Is my Gold Challenge Strategy Sound?

 
Old Jan 16, 08, 4:16 am
  #1  
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Is my Gold Challenge Strategy Sound?

Hi Guys,

I've been reading over all the great information that’s been compiled here and I want to go for the gold challenge this year and I want to run this past you guys to see if I can do it.

I have at the moment about 30k miles in my account made up of transatlantic flights I took last year and last week (sadly not in time for me to turn Gold at the years end), my next flight is booked in May on the route MAN - ORD - CID (N Fare, I know I’m cheap) and the points I get from that are a couple 100 short of the 5k needed for winning the gold challenge.

Now my strategy is this can I use my miles I have currently to upgrade the fare from an N Fare to a fare where I get 1 point per mile instead of the 0.50 as I do on my current ticket?

I hope that makes sense!

Thanks.
Jamman is offline  
Old Jan 16, 08, 4:36 am
  #2  
 
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no wont work
sambb is offline  
Old Jan 16, 08, 5:05 am
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by sambb View Post
no wont work
To clarify a little, you will only be awarded the points based on your original booking class, not the points of the class into which you book (whether that's C, X, A, whatever). So unfortunately (and I don't think anyone here would get down on you for booking cheaply -- good for you!) you're going to need those extra couple hundred EQPs (by your math). Here's how you can do it:

1) Call AA and ask to upfare one of the segments to a 'V' fare. This is the lowest 1.0 EQP-earning fare. Sometimes this is really cheap (like $20). Sometimes it's not (like > $500). If the latter...

2) Book another flight! Any one-way or roundtrip fare on AA will do you as the minimum EQP you will earn on every flight is 500. If you don't have the time/cash to do that and are feeling ridiculously and foolhardily risky...

3) Hope for an irregular operations schedule (weather, mechanical, etc.) or oversold situation which will make them fly you on another flight. Usually if the change is made that late they will not rebook you into 'N' –.it's too much of a bother – but into one of the higher EQP-earning buckets. Also, I haven't looked at your flight schedule, but you could TRY to fly standby on a two-hop journey to your domestic destination. Both these strategies are STUPID but are put here for the sake of thoroughness
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Old Jan 16, 08, 6:28 am
  #4  
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Thanks for the replies! I had a feeling there would be a problem.

Option 1 sounds like its worth a try first, thanks Ajohn!
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Old Jan 16, 08, 9:28 am
  #5  
brp
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[QUOTE=Ajohn;9078211]

1) Call AA and ask to upfare one of the segments to a 'V' fare. This is the lowest 1.0 EQP-earning fare. Sometimes this is really cheap (like $20). Sometimes it's not (like > $500). /QUOTE]

Originally Posted by Jamman View Post

Option 1 sounds like its worth a try first, thanks Ajohn!
Be warned (and this really makes no sense, but it is what it is). If you have already booked and paid for the flight (sounds like the case here), they may very well charge, in addition to the fare difference between your fare and the 'V' fare, the change fee associated with the ticket since this is a "change." The fact that you want to give them more money for the same itinerary seems irrelevant in this case. You're making a change, so you pay the fare difference plus the change fee. Doesn't always happen, but often enough that you should be prepared for it.

Cheers.
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Old Jan 16, 08, 10:39 am
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Originally Posted by brp View Post
Originally Posted by Ajohn View Post

1) Call AA and ask to upfare one of the segments to a 'V' fare. This is the lowest 1.0 EQP-earning fare. Sometimes this is really cheap (like $20). Sometimes it's not (like > $500).


Be warned (and this really makes no sense, but it is what it is). If you have already booked and paid for the flight (sounds like the case here), they may very well charge, in addition to the fare difference between your fare and the 'V' fare, the change fee associated with the ticket since this is a "change." The fact that you want to give them more money for the same itinerary seems irrelevant in this case. You're making a change, so you pay the fare difference plus the change fee. Doesn't always happen, but often enough that you should be prepared for it.

Cheers.
If this happens, say "nevermind then," hang up, and call back until you get the "right" answer.
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Old Jan 16, 08, 11:14 am
  #7  
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Looks like a V fare would add +/- $200 to the tab (plus any change fee.)

If you're willing to shell out an additional $250 or so, and don't mind a bit of mileage running, it's not too hard to construct an itinerary in V that would let you challenge to Plat instead of Gold.

Of course the value of any elite challenge would depend on how much flying you'd likely do in the next year.
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Old Jan 16, 08, 1:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
Looks like a V fare would add +/- $200 to the tab (plus any change fee.)

If you're willing to shell out an additional $250 or so, and don't mind a bit of mileage running, it's not too hard to construct an itinerary in V that would let you challenge to Plat instead of Gold.

Of course the value of any elite challenge would depend on how much flying you'd likely do in the next year.
Is that just to change one segment or the whole thing? I do agree that usually it's best to put extra cash towards new flying, but that's not always the most convenient option. If it would only cost $50 to upgrade a segment to V (and yes, obviously the calculation is not as easy as $200/4 segments = $50/segment) then that may well be worth it for the OP.

Yeah, I've had agents who will charge the change fee and those who won't. As said above, just call back.
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Old Jan 16, 08, 2:24 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Ajohn View Post
Is that just to change one segment or the whole thing?
That was fooling around with ITA and seeing that MAN-ORD-CID-ORD-MAN in V was around $200 more than in N, while something like MAN-ORD-STL-DFW-CID-DFW-ORD-MAN in V was something like $250 more (than the original N fare) all in, thereby generating the 10K Q-pts that would work for a Plat challenge. Any change fees for the revision would be on top of that.
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Old Jan 19, 08, 12:19 pm
  #10  
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I have no idea

I haven't the foggiest.
ingy is offline  
Old Jan 19, 08, 12:30 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by Ajohn View Post
3) Hope for an irregular operations schedule (weather, mechanical, etc.) or oversold situation which will make them fly you on another flight. Usually if the change is made that late they will not rebook you into 'N' –.it's too much of a bother – but into one of the higher EQP-earning buckets. Also, I haven't looked at your flight schedule, but you could TRY to fly standby on a two-hop journey to your domestic destination. Both these strategies are STUPID but are put here for the sake of thoroughness
Yeah that hasn't worked for me. I had an N fare booked last year...flight was cancelled for weather and rebooked the next day as a Y fare. However, I only got EQP/EQM for the N fare.
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Old Jan 19, 08, 1:07 pm
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last year my wife was incredibly lucky (but this situation must be EXTREMELY rare!) She had an award ticket for SFO-PHL via DFW, and the phone rang in the middle of the night to say that the 1st flight was cancelled. I called to get her another itinerary and asked for an upgrade. WELL... they changed her ticket to F and she got full miles, plus First bonus, plus the 500 mile "book via aa.com" bonus on the outbound part of the trip, even though her ticket was bought with miles!!
Ms. Billgrates3 is PLT, but still, the aadvantage agent was beyond nice that time!
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