Best use of 145,000 AA Miles

 
Old Aug 14, 09, 2:04 pm
  #1  
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Best use of 145,000 AA Miles

First of all, this is my first post over here on the AA side of things. Im usually planted on the NW/DL forums, so I figured I would come here for some one-world advice.

I have 145,000 AA miles that I currently have used to book an ATN F award for next February. I have been reading and doing some research both here on the AA forum on FT, and on AA.com about what might be a better way to redeem these many miles. CX F comes to mind, as does BA, however I am unsure as to exactly the number of miles and how hard this inventory is to come by. I would like to get an opinion from those long time AA redeemers as to what is probably the best way to spend 145,000 miles. If needed, I could top the account off to 150,000 if that would afford me any substantial advantage.

Grazie!
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Old Aug 14, 09, 2:09 pm
  #2  
 
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Here is the link to the award table. Everything shown is one way.

http://www.aa.com/aa/pubcontent/en_U...ward_Chart.jsp

BA/QF J and F are both very solid products. I have heard from others CX is as well.
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Old Aug 14, 09, 2:11 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by miles_navigator View Post
Here is the link to the award table. Everything shown is one way.

http://www.aa.com/aa/pubcontent/en_U...ward_Chart.jsp

BA/QF J and F are both very solid products. I have heard from others CX is as well.
Right. I have spent a great deal of time looking over that chart and I understand how to use the miles. I am looking for feedback, first hand experiences, and comments on availability and individual opinions.
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Old Aug 14, 09, 2:17 pm
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Seats open up 330/331 days in advance, like the old DL system except there here is availability on AA for international routes incl. partners. Remember when you could do this DL Skymiles ~ 2004 and before.

Open a BA Exec Club account so you can login and check BA/CX/QF etc availability on miles. Usually, if BAEC shows it is available then you can book it via AA miles.

BA J long haul is usually a flat (180deg) bed...so unless you want the ultimate luxury J is good enough for me (vs. F).

Where do you want to go?

What other specific questions do you have?
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Old Aug 14, 09, 2:36 pm
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You might want to consider a oneworld Award. 150k miles will get you a OW150C (up to 25k miles in Business) or a OW150F (up to 14k miles in First).
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Old Aug 14, 09, 2:37 pm
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In the absence of any specific information about where you actually want to go, I'll just say something general that I find helpful when booking award travel on AA partners:

As was said above, it is worth it to open up a BA Executive Club account and check award inventory on partners. You could open up individual accounts on AsiaMiles, Qantas, etc., but there have been stories of different inventories being available to partner programs, or some programs not seeing inventory that might be available. So with the BA tool, you can check what partner awards are available, and you should be able to book them with AAdvantage miles. This would also give you some more information when booking over the phone with the AAdvantage desk, since I always felt bad when I made them do extra legwork and check a month's worth of availability when I could have done it in two minutes on BAEC.

Along with the above, be flexible. Since you'll probably want to book an All-Partner award, you might want to try out one airline on the way out, and another coming back home. Although for me, whenever CX F is available where I want to go, I'll tend to pounce.

Lastly, regarding booking into J or F, I assume this booking is a one-off type of thing, since you seem to be a NW/DL person. Therefore, while J might save you some miles, you might as well go for F if you're just trying to use them up. You won't be disappointed. I think that OW has some of the best F products out there.

So give us some more information about where exactly you want to go, and we might be able to suggest some good ways of getting there.

And enjoy whatever you book! I find, looking at other programs, that AAdvantage has some of the absolute most generous programs when it comes to partner award travel, in terms of miles you have to spend.
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Old Aug 14, 09, 2:41 pm
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OP- We did LAX-MEL and AYQ-SYD-LAX in F using 145k. A380 (yeah, baby) down to MEL and 744 return. We booked in February for a June trip, there was daily availability in Y and 1-3x per week in J. I was going to book a J award when F suddenly appeared on the day we planned to travel and returning a day later than we planned. Of course our "plan" suddenly changed! The award allows open jaw plus a stopover either at a gateway or in Oz.
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Old Aug 14, 09, 2:44 pm
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Where you would like to go should be a factor in the answer. I like Asia so CX F always works for me.
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Old Aug 14, 09, 2:53 pm
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Originally Posted by kenish View Post
OP- We did LAX-MEL and AYQ-SYD-LAX in F using 145k. A380 (yeah, baby) down to MEL and 744 return. We booked in February for a June trip, there was daily availability in Y and 1-3x per week in J. I was going to book a J award when F suddenly appeared on the day we planned to travel and returning a day later than we planned. Of course our "plan" suddenly changed! The award allows open jaw plus a stopover either at a gateway or in Oz.
Actually the award structure changed due to the implementation of one-way awards, so a stopover is only allowed in the NA gateway now.

So in the OPs case, if he/she wants to stopover at various places on his/her trip, an oneworld award might the best way to go.
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Old Aug 14, 09, 3:00 pm
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Id say use it to somewhere you want to go. OW award will give you a chance to try a few different products. I love CX F!
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Old Aug 14, 09, 3:12 pm
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Thanks for the all the information; keep it coming! The QF redemption in F, was that on an A380? That looks like a fantastic product.

In terms of where to go, I have never traveled to South Africa, but I know that the award redemption rates there are very high. I have been to China numerous times, but if I could use the award to locate to say, HKG, I could buy the shorter leg ticket onwards to a new destination. Would it be possible to route in CX F from LAX-HKG-BKK and return for 145K?

Also, what constitutes Zone 7 for the oneworld award? If I use flying fish to calculate mileage, can I pretty much assume as long as the total mileage is below 25,000 I will be fine?

Last edited by DLATL777; Aug 14, 09 at 3:21 pm
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Old Aug 14, 09, 3:25 pm
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Originally Posted by DLATL777 View Post
Thanks for the all the information; keep it coming! The QF redemption in F, was that on an A380? That looks like a fantastic product.

In terms of where to go, I have never traveled to South Africa, but I know that the award redemption rates there are very high. I have been to China numerous times, but if I could use the award to locate to say, HKG, I could buy the shorter leg ticket onwards to a new destination. Would it be possible to route in CX F from LAX-HKG-BKK and return for 145K?

Also, what constitutes Zone 7 for the oneworld award? If I use flying fish to calculate mileage, can I pretty much assume as long as the total mileage is below 25,000 I will be fine?
You can do lax-hkg-bkk for 135k.
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Old Aug 14, 09, 4:38 pm
  #13  
 
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[QUOTE=miles_navigator;12226751]
Open a BA Exec Club account so you can login and check BA/CX/QF etc availability on miles. Usually, if BAEC shows it is available then you can book it via AA miles.

QUOTE]
I just opened a BAEC account so I can look up award travel availabilty. I have a similiar scenario as OP. now that i'm logged in in the BA site with my EC number, where do i find this tool? or how do i look up/"reserve" award travel? new to the BA website. thanks
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Old Aug 14, 09, 4:47 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by DLATL777 View Post
Thanks for the all the information; keep it coming! The QF redemption in F, was that on an A380? That looks like a fantastic product.

In terms of where to go, I have never traveled to South Africa, but I know that the award redemption rates there are very high. I have been to China numerous times, but if I could use the award to locate to say, HKG, I could buy the shorter leg ticket onwards to a new destination. Would it be possible to route in CX F from LAX-HKG-BKK and return for 145K?

Also, what constitutes Zone 7 for the oneworld award? If I use flying fish to calculate mileage, can I pretty much assume as long as the total mileage is below 25,000 I will be fine?
Pretty much; watch stopover and transit points, and remember that two non-AA OW partners are needed for a OW award.

For instance, if you could make your own way to ORD or JFK, you could squeeze in (ORD/JFK) IB MAD IB JNB BA LHR AA MIA AA ATL in J for 130K miles (zone 6).
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Old Aug 14, 09, 5:17 pm
  #15  
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What about JFK-LHR-JNB-LHR-JFK in AA and BA F? Could I get that for 150,000?
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