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Mo(o)re Air Fare Stuff...

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Sierra Mike, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    From one of my newsletter subscriptions, which gives me tons and tons and tons of good hints, tips, and suggestions...


    If youre an American Airlines AAdvantage member, you can now purchase frequent flyer miles on the Internet for yourself, friends and family members with the buyAAmiles program and giftAAmiles programs.

    BuyAAmiles lets AAdvantage members purchase up to 15,000 miles per calendar year for their mileage accounts for as low as 2.5 cents per mile.

    GiftAAmiles allows you to purchase up to 15,000 miles per year for family members or friends. Theres no limit to the number of accounts for which you may purchase miles; each member may receive up to 15,000 miles as a gift. Remember, thats in addition to the 15,000 miles a member is entitled to purchase for him or herself through buyAAmiles for a total of 30,000 possible miles per calendar year enough for upgrades and lots of travel opportunities!

    On the Web, you can go to www.aa.com/memberguide and select the "purchase miles" link to access the buyAAmiles program, or go directly to buyaamiles.points.com.

    AAdvantage miles are sold through the buyAAmiles program and the giftAAmiles program at the following rates: 2.75 cents per mile for purchases of up to 5,000 miles, and 2.5 cents per mile for purchases of 6,000 to 15,000 miles. Purchases can be made in 1,000-mile increments; each transaction will incur a $25 processing fee.

    Miles can be purchased with your Visa or Mastercard. You can earn an additional AAdvantage mile for every dollar spent by using a Citibank AAdvantage card to purchase your miles. American promises that purchased miles will be posted to your account within 72 hours.

    Both mileage-purchase programs have been extended through January 31, 2003 and are available for purchase to residents anywhere in the world!


    Through Americans co-pay awards program, Special Mileage Awards, you need fewer miles for an award if you make a cash payment as well. For example, instead of using 25,000 miles for a New YorkLos Angeles round-trip coach ticket, you can get the same ticket for only 10,000 miles plus a $295 co-payment.

    Now lets get creative. Using BOTH these programs, you could buy 10,000 miles for $275, then pay an additional $295 to score a domestic ticket R/T New YorkLos Angeles. Sure, it takes some extra time. But considering the cost of full-fare coach travel these days, ($2,395 in this case) it would be well worth the effort. Youve laid out a total of $570 and saved over $1,800!

    American also has a domestic First Class co-pay award for 30,000 miles and $275. So you can buy 15,000 miles through the buyAAmiles program and have someone else your wife, your brother or your mailman buy 15,000 miles for you through the giftAAmiles program. You then add these to the $275 co-pay required, for a total of $1,075 for domestic First Class travel. Compare this to the standard $3,620 fare for round-trip First Class travel between New York and Los Angeles.

    Better yet, if you have advance notice, purchase a coach fare for, say, $400, and use your 30,000 miles for an upgrade allowing you to earn miles and miles toward your elite status at the same time. (SM's Sidebar: This is what I do myself...remember, I only buy unrestricted tickets, and this is why!!!)


    Are you taking a domestic flight with a three-class cabin? When flying on an upgraded ticket, American will allow you to upgrade again, if you pay the fare difference between full-fare coach and full-fare in the next class of service. For example, say you bought a New YorkLos Angeles round-trip coach ticket for $400. You got 30,000 miles through the mileage purchase programs above, and used them to upgrade to Business Class. Now you can pay the $570 fare difference between Business Class and Premium First Class ($4,190 minus $3,620) to purchase an upgrade. In the same way, you can use the coach co-pay program of 10,000 miles plus $295, and pay the fare difference between full-coach and Business Class to upgrade for substantial savings. A good idea if youre flying on short-notice and paying a full-fare anyway.

    You can also employ this tactic for international travel. After you use miles to upgrade, just pay the fare difference between Business and First Class and you can upgrade, again. These methods also work well for travel to Hawaii, as those fare differences between Business and First Class are often low.


    With buyAAmiles, you may purchase 15,000 miles for as many friends and family members as you wish. Yes, there is no limit on the number of recipients! And, according to American Airlines, "You can have an award certificate issued to someone other than yourself. You may also exchange an award certificate for a ticket for someone else.

    Since, mileage Award Certificates may be utilized by the member to claim an award on his or her own behalf, or in the name, and for the use of any other person. This allows you to "get back" miles for yourself that were purchase for someone elses account. You can buy those miles for anyone you like your boss, your babysitter, the dogcatcher... your friend or spouse can do the same... until the recipient has all the miles YOU need. Then the recipient can simply get the tickets for you (and next time, you can return the favor!). The possibilities are endless, with a little imagination.


    > Round-trip upgrade for travel within or between the 50 states and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, the Bahamas or Bermuda 30,000 miles valid with any published fare.

    > Round-trip upgrade for travel between North America and Central American, Colombia, Ecuador or Venezuela or wholly within Central America 25,000 miles valid with any published fare.

    > One-way upgrade valid with B, Y or J fares purchased between North America and Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, or Uruguay 10,000 miles. Example upgradeable B class fare: Miami/Rio one-way $886 compare with the published Business Class fare of $2,579 one-way.

    > One-way upgrade valid with B, Y or J fares purchased between North America and Europe 10,000 miles. Example upgradeable B class fare: New York/London one-way $692 compare with the published Business Class fare of $3,630 one-way.

    So there you have it...some pretty neato tricks for making the most of your miles. I was actually going to write up all of this stuff myself, but then extreme laziness struck--not only that, I couldn't remember everything!

    For those of you who are interested, Northwest also offers mileage purchase for WorldPerks members. The max you can buy is 7,000 per calendar year, and they do not count toward Elite member status, but hey, anytime you can buy miles and dump 'em, the better off you'll be. Especially on those more expensive long-hauls.


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