I recently enrolled in the fast track to American Airlines AAdvantage elite status promotion. While advertised for targeted LinkedIn members, I was able to enroll and received email confirmation. I do not typically fly American, but it didn’t cost me anything to enroll, so I figured why not.
Instead of the standard number of elite-qualifying points needed for status, the numbers were greatly reduced if you were able to earn the points between September 14 and December 23, 2015. I was then able to book the following American Airlines Platinum mileage run that would earn me the needed 9,000 points.
While Executive Platinum would really be much more worthwhile (considering I am already going to attain Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 75k for 2016), I decided if I found a simple (and cheap) way to get 9,000 points I would try for it.
I came across this great deal on FlyerTalk. For under $500 you could book a round trip ticket DEN-LAX-JFK in First. While a good deal on its own, it is made even better by the fact that the transcontinental legs (LAX-JFK-LAX) are in AA Flagship First on a 3 class Airbus A321. This is nearly identical to American’s International First product and includes lie flat seats in a 1-1 configuration on the narrow body plane.
To sweeten the deal, I had some Citi ThankYou points saved up from my Prestige card. Since you can redeem them at 1.6 cents per point for an American Airlines flight, I was able to book my $491 ticket for 30,700 ThankYou points. Remember that when you redeem ThankYou points, the airline treats it as if you are paying cash and earns elite qualifying points/miles (unlike when you redeem AA miles for a flight). I was able to snag a cheap positioning flight from SEA.
The total flight is 6,660 miles. With the 1.5 elite qualifying points for First Class tickets, that puts me over the 9,000 points needed for Platinum.
I’ll travel over a weekend, with my one night in the air (in a lie flat seat), so there shouldn’t be any extra costs. The ticket also grants me Flagship Lounge access in JFK and LAX. I will have a few hours in NYC, so may take the train in and explore the city for a bit.
Trip report for my American Airlines Platinum mileage run coming soon. Here is hoping that weather doesn’t throw a wrench into any of the legs!