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FlyerTalk Forums Thread Wiki: AA: LAX-JFK-MIA-PTY RT $702 in A/J 18.9K EQMs
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OCTOBER 2016 UPDATE

LAX-JFK TRANSCONTINENTAL FLIGHTS:
Recent fare rule inclusions, effective October 2016, now prevent any routing via JFK on the non-stop transcontinental A321T aircraft. Any future booking will demand a significantly higher fare to route on the non-stops via JFK. Unless the fare rules are modified and these clauses are removed (highly doubtful), the ability to fly on the transcons via JFK is a thing of the past.
Quote:
IF THE FARE COMPONENT INCLUDES TRAVEL BETWEEN LAX AND NYC
THEN THAT TRAVEL MUST BE ON
ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING
ANY AA FLIGHT OPERATED BY AA
BUT NOT ON AIRBUS INDUSTRIE A321 (SHARKLETS) AIRCRAFT.
AND
IF THE FARE COMPONENT INCLUDES TRAVEL BETWEEN SFO AND NYC
THEN THAT TRAVEL MUST BE ON
ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING
ANY AA FLIGHT OPERATED BY AA
BUT NOT ON AIRBUS INDUSTRIE A321 (SHARKLETS) AIRCRAFT.

1. Same day turns possible on the E-jets and morning 738s.

2. Bonuses now based on fare paid.

3. As of OCTOBER 2016, best fares are now around $1000. Fare tends to rise a few hundred for 2 pax. Fares can also occasionally rise for no discernible reason, but the price spikes have thus far proven to be temporary. Fares have the trend to drop during the year. Keep checking for fares in the $700-$800 ranges for best possible pricing.

4. Airport hotels with shuttles - Crowne Plaza Panama Airport & Riande Aeropuerto. The CP is slightly closer; the Riande is slightly nicer. The CP shuttle leaves the hotel every :00 and :30 and runs 24 hours but they seem to leave a few minutes early as it had left when I went down at 4:00AM on the dot. Also, note UberX charges a US$14 surcharge on top of the ~US$2 fare. CP has poor sound isolation, I could hear my neighbors on both sides including talking, crying baby etc. Had to wear earplugs to sleep.

5. Lounges:

Please refer to this thread for more detailed and accurate information on lounge access in general: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...es-2016-a.html
LAX AIRPORT

= When trying to gain oneworld J / QF F access based on status, it is simply departing/connecting/arriving at any point on same ticket to and from an eligible international destination. PTY is eligible and not excluded regardless of length.

= When trying to gain oneworld J / QF F access based on class of service disregarding status, it is the international long haul clause that applies. Therefore, no "oneworld/QF lounge" access for non-elites for trips to and from PTY unless booking transcons since PTY is under 5 hours. BUT AA doesn't enforce this in their own lounges so Admirals Club access is expected.


AA GOLDs(RUBYs)/NON-ELITES
Admirals Club access is granted regardless of routing as AA does not enforce international long haul rule. However, the oneworld J lounge does for Golds(rubys)/non-elites as they are aware the PTY flights are under 5 hours. Booking transcon flights in J/F gains access to the OWJ/QFF lounges.
<Transcon 3-class (JFK/MIA) in F = Admirals + Flagship + LAX oneworld J lounge + QF F Lounge LAX>
<Transcon 3-class (JFK/MIA) in J = Admirals + LAX oneworld J lounge>
<Non-Transcon F (2-class) + PTY = Technically NONE (PTY under 5 hours therefore class of service rule applies) BUT AA still opens Admirals Club doors to all customers because they dont enforce the long-haul rule>

AA PLATINUMs
Platinums gain access to all AC/Business lounges regardless of routing due to flying to and from PTY. They gain access to First/Flagship lounges when traveling in F 3-class transcon
<Transcon 3-class (JFK/MIA) in F = Admirals + Flagship + LAX oneworld J lounge + QF F Lounge LAX>
<Transcon 3-class (JFK/MIA) in J = Admirals + LAX oneworld J lounge>
<Non-Transcon F (2-class) + PTY = Admirals + LAX oneworld J>

AA EXPs
EXPs have access to all lounges at all airports regardless of routing so long as they are traveling to and from PTY on the same itinerary (an international destination neither excluded from AA's list of ineligible regions nor limited by the flight length rule)
<EXPs Transcon F (2-class) + PTY = Admirals + Flagship + LAX oneworld J + QF F lounge LAX>
<EXPs Non-Transcon F (2-class) + PTY = Admirals + Flagship + LAX oneworld J + QF F lounge LAX>
<EXPs on Transcon 3-class (JFK/MIA + PTY) in Y = Admirals + Flagship + LAX oneworld J + QF F lounge LAX>
<EXPs on Transcon 3-class (JFK/MIA + PTY) in J = Admirals + Flagship + LAX oneworld J + QF F lounge LAX>
<EXPs on Transcon 3-class (JFK/MIA + PTY) in F = Admirals + Flagship + LAX oneworld J + QF F lounge LAX>

NON-AA ONEWORLD ELITES
All sapphires and emeralds have some form of lounge access on any flight systemwide
<non-AA sapphires on ALL AA FLIGHTS = Admirals Club + oneworld J lounge LAX>
<non-AA emeralds on ALL AA FLIGHTS = Admirals Club + oneworld J lounge LAX + Flagship Lounge + QF F lounge LAX>



OTHER AIRPORTS

SFO - Admiral's Club (Centurion Lounge for a fee)
JFK - Admirals Club & Flagship Lounge for EXP/First 3-class/Emerald
MIA - Admiral's Club (Centurion Lounge for a fee), Oneworld Premium Lounge for EXP/First 3-Class/Emerald
PTY - No lounge access (Copa with PP, or for a fee, for 7am or later flights)
YVR - No lounge access (PP for a fee)
DFW - Admiral's Club (with F/C Dining for EXP/Emerald) (Centurion Lounge for a fee)


6. PTY Customs:
Inbound to PTY -
  • 12 noon - no lines reported
  • 8PM Fri (5/27/16) - ~10 min line

Outbound to MIA -
  • 4:40am - no lines reported
7. Finding flights:

NOTE: LAX-JFK NO LONGER VALID FOR LOWEST FARES (effective OCT 2016)

If you want the transcon bonus, enter the search with a connection in JFK. (e.g. LAX-JFK,JFK-MIA,MIA-PTY,PTY-JFK,JFK-SFO.) You can play around from there to get the best deal. Some of the better deals do not start and end in the same city (e.g. start in LAX, end in SFO may be cheaper than start/end in LAX).

Also, it's possible on the outbound portion to time it so you have no more than a 60-minute layover at JFK or MIA (though note that some of these flights aren't available on weekends). While yes, JFK is notorious for delays, this rarely applies for inbound red-eye flights. Also, note that AA 28 below is sometimes "hidden" if you're looking on Google Flights inside a much more expensive trip; that does not necessarily mean, however, that you can't get it for one of the trips under $1,000 (in other words, try it out to see).

NOTE: LAX-JFK NO LONGER VALID FOR LOWEST FARES (effective OCT 2016)

Below is the shortest-possible outbound itinerary that has the LAX-JFK transcon on AA's A321T with flat-bed seats:

LAX-JFK on AA 28
10:45pm - 7:22am

JFK-MIA on AA 200
8:15am - 11:24am
(Note: AA has now switched all of the metal it used on this leg - on all JFK-MIA nonstops - to 757s instead of the 767s with international-style F & J seating.)***767 and 772 are back. Flight 200 is a 772**

MIA-PTY on AA 4434
12:33pm - 2:48pm
(Note: Even more distressingly, AA switched from using a 737 on this leg to an RJ, presumably because summer is off-peak season in Central America. The 6:05pm flight still uses a 737 if a full-size aircraft is a must.)
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Old Sep 4, 16, 4:27 pm   #1726
  
Join Date: Dec 2015
Programs: AA EXP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 355F1 View Post
Just learning this!

I have 157,000 EQMs this year already and a trip to Bali in Nov will bring me to 180,000 so I am thinking of doing one of these runs to hit 200,000 for the additional SWUs.

I did a few MR's earlier this year to JNB on BA in PE and a few $1600 J trips to Europe on BA, hence why I have so many EQMs.
Why waste time and money on this mileage run when you can do a miles and points upgrade instead?
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Old Sep 4, 16, 6:23 pm   #1727
  
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Just a heads up! Many of you are probably aware of several AA schedule/equipment changes being made this weekend for future travel. So far, one change directly impacting this run is the MIA-PTY-MIA flights on the E-jets. Most have been scheduled slightly earlier for 12:53pm-3:00pm (was 1:16-3:23pm) and returning from PTY at 3:40pm-7:45pm (was 4:03-8:09). I received a schedule change notification for my trip in October. Anyone with a run booked should double check their trip on AA.com.

Given its been moved about 25 minutes earlier, it shouldn't have much of an impact on most trips. However, if you are traveling from another city that day and your connection has now become tighter, you should consider whether to change flights around or take the risk as it now stands.
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Old Sep 4, 16, 7:00 pm   #1728
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bspahn View Post
Why waste time and money on this mileage run when you can do a miles and points upgrade instead?
Came from DL just for 2016.

Not sure exactly what you mean.

All of my travel is for fun and I turn MR's into mini vacations.

Care to explain.....?
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Old Sep 4, 16, 10:34 pm   #1729
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 355F1 View Post
Came from DL just for 2016.

Not sure exactly what you mean.

All of my travel is for fun and I turn MR's into mini vacations.

Care to explain.....?
2 SWUs are equivalent to $700 + 70k miles ($350 + 35k miles x 2). So the point was if you have a ton of miles already and are spending $700+, you can spend the same, save yourself time from MRing, and request the upgrades with miles + co-pay instead of trying to get 2 more SWUs. But, if you like spending time on planes more then go for it.
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Old Sep 4, 16, 11:54 pm   #1730
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 355F1 View Post
Came from DL just for 2016.

Not sure exactly what you mean.

All of my travel is for fun and I turn MR's into mini vacations.

Care to explain.....?
You may wanna look at other destinations if you consider MRs mini vacations. PTY has the worst weather this time of year where it rains almost every day all of October and most of November. February is the driest month where you can soak up the sun and really enjoy yourself out and about. But as that would be 2017 and not count for this EQM year, theres no way around it. I just think if you are spending all this money just to do it for fun, then go somewhere thats worthwhile and at the right time of year.

Since it sounds like you would have a TON of award miles, you should be using them for mileage upgrades on trips to destinations fitting for "vacations"

I have nothing against Panama City. I just think guaranteed rainy, humid weather is a sign to do a quick turnaround in PTY
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Old Sep 4, 16, 11:55 pm   #1731
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikelat View Post
2 SWUs are equivalent to $700 + 70k miles ($350 + 35k miles x 2). So the point was if you have a ton of miles already and are spending $700+, you can spend the same, save yourself time from MRing, and request the upgrades with miles + co-pay instead of trying to get 2 more SWUs. But, if you like spending time on planes more then go for it.
EXACTLY! well said!
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Old Sep 5, 16, 1:10 am   #1732
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisin5268d View Post
Hey folks, I got the ITA Powertools working with Chrome - but I still can only search for 6 flights at a time. Am I missing something to search for & book more than 6 flights together?
Yes, you need to use the advance routing codes fields to force additional sectors. Something like the following would force more sectors:

LAX
LAS PHX PHL MCO MIA

PTY
MIA MCO PHL PHX LAS

There are plenty of guide threads on how to use Matrix on here - so a simple search should throw them up.
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Old Sep 5, 16, 2:04 am   #1733
  
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Originally Posted by rossmacd View Post
Yes, you need to use the advance routing codes fields to force additional sectors. Something like the following would force more sectors:

LAX
LAS PHX PHL MCO MIA

PTY
MIA MCO PHL PHX LAS

There are plenty of guide threads on how to use Matrix on here - so a simple search should throw them up.

I appreciate the response. I've read several guides on this site and others but haven't seen anything addressing adding additional segments. The advanced routing codes are all for other purposes. I gave up trying to read through thousands of thread posts.


Is there a particular guide you can recommend that covers this? If you, or someone, could just point me to the right guide I'll be able to sort this out.
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Old Sep 5, 16, 2:14 am   #1734
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisin5268d View Post
I appreciate the response. I've read several guides on this site and others but haven't seen anything addressing adding additional segments. The advanced routing codes are all for other purposes. I gave up trying to read through thousands of thread posts.


Is there a particular guide you can recommend that covers this? If you, or someone, could just point me to the right guide I'll be able to sort this out.
The advanced routing codes are for adding additional segments. By putting in the transfer airports, you are adding additional segments.

There are some guides available:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/13303030-post4.html
http://www.travelcodex.com/2012/01/i...-to-using-ita/

Otherwise, PM with your preferred routing and I can try and help
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Old Sep 5, 16, 8:23 am   #1735
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiley90 View Post
Officially SDC on an international itinery is not possible outside of JFK-LHR flights but you can always call in and try.

Security at PTY was a breeze. From leaving my uber to sitting in the COPA lounge took 10 minutes.

I noticed I had online SDC options for MIA-PTY yesterday. I didn't bite because it would have placed my outbound after my return, but I was surprised because I didn't expect to see any options as it was an international itinerary.

Also, I agree that security at PTY is a total joke. The holding pens by the gates are very annoying, though. Aside from them being restrictive, and aside from the airport smelling awful, I was pretty surprised when they took away my nail file and curled scissors from my toiletry bag. I've flown throughout the world with those for years!
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Old Sep 5, 16, 8:30 am   #1736
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedwoodA320 View Post
I'm doing this run right now. I booked it last night -- I found a pretty attractive last-minute set of flights.

Sat Sept 3
LAX-MIA
AA 68 (11:00a - 6:59p)
77W departing from TBIT! So convenient!


Sun Sept 4
MIA-PTY
AA 1021 (9:45a - 11:53a)

738

PTY-MIA
AA 4434 (3:41p - 7:46p)

E75


Mon Sept 5
MIA-BOS
AA 1509 (7:00a - 10:15a)
757

BOS-JFK
AA 1509 (5:35p - 7:02p)
A321T in First

JFK-LAX
AA 23 (10:30p - 1:43a)
A321T in Biz


SDC Question: is it possible to SDC one segment of this? Obviously this cant be done online. Can it be done at the airport? By phone? Is there a fee? That segment was booked into A.

I'd love to move the MIA-BOS flight to later -- it's just a crappy 757 so not missing out on anything, and I'd rather spent more time in Miami!


Just an awesome little update on this:

In light of the travel waiver for JFK (which surprisingly works for me even though I booked on Sept 2), I called last night in hopes of doing something about the MIA-BOS leg. Departing MIA at 7am, it was way too early for my liking.

A small win: I was able to switch to MIA-JFK on flight 65 (departing 1:10 pm, arriving JFK at 4:00pm) in A on the 763. Much better timing and much better plane than the 757.

A big win: I was also able to swap BOS-JFK (originally booked in I) and JFK-LAX (originally booked in I) for JFK-LAX. I moved to an earlier flight, so I don't get back at 1:45am anymore! Even better, she (accidentally? Intentionally? Cluelessly?) booked my into A for JFK-LAX, so instead of flying business on the return, I'll be flying first on the 321T! No fee or fare difference due to the travel waiver! It doubt it's for operational reasons either because biz is wide open on that flight!

Needless to say, I'm pretty excited. I'd swap BOS-JFK in 321T F for JFK-LAX in 321T F any day of the week!
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Old Sep 5, 16, 8:43 am   #1737
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikelat View Post
2 SWUs are equivalent to $700 + 70k miles ($350 + 35k miles x 2). So the point was if you have a ton of miles already and are spending $700+, you can spend the same, save yourself time from MRing, and request the upgrades with miles + co-pay instead of trying to get 2 more SWUs. But, if you like spending time on planes more then go for it.
Not the same, along with 2 SWUs, you are EXP. Try upgrading LAX-LHR during high season without status, it's not gonna happen or any route for that matter. No status is at the bottom of the list with miles and copay.
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Old Sep 5, 16, 9:03 am   #1738
  
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Originally Posted by hiima View Post
Not the same, along with 2 SWUs, you are EXP. Try upgrading LAX-LHR during high season without status, it's not gonna happen or any route for that matter. No status is at the bottom of the list with miles and copay.
EDIT: Removed wrong info. I was actually referring to the EQD rolling period, but my memory lapsed.

https://hub.aa.com/en/nr/american-ai...ogram-6-6-2016

Last edited by Server; Sep 5, 16 at 10:19 am
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Old Sep 5, 16, 9:14 am   #1739
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Server View Post
That and the new rule of highest paid ticket is given priority.
When did this happen?
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Old Sep 5, 16, 9:57 am   #1740
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedwoodA320 View Post
Just an awesome little update on this:

In light of the travel waiver for JFK (which surprisingly works for me even though I booked on Sept 2), I called last night in hopes of doing something about the MIA-BOS leg. Departing MIA at 7am, it was way too early for my liking.

A small win: I was able to switch to MIA-JFK on flight 65 (departing 1:10 pm, arriving JFK at 4:00pm) in A on the 763. Much better timing and much better plane than the 757.

A big win: I was also able to swap BOS-JFK (originally booked in I) and JFK-LAX (originally booked in I) for JFK-LAX. I moved to an earlier flight, so I don't get back at 1:45am anymore! Even better, she (accidentally? Intentionally? Cluelessly?) booked my into A for JFK-LAX, so instead of flying business on the return, I'll be flying first on the 321T! No fee or fare difference due to the travel waiver! It doubt it's for operational reasons either because biz is wide open on that flight!

Needless to say, I'm pretty excited. I'd swap BOS-JFK in 321T F for JFK-LAX in 321T F any day of the week!
Congratz, that's pretty fortunate! Enjoy!
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