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Old Jul 10, 02, 8:09 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
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Gold or Platinum challenge... Your advice is sought

I bought three tix on that awesome $151 fare (2x OAK-JFK and 1 JFK-LGB), and I'm going to net (by my calculations) 8165 points, more than enough to qualify for the gold challenge. Of course, if I go for the platinum and fall short for some reason, those flights I flew between the 5k and 10k that would have at least accrued the 25% gold mileage bonus will have gone to waste in that they won't have gotten me any bonuses at all. I'm trying to decide whether or not I should just go all out and bag the Platinum with perhaps a trip to Europe or something (so that I can cash in on the 100% plat bonues) or should I be content with my 8100 points and 25% bonus? I can't find any cheap fares that will make the platinum qualifying that attractive of an offer. Help!! Any ideas for a run to put me over the top? I fly from SJC, SFO, and OAK (in that order)... I'll go ANYWHERE as long as I get there and back in no more than 48 hours and it's under about $500. Thanks!

By the way, a hearty congratulations to all who got in on those amazing (though far too short lived) fares on AA. Hopefully some other FTer will track down another bargain soon. :-)
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Old Jul 10, 02, 8:34 pm   #2
 
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If are only 1835 points short of a Platinum Challenge, then definitely go for the Platinum.

1835 points can be done with 4 segments. Each segment earns a minimum 500 q-points, even on discounted coach.

I see SJC-LAX at $78, valid any day, 1 day minimum stay. Route yourself through LAS or SNA and you have yourself a 4 segment, 2000 q-points run for about $100.

Just make sure that all your flights are within a 90 day period of your start date.
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Old Jul 10, 02, 8:38 pm   #3
 
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I called AA to ask about this today, and they said I'd get elite status but only until February 2003. I've read here that if I start after June 16 (which obviously I'm doing) then the status should last 1 1/2 years i.e. February 2004. What's the real scoop on that?? I also read that AA will only downgrade you one level per year, so if I didn't fly at all next year, I'd still be gold the following year. Is that true??
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Old Jul 10, 02, 9:45 pm   #4
 
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You should go for Platinum! With the $151 fare that you posted today I'm sure you'll by flying on some other great deals soon.

By the way SFO-PVD (Providence R.I.) is prcing out at $198 + tax at the moment (matching SouthWest). If you take one of those you will nedd 2576 (to JFK) +500 (JFK-PVD) x 2 base miles which would get you Plat on the PVD-JFK return leg and a full 100% plat bonus on the JFK-SFO return leg.
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Old Jul 10, 02, 10:05 pm   #5
 
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That sounds like a good lead. I can't find that fare from SFO, only SJC. And that way I can route through ORD, a double miles opportunity!
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Old Jul 10, 02, 10:17 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by bpauker:
That sounds like a good lead. I can't find that fare from SFO, only SJC. And that way I can route through ORD, a double miles opportunity!</font>

From AA.com:

"Earn double miles for round-trip travel on nonstop service between Chicago O'Hare and San Jose, CA on American Airlines. To qualify, purchase and fly round-trip on a published fare ticket booked in F, Y, B, M, H, Q, or K. Registration prior to travel is required."

The current SJC-PVD $198 fare is an L class fare, which would not qualify for this double miles promotion. The lowest published double-miles qualifying fare in this market is Q class, currently at $436 (fare basis: QRA14DNR).
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Old Jul 10, 02, 10:19 pm   #7
 
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Well there's a little rain on my parade...
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Old Jul 10, 02, 10:28 pm   #8
 
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I know. But better to disappoint you now then after you book, and take the flights, only to discover no bonus miles, right?
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Old Jul 10, 02, 10:32 pm   #9
 
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Yes... however I have found a nice itin for $260:

SJC-ORD-LGA-PVD-LGA-ORD-SJC

It will push me over the platinum Q points limit and give me some nice bonuses. I'll probably need someone to check my math, but right now I'm coming out to:

12,465 Q points
36,546 miles (includes base, online booking, and status miles)
Total cost $727
$/mile = .0199

Is that a good deal?

And do you know how long the plat challenge status holds?
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Old Jul 11, 02, 12:34 am   #10
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by bpauker:
Is that a good deal?
</font>
I can't answer that as it's very subjective. It depends on how much you value your miles and Platinum status.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">
And do you know how long the plat challenge status holds?
</font>
I recently (after 6/16) completed the challenge and got confirmation during sign up that it would be good until 2/04. I won't know for sure until 2/03.
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Old Jul 11, 02, 12:39 am   #11
 
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Keithguy,

I see you're from Vancouver, so perhaps you might know something about my other dilemma...

I have a $287 unused websaver (SFO-YYZ) on AC, and the credit will expire in October. I would love to use that for a short trip to YVR for the day (perhaps get some segs in PDX or SEA along the way). Do you know how to get some decent low fares on AC these days? They all seem astronomic.
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Old Jul 11, 02, 2:30 am   #12
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Do you know how to get some decent low fares on AC these days</font>
Write to the Canadian Transportation Minister and ask him to bring back Canadian

With Mapleflot's monopoly, there are almost no opportunities for low fares anymore. Being based in the US, I don't know if the websavers on their sites can apply to you. Good hunting!
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Old Jul 11, 02, 2:34 am   #13
 
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They offer them here, but the prices are still insane. I used to be able to count on weekend fares of less than $300 nonstop SFO-YYZ, but these days, AC doesn't have anything under $400.
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Old Jul 11, 02, 2:37 am   #14
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">I have a $287 unused websaver (SFO-YYZ) on AC, and the credit will expire in October. I would love to use that for a short trip to YVR for the day (perhaps get some segs in PDX or SEA along the way). Do you know how to get some decent low fares on AC these days? They all seem astronomic.</font>
Actually if you're thinking of going to YVR, there is a very good fare available for travel after Aug 5 for $185 USD with taxes. Min stay 2 days, 14 days advance purchase and purchase before Aug 1. There's another fare with only a Sat night stay required for slightly more and it's available until July 17. Since it's an AC credit, you won't be able to go via PDX or SEA since it must be AC flight numbers. They might also charge you a change fee when you use the credit.

A good time to use the credit if you're thinking of YVR.
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Old Jul 11, 02, 2:41 am   #15
 
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As mentioned, there really ain't many cheap AC fares. The only thing I can think of at this point is SFO-TPE starting in September. SFO-YVR-TPE-YVR-SFO with a 90 minute turn in TPE (same plane) comes to $697.30 after taxes for a weekday-weekday departure. One free stopover allowed.

AC's SFO-YVR routing doesn't allow going through PDX or SEA

ROUTING 16 FROM-TO SFO-AC-DEN-AC-YYC-AC-YEA-AC-
YPE-AC-YXE/YQR-AC-YVR*
FROM-TO SFO-AC-YYC-AC-YVR*

And once you are in Canada, the domestic segments only give you 50% mileage...
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