AAdvice: Pay, upgrade or grin and bear it to India

 
Old Apr 8, 14, 9:21 pm
  #1  
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AAdvice: Pay, upgrade or grin and bear it to India

Hello -- Making my first trip to India, Goa, paying for a coach seat and the speculative routing now is similar to: SFO-JFK-CDG-DOH-GOI with the last three being on Qatar. I've been around AA for awhile, but have never used a mile upgrades or an AAward for international travel. The ticket is around $2,000 in coach (L fares are what I usually find on the AA site). Don't wish/have the cash for a proper premium cabin fare; so, I wanted to upgrade if possible (or pay with miles for the entire fare). The way which I read the T&C on the AA site, it seems the upgrade on Qatar is not possible using an upgrade award. (?)

What's your advice: Pay for the coach seat, upgrade up to CDG (AA metal)? (Is it possible to split the upgrade 'cost' just for the AA metal portion? Or, pay for entire trip in Business with miles? Or, grin and bear it for numerous hours and fly in the back? I would also like to maximize earning a few elite miles this trip, so I am inclined to just fly on a paid seat and try to upgrade if possible. Any ideas? Thanks so much.
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Old Apr 9, 14, 12:29 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by AA_SPG_Fan View Post
Hello -- Making my first trip to India, Goa, paying for a coach seat and the speculative routing now is similar to: SFO-JFK-CDG-DOH-GOI with the last three being on Qatar. I've been around AA for awhile, but have never used a mile upgrades or an AAward for international travel. The ticket is around $2,000 in coach (L fares are what I usually find on the AA site). Don't wish/have the cash for a proper premium cabin fare; so, I wanted to upgrade if possible (or pay with miles for the entire fare). The way which I read the T&C on the AA site, it seems the upgrade on Qatar is not possible using an upgrade award. (?)

What's your advice: Pay for the coach seat, upgrade up to CDG (AA metal)? (Is it possible to split the upgrade 'cost' just for the AA metal portion? Or, pay for entire trip in Business with miles? Or, grin and bear it for numerous hours and fly in the back? I would also like to maximize earning a few elite miles this trip, so I am inclined to just fly on a paid seat and try to upgrade if possible. Any ideas? Thanks so much.
$2k is really high for a coach seat to India. Pretty sure you can do a lot better.

Few things…

-upgrade options to India are a bad value. Read my thread for similar discussion.
-Best option is to book award tix in business but not sure if you can do a transit @CGD and @DOH, both since AA routing tries to go for direct most route.
-To book premium award try QR or EY.
-If you route through Europe, you will need to fly BA and pay high YQ charges.

Depnding on how many miles you intend on burning… you can also do SFO-HKG-BOM. This will need to priced as two different award but also gives you a chance to fly CX in premium cabin. ^
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Old Apr 9, 14, 2:41 am
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by carsnoceans View Post
$2k is really high for a coach seat to India. Pretty sure you can do a lot better.

Few things…

-upgrade options to India are a bad value. Read my thread for similar discussion.
-Best option is to book award tix in business but not sure if you can do a transit @CGD and @DOH, both since AA routing tries to go for direct most route.
-To book premium award try QR or EY.
-If you route through Europe, you will need to fly BA and pay high YQ charges.

Depnding on how many miles you intend on burning… you can also do SFO-HKG-BOM. This will need to priced as two different award but also gives you a chance to fly CX in premium cabin. ^
Given the current special of sharing miles on the US Dividend Miles site, you could effectively "buy" enough miles to fly this for under $2000 in business class - assuming that award travel availability exists on your dates.
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Old Apr 9, 14, 5:17 am
  #4  
 
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Finding award flights on QR might be tricky, per other threads, but that would be the way to go. Short of that, upgrading as far as you can on AA, then flying the rest in QR Y would be best. I have not flown Y on QR (only observed it while flying in J) but it seemed quite comfortable compared to AA. Decent food, amenity kits, hot towels, vast array of content on IFE, decent seat pitch and width, etc. Finally, if you can't upgrade on AA, then try to fly QR from one of their US gateways to minimize your time in AA Y.
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Old Apr 9, 14, 6:00 am
  #5  
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THANKS guys for the tips. gottaluvNW, how do you buy/fly $2K worth of miles in business? I have about 150,000 (mostly BIS) miles saved in my account. And, is $2K really alot for a trip to India? It seemed par for the fares which I was looking at -- from around $1700 for deep discounted coach seats (from Expedia); to $2K-ish from the AA site and a slightly better fare bucket if it makes a difference (it does in the % of elite miles which could be earned on Qatar Air). Thanks carsnoceans for the interesting read ...

I still am inclined to pay for the seat and try to upgrade with miles so that I can earn some EQM (I will be short for qualification to AA PLAT by my projected estimates this year and the extra 25% EQM in the slightly higher fares are somewhat attractive). THANKS!!!

Last edited by AA_SPG_Fan; Apr 9, 14 at 6:31 am
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Old Apr 9, 14, 7:38 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
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Originally Posted by AA_SPG_Fan View Post
THANKS guys for the tips. gottaluvNW, how do you buy/fly $2K worth of miles in business? I have about 150,000 (mostly BIS) miles saved in my account. And, is $2K really alot for a trip to India? It seemed par for the fares which I was looking at -- from around $1700 for deep discounted coach seats (from Expedia); to $2K-ish from the AA site and a slightly better fare bucket if it makes a difference (it does in the % of elite miles which could be earned on Qatar Air). Thanks carsnoceans for the interesting read ...

I still am inclined to pay for the seat and try to upgrade with miles so that I can earn some EQM (I will be short for qualification to AA PLAT by my projected estimates this year and the extra 25% EQM in the slightly higher fares are somewhat attractive). THANKS!!!
EQM is always BIS. There is no extra cherry on it. You are probably looking at COS bonus which is RDM.

For deep-discount fares to DEL/BOM go for ~$800. Granted your fare will be a little higher for GOI but still that's a big jump.
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