American Airlines Playing Games With Award Availability on Non-Stop Flights?

This isn’t an exact science but my theory says that AA plays games with award space to keep it’s loyal customers from booking the best non-stop routes with miles. So say you want to book an award flight from the USA to Europe. We’ll pick DFW to Madrid for an example. So I’m searching 11 months out for my example:

DFW-MAD

I’m thrilled because I found an actual non-BA flight with awards space for 2 passengers!

dfwmad

Now this is not bad but I don’t actually live in DFW so I’m willing to stage from my non-hub to other hubs like say Chicago ORD. Since I’d rather not have an extra leg I just want the ORD-MAD flight. It’s available as part of this booking, right?

Think again here is the ORD-MAD non-BA selections for this same date:

ORDMAD

Gosh that’s weird. Why isn’t that same non-stop Iberia flight available? Oh well it looks like I can just stage to JFK and pick one of the TWO Iberia flights for that date. Not as close for me and I’ll likely need to trek from LGA to JFK but it should work OK. At least I can save that extra leg from ORD, right?

jfkmad

Well think again. I’d have to fly to Boston I guess. Boston is not an easy connection for me but hey at least that one is available. Maybe I managed to corner AA enough into Boston? To me this is silly. It’s either a poor system that doesn’t work well OR….done intentionally to keep you from booking the best flights on awards for some odd reason.

bosmad

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New American Airlines Elite Level

Welcome to Platinum Pro the new AA elite level. Funny how they mask this with the $$$ EQD requirements.

 

Platinum Pro

Elite status in 2017

New status level

In 2017 you can start earning toward a new level, Platinum Pro, with benefits like:

I’m sure the many other bloggers will beat this to death. Here is the link to see more.

Most likely the ability to use 500 mile coupons by Ex Plats for Award ticket upgrades may be the most interesting.

AAdvantage program updates   AAdvantage   American Airlines

Delta Status Match, Maybe…

If you hold status on another airline you can “try” this Delta Corporate status match link to get status with Delta for 3 months plus the challenge to keep it beyond. On top of that if you complete the challenge you get 10,000 miles or Skypesos.  Beware your miles may vary. The biggest hurtle is that you have to enter your corporate email address. If you work for a large corporation this “may” work for you but no promises. Don’t come kill the messenger.

delta capture

Good luck.

It’s been a fun ride so far, Hang in there.

I think we may be on the downhill side of the golden age of mile hacking or whatever you like to call it. The credit cards are getting tougher on sign up bonuses. The airlines and hotels are devaluing the awards and making them more restrictive. There seem to be less and less free miles out there. You know those “follow us on twitter” and get 500 miles, etc. #repeatandchurn.

My favorite deal in the past was the US Airways Grand Slam events. It’s how I got started in “the game”. I miss it soooooo much. Sure earning the miles was the goal but it was like a worldwide scavenger hunt to figure out how to rent a car for 5 minutes for like $15 to get a hit or how to buy that $2 cat collar on skymall when you don’t own a cat. It was just fun. I really thanks Mommypoints for turning me on to that fun time.

I think the miles and points world is changing. It had to. Technology is catching up to the error fare deals, OTA’s and app-o-rama’s. The bright spot left is maybe just doing old fashion mileage runs. Not because they are a good deal for the miles you earn but because they help you earn status and miles and go places you want to go. We’ve become addicted to the travel in nice seats. Now it’s about how to keep traveling. Sure we’ll get a few drive-by deals and I pity the poorly organized promo’s that we will be sure to exploit. But it’s like a rolling or flying party. We have our own rock stars (Gary, Seth, Summer and many others) and we all seem to want to fly to exotic locations in big front seats.

I’ve earned and burned over 1,000,000 AA miles in the past few years but only 100k or so are EQM’s and sitting on a lowly Gold status. Maybe I’m going about it the wrong way…Stay tuned.

(Flying in First on AA 77W DFW-HKG (for free)).

20150623_123446

American to update AA54 and AA 55 ORD-MAN with 787

I have an award trip booked from Kansas City to Vienna via ORD, MAN, LHR on AA for late Summer. I was excited to finally find 3 award seats in business on these flights but wasn’t super excited about the old 767-300 metal. Then this morning I got a tweet from @airlineroute showing that American is revising the operating aircraft from June through October to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. I’m excited to finally fly the new Dreamliner. I think this is a good fit on this route.

 

I just hope they can use that 767 to make another route better over the summer. How about Hawaii AA, come on.

http://airlineroute.net/2016/01/31/aa-man-jun16/

 

airlineroute on Twitter   American Airlines Adds Boeing 787 Manchester Service June   Oct 2016 ✈ https   t.co d9j8NWGHPP

Is Copa the new Aegean ? 18 months to earn Star Silver or Gold

Partnerships   ConnectMiles   Copa Airlines1Partnerships   ConnectMiles   Copa Airlines2

I was just updating my new profile on my new Copa Airlines Connectmiles account. You know the one where you can sign up and get 1,000 miles and update your profile and get 2,000 more plus another 1,000 if you sign up for new account now until the end of June 2015.

More info at Mommypoints:

Or on View From The Wing:

I noticed that to earn elite status with this program it’s fairly typical. 20,000 miles to Star Alliance Silver and 45,000 to Star Alliance Gold.What caught my eye though is that since the program is launching in the middle of 2015 they are allowing 18 months to earn these mile levels. Seems like a nice way to obtain elite status or at least Star Gold I’m thinking. Now the signup bonus miles won’t count because they aren’t EQM’s and the opportunities to earn bonus miles via credit cards are really limited to certain countries it could be worth crediting BIS (butt in seat) miles here if your trying to get Star Gold down the road but don’t fly enough to get over the goal each year.

PreferProgram Qualification   ConnectMiles   Copa Airlines

Why can’t AA put better aircraft on Hawaii routes?

So your a run of the mill road warrior business traveler and maybe have a credit card that earns miles on American Airlines (AA). You work hard traveling to sales meetings in places like Moline Illinois, Cleveland Ohio and Fresno California. You stay at crappy low level Hilton or Marriott motels just so you can dream of the free hotel rooms and award flights to Hawaii that you’ll take your loving spouse to. It will make up for all the nights on the road.  Heck you even fly so much you’ve earned elite status on (insert name here but we’ll use AA as the example). You get a few upgrades to “First” class if you want to call the first 3 rows on an old A319 “First” but heck it beats the cattle car in the back.

Finally after years of saving miles and hotel points you book that dream trip to Hawaii just so you won’t have to go to that Northern Wisconsin widget convention in January. Your so excited as you book that trip online from your hotel room in Tulsa. You can’t wait to tell your wife about the plan to bask on the beach in Hawaii in January. Then it dawns on you. What type of aircraft fly that Phoenix to Honolulu route anyway?  Yes the good old 757-200 first made in 1983.  Sure the seats are a little old looking but hey don’t worry about spilling that mia-tia as they are water resistant now from all the human skin oil that has soaked into them. Gross I know.

So you tough out that long day flight in the 1980’s recliner and get to Hawaii. Your on the beach with a million other pale white victims. You enjoy your short vacation only to board that overnight flight back and find that the old “First Class” seats don’t lay flat, there is sad food choices and not much entertainment on board. WiFi you ask, what’s that?

My points with all this is that American as well as many other carriers needs to up the aircraft choices on the Hawaii routes. They seem to figure that since many of the passengers are croc, yoga pants and ed hardy PJ wearing clods and wouldn’t know “First Class” if it hit them over the head so why not put the new aircraft on these “tourist” routes. Besides they are closer to the boneyard in Arizona when they limp home on that last flight. The problem with this plan is that many folks like you frequent flyers know better. It’s a good 6 hour flight about equal to flying to Europe. Let’s pick it up a notch.

This:

Current-AA-767-200-First-Product

Or this?

777-gallery15