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Old Aug 12, 17, 3:12 pm   #1
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[PREM FARE GONE] AA: CAI - Argentina ~$2,500, unrestricted J

Two interesting AA J mileage fares (J and J1NFFMN5) with no change/cancel penalties, unlimited transfers, and unlimited permitted stopovers (but no HIP exceptions), equivalently priced to every city in Argentina that I checked (Buenos Aires, Salta, Mendoza, Bariloche, even Ushuaia). The base roundtrip fare is ~$1,300, and routing/carriers used have a huge impact on the total fare actually paid. Every itinerary I priced added $800 in AA YQ.

I priced my final itinerary on ITA and used ITA powertools for purchasing (I used aa.com Germany, but Priceline was also a successful option for ticketing).

There were several oddities in ticketing alternative itineraries; for example, any routing that included MS metal to/from CAI (even if sold as OS or LH) caused both aa.com and Priceline to not find/load the itinerary, whereas OS or LH metal to/from CAI priced fine. ITA has very odd BA availability when the sales city field was left blank (i.e. defaulted to the departure city), often not finding the daily LHR nonstop, but this was fixed by changing the sales city (i.e. to London). Intra-Argentina flights were also hard to find if the Cabin field was set to Business (LATAM has no business cabins in that market), but this is overcome by setting the Cabin field to "Cheapest available", simultaneously inserting F BC=J in each of the Extension Code boxes for the other segments.

My itinerary, spread over a year, is to Bariloche, return from Mendoza, and has stopovers in London, New York, Buenos Aires and New York again and priced at Euro 2,250. (BA Tierpoints: 990). Flying via Rome, instead of London, didn't change the base fare but added several hundred dollars to the total; I investigated and found that somehow the computed AZ YQ was absurdly high (exceeding the combined BA YQ and U.K.APD by ~$200 or so). Flying back to CAI from NYC via ZRH would have added only a few euros more.

For AA Business Extra members, the J fare coding permits liberal use of BXP2 awards for upgrades to A class on the 777W (i.e. LHR - JFK, MIA - EZE, GRU - JFK etc.). At 1,300 points each, these are well priced (i.e. small number of points for small incremental onboard benefit).

N.B. There are also "I" fares from CAI to other cities in South America, but beside having change/cancel fees (albeit small), do not appear to allow for multiple stopovers in both the U.S. and Europe in both directions. YMMV

Last edited by jbalmuth; Aug 13, 17 at 8:21 am Reason: fix spelling error (EZE for EXE)
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Old Aug 12, 17, 3:31 pm   #2
  
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Thank you for this posting! Would you mind giving me an example?
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Old Aug 12, 17, 5:13 pm   #3
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I'm not knowledgeable about attaching screen prints....

The fare is to/from any city in Argentina, and permits unlimited stopovers, so an example might not be very helpful. This one has no stopover in Europe, 2 in New York, and is focused on AA 777W upgrade routes. [Note that the LCY - JFK BA Babybus flight can be taken without any surcharge (in either/both direction)....just remember to look for the AA codeshare.] Hope this helps!
Attached Files
File Type: docx example of itinerary.docx (449.2 KB, 364 views)

Last edited by jbalmuth; Aug 12, 17 at 5:45 pm Reason: I'm not knowledgeable about attaching screen prints.....
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Old Aug 12, 17, 5:19 pm   #4
  
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Looks like this prices the same as a one way fare.
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Old Aug 12, 17, 5:33 pm   #5
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbalmuth View Post
.....

Thanks so much!!
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Old Aug 12, 17, 10:35 pm   #6
  
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Anyone able to do anything with this one yet? I'm trying to redo this to other US cities, but it looks like only certain large cities work. Not sure what the reason is.
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Old Aug 12, 17, 10:52 pm   #7
  
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Nice work and thanks for sharing, I am collector of older and obscure AA fares. A few things from messing with this...
Lots of routings possible, I did CAI-AUH-LHR on EY, too bad it isnt an F fare! Tried LAX routings, must exceed MPM.
The $800 AA YQ can be sliced to $300 or so if you end-on-end an appropriate fare to mask the YQ calculation. These AA unreatricted fares have no restriction on EoE ticketing. LH is best avoided as it adds $175 YQ for that short flight.
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Old Aug 12, 17, 11:20 pm   #8
  
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Looks like u have been quite creative! Would u please explain a little more about how you got cai auh lhr to wrk and how u reduced the AA fuel surcharges?

Many thanks

oh. Also, have u found any oneworld positioning flights?



Quote:
Originally Posted by stephem View Post
Nice work and thanks for sharing, I am collector of older and obscure AA fares. A few things from messing with this...
Lots of routings possible, I did CAI-AUH-LHR on EY, too bad it isnt an F fare! Tried LAX routings, must exceed MPM.
The $800 AA YQ can be sliced to $300 or so if you end-on-end an appropriate fare to mask the YQ calculation. These AA unreatricted fares have no restriction on EoE ticketing. LH is best avoided as it adds $175 YQ for that short flight.
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Old Aug 13, 17, 12:35 am   #9
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Thanks jbalmuth for posting this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephem View Post
Nice work and thanks for sharing, I am collector of older and obscure AA fares. A few things from messing with this...
Lots of routings possible, I did CAI-AUH-LHR on EY, too bad it isnt an F fare! Tried LAX routings, must exceed MPM.
The $800 AA YQ can be sliced to $300 or so if you end-on-end an appropriate fare to mask the YQ calculation. These AA unreatricted fares have no restriction on EoE ticketing. LH is best avoided as it adds $175 YQ for that short flight.
Fun to play around with this tonight. Was also unable to get LAX to work on any routing. DFW worked, even DEN but not LAX. Would also love to learn about that end-on-end YQ reduction code, even by PM.
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Old Aug 13, 17, 3:58 am   #10
  
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I have an ex-Cairo next year and love that this fare works one way. I played around for a few hours with this as a Cairo to Igazu Falls (IGR) Argentina side with BA1 a free stop in New York, Charlotte, New Orleans, Miami and Santiago for £986 and I think 520TP.

Now I just need an EZE-LON

Thanks for sharing
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Old Aug 13, 17, 6:26 am   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
Thanks jbalmuth for posting this.



Fun to play around with this tonight. Was also unable to get LAX to work on any routing. DFW worked, even DEN but not LAX. Would also love to learn about that end-on-end YQ reduction code, even by PM.
LAX seems to exceed MPM. A great fare, thanks OP.
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Old Aug 13, 17, 7:40 am   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ianfly View Post
Now I just need an EZE-LON
Buy EZE-LHR-CAI and don't fly LHR-CAI.
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Old Aug 13, 17, 8:25 am   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Far Siren View Post
LAX seems to exceed MPM.
That was my original thought but I think that it's more a routing issue.
A 23,809 mile CAI-LHR-JFK-EZE-DFW-DEN/DFW-LHR-CAI routing worked while 22,990 mile CAI-LHR-JFK-EZE-MIA/LAX-LHR-CAI did not.
OP's example was 24,101 miles.

Seems like anything including LAX kills the fare.
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Old Aug 13, 17, 8:47 am   #14
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
That was my original thought but I think that it's more a routing issue.
A 23,809 mile CAI-LHR-JFK-EZE-DFW-DEN/DFW-LHR-CAI routing worked while 22,990 mile CAI-LHR-JFK-EZE-MIA/LAX-LHR-CAI did not.
OP's example was 24,101 miles.

Seems like anything including LAX kills the fare.
OP mentioned no HIP exception. Maybe that's it?
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Old Aug 13, 17, 8:48 am   #15
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Even CAI-AUH-LHR-DFW-EZE works for £1144 one way.
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