Yesterday I tried to clarify American Airlines’ policy regarding their Rewards for Premium Cabin tickets. To say that it was pulling teeth might be an understatement. Luckily, @WandrMe and @TravelCodex saw what I was trying to do and helped to rephrase. Here was my original question:
@AmericanAir Clarification on rewarding Premium Flyers. I read it as a per flight bonus, not per itinerary bonus. Is that a true statement?
— Trevor (@tmount) December 20, 2014
The best response that I received from American was this:
Tim Pressman (someone I now follow, but didn’t previously know) phrased it about as well as I could:
That aside, I’m going to go on the assumption of American’s last response to me (the one before Tim Pressman’s response), that each leg, 3,000 or more, generates either 12,000 or 3,500 bonus miles (depending on the fare class). Note: SFO/LAX-JFK also gets that bonus even though they are less than 3,000 miles. So why does this matter? Aside from the principle of the matter, I’m looking at some potentially lucrative fares from Dublin to the US. For example, if you were to fly Dublin (DUB) to New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX) to Honolulu (HNL) and back, it would be 16,420 miles, but 4 of your 6 legs would qualify for the benefit.
Now, lets pause for a moment and remember American’s premium cabin bonuses.
So, with that in mind, lets look at the flight distances of that above itinerary.
Now I’ve found a pretty good itinerary on ITA (check the above routing). Cost: $1,654.00.
Lets put it in a different manner: from the above itinerary as an Executive Platinum, you would earn: 3,500 (x4) + 1,000 (x2) for a total of 16,000 bonus redeemable miles, in addition to your 16,420 base miles, plus (by my interpretation) additional 16,420 (elite status bonus), plus 8,210 (class of service), leading to a grand total of: 57,050. So what does that equate to? About 6.7 cents per elite qualifying point, and about 2.86 cents per redeemable mile. Of course, there are ways to make this better, but that’s part of the fun, right?
Last minute update from American
It just so happens that as the night continued, American didn’t give up on trying to clarify, here’s their latest:
@tmount The bonus will be applied towards each eligible flight flown.
— American Airlines (@AmericanAir) December 21, 2014
The math sounds like a lot, if you aren’t pursuing elite status. If you are, then maybe it is worth considering some of the premium fares out there. If you’re still looking for premium fares, I’d advise you to check FlyerTalk’s Premium Fares forum… Its not the only place to look, I’ve talked about others here and here, but its a good start.