Valuing AA miles

Old Sep 17, 19, 6:17 am
  #1  
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Valuing AA miles

What are your AA miles worth?. I did a comparison of fares on Kayak for the dates April 26 to May 4 i from SFO to LON basic economy. The AA/BA, De, and UA family all had nonstops for the my dates at the same price $389rt You could book a BA non stop the dates for 60K miles rt PLUS $640!

DO NOT mention business class on AA metal there is almost none from the sfo to the LON and none you want from the LON to the SFO for April to June!! I did do a similar check on Kayak and the fare for a similar but different dates is $2669. There were no BA non-stops from SFO for the dates I wanted so i choose for comparison the best available and the return had a non stop. The cost 115K miles plus $1547!!! For $1,122 more you can choose a MUCH better airline than BA!
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Old Sep 17, 19, 6:25 am
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1. You cannot value miles based on 1 data point
2. In the first paragraph, you were pricing out Basic Economy. Your miles get you Economy, not BE, from everything I've seen.
3. A useful post title would be beneficial.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 9:52 am
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Originally Posted by electriclarry View Post
<snip> you can choose a MUCH better airline than BA!
The end of your statement is true, in almost any situation, no matter what comes before it. I value my AA miles highly, and believe that I receive exceptional value from them. The changes in JAL's booking window will make it more difficult, but I am still pleased with the program. I do not use them to fly with (and generally avoid) BA.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 10:08 am
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Originally Posted by electriclarry View Post
What are your AA miles worth?. I did a comparison of fares on Kayak for the dates April 26 to May 4 i from SFO to LON basic economy. The AA/BA, De, and UA family all had nonstops for the my dates at the same price $389rt You could book a BA non stop the dates for 60K miles rt PLUS $640!

DO NOT mention business class on AA metal there is almost none from the sfo to the LON and none you want from the LON to the SFO for April to June!! I did do a similar check on Kayak and the fare for a similar but different dates is $2669. There were no BA non-stops from SFO for the dates I wanted so i choose for comparison the best available and the return had a non stop. The cost 115K miles plus $1547!!! For $1,122 more you can choose a MUCH better airline than BA!
I recently spent 65,000 AA miles for business class on Qatar for JNB-DOH-DFW, then AA First from DFW-LAX. A quick look at Kayak says that it would be about $3,700 for the one way on Qatar. But if I was willing to take Alitalia (is that the same to you?) I could go for only $2,100. So what is the value of a mile to you on that particular routing?
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Old Sep 17, 19, 10:11 am
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I changed the thread title to be something more meaningful, other than, "I've seen this before," which really doesn't give the reader any information as to what the thread is about. See the following rule:
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Old Sep 17, 19, 10:31 am
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I find AA miles value differ from person to person. It all depends how you fly. Do you book last minute or months in advance. Do you fly one way or round trip? Do you fly business or economy. Where are you based?

Everyone has different valuations based on their situation. For me, I find more value booking partner airlines, such as Qatar and Finnair ex-Europe than I find booking AA metal EX-USA. In this case I can value my miles as much as 3 cents a mile. Booking AA metal I value those miles as little as 1 cent a mile.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 11:53 am
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I value miles at less than 1 cent per mile. I look to redeem typically 1 month to 11 months in advance, on domestic flights in Y

1. Of the numerous trips over the last few years where I have wanted to burn miles, I have yet to come across any value much above 1 cent per mile on a pure (current cash price)/(miles needed to redeem as an award) basis. I have seen this as low as 0.5 cents per mile, and as high as 1.2 cents per mile, but it is uncanny how often it is between 0.9-1.1 cents per mile. With web special, mile saaver, aanytime, anytime 2, and anytime 3 levels of redemption, domestic coach award pricing tracks cash pricing pretty dang tightly.

2. The real value though is less than the current cash price/miles needed to redeem calculation. On award tickets, I can't get upgrades, and the award tickets that can be gotten for web special or mile saaver rates are pretty much always the routes/times that I actually have a likelihood of upgrading. And of course, award tickets don't count towards EQM, EQDs, or EQSs or Million mileage status ---- This really hurts when it comes to being able to start looking at longer haul flights where mileage redemptions look more valuable -- if I do redeem an award for a long haul, it likely means I will fail to reach a given level of status for next year as a result.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 11:55 am
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I managed saver tickets to China and from Japan. 130k r/t plus $40 in taxes, but that was a $4000+ route. That might be a unicorn (two saver tickets not on BA) but $0.03/mi!

Two last minute tickets two Christmases ago when my grandmother passed away - $750 each, or 40000mi. Awful value for r/t economy but still almost $0.02/mi.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 12:45 pm
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As has been said, I think the value changes case-to-case, but there's still significant value to be had, especially to Asia. I have found my AA miles fairly valuable for international leisure travel. Recently flew Europe -> Asia (connecting via HKG) on CX in first class, excellent product, 90k AA miles. Have also flown to Japan on JL in business for cheap (I think ~60k each way if memory serves). Both examples of flights with sky high dollar prices that I got huge value on using miles.

I certainly agree that BA is terrible with their surcharges but booking farther out (maybe 2 months) I've found decent TCON and TATL availability on AA metal. Though once you get closer in it's very rare. Flying out of NY, I've been seeing more IB options to various places in Europe lately without the absurd BA fees.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 3:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post
...
Two last minute tickets two Christmases ago when my grandmother passed away - $750 each, or 40000mi. Awful value for r/t economy but still almost $0.02/mi.
In the past we have used last-minute flight awards to attend funerals. With the current blackout of economy Saaver fares for 14 days out, this has become much less attractive. Although I guess you're right; even at 40000 miles for a r/t anytime award (instead of the old 25k which we could frequently find) it's still cheaper than a last-minute walkup fare.

I hate that 40k is the new 25k.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 4:20 pm
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Originally Posted by ehallison View Post
In the past we have used last-minute flight awards to attend funerals. With the current blackout of economy Saaver fares for 14 days out, this has become much less attractive. Although I guess you're right; even at 40000 miles for a r/t anytime award (instead of the old 25k which we could frequently find) it's still cheaper than a last-minute walkup fare.

I hate that 40k is the new 25k.
It was Christmas time, so 12.5k out on the 19th, but some crazy 25k or 30k one-way on the 25th. Otherwise the 25k (or less with web specials) is still the norm if you find the availability.

I had not heard about the blackout on 14days but I've also since lost my AA Gold status which would mean spending $100 on last minute booking fees.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 4:32 pm
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Originally Posted by ehallison View Post
...current blackout of economy Saaver fares for 14 days out...
Say whaaatt?
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Old Sep 17, 19, 4:37 pm
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It definitely depends on how you use them and where you live. I routinely use domestic Biz MilesAAvers combined with the reduced mileage award discounts for a ticket that averages $450 (so using 21,250 miles). That comes to roughly $0.02/mile in value for me.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 6:39 pm
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Originally Posted by sbrower View Post
I recently spent 65,000 AA miles for business class on Qatar for JNB-DOH-DFW, then AA First from DFW-LAX.
Solid redemption!
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Old Sep 17, 19, 6:49 pm
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I just did CLT-LAX-NAN for 80K per ticket for three of us and then HKG-JFK for three of us for 70K per ticket in B/C with the TPAC flights being on Air Fiji and Cathay Pacific respectively. Think those are fairly solid redemptions. I won't use my miles generally except for international BC /FC redemptions.

Safe Travels
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