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CLT-LHR direct tomorrow night, or through PHL for ~100k fewer miles...?

CLT-LHR direct tomorrow night, or through PHL for ~100k fewer miles...?

Old May 1, 2024, 9:00 am
  #1  
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CLT-LHR direct tomorrow night, or through PHL for ~100k fewer miles...?

Currently booked business class on AA732 CLT-LHR tomorrow night (May 2) 8p-9a on an award ticket that's definitely not the most outstanding redemption rate. Checking options just for grins this morning, I saw an option through PHL arriving ~11am for ~100k fewer miles and put that on hold through tonight.

I try to avoid connections if at all possible and this is a short trip so I definitely want to get out tomorrow night. But 100k points potentially back in my pocket is a decent chunk for only arriving 2 hours later. ~2.5 hour connection in PHL. Doesn't look like any weather between CLT and PHL tomorrow. Would be a 789 over the Atlantic instead of a 772, and I've not been on a 787 yet.

Any strong feelings one way or another on this...? Would I be silly not to just take the PHL routing? Actually haven't been through the airport before.
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Old May 1, 2024, 9:13 am
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I guess it depends on how valuable 100,000 miles is to you. If you're sitting on a million miles and can easily earn more, I might do the nonstop. Otherwise, if you are watching your miles balance carefully, PHL should be a no brainer. IMO
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Old May 1, 2024, 9:23 am
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Originally Posted by jerseytom
Currently booked business class on AA732 CLT-LHR tomorrow night (May 2) 8p-9a on an award ticket that's definitely not the most outstanding redemption rate. Checking options just for grins this morning, I saw an option through PHL arriving ~11am for ~100k fewer miles and put that on hold through tonight.

I try to avoid connections if at all possible and this is a short trip so I definitely want to get out tomorrow night. But 100k points potentially back in my pocket is a decent chunk for only arriving 2 hours later. ~2.5 hour connection in PHL. Doesn't look like any weather between CLT and PHL tomorrow. Would be a 789 over the Atlantic instead of a 772, and I've not been on a 787 yet.

Any strong feelings one way or another on this...? Would I be silly not to just take the PHL routing? Actually haven't been through the airport before.
Do not assume that your held award connecting through PHL will not be cancelled as an "impossible booking" before tonight.
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Old May 1, 2024, 9:24 am
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seems like a no-brainer for me. you can buy a business class ticket to LHR for that many miles. unless the few extra hours of your time is worth the direct route, or it looks like there will be horrible weather in the area for your connection, snag it.

but decide now. the system wont allow you to have impossible reservations / tickets. if it sees you going to heathrow tomorrow AND having as reservation to go to heathrow tomorrow, it will cancel one of them.
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Old May 1, 2024, 9:26 am
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Originally Posted by 6P&E
I guess it depends on how valuable 100,000 miles is to you.
Yeah that's the trick isn't it.

I'd been sitting on ~500k, usually earn ~200k a year. Trying to keep my mile burn rate roughly around my earn rate plus or minus a bit and some buffer. Thinking through that to myself, the PHL option gets me way closer to parity on annual earn vs. redeem!

Edit: Glad I posted as I was totally unaware of what stant just pointed out; through PHL it will be!
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Last edited by jerseytom; May 1, 2024 at 9:31 am
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Old May 1, 2024, 9:43 am
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For 100k savings I would happily go through PHL. Good choice.
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Old May 1, 2024, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by jerseytom
Yeah that's the trick isn't it.

I'd been sitting on ~500k, usually earn ~200k a year. Trying to keep my mile burn rate roughly around my earn rate plus or minus a bit and some buffer. Thinking through that to myself, the PHL option gets me way closer to parity on annual earn vs. redeem!

Edit: Glad I posted as I was totally unaware of what stant just pointed out; through PHL it will be!
You'd have to leave a little earlier and arrive a little later, but if you'd prefer to connect in MUC . . .

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Old May 1, 2024, 10:24 am
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Originally Posted by guv1976
You'd have to leave a little earlier and arrive a little later, but if you'd prefer to connect in MUC
That's unfortunately a bit earlier than I can squeak out of work and get down to the airport. Pretty limited on flight time options.

That's eye-opening though, that there are some damn good last-minute one-way choices. Last time I'd looked at this I couldn't find any combinations of one-ways that were less than one return ticket, maybe I wasn't looking close-in enough.
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Old May 1, 2024, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by jerseytom
Last time I'd looked at this I couldn't find any combinations of one-ways that were less than one return ticket, maybe I wasn't looking close-in enough.
None of us have guv1976's search skills
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Old May 1, 2024, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by jerseytom
That's eye-opening though, that there are some damn good last-minute one-way choices. Last time I'd looked at this I couldn't find any combinations of one-ways that were less than one return ticket, maybe I wasn't looking close-in enough.
Because all AAdvantage flight awards are now fully refundable up until departure time, it's a good idea to periodically re-check award availability after you've booked something. As in your case, the results can (sometimes) be pleasantly surprising.
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Old May 1, 2024, 11:10 am
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Originally Posted by guv1976
Because all AAdvantage flight awards are now fully refundable up until departure time, it's a good idea to periodically re-check award availability after you've booked something. As in your case, the results can (sometimes) be pleasantly surprising.
Yeah the lesson I learned on this adventure is to use the reservation hold feature - even if you can only do so briefly with overlapping itineraries.

I had my original booking, and rebooked twice already trying to get lower fares. Worked the first time. The second time, in the ~30 minutes it took between cancelling my original and being able to actually use my miles again... the fare I wanted got snatched up and I was stuck.

Happy to have more than made up for it today!
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Old May 1, 2024, 2:38 pm
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Another factor to consider is that you are guaranteed a Super Diamond seat with the 789s out of PHL, whereas the CLT 772s will sometimes be the dreaded Zodiac seats. Neither airport has a FL anyway so that's a wash
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Old May 2, 2024, 1:38 am
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Originally Posted by bscooter26
Neither airport has a FL anyway so that's a wash
But PHLs is under construction
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Old May 2, 2024, 2:07 am
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Also you have two hours less to try stay awake on your day of arrival.
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Old May 2, 2024, 5:10 pm
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Welp, that was too good to be true. 😂🤦🏻‍♂️

Right before boarding our 319 to PHL was deemed unusable. Flight delayed to where PHL-LHR wouldn't happen.

First time for everything - Admirals Club agents were great for looking at options, apparently I have a PE seat on the late direct flight out of here. Bummer losing business class.
​​​​
I imagine in this situation I should be able to get a chunk of miles refunded for the outbound shenanigans.
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