Newbie Analysis for AAdvantage Elite Status Run in 2016

Why?

Just wanted to give it a try & see if its worth the trouble & investment w.r.t time & money.

References:

http://thepointsguy.com/2015/04/11-reasons-to-love-aadvantage-and-executive-platinum-status/
http://thepointsguy.com/2014/12/what-is-american-airlines-aadvantage-elite-status-worth/

My Criteria’s:

  • There isn't any business travel for 2016.
  •  Don't have any elite status with American.  American seemed logical because of it being one world partner & also no qualification dollars needed.
  •  Have a two year old at home, so can't be out travelling too long. Worst case is 1 night out.
  •  Prefer Red eye flight out of home & return back home by next day evening or night.
  •  Shorter number of trips to make this happen.
  •  Limit my expenses as much as possible. Hoping to leverage airline credits from Citi/Amex.
  •  Hopefully yearly vacation plan might help add more EQM's in the process.
  •  EXP is the goal here. But may restrict to Platinum status if situation & finance aren't flexible.
  • Planned Budget - 3-4K
AA_2016_Platinum
AA_2016_EliteQual
AA_2016_EarnMiles
West to East Coast flight could easily be 4.5K miles on an average.
Class of Service EXP EQM’s Needed No. of Trips Needed for EXP Platinum EQM’s Needed No. of Trips Needed for Platinum Total RDM’s Earned
Discount Economy 100K 23 50K 12 100%
Full-Fare Economy 100K 15 50K 8 100%
Discount First/Business 100K 12 50K 6 150%
Typical fares in Jan/Feb/Mar 2016 when checked in Nov 2015.
SAN  – NYC: Economy ~$300, Business $1000
SAN – MIA: Economy ~$270, Business $900
SAN – BOS: Economy ~$270, Business $1000
Route Class of Service Cost for EXP Status Cost for Platinum Status EQM’s Earned for EXP (approx) RDM’s Earned for EXP (approx)
SAN – NYC Discount Economy $6000 $3000
102960 (5148/trip)
SAN-CLT-EWR-DFW-SAN
159588
25% Gold bonus after 6 trips
100% platinum bonus after 10 trips
SAN – MIA Discount Economy $6210 $2160 104489 (4543/trip) SAN-MIA-PHX-SAN 163545 (25% bonus after 7 trips, 100% bonus after 11 trips)
SAN – BOS Discount Economy $4860 $2430 100962 (5609/trip) SAN-CLT-BOS-CLT-SAN 155649 (25% bonus after 6 trips, 100% bonus after 9 trips)
SAN – NYC Discount Business $10000 $6000
101560 (5078/trip/2 EQM)
SAN-CLT-DCA-JFK-PHX-SAN
107908 (50% class of service bonus + regular elite level bonus)
SAN – MIA Discount Business $9900 $4950 104566 (4753/trip/2 EQM) SAN-MIA-ATL-PHX-SAN 96248 (50% class of service bonus + regular elite level bonus)
SAN – BOS Discount Business $10000 $5000 107920 (5396/trip) SAN-CLT-DCA-BOS-ORD-SAN 101175 (50% class of service bonus + regular elite level bonus)
Pro’s of Economy Approach Con’s of Economy Approach
3-4 CPM (this may change because of price fluctuation) Number of Trips needed
More RDM accrued. Price point will fluctuate by 100-150$ because of the total number of trips
Close to 2 trips every month
Pro’s of Business Approach Con’s of Business Approach
Reduced number of trips 10 CPM
1 trip every month RDM not great as Economy approach
Comfort during travel Cost
Planning to use Expertflyer tool & Google ITA matrix to find better routes to reduce the cost needed to achieve the EXP status. Probably will end up doing a mix of discounted business & economy class fares.
Will post an status update end of 2016. Cheers
AA_2016_ElitePerks

Feature Photo by mighty.travels

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