AA Mileage Run/Calculation Question

Old Mar 27, 16, 4:20 pm
  #1  
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AA Mileage Run/Calculation Question

Hello all, this is my first post on the forum but I have visited the site many times - thank you for your sage advice.

For reasons I won't bore you with, I need to earn about 7,200 EQM no later than April 5, 2016. I am EXP. So a question in three parts:

(1) For connecting flight itineraries with at least one stop, if memory serves mileage is awarded based on actual mileage flown (i.e. distance from segment 1 to segment 2 and then segment 2 to segment 3), rather than distance from origin to final destination as if it were a nonstop flight - do I have that right? The obvious goal is to capture more miles by traveling on a longer connecting flight rather than a non-stop one.

(2) Assuming I have the above correct, when I search online for connecting-flight routings between my city pairs that are deliberately less efficient on the AA site, I don't see options through hubs (i.e. Dallas) the same as I used to. What's the best way to create a deliberately inefficient but also inexpensive itinerary to accomplish my goals?

(3) If all else fails, what is the best methodology to search for the least expensive ticket that meets a specific mileage target?

Thank you for your advice!
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Old Mar 27, 16, 4:35 pm
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Originally Posted by TrAAveler8 View Post
(1) For connecting flight itineraries with at least one stop, if memory serves mileage is awarded based on actual mileage flown (i.e. distance from segment 1 to segment 2 and then segment 2 to segment 3), rather than distance from origin to final destination as if it were a nonstop flight - do I have that right?
This is true IF the segments have different flight numbers. If an onward segment has the same number, e.g. AA175 BOS-DFW connecting to AA175 DFW-NRT, then you earn miles as though it were a single nonstop flight (BOS-NRT in that example).

Originally Posted by TrAAveler8 View Post
(2) Assuming I have the above correct, when I search online for connecting-flight routings between my city pairs that are deliberately less efficient on the AA site, I don't see options through hubs (i.e. Dallas) the same as I used to. What's the best way to create a deliberately inefficient but also inexpensive itinerary to accomplish my goals?
AA (and other airlines) have become pretty good about eliminating crazy routings on cheap fares. I'd suggest studying up on ITA Matrix and using that to search for multi-leg flights through specific hubs.

Originally Posted by TrAAveler8 View Post
(3) If all else fails, what is the best methodology to search for the least expensive ticket that meets a specific mileage target?
Google Flights, and/or FlyerTalk's own Mileage Run forum. I'd actually use these as a first resort in your situation.
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Old Mar 27, 16, 4:36 pm
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Yes if for example if you fly MIA/DFW/LAX you will get the EQMs for MIA/DFW and then the EQMs for DFW/LAX. However, if its all one flight number (with a stop) in that case the EQMs would be calculated as one single flight. Others can chime in about getting routings not showing on aa.com (IIRC illogical routings will cost extra $$). It would help if you tell us your originating airport and budget and time constraints.
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Old Mar 27, 16, 4:40 pm
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Welcome to FlyerTalk, TrAAveler8

Hello all, this is my first post on the forum but I have visited the site many times - thank you for your sage advice.

For reasons I won't bore you with, I need to earn about 7,200 EQM no later than April 5, 2016. I am EXP. So a question in three parts:

(1) For connecting flight itineraries with at least one stop, if memory serves mileage is awarded based on actual mileage flown (i.e. distance from segment 1 to segment 2 and then segment 2 to segment 3), rather than distance from origin to final destination as if it were a nonstop flight - do I have that right? The obvious goal is to capture more miles by traveling on a longer connecting flight rather than a non-stop one.
Not entirely; that's true for connecting flights with dissimilar flight numbers, through flights with the same number will generally earn A to C. E.g. AA 111 FCO-ORD (772) plus AA 111 ORD-LAX (738) = FCO-LAX for mileage earning purposes.

(2) Assuming I have the above correct, when I search online for connecting-flight routings between my city pairs that are deliberately less efficient on the AA site, I don't see options through hubs (i.e. Dallas) the same as I used to. What's the best way to create a deliberately inefficient but also inexpensive itinerary to accomplish my goals?
Trial and error. Use Google Flights, use the Multi City option on aa.com (you can sometimes force DFW etc. by inputting city pairs without nonstop flights).

(3) If all else fails, what is the best methodology to search for the least expensive ticket that meets a specific mileage target?
Start with Google Flights; you can set all kinds of parameters. Check the Travel Tools forum for threads like this one.

Check the Mileage Run - Discussion forum and the Mileage a Run Deals as well.
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Old Mar 28, 16, 5:10 am
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Ok, so i want to make sure i did not just screw the pooch on this one and miss out on miles. I am flying lga-dfw-hkg on aa137 both segments same flight number and the return is same flight number aa138. So do i earn 16,080 elite miles or 18,980?
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Old Mar 28, 16, 5:19 am
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You have "screwed the pooch"" (whatever that means!)
Unless you are actually stopping over in DFW and so catching a flight with the same flight number but on a different day
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Old Mar 28, 16, 5:32 am
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Originally Posted by Sheep View Post
Ok, so i want to make sure i did not just screw the pooch on this one and miss out on miles. I am flying lga-dfw-hkg on aa137 both segments same flight number and the return is same flight number aa138. So do i earn 16,080 elite miles or 18,980?
You'll earn about 16k miles, unfortunately.

On the bright side, you saved $9.00 in taxes/fees by booking through flights!
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Old Mar 28, 16, 5:53 am
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Originally Posted by rjw242 View Post
You'll earn about 16k miles, unfortunately.

On the bright side, you saved $9.00 in taxes/fees by booking through flights!
may have saved more than that depending on segment availability . A-C inventory is not necessarily the same as that of A-B followed by B-C
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Old Mar 28, 16, 7:15 am
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
may have saved more than that depending on segment availability . A-C inventory is not necessarily the same as that of A-B followed by B-C
Fantastic........When I booked the flights the price difference for different flight numbers was about $5 so I really missed that boat. I tried to call American because I could not request an upgrade on the domestic portion. To split the flight they wanted $200 change fee plus the $5-$6 in taxes. Any ideas on how I may be able to change to the different flight numbers or argue for the millage since it is different equipment?....grasping at straws here.
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Old Mar 28, 16, 7:21 am
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Originally Posted by Sheep View Post
Fantastic........When I booked the flights the price difference for different flight numbers was about $5 so I really missed that boat. I tried to call American because I could not request an upgrade on the domestic portion. To split the flight they wanted $200 change fee plus the $5-$6 in taxes. Any ideas on how I may be able to change to the different flight numbers or argue for the millage since it is different equipment?....grasping at straws here.
You're out of luck. Just take it as a lesson learned.
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Old Mar 28, 16, 8:20 am
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In that case, you're better off taking a cheap MR for that $200 and earning the miles that way.

Best thing to do is always avoid "direct" flights when traveling, as you get screwed on the miles.

I still have yet to see how a flight can be a "direct" flight when an equipment change or different plane is used for the onward leg. That's a connection, not a "stop." I know AA's not the only one that does it, but it's a crappy industry trick.
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Old Mar 28, 16, 8:24 am
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
In that case, you're better off taking a cheap MR for that $200 and earning the miles that way.

Best thing to do is always avoid "direct" flights when traveling, as you get screwed on the miles.

I still have yet to see how a flight can be a "direct" flight when an equipment change or different plane is used for the onward leg. That's a connection, not a "stop." I know AA's not the only one that does it, but it's a crappy industry trick.
Yea I was not going to spend the $200. Of course being short the planned 3k miles puts the SO just shy of gold status. Appreciate everyone chiming in.
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Old Mar 28, 16, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by Sheep View Post
Yea I was not going to spend the $200. Of course being short the planned 3k miles puts the SO just shy of gold status. Appreciate everyone chiming in.
If you're doing it as a challenge, though, I'd say it's worth it. If you fall short of the challenge, I don't think you could do it again for another year at least, possibly 2 depending on the rules (I only remember the US version currently).

If not, then don't worry about it - maybe a trip later in the year will put them over the edge.
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Old Mar 28, 16, 8:40 am
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
If you're doing it as a challenge, though, I'd say it's worth it. If you fall short of the challenge, I don't think you could do it again for another year at least, possibly 2 depending on the rules (I only remember the US version currently).

If not, then don't worry about it - maybe a trip later in the year will put them over the edge.
Ok, so get this. I called up the Platinum desk and they said that even though it is showing as direct and 16,114miles LGA->HKG, because of the equipment change in DFW I should earn miles based on the distance inclusive of the connection, so 19,000 miles. I confirmed that this was the case despite the same flight number. (Only wish I had it in writing).
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Old Mar 28, 16, 8:45 am
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Originally Posted by Sheep View Post
Ok, so get this. I called up the Platinum desk and they said that even though it is showing as direct and 16,114miles LGA->HKG, because of the equipment change in DFW I should earn miles based on the distance inclusive of the connection, so 19,000 miles. I confirmed that this was the case despite the same flight number. (Only wish I had it in writing).
This is simply incorrect. Yet another agent making something up when they don't know the answer
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