HELP - AA - Use Miles or Earn Miles?

Old Mar 15th, 2008, 12:24 PM
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HELP - AA - Use Miles or Earn Miles?

I have an award ticket on hold until today, I am debating if I should buy a ticket and earn miles or use an award ticket.

The ticket I need will cost $1000, including taxes and fees. I am flying from Toronto to Lima on AA. I am a platinum member and I earn double miles, so I will earn about 16,000 miles. The same flights are availble on an award ticket, (30, 000 miles) taxes and fees are $70.

What should I do?

Any advise would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old Mar 15th, 2008, 01:06 PM
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There are some questions you need to ask yourself.

1. Will the 8K elite qualifying miles help you retain Platinum status? if so the 8K miles are worth a great deal more than the 8K elite bonus miles. Very important to consider when doing your cost/expense calculation.

2. Do I earn miles at will? If so, then do the award, if not, save it for a really nice trip in first class to some exotic, far away place.

3. Can I afford the ticket?

4. What value do I put on each mile?

5. Get the calculator out and do the math...

You need to answer the questions one at a time in the order I presented and only then you will come to a satisfactory conclusion.
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Old Mar 15th, 2008, 01:47 PM
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To me, it would be right on the cusp of award v. purchased flight, but I would tend to go the purchased route in order to accumulate miles for better deals later in terms of cost/benefit.

That said, I personally would use the (to me, at least) glitch in the AA award charts that allow one-way mileage upgrades to northern S. America for 12,500 miles - less than on all-North American routes. It's a long way in coach, even if your Plat status allows you to pick exit row seats.

If the upgrades don't clear, you don't lose the miles.

BTW I believe the N. America - n. South America coach redemption is actually 35K miles, not 30K.
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Old Mar 15th, 2008, 04:15 PM
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Spend 30,000 miles for a $930 ticket? That is no-brainer for me. I think this is a very good use of miles - for a free ticket. You are getting a good value.

You could look at it as spending 46,000 miles vs $930. Even at that price you are getting two cents per mile.

The only exception to spending the miles for this trip would be if I needed the elite qualifying miles.

If you don't use the miles for this trip, then when?

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Old Mar 15th, 2008, 04:21 PM
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Hi AAFF and Gardyloo, thanks for the comments.

AAFF, I have been asking myself the exact same questions, my biggest incentive for paying for a ticket is to earn the miles, and to requalify for Platinum. Unfortunately, I very much doubt that I will be able to maintain Platinum status. So, then, it really boils down to ...do I want to spend $1000 and earn 16,000 miles.

I have a few hours to keep debating, (and torturing myself.) I am leaning to redeeming the miles. The way I see this is 25K (5k less than what I'm redemming) is a free domestic coach ticket, which will never cost anywhere near $1000.

I have had Platinum for several years, over the years I have been to just about every place I wanted to visit, using miles (even in Premium cabins) and paying for tickets. Either way, AAdvantage has been good to me.
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Old Mar 15th, 2008, 04:24 PM
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Gardyloo, Sorry, I forgot to mention that a reward ticket to Peru is either 30K, 35K, 60K or 70K in economy, depending of dates of travel and availbility.

mrwunrfl, sorry i was typing when you were posting your reply. Thanks for your input.

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Old Mar 21st, 2008, 05:21 PM
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Excuse me for hijacking this thread, but I remember AAFF telling us you reach a new level after earning one million miles. Is it platinum or something else?
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Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 05:41 AM
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1MM = Lifetime (AAdvantage lifetime) Gold (Domestic members get 8 500 miles upgrades, international members get 4 e-VIPs, system wide free upgrades)

2MM - Lifetime Platinum (all members get 4 e-VIPs)

AFAIK there is no Lifetime Executive Platinum unless it's a super secret club that I have not reached yet...
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Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 05:50 AM
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Is that 1MM actual flying miles? I'm acquiring most of miles in other ways these days.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 06:08 AM
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AAny miles, all miles.....

AA seems to be the exception in that dept. Most programs require butt in the seat miles....
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Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 10:41 AM
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Thanks for the scoop AAFF. I've been an Aadvantage member for several years but about a year ago I decided to give CO a try. I'm now reconsidering that decision, especially since rkkwan mentioned how hard it is to get award tix thru CO.
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