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NYC - MSP and RNO - NYC standby for friend

NYC - MSP and RNO - NYC standby for friend

Old Dec 15, 18, 8:59 pm
  #1  
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NYC - MSP and RNO - NYC standby for friend

A friend and business partner of mine is a retired longtime AA employee and wants to fly NYC - MSP, then travel to RNO by land, then fly RNO - NYC during the holiday period. He can fly standby, but he's afraid of not making it on the desired dates. He's trying to spend as little $$$ as possible. What would be his most cost-effective option?
  1. Try to fly standby anyway.
  2. Book positive space (with a discount?).
  3. Book positive space on another airline (with a discount?).
  4. Book a flight for my Business Extra account.
  5. Let me book a MileSAAver for him.
  6. Let me book a flight for him to earn for my Business Extra account.
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Old Dec 15, 18, 9:04 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by Swadian View Post
A friend and business partner of mine is a retired longtime AA employee and wants to fly NYC - MSP, then travel to RNO by land, then fly RNO - NYC during the holiday period. He can fly standby, but he's afraid of not making it on the desired dates. He's trying to spend as little $$$ as possible. What would be his most cost-effective option?
  1. Try to fly standby anyway.
  2. Book positive space (with a discount?).
  3. Book positive space on another airline (with a discount?).
  4. Book a flight for my Business Extra account.
  5. Let me book a MileSAAver for him.
  6. Let me book a flight for him to earn for my Business Extra account.
His most cost-effective option is to have someone else secure a ticket for him.

It's very generous of you to offer to book a MileSAAver award ticket for him with your miles.
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Old Dec 16, 18, 8:57 am
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Originally Posted by Swadian View Post
A friend and business partner of mine is a retired longtime AA employee and wants to fly NYC - MSP, then travel to RNO by land, then fly RNO - NYC during the holiday period. He can fly standby, but he's afraid of not making it on the desired dates. He's trying to spend as little $$$ as possible. What would be his most cost-effective option?
  1. Try to fly standby anyway.
  2. Book positive space (with a discount?).
  3. Book positive space on another airline (with a discount?).
  4. Book a flight for my Business Extra account.
  5. Let me book a MileSAAver for him.
  6. Let me book a flight for him to earn for my Business Extra account.
What days is he flying? I have standby benefit (Z tixs) and am considering using them in a few weeks. Because of the timing of Christmas and new years there is a lot of open space on flights in December.

I would suggest he use myidtravel to check out the # of tickets being sold and then also look at the airline website seat maps to get a gauge of how many seats are available currently. Highly unlikely business travel will occur between 12/22 and 1/1. Non-business travel has likely been booked by now so what you see is probably not too far away from what will be available. Lots of cavets with the airline seat map, but if you see 60 unclaimed seats available 1 week in advance you are likely in good shape.

Also if he is using standby benefits he should consider flying into bigger airports (IAH instead of New Orleans, SFO instead of RNO).

Good luck
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Old Dec 16, 18, 9:01 am
  #4  
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Does AA allow you to use your Business Extra account for leisure travel, either as an award ticket or to earn?
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Old Dec 16, 18, 9:38 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Does AA allow you to use your Business Extra account for leisure travel, either as an award ticket...
Um, of course it does?

Whether you want to reward a top performer or thank a special client, you can start redeeming Business Extra points almost as quickly as you earn them.
https://www.businessextra.com/about.htm
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Old Dec 16, 18, 10:17 am
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Originally Posted by Swadian View Post
A friend and business partner of mine is a retired longtime AA employee and wants to fly NYC - MSP, then travel to RNO by land, then fly RNO - NYC during the holiday period. He can fly standby, but he's afraid of not making it on the desired dates. He's trying to spend as little $$$ as possible. What would be his most cost-effective option?
  1. Try to fly standby anyway.
  2. Book positive space (with a discount?).
  3. Book positive space on another airline (with a discount?).
  4. Book a flight for my Business Extra account.
  5. Let me book a MileSAAver for him.
  6. Let me book a flight for him to earn for my Business Extra account.
Relevant parts bolded. This is a silly question. Of course his most cost-effective option is to have you book him a ticket...
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Old Dec 17, 18, 12:00 pm
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Originally Posted by wetrat0 View Post
Relevant parts bolded. This is a silly question. Of course his most cost-effective option is to have you book him a ticket...
I believe that the only non-stop RNO-NYC is on B6. I'd encourage him to go for that on a zed/ID90 ticket, use your miles as a back-up. If memory serves right it is the last flight of the night so staying at the Grand Sierra Resort would be a great fall-back before taking AA the next day.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 4:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Swadian View Post
He can fly standby, but he's afraid of not making it on the desired dates. He's trying to spend as little $$$ as possible.
These two options contradict each other.

One can fly standby ... but needs to accept the need to be flexible in regard to dates and times. Someone savvy with the online system for employees can try to predict better by looking at different options and being flexible.

On the other hand, if you need to fly on the desired dates, that requires buying a ticket.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 8:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Swadian View Post
A friend and business partner of mine is a retired longtime AA employee and wants to fly NYC - MSP, then travel to RNO by land, then fly RNO - NYC during the holiday period. He can fly standby, but he's afraid of not making it on the desired dates. He's trying to spend as little $$$ as possible. What would be his most cost-effective option?
  1. Try to fly standby anyway.
  2. Book positive space (with a discount?).
  3. Book positive space on another airline (with a discount?).
  4. Book a flight for my Business Extra account.
  5. Let me book a MileSAAver for him.
  6. Let me book a flight for him to earn for my Business Extra account.
Well, you could spend some time checking the costs/availability associated with Mileage awards, BE points, or $$$
If he really needs to be to certain places on certain dates, then standby tickets during the holidays might not be a good idea, but of course, maybe you know someone who can check the passenger loads for certain flights.
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Last edited by mvoight; Dec 17, 18 at 8:35 pm
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Old Dec 17, 18, 8:41 pm
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Originally Posted by dc9703 View Post
What days is he flying? I have standby benefit (Z tixs) and am considering using them in a few weeks. Because of the timing of Christmas and new years there is a lot of open space on flights in December.

I would suggest he use myidtravel to check out the # of tickets being sold and then also look at the airline website seat maps to get a gauge of how many seats are available currently. Highly unlikely business travel will occur between 12/22 and 1/1. Non-business travel has likely been booked by now so what you see is probably not too far away from what will be available. Lots of cavets with the airline seat map, but if you see 60 unclaimed seats available 1 week in advance you are likely in good shape.

Also if he is using standby benefits he should consider flying into bigger airports (IAH instead of New Orleans, SFO instead of RNO).

Good luck
Well, you almost never see 60 unclaimed seats 1 week before departure due to AA holding seats for elite members. I don't understand New Orleans? MSP is a big airport, RNO not so much. I guess he should just standby and go for it?

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Does AA allow you to use your Business Extra account for leisure travel, either as an award ticket or to earn?
This is business travel, not leisure travel. We have to drive a commercial vehicle from Minneapolis to Reno (I'm the owner of the vehicle, he is my partner).

Originally Posted by wetrat0 View Post
Relevant parts bolded. This is a silly question. Of course his most cost-effective option is to have you book him a ticket...
Of course it is, but that's not the most cost-effective option for me.

Originally Posted by worldwidedreamer View Post
I believe that the only non-stop RNO-NYC is on B6. I'd encourage him to go for that on a zed/ID90 ticket, use your miles as a back-up. If memory serves right it is the last flight of the night so staying at the Grand Sierra Resort would be a great fall-back before taking AA the next day.
There are no SAAver awards available on those dates and I'm unwilling to buy an AAnytime for him.

Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
These two options contradict each other.

One can fly standby ... but needs to accept the need to be flexible in regard to dates and times. Someone savvy with the online system for employees can try to predict better by looking at different options and being flexible.

On the other hand, if you need to fly on the desired dates, that requires buying a ticket.
It's an awkward situation for us as I'm the owner of the vehicle and he's going to be driving it. Our dates are somewhat flexible as we're not carrying revenue passengers, but we can't take forever getting to Reno either. We need to meet at MSP and take it to a shop for some work before going to RNO. The vehicle is operable but I want the work done before going to RNO because there's no such shop in RNO.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 10:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Swadian View Post
This is business travel, not leisure travel. We have to drive a commercial vehicle from Minneapolis to Reno (I'm the owner of the vehicle, he is my partner).
In that case, non-revving is against the rules and if caught he may very well lose his pass privileges.

From the American Airlines 2018 Travel Guide:
Team members, retirees, eligible travelers and guests may only use travel privileges for personal pleasure travel. Personal travel privileges may not be used for any kind of business-related travel.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 10:30 am
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Originally Posted by Swadian View Post

This is business travel, not leisure travel. We have to drive a commercial vehicle from Minneapolis to Reno (I'm the owner of the vehicle, he is my partner).
Looks to me like AA is selling RNO to NYC tickets anywhere from $180-300 during the week between Christmas and New Years. If you pay that, you'll get business extra points, he'll earn miles, and you'll have a tax deduction -- plus your partner avoids running afoul of the NRSA rules or worrying about travel dates.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 10:35 am
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It's also an expense of the business, so tax-deductible. That reduces the ultimate net cost of the ticket by the business entity's marginal tax rate, making standby and miles usage even less attractive.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 2:52 pm
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Originally Posted by TWA884 View Post
In that case, non-revving is against the rules and if caught he may very well lose his pass privileges.

From the American Airlines 2018 Travel Guide:
Technically you could say it is personal pleasure as he is volunteering and is not being compensated. Also, the vehicle even though it is a commercial vehicle is not being used to generate revenue or for commercial purposes.

The reason I have to pay for his flights or use my miles is because he is an uncompensated volunteer.

Last edited by Swadian; Dec 18, 18 at 2:58 pm
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Old Dec 19, 18, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by Swadian View Post
Well, you almost never see 60 unclaimed seats 1 week before departure due to AA holding seats for elite members. I don't understand New Orleans? MSP is a big airport, RNO not so much. I guess he should just standby and go for it?
You'd be surprised. Earlier this morning, I just looked at a UA SFO to DFW flight 12 days out and there were 102 open seats available on a 737. A few other options with 60+ seats too on the same day. Just gotta pick flights that you would normally not want to do, early in the morning or later in the evening.

I had my airports confused. When i saw MSP, i thought New Orleans (MSY). You are right, MSP is a good sized airport.
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