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Business class award or buy? Your thoughts.

Business class award or buy? Your thoughts.

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Old Apr 18, 16, 11:42 am
  #1  
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Business class award or buy? Your thoughts.

Ok - so here are my options.
There are two of us flying to South Africa this summer. Originally I redeemed two AA awards at 75,000 miles each way per person so a total redemption of 300,000 miles plus $1200 per person (total $2400) in fees.
I am an AA EXP and have re qualified.

Routing
IAD-LHR BA business
LHR-JNB BA business
JNB-CPT BA business

LVI-JNB BA business
JNB-MAD IB business
MAD-ORD IB business
*ultimately we are trying to return to DEN but of course no T/Z on the date we need ORD-DEN on AA

Now - Star Alliance - where I am a United 1K so this would help re qualify as I've hardly flown any *A this year - offered a bunch of cheap fares from Toronto.

I can get this for $2293 round-trip in business per person so about $1000 more per person than the award but of course saving 300,000 miles.

YYZ-LHR AC business
LHR-CPT BA business

JNB-LHR SA business
LHR-YYZ AC business

I like AC and SA business. We don't mind the old school SA seats as we are traveling in a pair. To me they are as good as BA seats and I actually like AC seats better than BA.

I realize we would have to buy tickets to Toronto (they are around $200) and also Toronto-Denver but it looks like I'd have to buy ORD-DEN anyway.

We could use miles on BA LVI-JNB at 10,000 in Y or 17,500 in J. That's $287 in Y or $442 in J.

Opinions, comments...
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Old Apr 18, 16, 11:49 am
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So you are asking whether 300,000 miles is basically worth $2,400 ($1,000/pp + two $200 tickets to YYZ)

That's a personal choice and comes down really to how you valuate your miles, whether coming up with that type of additional cash is a problem, or whether you are so miles rich that it does not matter.

For me? It's a no brainer. Buy the tickets, get the PQM which you think you need to requal on United, and save the 300,000 miles for the future.
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Old Apr 18, 16, 12:03 pm
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I would definitely use cash and save the miles. (That's a great fare!)
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Old Apr 18, 16, 12:04 pm
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Originally Posted by SMFlagg View Post
So you are asking whether 300,000 miles is basically worth $2,400 ($1,000/pp + two $200 tickets to YYZ)

That's a personal choice and comes down really to how you valuate your miles, whether coming up with that type of additional cash is a problem, or whether you are so miles rich that it does not matter.

For me? It's a no brainer. Buy the tickets, get the PQM which you think you need to requal on United, and save the 300,000 miles for the future.
Your math doesn't take everything into consideration. The miles earned will add a decent chunk, too.

I'd certainly take the paid tickets, unless you have a billion miles in your account. Rule of thumb is 1.5 cpm for AA miles. So that's $4500 right there, plus 35-50k more UA miles, $500-750 value.
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Old Apr 18, 16, 1:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
Your math doesn't take everything into consideration. The miles earned will add a decent chunk, too.

I'd certainly take the paid tickets, unless you have a billion miles in your account. Rule of thumb is 1.5 cpm for AA miles. So that's $4500 right there, plus 35-50k more UA miles, $500-750 value.
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Old Apr 18, 16, 1:57 pm
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I would buy the tickets also but this just demonstrates how little these miles are worth under the current structure.
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Old Apr 18, 16, 3:17 pm
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Buying would be the way to go considering the cheap fare and high surcharge.
However, it's frustrating to get the 300,000 miles back knowing how practically useless they've become unless I want to spend the whole bunch for 1 AAnytime ticket or go to HKG on CX first with 2 days notice or pay $1000 to fly in BA F/J.
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Old Apr 18, 16, 3:36 pm
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Use cash
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Old Apr 18, 16, 3:44 pm
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I think AA's recent trend to open up more J/F international awards on their own metal makes me also agree that buying the tickets is a better option. I've found AA international premium hard products are pretty nice (except for old slanted J). If down the road you can use those miles for their 777-300 J product while paying cash now i think that's the best use.

I will say I just did ORD-LHR rt in BA J and was pretty happy with the seat, considering the bashing BA seems to get on these boards. If you keep the original itinerary I think the hard product will get you there decently rested.
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Old Apr 18, 16, 3:59 pm
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What gets me is the difference between these great business class sale fares and the crazy BA surcharges. At least for me being on the east coast I find BA trans-Atlantic inventory much easier to get than AA but I resent paying $600 one-way plus the miles when the fare is $1500 one-way.
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Old Apr 18, 16, 5:35 pm
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Cash - you will earn some (more) miles as well.
BA fuel surcharges are evil.
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Old Apr 18, 16, 7:13 pm
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Originally Posted by chuck1 View Post
What gets me is the difference between these great business class sale fares and the crazy BA surcharges. At least for me being on the east coast I find BA trans-Atlantic inventory much easier to get than AA but I resent paying $600 one-way plus the miles when the fare is $1500 one-way.
Why not reroute your existing award on any other OW partner (QR, AY, RJ or AB) for the TATL sector to avoid the high taxes when you fly via LHR. That may change the value proposition. While the cash fare is pretty good, I would presume that you have already purchased your positioning flights, which may not be refundable.
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Old Apr 19, 16, 12:48 pm
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Cash.
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Old Apr 19, 16, 12:56 pm
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Cash x 2
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Old Apr 19, 16, 3:53 pm
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Echoing.... Buy. I'd save the miles and cash them in for JAL or something. Club World isn't worth it IMO....
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