American Airlines Offering “Fast Track” on Executive Platinum Requalification for Matched United 1K’s and Global Services Members

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Back in April I wrote about the American Airlines’ offer for disgruntled United Airlines Mileage Plus members. AA was going to match the UA status for the same level i.e. United Global Services to AA Concierge Key. Airlines don’t normally match to their highest level so this offer was unheard of.

I also took up on the offer as I had been “downgraded” from Executive Platinum status to my lifetime Platinum one. It took American Airlines about three weeks to process the match.

Considering that most of the United frequent fliers were matched when close to five months of the year was already gone, it was smart move from AA’s part to make the offer below to those that were matched.

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Essentially AA is prorating the requirement for Executive Platinum status to take into account the number of months that are left. Instead of requiring 100K elite qualifying miles or points, the requirement for those that were matched is now 55K by the end of the year.

Here’s the small print of this offer:

(1) Elite-qualifying activity includes eligible travel on American Airlines, American Eagle, the AmericanConnection® carrier, alloneworld® member airlines and their affiliates, Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air and/or American Airlines marketed codeshare flights.

Elite-Status Offer Terms and Conditions
This is an exclusive offer only for members who receive this email directly from American Airlines. You have been pre-enrolled for this offer. No registration is required.

AAdvantage Executive Platinum® membership received through this offer is valid through February 28, 2014. To qualify, you must earn 55,000 elite-qualifying miles or points between April 24, 2012, and December 31, 2012. Bonus elite qualifying miles earned through special promotions are excluded. Upon reaching the required mileage threshold, your AAdvantage elite-status membership benefits will take effect immediately. Your new membership credentials will be mailed to you within four to six weeks after qualification. You must re-qualify for AAdvantage elite-status membership annually. For details regarding the standard qualification levels, click here.

Systemwide Upgrade Offer Terms and Conditions
In order to receive eight (8) one-way Systemwide Upgrades, you must earn 30,000 elite-qualifying miles or points between April 24, 2012, and August 31, 2012. If you qualify, eight (8) one-way Systemwide Upgrades will be deposited into your account within two weeks following the end of the qualification period and will be valid for travel through February 28, 2014. Elite-qualifying miles and points are earned for eligible travel on American Airlines, American Eagle, the AmericanConnection carrier, all oneworld member airlines and their affiliates, Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air and/or American Airlines marketed codeshare flights. For complete Systemwide Upgrade terms and conditions, visit AA.com/systemwideupgrades.

This is a post-only email. Please do not reply to this message unless you are unsubscribing from American Airlines transactional emails. To unsubscribe from this type of email, click here. For all inquiries about American Airlines or the AAdvantage program, visitwww.aa.com/contactaa, or send an email to webmaster@aa.com, or contact us in writing at:
American Airlines AAdvantage® program, PO Box 619688, D/FW Airport Texas USA 75261-9688

AAdvantage® Program Terms and Conditions
American Airlines reserves the right to change the AAdvantage® program and its terms and conditions at any time without notice, and to end the AAdvantage® program with six months notice. Any such changes may affect your ability to use the awards or mileage credits that you have accumulated. Unless specified, AAdvantage miles earned through this promotion/offer do not count toward elite-status qualification or Million Miler(SM) status. American Airlines is not responsible for products or services offered by other participating companies. For complete details about the AAdvantage program, visit
AAdvantage® program terms and conditions

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American Airlines, Inc.

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Getting My United Premier 1K Status Matched to American Airlines Executive Platinum

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On April 27th I wrote a piece about how American Airlines had started to poach United’s frequent fliers and match them to equivalent level on AA’s program up to Concierge Key.

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Soon after, the program was apparently limited only to United 1K’s and Global Services members and others were given a paid challenge.

When there is a program like this that won’t go forever one should not procrastinate, like I did, but just do it immediately. I finally got my act together and decided to email my United account statement to American Airlines on May 2nd, 2012.

Had I done it on the date I wrote about this, I would have not only received the Executive Platinum status, but also 8 evips.

I have had the Executive Platinum status with AA for couple of years, but had it lapse last year, when I moved out of the States. I have a lifetime Platinum status with American due to being a 2.7 million miler with the program, although most of the miles have come from transfers from hotel programs and credit card spend.

The reason why I decided to do the match after all was that it was not once in a lifetime, and it will give me better lounge access, if I fly in economy or business, and there happens to be a first class lounge like in London, Hong Kong, and Sydney.

It took American about two weeks to verify the information I had emailed them, and received the following email earlier today:

Thanks for contacting AAdvantage® Customer Service. We’re sorry you’ve
been kept waiting.

We appreciate your desire to make American Airlines your first choice
for all your travel needs. We are eager to earn your business and your
loyalty, and are confident we can provide you with the high-quality
service you expect.

Please accept our invitation to experience some of the special benefits
we provide to members at our highest elite-status level. In a few weeks
you will receive your AAdvantage Executive Platinum® membership card,
which is valid through February 28, 2013. This unique membership affords
you all of the privileges and most of the benefits of this level,
including:

**Unlimited complimentary upgrades confirmed as early as 100 hours prior
to departure
**100% mileage bonus on the base miles flown on select carriers
**Complimentary access to Main Cabin Extra and Preferred seating
**Priority Baggage Delivery
**Waived charges for two checked bags
**PriorityAccessSM privileges at airport check-in, security and boarding
gates

Plus, you will receive 8 complimentary one-way Systemwide Upgrades if
you earn 30,000 elite-qualifying miles or points between April 24, 2012
and August 31, 2012.  Systemwide Upgrades are valid for worldwide travel
on American Airlines and allow you to confirm an available seat in the
next class of service at the time of booking (subject to availability).
Visit www.aa.com/systemwideupgrades for details about using these
upgrades.

We hope that your introduction to life at the top on American Airlines
will convince you to requalify for full AAdvantage Executive Platinum
status through February 28, 2014. You can do that by earning 100,000
elite-qualifying miles or points, or flying 100 elite-qualifying
segments, during the 2012 calendar year. For details on earning
qualifying miles or points, visit www.aa.com/elitestatus.

We look forward to welcoming you aboard the next time you travel. Enjoy
your upgrade to AAdvantage Executive Platinum status!

Fare War Over the Atlantic: Most US/Canadian Cities to London in Business Class for Less than $2K RT

There seems to be a flash fare war brewing over the Atlantic. AA and BA were advertising Queen’s Jubilee two day sale and soon other carriers were matching as well. The last day to book these is today 17th of May.

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You can now find airfares to London on Virgin Atlantic, Air Canada, United Airlines, Delta, Air France, American Airlines, Iberia, and British Airways and probably on few others as well for less than $2K return in business class.

Most of these fares have relatively tight outbound window from North America to Europe, but the return can happen within the ticket validity/fare rules.

These $2K fares out from the eastern seaboard are not that common during holiday periods. They are, however, rare from the west coast.

Hyatt Gold Passport Summer 2012 Promotion for up to Five Times the Miles

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Hyatt has teamed up with number of airlines; Air China, Air France-KLM, ANA, American Airlines, British Airways, China Eastern, Delta Air Lines, Etihad, Lufthansa, Qatar, Southwest, and United to offer up to five times the miles or points.

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This promotion starts on May 1st and end of August 30th, 2012. You will receive the normal number of miles or points for the first stay, triple bonus for stays 2 and 3, and quadruple miles or points for the stays 4 to 11.

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Please note that this promotion is NOT based on nights but rather on stays. You will receive the same number of miles or points regardless how many nights you stay. The promotion is capped at 11 stays.

The cumulative maximum number of points that you would earn by having 11 stays on Air China’s and China Eastern’s programs would be 39200. By crediting 11 stays to Southwest’s Rapid Rewards would earn you 29400 points. In all other programs the cumulative number of points after 11 stays would be the grand total of 24500 miles/points.

This promotion quite frankly works for me. Most of my stays are for one night. Getting 2500 miles for a one night stay is a rather good deal. Maybe I will finally set my foot to Hyatt property this year.

Air China – Phoenix Miles

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Air France-KLM Flying Blue

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ANA Mileage Club

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American Airlines AAdvantage

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British Airways Executive Club

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China Eastern

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Delta Air Lines SkyMiles

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Etihad Guest

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Lufthansa Miles & More

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Qatar Airways – Privilege Club

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Southwest Airlines – Rapid Rewards

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United Airlines – Mileage Plus

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Here are the promotional terms and conditions of the United offer, but they are basically identical for each of these airlines.

More stays means 5X more miles and even more rewards

ELIGIBILITY: To be eligible to participate in the Hyatt Summer Airline Promotion (“Promotion”), you must be a member of Hyatt Gold Passport and a member of United MileagePlus.

HOW TO REGISTER: Between April 1, 2012 and August 31, 2012 (“Promotion Period”), you can register for Promotion via hyatt.com/UNITEDSUM12A or by calling 1-800-228-3360 and requesting enrollment code UA12S. You must register in advance for stays to qualify. Stays completed before registration are not eligible. You only need to register once.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE: After registering for the Promotion, complete two (2) or more stays at any participating Park Hyatt®, Andaz®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt®, Hyatt Place® , Hyatt House™ or Hyatt Residence Club™ hotel and resort worldwide between May 1, 2012 and August 31, 2012 (“Stay Period”) and request United MileagePlus miles for each Eligible Stay. You must provide your United MileagePlus member number at check-in for each Eligible Stay. For each Eligible Stay during the Stay Period, you will earn the award miles as summarized in the chart below. A Eligible Stay is a stay at a participating hotel during the Stay Period with at least one (1) Eligible Night during the stay and request United MileagePlus miles for each stay. For the purpose of this Promotion, an “Eligible Night” is defined as one (1) night at any participating hotel or resort at an Eligible Rate when choosing United MileagePlus miles as the method of loyalty reward upon check-in at a participating Hyatt property and paying an Eligible Rate (as defined below). Award nights do not constitute an Eligible Night. Hyatt Gold Passport members will only receive eligible night credit for the room they physically occupy, regardless of the number of paid rooms. Only stays that occur after registration for Promotion will be counted as Eligible Stays.

American Airlines Offering Status Matches to United’s Frequent Fliers

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American Airlines has started directly to match United’s frequent fliers to a similar level on AA’s program. This is an unheard development from AA that has previously required fliers to do challenges and only up to a Platinum level.

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This time, however, American Airlines is matching from Gold all the way up to the Concierge Key status. This development was first reported on FlyerTalk.

United Status = Equivalent AA status

Premier Silver to AAdvantage Gold

Premier Gold to AAdvantage Platinum

Premier Platinum to AAdvantage Platinum

Premier 1K to AAdvantage Executive Platinum

Global Services to Concierge Key

Here’s what you need to do

You need to call AA at 1-800-882-8880 and request a status match from United’s program. American will shortly send you an email outlying the process.

American Airlines requires a copy of your current United Mileage Plus card and/or copy of your online statement that shows the current status.

You can either send these by email to aadvantage_customer_svc@wwwmail.aa.com or by fax (817) 963-7882. American requests that the subject line of the email or the fax would be “Requesting AAdvantage Elite Status”.

If American Airlines accepts your documents, the new status will reflect in about 10 days and is valid until the February 28th, 2013.

Why American is doing this?

United and Continental are going through the integration process of the two airlines, and it hasn’t been a smooth process. American is going through equally messy bankruptcy proceedings and US Airways is trying to buy the airline.

Should I try AA?

Personally, I have had 1K status with United longer than the Executive Platinum with AA. Last year, I qualified for the 1K, but didn’t for the Executive Platinum status as I moved out from the United States.

I have found that the Star Alliance as an alliance fits my travel needs better than Oneworld due to greater number of carriers and network coverage.

If you care about unlimited domestic upgrades, the AA’s program is the way to go at the Executive Platinum level. Lower level elites do not get unlimited upgrades on AA, but need to use sticker upgrades that are awarded based on the number of miles flown, or they can simply buy them in bundles.

Executive Platinum members are also awarded 8 evips per year that can be used to upgrade domestic or international flights from even the lowest economy fares to business or from business to first. These upgrades typically clear, although sometimes only at the gate.

This year American has been offering number of double elite qualifying promotions, so requalifying this year is not impossible even if the third of the year has already passed.

Conclusion

It is a no brainer to apply for this match even if you wouldn’t be currently planning to fly on American Airlines. If you have an Premier 1K status or Global Services with United and can get AA to match you Executive Platinum or Concierge Key, it is really a no lose situation to try AA out. You might be positively surprised or at least fly on AA until the United has managed to sort out its merger related problems.

There has been few status matches around recently. SAS is matching to their EuroBonus Silver or Gold if you have a status with competing airline and an address in Hong Kong or in China. EuroBonus Gold gives you all the Star Alliance Gold benefits. Etihad was running a status match campaign for Etihad Guest Gold status that just expired. Alaska Airlines is continuing doing matches to their MVP status.

British Airways & Hawaiian Airlines Awards Now Bookable on AA.com

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American Airlines has now made awards on British Airways and Hawaiian Airlines bookable on AA.com. If you search for itineraries, results including these two airlines and Alaska Airlines will automatically show up among American Airlines’ own flights.

Note that there are sometimes glitches on award pricing on AA.com as I documented recently. On the following example the return 5K is priced correctly due to HNL being a stopover. On the way to JNB, however, I don’t think that there should be 5K charge for the feeder flight.

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The real shocker is the fuel surcharges on flights involving BA. AA lumps these to taxes and surcharges and doesn’t itemize them. If you click few times around AA further explains about “carrier imposed surcharges”. On my example above the BA “imposed” fuel surcharges are about $1400.

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It is easy to find the real taxes associated with the itinerary. As I was only interested about the BA fuel surcharges, I constructed an itinerary using ITA to find out the actual fuel surcharges on the four BA flights.

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Constructing an itinerary like the one above was fairly easy. You just plug in the origin and destination and AA will display the flights that it can find. You can then choose the ones that suit you best, if there are multiple options.

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This ability to book increasing number of partners on AA.com without having to talk to the reservations, is a welcomed feature. I hope that they would get other partners online as soon as possible as well.

American Airlines Offering Bonus Miles for Flights to Australia on Qantas QF20K

American has currently so many different bonus offers going on that it is difficult to keep track all of them. Their latest offer is for bonus miles on round-trip travel on non-stop Qantas flights between United States and Australia from April 19th to June 30th, 2012. The promo code for this offer is QF20K.

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The bonus is dependent of the class of service purchased. The only excluded fare classes are N and Q on both American and Qantas marketed flight numbers. This offer is also valid on Qantas flights ticketed under American Airlines codeshare numbers.

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Remember. You need to register for this offer.

Terms and Conditions:

AAdvantage bonus mileage offer is valid for round-trip travel on nonstop Qantas Airways operated flights between the U.S. and Australia from April 19, 2012 – June 30, 2012. Includes travel on codeshare flights marketed by American Airlines. This promotion is only valid for AAdvantage members who purchase and fly on published fare tickets that are eligible to earn AAdvantage miles. Excludes fares beginning with N or Q on American Airlines marketed, and Qantas Airways marketed and operated flights

My Award Booking Problems Today with United and American Airlines to the Rescue

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I am currently here in Kuala Lumpur, but will make my way to Europe next week after few days in Shanghai. I will land in Rome where I will spend few days, and then need to make my way to Stockholm from where I have unused business class return to Dubai via Addis Ababa on Ethiopian. To make things more complicated, I need to briefly visit Finland for few hours somewhere between.

For the past couple of months I have been reading customer service and other service failure horror stories about United on FlyerTalk. It is understandable that some things can and probably will go wrong when you are merging two large airlines like United and Continental. I have been mostly shielded of this wreckage as I have been traveling mainly in Europe, Asia, and Australia for the past six months, and haven’t set my foot on any of the US carriers for a while.

My status will most likely drop from Premier 1K to Platinum or Gold with United next year. It cannot go below Gold due to me having more than a million flight miles on the United’s program. I have the same situation with American where I have a lifetime Platinum status due to 2.7 million miles that I have collected.

So my goal today was to book FCO-XXX-HEL-ARN on Star Alliance using United Mileage Plus miles from my account. This award should cost 12.5K miles in economy. American also offers similar awards for intra-Europe travel, and the cost for oneway is 10K AA miles.

So, using KVS Tool I identified the flights on Lufthansa FCO-MUC-HEL and on Blue1 HEL-ARN that had award availability in economy.

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kvs-kf-hel-arn

For some reason Continental.com DBA United.com was not able to price it correctly. It was able to price the transfers correctly tax wise, but was requiring double the number of miles than it should have.

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I dialed the ATT USA Direct access number here in Malaysia (free) and inputted the number for the 1K desk. This way I don’t have to pay for the call at all. The call was promptly answered, but for some reason I was immediately transferred to some award rewards phone tree. Second time the same thing. This time, however, I waited for few minutes and listened to the music before hanging up. Apparently some agents are not keen working on award reservations. But, I have zero patience working with United’s outsourced call center workers in Manila or India. It is like banging your head against the wall.

Third time I got an agent that was willing to do an award reservation, but appeared to be challenged when it came to Star Alliance member airlines and transfers vs stopovers.

1. According to the agent Blue1 is not affiliated with United or Star Alliance and they cannot book them. I pointed out the that airline is listed as a Star Alliance carrier on United.com and maybe she should check her info.

united-airlines-star-logos

2. Agent was referring a transfer of less than 24 hours as a stopover, which is incorrect. She was probably confused with domestic US transfer/stopover rules versus international ones.

3. Supervisor refused to ticket it because of the “stopover” and not a valid route. There is a valid MPM based YY fare that has an MPM of 1477. FCO-MUC-HEL-ARN is 1681. This is within MPM + 15. On paid itineraries you can exceed the MPM up to 25% by paying extra.

Overall, it was just a miserable experience with United’s supposedly 1K desk. Was transferred twice and the third agent was obviously very confused. I still have few tricks on my sleeves to get this itinerary ticketed.

Now that I had already wasted about an hour of my time and made three fruitless phone calls, I Decided to have a look at Finnair options using my American Airlines AAdvantage miles. Although I am a Finn, I really prefer flying on Lufthansa, especially if I end up in economy. Last time I flew on Finnair, maybe five years ago, was from Berlin to Helsinki in business class.

As is the case with United, I always want to know the award availability and my preferred routing before I call AA, although I have find it far more pleasant to deal with award reservations with AA than United.

Tried to use my British Airways Executive Club account first to identify Finnair award availability on the route.

The BA’s engine wouldn’t show Finnair availability on the Rome to Helsinki route as they fly it on themselves as well, although it would be quite a detour. Also the number of required miles would be 30K BA & 100+ euros in fuel surcharges etc.

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But because British doesn’t fly Helsinki to Stockholm, you can pull up both the economy and business class availability on that route using BA.com.

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ba-hel-arn-b

ExpertFlyer does show Finnair’s award availability for economy, but won’t for business. It was easy to identify that I would get from Rome to Stockholm in Economy via Helsinki. Couple of hours would be enough, but I would prefer an overnight transfer.

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Unfortunately at the moment Finnair doesn’t have any economy award availability on Friday 27th from Helsinki to Stockholm. They do have business availability on quite a few flights, however. I made an ExpertFlyer alert for all the Friday flights that I could take, to alert me when there is availability on the X-class (the fare class that economy awards book into).

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I haven’t received my new Platinum AAdvantage card so decided to call the Executive Platinum number for free using the ATT USA Direct Service, the same service that United also uses. Lady who picked up my call transferred it to the “Platinum” desk. The gentleman was able to book the Finnair flights that I had identified to have economy availability and put in on hold for me. The call to AA took 337 seconds. I got the record locator and was able to easily pull up the itinerary on AA.com. The taxes were $57.90 and the number of miles required 10000.

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Conclusion

It makes sense to participate to number of programs. Although I far prefer Star Alliance over Oneworld, sometimes the Oneworld carrier is a better option. Also, dealing with United can be very problematic and time consuming as I again found out today. Not sure where they find all these surly people to man their 1K desk?

I am almost certain that I will get my preferred itinerary booked using Lufthansa and SAS, but it will take few phone calls.

Double American Airlines AAdvantage Miles on Select Alaska Airlines Non-stop Routes ASD12

American Airlines just dropped an email about their latest double miles offer; you can earn double redeemable miles on select non-stop Alaska Airlines routes.

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You can earn elite qualifying miles on Alaska and qualify for number of status related perks when flying on Alaska like priority checking, expedited security lines, preferred seating, and free first two bags. Delta SkyMiles Medallion members receive these perks as well as space available upgrades on Alaska that AA elites are not eligible for.

american-airlines-elite-benefits-on-alaska

You need to register for this promotion to be eligible for the double miles, and travel between April 16th and June 30th, 2012.

American Airlines Sues Gailen David aka The Aluminum Lady

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This is the latest twist on the apparently never-ending saga between the American Airlines and its former flight attendant Gailed David that is the person with the entertaining Aluminum Lady parody videos. Now, American Airlines has decided to sue Dailen David and people (John Does) who are feeding him information about day to day operations that apparently AA would like to keep under  the radar

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Gailen David has been advocating for more civilized air travel and been giving hints and tips about air travel on his DearSkySteward website. Last month American Airlines terminated Mr. David’s employment.

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Apparently the last draw for American Airlines was Gailen David’s posts about current and former American Airlines employees bumping paid first class customers on number of flights, and naming the people who did so.

Considering that American Airlines parent AMR is going through a chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganizing process, it probably wouldn’t hurt for these executives to show some humility and ride occasionally on coach.

What do you think? Is it ok for former and current executives to bump paying first class customers? Leave a comment below.

American Airlines & Japan Airlines Economy Award Sale to Asia – 40K Return in Economy

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Personally, I am not a huge fan of using miles for economy class tickets, but sometimes it can make sense. American is currently offering an award sale for trips originating in United States (including Alaska but excluding Hawaii), Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, The Bahamas, and the Bermuda to Asia. You can fly economy return for only 40000 Advantage miles instead of the usual 70000. This offer is valid for travel completed between April 6 and May 31st, 2012.

Book a round-trip Economy Class award ticket on American Airlines or Japan Airlines between North America** and Asia with 40,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles (taxes and fees apply up to $271). This offer is valid for travel completed between April 6, 2012, and May 31, 2012.

*40% savings off the standard AAdvantage award mileage level of 70,000 miles for round-trip travel on Economy Class for oneworld® and other airlines to/from the United States and Asia.

Government taxes and fees apply. Award Processing charges of $75 per passenger will be applied to award bookings ticketing less than 21 days prior to departure.

**Hawaii is excluded from this offer. North America is defined as the U.S. (including Alaska), Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, The Bahamas and the Caribbean.

Award Special Terms and Conditions:
The North America to Asia award special is valid for round-trip travel in Economy Class on flights which are operated by American Airlines or Japan Airlines. Award inventory is subject to seat availability and capacity controls. Seats for award travel may not be available on all flights. Standard AAdvantage® award travel terms and conditions apply. AAdvantage flight awards are subject to, and the passenger is responsible for, the September 11th Security Fee, applicable departure taxes, federal inspection fees, passenger facility charges, and any other taxes and fees imposed by a government entity (U.S. or foreign), as well as any fees or surcharges (including fuel surcharges) imposed by the carrier.

American Airlines divides Asia normally to two zones for award travel purposes. This promotions should be valid for both Asia 1 (Japan, Korea, Mongolia) and Asia 2 (Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Guam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Saipan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam).

As long as you can fly the route entirely using American Airlines or Japan Airlines, the award should price at 40000 AAdvantage miles in economy class instead of the usual 70000 miles.

American Airlines only flies to Narita, Shanghai, and Beijing in Asia. Japan Airlines flies to New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Vancouver in North America. If your final destination in Asia is outside of Shanghai or Beijing, you will have to rely on JAL’s award availability from Narita or Haneda airports onwards to your final destination.

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Note that you cannot book awards that include flights on JAL online. The only way to have them included to your award is to call American Airlines.

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Also, these awards are not pricing correctly online. I was able to do a reservation for economy award from Mexico City to Shanghai and return to Bermuda. The online incorrectly priced this at 35K miles per way when it should have been 20K. The American airline agent, with whom I spoke with, was able to price it correctly, however.

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These economy awards can offer tremendous value if you are originating/ending in an uncompetitive market.

American Airlines Offering Bonus Miles for New Miami-Barcelona Non-stop

Not only is American offering bonus miles for Madrid, but also for Barcelona as well. This bonus only applies for their new route between Miami and Barcelona. The bonus is higher for business and full’ish economy compared to discount ones. You are eligible for the bonus also if you are booked on Iberia or British Airways codeshares. It might be difficult to know exactly how their fare codes map with American Airlines ones for bonus purposes, however.

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You probably don’t need to have your origin or destination in Miami or Barcelona to qualify for the bonus, but rather have XXX-MIA-BCN-XXX. At least so have previous American promotions worked out, although this time they have the word “between” on the headline.

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Oneway trips are also eligible and there are no restrictions how many times you can earn the bonus. This offer expires on May 31st and registration prior to travel is required.

There are plenty of things to see and do around Barcelona. My favorite is the Salvador Dali museum in the city of Figueres. For some beach time, you can always take a train to Sitges.

Here’s the small print of this offer:

Terms and Conditions:
AAdvantage bonus mile offer is valid for round-trip travel (half the bonus shown will be awarded for one-way travel) on American Airlines marketed and operated nonstop flights between Miami (MIA) and Barcelona, Spain (BCN), April 3, 2012, through May 31, 2012. Includes travel on codeshare flights marketed by British Airways or Iberia (booked under the BA or IB flight number) and operated by American Airlines. Offer applies only to AAdvantage members who purchase and fly on purchased, published fare tickets. Bonus miles will be awarded based on the booking class purchased and do not count toward elite status qualification or Million Miler status. Registration prior to travel is required.

 

American Airlines Double Miles on Select Non-stop AA & Iberia Flights Between US and Madrid

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American Airlines appears be running non-stop promotions on number of routes from double elite qualifying miles to double redeemable miles or both. They just dropped an email regarding a double redeemable miles on number of direct/through routes between United States and Madrid. The bonus applies both to American and Iberia operates flights. Registration is required before travel.

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Madrid is a wonderful city to visit and the spring time is the best time to go there. The height of the summer is really hot, however, as the city is inland. Personally unless you like really high temperatures, I would avoid Madrid in July/August. I have been to Madrid number of times and I have been planning to go back sometime later in the year.

Note that you don’t have to originate from the three cities in the United States and your destination doesn’t need to be Madrid. You will only get double miles for the non-stop flights between the listed cities. If you fly LAX-DFW-MAD-ATH, your DFW-MAD flight will count for the double miles.

All Iberia flights between US, Puerto Rico, and Mexico earn at least 100% base and elite qualifying miles on a paid fare. On other flights it depends of the fare class. You can find more information about this on AA’s website.

Here’s the small print of this offer:

Terms and Conditions:
AAdvantage double mile offer is valid for nonstop travel on American Airlines or Iberia operated flights between Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) or New York/JFK and Madrid, Spain (MAD) from April 5, through May 31, 2012. Includes travel on codeshare flights marketed by American Airlines, British Airways or Iberia. Offer applies only to AAdvantage members who purchase and fly on published fare tickets. Bonus miles do not count toward elite status qualification or Million Miler status. Double miles will be calculated at 100% of the base miles earned. Registration prior to travel is required.

Discover America Daily Getaways Announced for the 3rd Week April 23-27

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On Monday, I wrote about the Discover America Daily Getaways for the first two weeks. There were three deals that caught my eye, but probably not good enough to make me to participate, however.

On the third week I probably have to make some purchases. Last year, I ended up buying both Hilton HHonors and Wyndham Rewards points. Wyndham points have been sitting on my account since that, but I have been using and earning Hilton HHonors points all the time.

discover-america-3rd-week

Wyndham Rewards Points Monday April 23rd

Wyndham has five different packages for sale. You can buy one each. The beauty of Wyndham Rewards points is the transferability to airline miles.  30K Wyndham Rewards points transfers to 12K miles or equivalent in kilometers in number of programs; Amtrak, Czech Airlines, Delta, Hainan, Frontier, US Airways, United, Airberlin, Aeroplan, AeroMexico, China Eastern, American Airlines & Air China.

Packages available

16000 Wyndham Rewards points for $55 = price per point 0.0034 = price per mile 0.0086

28000 Wyndham Rewards points for $76 = price per point 0.0027 = price per mile 0.0068

32000 Wyndham Rewards points for $110 = price per point 0.0034 = price per mile 0.0086

50000 Wyndham Rewards points for $143 = price per point 0.0029 = price per mile 0.0072

48000 Wyndham Rewards points for $165 = price per point 0.0034 = price per mile 0.0086

Above calculations do not take into account 10% discount when paying using an American Express branded credit card, and the figures are rounded. The price per mile number is calculated when transferring in the block of 30K Wyndham Rewards points to 12K airline miles.

When airlines sell miles in their respective programs, the prices tend to fluctuate between 1.8 to 2 cents per mile during the sales. You really cannot buy miles cheaper than first buying the Wyndham Rewards points during the Discover America sale, and then transferring them to airline miles. Of course you can use them for hotel stays as well.

Quick look at my Wyndham Rewards account shows that I was able to snag 146K worth of packages during the last year’s sale.

Hilton HHonors Points Wednesday April 25th

This is the only other purchase that I made last year.

Packages available

150000 Hilton HHonors points for $825

250000 Hilton HHonors points for $1375

100000 Hilton HHonors points for $550

I would steer away from buying Hilton HHonors points unless you are a Diamond member and/or know how to use them properly. You can “buy” a very good deal if you are able to use the points at a place like Conrad Koh Samui where rates are in excess of $600 per night.

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