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Multiple Economy GSO-DUB trips: how to maximize to earn EXP?

Multiple Economy GSO-DUB trips: how to maximize to earn EXP?

Old Jan 24, 20, 2:21 pm
  #1  
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Question Basic Economy Is Driving Me Crazy

From a secondary East Coast airport (GSO), any advice on booking 11 flights to DUB on AA or partners, with reasonable prices, and getting full EQMs?

As in, no Basic Economy netting me .5 AA miles or BA Low Economy @ 50% Avios. But still getting the prices as low as possible. It'd be a lot cheaper on UA+EL, but that's no way to live. :-)

I lost XP last year, down to Plat, but a new job means 12 trips/year to Ireland, with a good bit of discretion on which week per month I will travel. And I can book well ahead of time, so I can make it look like, coming and going, the trips are months long, not a week long. Trip #1 finished yesterday.

With a little creative extra flying elsewhere I should get back to XP by December. I guess I could switch to UA, but I'd rather not. I'd be starting from scratch, without even the AA Plat accelerator helping me out from Day 1, and EL miles don't seem to count as EQMs on any US carrier.

Thanks!

Last edited by JDiver; Jan 25, 20 at 8:50 pm Reason: Restore original post title
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Old Jan 24, 20, 2:29 pm
  #2  
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To get back to EXP the OP will need to spend $15K (exclusive of taxes) not just fly 100K EQMs. Therefore the OP needs to think more than just dirt cheap tickets that aren't BE. OP think of what your monthly spend is going to be (will need more than $12K a month) and plan from there.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
To get back to EXP the OP will need to spend $15K (exclusive of taxes) not just fly 100K EQMs. Therefore the OP needs to think more than just dirt cheap tickets that aren't BE. OP think of what your monthly spend is going to be (will need more than $12K a month) and plan from there.
Thanks, yes, good point. I'm monitoring the spend to ensure I hit the minimum. Although, did you mean to type $1,200/month, not $12k. My heart skipped when I saw that. :-)

Right now typical AA GSO-DUB is ~1600.

Last edited by traderjo; Jan 24, 20 at 2:42 pm
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Old Jan 24, 20, 2:38 pm
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Should also note the 12 GSO-DUB trips in 2020 is a minimum. I can add in the odd domestic trip when needed, and not get pushback.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 2:48 pm
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I plugged in random Sunday - Sunday GSO-DUB trips in the Spring and it came up around $1200 for BE, with the add on cost to MC being only $120 more. What kind of deltas are you seeing between BE and MC?
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Old Jan 24, 20, 2:56 pm
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Hmm, is Basic Economy really your problem? I don't see much of a price difference between BE and regular economy in this market.

Having said that, the cheapest fares require a Saturday night stay, which is probably not great for work purposes. However, you can mostly solve that with a series of nested tickets as long as you stay over on your first Saturday night. Basically:
  1. Book your first ticket starting in GSO to fly out in January and return in December. Hypotehtically let's say departing January 27 (Monday) and returning December 18 (Friday)
  2. Read the fare rules and verify what the minimum stay requirement is. Probably you just need to stay overnight Saturday, so in my hypothetical example returning no earlier than February 3rd.
  3. Now book a series of DUB->GSO roundtrips. The first of these might depart February 3rd (Sunday, to get your Saturday night stay) and then return February 24 (Monday). You no longer have to worry about minimum stay requirements because each of these trips is totally legal. So can do a series of Friday departures and Monday returns and no longer have to stay in Ireland for the weekend in order to get a good fare.
  4. Your last trip ends back in Dublin on December 14 so you can catch your return flight from step #1 above.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 4:05 pm
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Thanks for your help with this. You're both right, it's down to being *even more* flexible with the travel days than I thought I was being, accepting that there's no way to filter BE from the results, and accepting a $120 increase to whatever most of the listed prices were. By changing to e.g. Wednesday - Thursday 8 day trips, I'm able to get the prices down to something close enough to UA/EL to get the flights approved.

Whew, I was eyeing EL and worrying I was about to waste a year of travel for no usable gains.

Thanks again, it's really appreciated!
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Old Jan 24, 20, 7:51 pm
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Originally Posted by traderjo View Post
Thanks for your help with this. You're both right, it's down to being *even more* flexible with the travel days than I thought I was being, accepting that there's no way to filter BE from the results, and accepting a $120 increase to whatever most of the listed prices were. By changing to e.g. Wednesday - Thursday 8 day trips, I'm able to get the prices down to something close enough to UA/EL to get the flights approved.

Whew, I was eyeing EL and worrying I was about to waste a year of travel for no usable gains.

Thanks again, it's really appreciated!
There are ways to search AA flights without seeing BE tickets
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Old Jan 24, 20, 8:06 pm
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If BE is driving you crazy, you have the wrong mindset. Just don't book it. It shows up as a separate column on the website and requires you to check a box explaining that you understand the special restrictions. Pretty easy to avoid and hard to book it in error.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 9:04 pm
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I'd quit my job if they required me to only fly BE.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 9:10 pm
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
Therefore the OP needs to think more than just dirt cheap tickets that aren't BE.
Well, how about dirt cheap tickets that aren't BE with a BA flight number? Then OP gets 10 cpm of EQD regardless of price.
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Old Jan 25, 20, 8:34 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by dunno282 View Post
I'd quit my job if they required me to only fly BE.
Business travel plans change all the time. Losing the full value of a ticket and having to rebook is not a business-friendly kind of fare. Most corporate travel agencies carefully manage changes/cancelations to be able to use whatever credit is left after the change fees, when applicable.

As an independent who books my own travel and bills my customers, they are all fine with me booking the best available non-BE fare. Thank God.
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