AA, use miles or pay for ticket

Feb 16th, 2011, 10:28 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 511
AA, use miles or pay for ticket

I have done a search on these forums as well as a google search to try and determine if I should use miles or pay for a ticket on an upcoming trip. I need a one way domestic ticket in Japan, a ticket using AAdvantage miles is available and would cost 7,500 miles plus a $20 booking fee and taxes. I can purchase this ticket for 10,000 yen (about US$120) plus a $10 booking fee and taxes. As an elite AA member I do earn double miles and the mileage I'd earn is insignificant (about 1,500 miles with my bonus, of which 750 miles would be EQMs ). I am thinking of putting the miles into another One World account just to keep those miles valid, which is probably my biggest incentive for purchasing the ticket. I will requalify for AA platinum status without crediting miles for this flight. I don't need the 7,500 miles I would redeem as I'm not saving my miles for anything special.

What do fodorites suggest, should I purchase the ticket or redeem miles for the flight? Any suggestions/comments will be appreciated. Thank you.
RJames is offline  
Feb 17th, 2011, 04:25 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,003
Is 9000 miles (diff between revenue ticket & award ticket) worth $110? It would be to me: using that ratio, it would cost me about $1350 to collect enough miles for a business class ticket from the US to Japan (110,000 miles). Again if it's me, I'd keep the miles in my AA acc't.
DonTopaz is online now  
Feb 17th, 2011, 05:50 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Having suffered the loss of my expired 20K AA miles recently

(unless I want to buy them back for $50/5K miles plus fees).

with wicked AA(ouch) so I would use the miles.

I have elected to always use my AA miles quickly if possible.

I now have 40000 new miles thanks to my AA credit card though

but will use them as quickly as I can.
qwovadis is offline  
Feb 17th, 2011, 05:58 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,438
If it's a JAL flight (assuming so) then you don't earn Plat bonus, and you may or may not receive full mileage credit - see http://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/pa...anAirlines.jsp

As rizzuto says, 110/7500 is less than two cents per mile. My own rule of thumb is not to use miles when the redemption value is less than 2.5 cents (closer to 3 cents actually) but that's just me.

One thing to note is that miles gained through any channel go toward lifetime status (Gold with 1M total, Plat with 2M.) Don't know where you stand on that score, but if either goal is within reasonable shooting distance you might buy the ticket instead.
Gardyloo is online now  
Feb 17th, 2011, 07:10 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,003
If no PLT bonus, then comparison is $110 (difference in tkt cost) to 8250 miles (diff in ending mileage balance equals 7500+750).
DonTopaz is online now  
Feb 17th, 2011, 07:36 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 511
Thanks for the replies.

Yes, this is a JAL flight and I wasn't aware that as a platinum member I would not get 100% bonus miles. Lifetime gold status is within reach, but 750 miles isn't a significant amount of mileage to add to my account. Most of the miles I earn are from long haul transatlantic or transpacific flights. So, I'm used to seeing my miles increase by the thousands after each paid trip. After this year I'll have about 870,000 lifetime miles with AA. I also have a BA account with enough miles for a free ticket that I just haven't used and I was thinking of earning the miles with BA, just to keep the BA miles valid. All the BA miles were earned on transatlantic flights with BA between the US and the UK before the agreement last year I could not accumulate AA miles on US to UK transpacific BA flights. As for the JAL ticket can anybody confirm what booking class a Yokoso fare is booked in, my understanding is that it's booked in Y, not all JAL booking codes qualify to earn BA miles. I've asked the JAL agents and all they keep saying is that it's a special "Yokoso" fare in economy.
RJames is offline  
Feb 17th, 2011, 07:52 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 511
I would like to add the reason why I haven't used my BA miles is because each year I have been buying tickets to requalify for platinum status and earn double miles with AA.
RJames is offline  
Feb 19th, 2011, 09:24 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 511
Just want to report back that these fares book in Y class.
RJames is offline  
Feb 21st, 2011, 09:10 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,596
7,500 miles or 9,000 miles is nothing, given the number of miles you probably have in your accounts. 10,000 yen is something, enough for a night in a business hotel and a bento - which you can't buy with miles.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Feb 21st, 2011, 09:42 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,596
If AA offered you 9000 miles at 1.33 cents per mile, $120, would you buy the miles? If the answer is no, then the miles are not worth 1.33 cents per mile.

Buying a ticket to keep miles active in another account does add to the value of the ticket, but how much is that worth to you? Or are you likely to have a car rental or hotel stay soon enough where you can earn miles into that account?
mrwunrfl is online now  
Feb 21st, 2011, 10:52 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 511
mrwunrfl, your 1.10 pm comment is exactly what I was orginally thinking when I started this thread.

I have bought the ticket, before I bit the bullet I did check BA's hotel partners and their rates and locations in the cities I will be visiting this year and none of the hotels were feasible (poor location, no hotels the cities I will visit, etc). As I don't get 100% bonus miles and I would like to keep the BA miles valid I credit this flight to BA. I have enough BA miles for a free ticket, which hopefully I'll be able to use one day.
RJames is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 07:00 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,596
Good choice. Both are good deals and the diff was small potatoes. Keeping those other miles active is a good bonus.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
ngodeia
Air Travel
18
Apr 21st, 2008 03:47 AM
goingtomiami
Air Travel
10
Mar 22nd, 2008 10:41 AM
DebitNM
United States
7
Feb 8th, 2008 12:43 PM
laurie_ann
Air Travel
6
Mar 7th, 2005 02:32 PM
shahnm77
Air Travel
11
Feb 20th, 2004 08:02 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:58 AM.