AA Fare Classes for JFK-LHR/CDG

Nov 9th, 2006, 08:56 AM
  #1  
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AA Fare Classes for JFK-LHR/CDG

Hi, I've been looking at fares for JFK to LHR or CDG. The fares have been about $500 for winter. I guess they're not that great, but I was quite surprised when I looked at the fare codes. It turns out they're all code S.

According to AA's website, the class S gives half mileage.

http://tinyurl.com/awebg

Is this another way for airlines to sneak something under the table?

I flew AA a couple of times in the past two years, and I think that I've always earned 100% miles even for low season.

I've been checking a JFK-CDG, LHR-JFK open-jaw for next weekend. This morning, I was surprised that the price dropped to about $525. I wondered whether to book it, and I discovered that it was class S on both legs.

The price went up by $60 when I checked again because the CDG leg went to M.

Now it went up by another $30 when I checked because the CDG leg went to K.

Anyway, I'm paying attention to these fare codes because AA allows a Platinum challenge for 10000 qualifying miles/points within a 3 month period. Until full mileage, 3 legs of a trip to Europe would do it. But if the standard is now 50% for the lowest fares, it's much more challenging.
111op is offline  
Nov 9th, 2006, 11:22 AM
  #2  
 
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You're confusing points with miles. S fare will earn 100% mileage, but only 50% points (not so good for plat challenge). Challenges are based on POINTS only, not miles, so you need 5K points for Gold and 10K points for Plat.

Deep Discount Economy Class G, Q**, N, O**, S 100%
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Nov 9th, 2006, 12:11 PM
  #3  
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Thanks for the clarification. I'm still a little confused. On that info page, the qualification is indicated as "qualifying miles/points."

For my current account, I've about 11,000 elite qualifying miles, but only about 6700 elite qualifying points.

How could this situation arise?

Does S actually earn 100% qualifying miles also?

Otherwise this seems like a rather bizarre scenario to have qualifying miles > qualifying points.

Thanks!
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Nov 9th, 2006, 01:32 PM
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One attains or retains elite status by amassing 25,000 (Gold) 50,000 (Plat) or 100,000 (EXP) qualifying points OR qualifying miles, whichever comes first. You an also achieve those levels by flying 30, 60, or 100 segments (different flight nos.) respectively.

Economy fares earning 0.5 point per mile are not good if you're planning on using points to qualify; you'd have to fly twice as far. Business or first class fares, or the full-fare economy ones, earn 1.5 points per mile, so faster to get to the threshold that way, albeit more expensive.

The challenges use only points, so an S fare over the water will only earn 1/2 the total points that a 1 pt./mi fare would (or of course 1/3 the points of a business fare.)

Once one has attained the relevant status, future maintenance or promotion hinges on flying either the miles or earning the points.
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Nov 9th, 2006, 01:37 PM
  #5  
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Thanks -- I didn't realize that the challenges are based on points.

But does S earn 100% qualifying miles?
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Nov 9th, 2006, 01:40 PM
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AA status challenges are based on points, (miles too, but it's double of the requirement).

You need 5K points for gold or 10k for platinum. There is no Executive Platinum challenge.

Points are given according to fare codes. With most fare codes you will earn 100% miles, but not so with points. The miles will be yours and will count towards status, but it's the POINTS that will count towards the challenge.

For the moment, let's forget about the challenge.

Earning status with points is great for anybody that flies on a full fare, business or first class fares. These folks earn 1.5 points for every mile flown so an Executive Platinum needing 100K miles will earn status with a lot less flying if it's done on full fare, business or first class fares, as they will only need 66.7K miles to reach status, whereas a budget fare person will need the full 100K miles.

Back to the challenge....

AA asks anybody that wants to do the challenge to earn 5K points or 10K miles for gold or 10K points or 20K miles for plat in a 3 monthe period. So, if you were flying on expensive fares, you can finish the challenge a lot quicker as you earn 1.5 points per mile flown, but OTOH, if you are flying on the deep discounted fares then you are looking at the full mileage requirement as you will only get .5 points per mile flown, so for plat you will need 20K MILES.

I'm on my way to London, and I had few drinks at the DFW D AC so I'm not sure I'm making sense......
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Nov 9th, 2006, 01:45 PM
  #7  
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Wow. Enjoy your trip to London, AA.

Thanks -- that's fine. I understood the points part for the challenge after these explanations.

But if you forget about the challenge, let's say you think about Plat or Gold for the entire year. In this case then among all the budget Economy fares, the distinction between points and miles isn't relevant, is it?

I mean -- S fares will still earn 100% qualifying miles, right?

Thanks.
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Nov 9th, 2006, 02:38 PM
  #8  
 
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Yes, S fares earn 100% mileage, just as it says on the AA website.

Of course the distinction between miles and points is relevant if you're trying to retain your status. If you fly 66,667 miles in first class or business class, you'll make EXP based on points (66,667 x 1.5 = 100,000 points.) If you ride in discount coach, you'll have 66,667 miles but only 33,334 points, enough for Platinum, but way short of either miles or points for EXP. So both points and miles are important once one attains elite status.
Gardyloo is online now  
Nov 9th, 2006, 03:18 PM
  #9  
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I guess what I'm trying to say is that under the normal qualification methods, the calculation with miles will always give you a higher number towards qualification.

So in that sense, points don't matter. I don't see why anyone would want to use a qualification by points, since by definition, points < miles, and the qualification says that you need x number of points or miles.

But points do matter if you're doing the shortcut challenge method because points and miles are not equivalent for qualification.

Let me know if I understand this correctly now.

Thanks.
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Nov 9th, 2006, 03:24 PM
  #10  
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I'm sorry. I guess I didn't quite get it right.

Points < Miles if you only buy discounted economy tickets.

I guess I don't ever fly Business or First, so I didn't worry about that part.

In my case, it always makes sense to buy the cheapest tickets.

But if I'm trying the challenge, then the distinction between points and miles becomes important.

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Nov 12th, 2006, 01:29 PM
  #11  
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This is probably not the right place to ask, but re the AA challenges. I called and they said that I can't simultaneously enroll in Gold and Plat challenges. Is this true?

That's not what I gather from the web. I'm planning to call them again.
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Nov 12th, 2006, 01:32 PM
  #12  
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Sorry -- my mistake. This webpage says that you can bypass the Gold Challenge and try for Plat. It doesn't say that you can't go for both.

http://members.shaw.ca/fewmiles/AA/recht/challenge.html
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Nov 12th, 2006, 03:05 PM
  #13  
 
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You're right, this is not the place.

They generally don't approve simultaneous challenges any more; but they never have agreed to it in the same phone call. Sign up for one, then the other - later.
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