Halifax
-Montreal
-Ottawa
-Vancouver

Note:
-People have had success with being able to originate from any “destination” city and fly to any US48 city for the discounted rate simply by holding the ticket on aa.com and then referencing the award code above to an AAdvantage agent to get the required mileage reduced by 7,500!
-People have also had success booking a one-way award for 8,750 miles (3,750 reduced miles)
-Neither are officially allowed, so your mileage may vary based on the rep you get!

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Earn Double Elite Qualifying Miles On All American Airlines Flights!

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Promo Registration Linky

-Travel on American Airlines or American Eagle anywhere we fly from December 13, 2011, through January 31, 2012. You’ll earn double elite-qualifying miles, the miles that bring you closer to AAdvantage elite status membership – at an accelerated rate. It’s our way of saying “thank you” for your loyalty!

Previously booked travel will also qualify for double elite miles!

Waiting for Delta and United to match…

HT: Michoel R.

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American Airlines Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

American Airlines Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

Nervous about your miles? Don’t be.  And it’s not just because AA says not to worry.

Continental, Delta, United, and USAirways have all gone through chapter 11 in recent years without any harm done to their mileage programs.  The point of chapter 11 bankruptcy is simply to reduce the cost structure of the airline, not to shut everything down.

Mileage programs are extremely profitable for the airlines as they get to sell billions of dollars worth of miles to credit card companies and other incentive programs while primarily giving away seats that likely would have gone out unsold.

American Express helped Delta and Chase helped United by prepaying for massive amounts of miles when they were in bankruptcy court. I’m sure Citibank will do that same with American. That also provides a nice hedge against devaluing of their mileage programs as they won’t want to upset the banks that have bought billions of dollars worth of miles that are keeping the airlines afloat.

If there are any major hiccups in bankruptcy court, such as the threat of liquidation, that will be the time to start burning AAdvantage miles on partner airlines, but for now there’s no threat of that at all.

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AAdvantage Credit Card Reduced Mileage Awards For October-December 2011!

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Q4 Reduced Mileage Awards Linky

Fly to select cities worldwide for 7,500 less miles than American Airlines regularly charges if you have the AAdvantage World Mastercard, Visa Signature, Select AMEX, or Business card!

To book these awards just call AA’s AAdvantage desk at 800-882-8880 and reference the following award code:
7,500 miles off Coach: TG8X7A
7,500 miles off Business/First: UG21X2A

You may be able to avoid the $20 phone booking charge by first placing a reservation on hold at aa.com and then calling up AAdvantage to have them reduce the cost of the award by 7,500 miles and ask for the fee to waived since it was originally booked on their website.

Below is a sample list of some of Q4’s valid destinations, origination is allowed from any US48 City.
-Atlanta
-Cincinnati
-Houston/IAH
-Kansas City
-New Orleans

-Halifax
-Montreal
-Ottawa
-Toronto
-Vancouver

Note:
-People have had success with being able to originate from any “destination” city and fly to any US48 city for the discounted rate simply by holding the ticket on aa.com and then referencing the award code above to an AAdvantage agent to get the required mileage reduced by 7,500!
-People have also had success booking a one-way award for 8,750 miles (3,750 reduced miles)
-Neither are officially allowed, so your mileage may vary based on the rep you get!

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AA Nixes Its Overly Generous “All Miles Count” Million Miler Program…

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Update from AA: “We have good news for some of you. Members who have earned 1 Million Miler status since January 1, 2011, will have a limited opportunity to exchange eight (8) 500-mile upgrades for 35,000 AAdvantage bonus miles if none of the upgrades have been used. Please call AAdvantage Customer Service at 1-800-882-8880 (say “AAdvantage Account” when prompted at the Main Menu) to request this transaction.”

Related posts:
“How Do You Become An AAdvantage Lifetime Elite Member?” (03/20/08)

“AAdvantage Lifetime Platinum!” (07/15/09)

American Airlines has a very generous million miler program.  While other carriers only count actual flight miles to earn million miler status, AA has always counted all miles towards million miler. Yup, even miles earned from opening a credit card. miles earned from transferring points from Starwood to AA, or miles earned just for having cash sitting in your checking account.

You can check your lifetime miles by logging into your mileage account at AA.com and checking your “program to date miles”

At 1 million miles you become AA Gold for life. If you have a North American address you also get 8 500 miler domestic upgrades and if you have an international address on your AA account you get 4 international upgrades. Effective 12/01 you get 35K miles regardless of your address instead of the upgrades.
Gold status normally requires that you fly 25,000 miles per year.

At 2 million miles you become AA Platinum for life. You also get 4 international upgrades regardless of the address on your account.
You get 4 more international upgrades at every million miler level..
Platinum status normally requires that you fly 50,000 miles per year.

The “all miles count” will come to an end on November 30th. From then on only miles earned from flying will count towards million miler status. Miles earned on AA’s $450/year Citibank Executive AAdvantage Mastercard will also still count towards million miler throughout 2012 if the card is opened by 12/01/11.

All miles earned by 11/30/11 will still count towards million miler regardless of how they were earned.  Anyone who is lifetime gold or platinum will remain so regardless of how they earned the miles to get there.

Close to a million? Go for it!
-Open an AA card or 3.
-Through 08/31 you can buy 50K miles for $1,105 including taxes here.
-Share or gift miles.
-You can transfer 20K Starpoints into 25K AA miles that can be earned from the Starwood Consumer or Starwood Business card. Starwood also sells Starpoints, but at 3.5 cents per point they don’t come cheap!
-You can transfer Diners Club points into AA miles at a 1:1 ratio.
-Move your liquid assets into BankDirect to get more miles for having money in a checking account (1 mile per $10 in the account every month)
-AMEX Membership Rewards points don’t transfer to AA, but if you’re really really desperate then I suppose you can transfer 60,000 MR points into 20,000 Starpoints into 25,000 AA miles.
-Go on a mileage run and fly somewhere just to earn miles!
Post a comment with other suggestions!

What do you get for being elite?
1MM/Lifetime Gold Elite:
-4 evip systemwide upgrades (with international address)
Or
-8 500-mile upgrades (with domestic address)
-Waived award expedite fees
-Exit row seats for you and companions
-No baggage fees for you and companions
-No annual limit on Citi AA card earnings
-25% bonus redeemable miles on flights
-OneWorld Ruby Status
-500 mile minimum elite+redeemable miles on all segments
-Priority checkin, security, and boarding.
-Free standby
-Elite priority phone number
-Upgrades clear at 24 hours out

2MM/Lifetime Platinum Elite:
The above, plus
-Another 4 Evips regardless of address
-OneWorld International business lounge access
-OneWorld Sapphire
-100% bonus redeemable miles on flights
-Upgrades clear at 72 hours out
-Priority Baggage

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Earn Up To 3,500 AA Miles!

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

AA Miles Promo Linky

I typed in my AAdvantage number, and was offered 2,500 miles for subscribing to a whole bunch of spam from AA.

You can skip the silly video.  Post a comment with how many miles you got!

“To be eligible to receive any Gift, participant must keep each subscription(s) and preferences for a three (3) month period. Gift will be automatically deposited into the participant’s AAdvantage® account six (6) weeks after the end of each applicable three (3) month email enrollment period.”

HT: deals, via the DansDeals Forums

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AAdvantage Credit Card Reduced Mileage Awards For July-September 2011!

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Related: Details On 2011 Q2 Reduced Mileage Cities

Q3 Reduced Mileage Awards Linky

Fly to select cities worldwide for 7,500 less miles than American Airlines regularly charges if you have the AAdvantage World Mastercard, Visa Signature, Select AMEX, or Business card!

To book these awards just call AA’s AAdvantage desk at 800-882-8880 and reference the following award code:
7,500 miles off Coach: TD8X7A
7,500 miles off Business/First: UC21X2A

You may be able to avoid the $20 phone booking charge by first placing a reservation on hold at aa.com and then calling up AAdvantage to have them reduce the cost of the award by 7,500 miles and ask for the fee to waived since it was originally booked on their website.

Note:
-People have had success with being able to originate from any “destination” city and fly to any US48 city for the discounted rate simply by holding the ticket on aa.com and then referencing the award code above to an AAdvantage agent to get the required mileage reduced by 7,500!
-People have also had success booking a one-way award for 8,750 miles (3,750 reduced miles)
-Neither are officially allowed, so your mileage may vary based on the rep you get!

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Book A US49/Canada AA Award For Just 8,750 Miles Each Way!

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Related: AAdvantage Credit Card Reduced Mileage Awards For April-June 2011!


AA Offer Linky

Bookable now on AA.com

-Book by 06/10.

-Travel between 09/07/11 and 11/08/11.

Flights within the US49 and Canada will just 8,750 miles each way or just 17,500 miles round-trip!

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Get 250 AA AAdvantage Miles For Joining Best Western Rewards!

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Get 250 AA AAdvantage Miles For Joining Best Western Rewards!

HT: hocker, via the DansDeals Forums

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Californians: Enroll In AA Business ExtrAA, Fly 1 Round-Trip On AA, And Get A Free Round-Trip Ticket!

Monday, March 21st, 2011

AA Business ExtrAA Offer Linky

Enroll in AA’s Business ExtrAA program with a California address and take a flight by 06/30/11 and you’ll get 2,000 Business ExtrAA points, good for a free round-trip ticket good for travel within the US48, Canada, or Mexico though 12/31/13!

The points will post by 08/30/11.

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Earn 100 To 100,000 AAdvantage Miles For Liking AA On Facebook!

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Update: The miles have already posted to my AAdvantage account!

2 commenters below have reported winning 100,000 miles! Here’s the proof!


That’s awesome! Congrats!

Originally posted on 02/22:

AA Facebook Linky

Just like AA, enter your AAdvantage number and see how many miles you win!

Then post a comment to let us know how many you got!

Best of all they’ll extend the expiration of all of your AA miles for another 18 months!

You can get miles for your entire family all from the same facebook account!

Your AAdvantage miles will be deposited within 3 – 5 business days.

HT: hocker, via the DansDeals Forums

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Extend The Life Of Your AA Miles! Watch A Bose Video Online And Get 150 AA Miles, Go Into A Bose Store For A Noise-Cancelling Headphone Demo And Get 250 More AA Miles!

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Currently posting from: Bicheno, Tasmania, Australia

Offer Linky (Exp: 01/17/11)

Earn 150 for watching a video, 250 more for seeing an in-store demo, and 400 more for buying a pair in store.

Once you start watching the video you can just click here to fill out the form for the miles.

By getting these miles you will extend the life of all of your AA miles for 18 months!

HT: David, via the DansDeals Forums

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