Need 1100 miles on American Airlines to reach Gold.
November 5, 2010 8:41 PM   Subscribe

Need 1100 miles on American Airlines to reach Gold. What is the most efficient way to do this?

I'm in DFW and i'm *THIS* close to regaining my Gold status on American Airlines. I need just a hair under 1100 miles before Dec 31 to get there. Obviously I need a "mileage run." I've tried hitting the runner's forums and they make my head spin. I just need a quick in-and-out trip (hopefully on the cheap) so i get finally get my status back.

My available time for the next two months is almost zero. I've got two trips already booked, but both are using miles/points to redeem tickets, so neither will be generating me any EQM's.

Can anybody offer any help on a leg/itinerary i can take out of DFW that won't make me crazy but still get me over that magic 25,000 mile marker?

Alternately, are there any tactics i might be able to try on a AAdvantage rep to try and get that last 1100 miles waived? i've even considered buying a ticket and NOT flying if they would only just give me the miles (they could resell it to another flyer! double dipping!).

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I always fly with lots of computer and camera gear for work and the anxiety of not getting bin space (because i'm always in "group 4") drives me batty. Boarding early gives me tremendous peace of mind and the occasional upgrade/exit row perk isn't bad, either.

posted by monkeybutt to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total)
ABQ and DEN are roughly the right distance and there are direct flights to either from DFW on American. Are you planning to just round trip on the same day, solely for the miles, or do you actually want to spend time in the place?
posted by sharding at 8:55 PM on November 5, 2010

weekend trip to Vegas? Vegas tends to be a cheap destination.
posted by edgeways at 8:55 PM on November 5, 2010

Response by poster: Probably won't have time for any stays. It'll be a out-and-back quickie.
posted by monkeybutt at 8:55 PM on November 5, 2010

can you buy miles? I don't know anything about AA's scheme, seems like the frequent flier program I was part of awhile back you could do this.
posted by edgeways at 9:14 PM on November 5, 2010

Response by poster: from what i understand about AA's program the miles you buy do not count toward status.
posted by monkeybutt at 9:15 PM on November 5, 2010

The mileage run forums probably give you a headache because they're constructing HUGE runs. 1100 EQM is tiny compared to most of the true "mileage run" itineraries I've seen!

Because you're already AA silver, you'll earn 500 EQM per segment. So a quick round trip from DFW-TUL will get you to 1000 EQM and will cost around $105 for the round trip. I tried playing around with the fare tools to see if there's any way to add a segment and I didn't see any. Two runs from DFW-TUL actually prices out cheaper than a single DFW-ORD run. (I chose ORD arbitrarily because it's hub-hub and there's lots of flights.)

You may be able to do better than that $210 by jumping on one of the "weekend getaway" type fares. (I'm not sure what AA calls them.) IIRC, those special fares earn EQM, although a Saturday night stay might be available.

If you have ANY EQM-generating flights coming up before year-end, it may be better/easier just to try to add a few segments to your flights (although I appreciate that may be difficult). For instance, when I was traveling between Austin and Chicago on United, if I needed the EQM I would choose to fly AUS-DEN-ORD instead of taking the direct flight from AUS-DEN.

I believe that historically, AA has allowed people who fall short of Platinum to "buy up" some EQM at the end of the year. But there's no guarantee that they'll do it this year, etc. etc. The Flyertalk AA forums may provide more insight.
posted by QuantumMeruit at 9:41 PM on November 5, 2010

When I was in the same position, I went to the most desirable/cheapest Netsaver weekend location. If you're not getting the email sign up at
posted by birdherder at 9:55 PM on November 5, 2010

I got my UA terminology mixed up with AA. I should have said "Because you're already AA gold" you'll earn 500 EQM per segment.
posted by QuantumMeruit at 9:56 PM on November 5, 2010

Yeah, DFW-ABQ-DFW would give you 568 miles each way, and it's a short flight (about an hour and a half, IIRC), so you wouldn't need to take much time out of your schedule to make the trip.

Check the AA timetable (pdf download), and you'll get a rough idea of how many miles to each location, so you can better plan your mileage run.
posted by Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo at 10:27 PM on November 5, 2010

Hey so I'm 1P on UA but does AA not offer a mileage buy at the end of the year? I qualified 1P this year but last year I didn't and United offered me an EQM buy for the 4000 miles I needed for about $500. If AA doesn't do that (I don't know but I bet they do), email them. Ask them if they'll let you qualify within the first quarter of next year or give you a chance to buy up.

Airlines want your loyalty (mostly) so I bet they'll be amenable.
posted by mckenney at 11:06 PM on November 5, 2010

You can use this tool to show only AA fares and find the most efficient fare. At the time I write this, the lowest fare shown is to Chicago leaving tomorrow or Monday for $155 all-in.

If you click on the fare code, it will show you availability by month and day. Generally this is not a great season for deals because of the holidays. Orlando is about the same base fare, but their taxes are high.
posted by Lame_username at 2:22 AM on November 6, 2010

You said you looked at mileage "runner's forums", but the FlyerTalk Mileage Run Deals forum has constantly updated city pairs for various airlines, including AA. They also tend to have a lot of knowledge about what city pairs are cheap, especially right about now when there are many folks in your shoes. I highly recommend asking over there, especially in the AA forum.
posted by armage at 4:35 AM on November 6, 2010

FYI - mileage will not be applied if you don't put your butt in the seat.
posted by FlamingBore at 10:40 AM on November 6, 2010

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