Last October I sadly posted about American Airlines canceling their long running JFK-Barbados flight - American Axes One of my Favorite JFK Routes – Caribbean Left with Just a Few Flights. I lamented that this was one of my favorite JFK-Caribbean flights on AA for a bunch of reasons:

  1. Barbados always seemed to be less touristy than the other Caribbean locals with direct NYC based flights (less US tourists anyway…very big with the UK). Friendly locals,beautiful uncrowded beaches, and a great Hilton and new Radisson as well.
  2. Award availability was fantastic. My family of four flew Dec 24th returning December 30th two years ago, all on MileSAAver awards at 35K. We’ve done that to several other Caribbean location each and every year on AA for 11 years now!
  3. Since award availability was so fantastic, there was always Avios availability as well. I was able to avoid a NYC blizzard last year and escape to Barbados last minute using an AAdvantage MileSAAver award booked via British Airways Avios. The total cost was $47.50 in taxes and only 12,500 Avios points (instead of 17,500 AA miles) each way!

That left AA with non-stop Caribbean service from JFK to only Antigua (ANU), St. Kitts (SKB) once per week, Port-au-Prince (PAP), San Juan (SJU), St. Maarten (SXM), and St. Thomas (STT). A far cry from the days when we’d sit down at the kitchen table and look at AA’s “Where We Fly” map to pick our next Caribbean winter vacation spot, always a new destination on miles.

Well, according to this airliners.net thread, it looks like AA may now be further reducing their NYC-Caribbean flying, with the St. Kitts once daily flight completely disappearing in September and the JFK-SJU route being cut to only once per day! Take a look at this AA schedule from July 2001 with 11 daily flights from JFK to their then hub in San Juan! Of course, the competition is a bit different now. This September JetBlue will have 6 daily flights to SJU, Delta will have 4 , and United will have 1.

AA070201p76

Related - Delta Announces Nonstop Flights From JFK & ATL to Barbados!

Posted by Adam | 5 Comments

In last week’s “Arrivals” newsletter, AA management provided employees with the latest status of the fleet repainting for both AA and US. Here are those details which will see the final new livery repaints (B737-800) occurring at the end of 2017:

AA Repaint Schedule

Related -

Posted by Adam | 2 Comments

Last October I sadly posted about American Airlines canceling their long running JFK-Barbados flight - American Axes One of my Favorite JFK Routes – Caribbean Left with Just a Few Flights. I lamented that this was one of my favorite JFK-Caribbean flights on AA for a bunch of reasons:

  1. Barbados always seemed to be less touristy than the other Caribbean locals with direct NYC based flights (less US tourists anyway…very big with the UK). Friendly locals,beautiful uncrowded beaches, and a great Hilton as well.
  2. Award availability was fantastic. My family of four flew Dec 24th returning December 30th two years ago, all on MileSAAver awards at35K. We’ve done that to several other Caribbean location each and every year on AA for 11 years now!
  3. Since award availability was so fantastic, there was always Avios availability as well. I was able to avoid a NYC blizzard last year and escape to Barbados last minute using an AAdvantage MileSAAver award booked via British Airways Avios. The total cost was $47.50 in taxes and only 12,500 Avios points (instead of 17,500 AA miles) each way!

That left AA with non-stop Caribbean service from JFK to only Antigua (ANU), St. Kitts (SKB) once per week, Port-au-Prince (PAP), San Juan (SJU), St. Maarten (SXM), and St. Thomas (STT). A far cry from the days when we’d sit down at the table and look at AA’s “Where We Fly” map to pick our next Caribbean winter vacation spot, always a new destination.

In any case, Delta yesterday announced the launch of their flights from ATL and JFK, though they will only be operated twice per week. Here’s that press release:

Barbados and Delta Air Lines (DAL) today announce a collaboration on new nonstop service this winter to the Caribbean island. Travelers from the Eastern and Central regions of the U.S. now have a new reason to head to the sun-drenched island, with nonstop flights beginning on December 4, 2014, twice weekly between Grantley Adams International Airport in Bridgetown and both New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, where connections to cities across the United States are available.

Flights will operate Thursdays and Saturdays, and two flights will start simultaneously, one from New York into Barbados and then onto Atlanta; and then a second one originating in Atlanta, traveling to Barbados and on to New York.

Available for purchase now, round-trip flight times from JFK and ATL to Bridgetown, Barbados are as follows:

Delta Barbaods Schedule

The two spacious Boeing 737 aircrafts have a seating capacity of 160, consisting of 16 business class seats, 18 economy comfort seats and 126 economy seats on each flight. The 737 offers travelers amenities including complimentary personal television programming with 18 free channels from DISH Network, comfortable leather seats and up to 4 more inches of legroom with Economy Comfort.

Not unsurprisingly award availability is a bit different than AA’s. There is absolutely no Saver award availability for the entire schedule loaded in economy or first.

DL JFK-BGI Dec 2014 Award Availability

Well, at least a direct NYC flight to Barbados that is redeemable with points has returned. The majority of my SkyMiles were obtained on the cheap, so I could consider a standard award for 55K miles depending on how bad I want to escape winter. Note that JetBlue currently operates JFK-BGI as well and flights can be redeemed using TrueBlue points…though I don’t have many.

Posted by Adam | No Comments

With so many BoardingArea readers taking advantage of the Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard which includes Admirals Club membership privileges, I figured why not include a picture trip report for the DFW Terminal D Admirals Club which I visited prior to my Tokyo flight.

This is part one of a six part trip report from my travels to Japan:

American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas01 American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas02

Welcome US Airways Club members…

American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas03American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas18

Surprisingly a lot of available seating from 8am – 9:30am local time…

American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas04 American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas05 American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas06 American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas07 American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas08 American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas09

Business Center

American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas11American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas10American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas12American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas13American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas14

Family Lounge…

American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas15American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas16American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas17 

American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas19

Breakfast options – Apples, croissants, danish, oranges, and pretzels…

American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas20American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas21American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas22  American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas24American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas25

Omelette Station for $11.99 + tax including Texas Toast or a Bagel ($4 additional if you include a Bloody Mary, Mimosa, or Naked Juice)

American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas26American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas27 American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas32American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas28American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas29American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas30American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas31

Standard outlets were found at the small tables next to the seats in most of the sitting areas. There was also a full breakfast and small bites menu to order from (additional payment required). A coupon for one complimentary premium wine, beer, liquor, or bottled water was provided with my First Class ticket.

 American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas33American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas34American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas35American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas36American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas37American Airlines AA Admirals Club DFW Dallas38

Later today look out for - Trip Report – JAL SKY SUITE- My Favorite Business Class Flight – Tokyo (NRT) – JFK

Posted by Adam | 6 Comments

I applied for a Citi Business AAdvantage card all the way back at the end of November and was automatically approved. However, as of earlier this week the 50K bonus miles had still not posted (the monthly spend miles had been posting fine). I had been slow to call Citi, but finally picked up the phone this week. At first I received an agent in India who very strongly told me that this was an American Airlines matter and that I would have to call them to resolve it. I asked her if she could verify if the miles were even sent, I was told that for security purposes she was not allowed to provide that information (definitely not accurate). OK, well could she confirm my AAdvantage #? Nope, I’d have to call Citi for that…wrong again. I was getting nowhere so I ended the call and called back. This time I received Laura in Maryland, what a difference! She explained to me that there was a “compatibility issue” for all cards issued after November 13th and before March 31st due to “AA updating their systems for the merger”. Strangely, she noted that it only impacted the bonus miles and not the monthly statement miles. Anyway, she said that Citi was aware of the issue and that all impacted accounts were being manually updated with AA. She was able to verify my AAdvantage# and told me that my manual verification occurred on April 12th and that the miles would post to my account by the 28th. Well, I logged in on the 28th and there they were…sort of, 40K of the 50K posted:

Citi Miles Post

Anyway, for those of you missing the miles who haven’t called yet..there’s your potential reason. Back to the phone lines for the missing 10K…luckily I have screen-prints.

Posted by Adam | 8 Comments

Point Me to the Plane in conjunction with Lou and Sarah from Caring2All are giving away 50 more AA 10% discount codes. The codes are only good for purchases through May 4th for travel through May 18, 2014 with no maximum discount. As such, winners will receive the codes today. There are date restrictions (see below) and you must make you bookings on AA.com. In order to obtain a code you must either be a Point Me to the Plane follower on Twitter - @PointMe2Plane or you must submit a “Say What? Overheard on the Plane” entry. Emails received without one of these will be disregarded. Please send an email to XXXXX with your name and twitter account or your Overheard entry. I will respond to all winners in the order received today.  I’ll also update this post once we hit the 50 mark and remove the email details. If you don’t receive an email by tonight, you were not one of the first 50 entries. Good luck!

Say What? Overheard on the Plane returns this month!

Update – All 50 certificates are now spoken for.  Thanks to those who entered!

AA Coupon

Posted by Adam | No Comments

When my JAL flight had to be re-booked on AA metal due to weather in Chicago, I was more than a bit upset. Instead of experiencing the JAL SKY SUITE, I was rerouted on one of American’s older 777s from Dallas to Tokyo. Don’t worry though, I got to experience the JAL SKY SUITE (perhaps my favorite business class of any airline) on the way back home.

This is part two of a six part trip report from my travels to Japan:

Now, I knew what I was in for and was fully aware that this was not going to be one of AA’s new 777-300ERs that look pretty awesome. Business isn’t even lie-flat on the older 777s for the 13 hour and 25 minute flight, which is why I used an additional 12,500 miles to upgrade to First where I could have a fully flat bed.

AA 777 DFW-NRT 62.5K First Award

The flight started out nice enough with the decent Flagship Suite, new amenity kit, generous bedding package (mattress pad, duvet, additional blanket and 2 pillows), Bose headset, and AA PJs.

AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK05 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK06 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK04 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK03AA BP

AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK07 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK08 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK09 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK10 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK11AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK16 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK38  AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK40AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK17 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK18AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK80

Amenity close-ups

AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK12 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK14 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK15 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK20 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK21 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK22 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK23 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK26 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK27 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK36 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK37 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK54 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK55 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK56

I knew there was only DC power (even in First), so I immediately asked for one of the converters before they were all given away as there are a limited number per flight.

AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK19 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK24 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK25AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK76

Now, the most disappointing part of the flight came just a few minutes in when my TV failed to turn on. I knew it was bad when the remote had no power at all even when they reset my seat. With 13+ hours to go, I was told that TV was broken. Additionally, there were 2 open seats in First on the left side in the 1-2-1 configuration, but those were for the pilots. The purser and flight attendant told me they could not put the pilots in a “middle seat with aisle access” like the one I had. My flight attendant didn’t seem that concerned by this and told me not to worry, my food was coming out soon and to sit back and enjoy! Wow… PS look how small that TV screen is for First

AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK41AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK35

Luckily the New American is Arriving…

AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK01 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK02

About the purser and flight attendants, both men in their upper 50s / early 60s, definitely not in-tune with the “New American”. The purser took his time coming over to me, but eventually found his way and told me that they might have a back-up tablet that I could use.  In the end, I think I was actually lucky. The TVs (even in first) are tiny, extremely fuzzy (no LCD or wide-screen here…the screen is made up of multiple boxes), and while there is on-demand, it was limited to only 5 new releases, 3 comedies, and 4 TV shows (I checked my seatmates when he was walking around), shockingly poor for a “Flagship” product.

Meanwhile, they did find me a Samsung Tablet which plugged into my DC power outlet and was loaded with a ton more content. I first made sure that all the new releases on my neighbor’s screen were available on the tablet. Not only were they there, but so were about 20 other new releases and 30 other movies. There was also a large TV show selection and eBook library. The tablet was larger, wide-screen, and much clearer than the standard TVs. I even liked that I could position it in different places depending on whether I was eating, reclining, or fully flat. The only thing missing was the moving map which was projected on the TVs in the front of the cabin, just one row in front of me for about half the flight. When they were switched off, I was lucky in that my neighbor turned his TV toward me and had it tuned to the map.

AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK42 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK57 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK58 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK59 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK60 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK61

Note the map visible on my neighbors TV…

AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK63 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK43 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK44

Food Service: Pretty good actually including dinner, snack, and lunch….

AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK32 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK13 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK28 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK29 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK30 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK31 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK33 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK45 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK46 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK47 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK48 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK49 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK50 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK51 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK52 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK53

In between dinner service and lunch (8+ hours) there was really no one to be found in the first class cabin. I was starving and saw that business class had a basket of snacks but we did not. I finally found a flight attendant who told me that once she was finished putting on her makeup and fixing a few things, she’d put out a basket as well. 45 minutes later we finally had the same snacks as the business cabin (note her makeup bag and coke in the second picture):

AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK62 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK70 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK71 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK72 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK73

Since there was no one to be found for drink service and waters weren’t placed out, I took it upon myself to grab a full bottle of seltzer and brought it back to my seat:

AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK75

When one did return I ordered the chicken snack:

AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK74

Lunch – UNO’s pizza…

AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK77AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK78 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK79

Oh and that turn-down service (with a reminder even to ask for it listed on the dessert menu – see the picture above) is like pulling teeth. When I asked for assistance with the bed, I was shown how to recline the seat and the mattress pad was sort of tossed up on it as the seat was reclining. They then “explained to me” how to complete making the bed…certainly no Emirates/Cathay/Singapore service here. These guys were not about to turn-down the bed…which actually happened to be quite comfy – big pillow and thick duvet.

AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK64 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK65 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK66 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK67 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK68 AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK69AA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo NRT DFW JFK34

I did reach out to American after the flight to share my feedback and lack of disappointment on spending the extra miles for First (apparently the flight attendants filed a report as well…see message below). I was initially credited 10,000 miles but then I responded back that the difference between business and first was actually 12,500 each way or 25K for the trip. I was granted an additional 5,000 miles or 15K in total. I think that’s more than fair considering I lucked out that there was a tablet on board that I was able to use.

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For a completely different experience, check out my JAL flight on the way home…

Need help planning a trip with your miles? Consider Juicy Miles assistance for the best possible award pricing and routes!

Posted by Adam | 15 Comments

Is the future really this bright for the new American? Currently, of 16 analysts covering the company, 13 rate American a “buy” and three call it a “hold,” according to Bloomberg data. All this despite the fact that American shares have already gained 48 percent this year.

One analyst from Wolfe Research is so bullish on American’s future profit that he wrote the following this week in a note to clients:

Our best idea in airlines, American, is so compelling to us that we challenged ourselves to see if we could come up with 100 distinct reasons to be bullish on the stock. We did… We believe American is a very cheap stock with tremendous opportunities to improve margins and earnings over the next couple years while outperforming peers on a relative basis. American trades at the cheapest forward P/E in our coverage and our estimates are not even completely factoring in synergy guidance. Synergy guidance of $1B+ could also be too low (small percent of revenue relative to prior airline mergers) and management has already identified $400M of incremental “non-synergy” opportunities from inefficiencies on the legacy AMR side – these mostly include re-banking some of AMR’s hubs, implementing a variable schedule to AMR’s schedule, and increasing cabin density on AMR’s aircraft. Our $54 target price is based on 10x our untaxed 2015E. Not surprisingly, American Airlines is Outperform rated.

It took him about two hours, but he says he created a list soon to be published with 100 reasons to buy American. Here are some of the “preview points”:

No. 19: ”American generated 15 percent less revenue per employee vs. Delta last year. This should improve with headcount reductions.”
No. 36: “ JetBlue’s premium transcontinental product (Mint) likely to fail, in our opinion.”
No. 49: “American labor costs 5 percent-10 percent below Delta, United for the next few years.”
No. 55: “CEO has identified ‘probably 100 items’ that are new revenue opportunities.”
No. 59: “US Airways, the former red-headed stepchild at Star Alliance, now a valued partner in oneworld.”
No. 60: “If any airline moves first on an international checked bag fee, it’s probably American.”
No. 83: “Texas is the best state in which to do business in the U.S., in our opinion.”
No. 89: “Management has shown no interest in competing against Spirit —a rational decision given Spirit’s cost structure.”
No. 93: “Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx has a history of doing business with American as the former mayor of Charlotte, a US Airways hub.”
No. 99: “Cultural overhaul at HQ should improve feedback from mid-level employees.”

Posted by Adam | 4 Comments

What a difference from my 1K United status in 2013 where I was 0 for 14 on domestic upgrades from EWR and LGA (granted, Newark is a major UA hub and the NY market has tons of United 1K elites). I’ve had lifetime AA Gold status for years, but just increased my AA flying in 2014. American has plenty of its own elite fliers in New York, yet I’m batting 100% this year on upgrades….and not to small non business markets either. Of course, unlike United, AA requires the appropriate number of 500-mile upgrade certificates for any upgrade. The latest, which came this morning (I love getting those emails), is for tomorrow’s flight to San Juan which was $108 one-way. My other successful 2014 upgrades have admittedly been to hubs with decent capacity, JFK/LGA/EWR to Chicago (2x), LAX, Dallas, Miami, and Barbados. I even had success upgrading from business to first on a Dallas (DFW) to Tokyo (NRT) flight…though that might not have been worth it ;-) Worst First Class to Asia? Trip Report – American’s 777-200 to Tokyo.

Anyone else noting similar success this year?

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Sorry guys, I went to include some photos of recent upgrades and the post was mistakenly deleted.  Here are your responses again:

9 Responses to “100% Upgrade Success in 2013 on AA w/ Only Gold Status!”

  1. Tech says:

    I’m a million miler on CO/UA and when I stopped getting upgraded, I moved my 150K miles/year to AA and I have a 90%+ upgrade rate domestically and 100% on SWUs to Asia.

  2. I’ve always had good success with AA upgrades. Most recently, Atlanta to Miami on the Friday morning of President’s Day weekend…..following a big (for Atlanta) snow event. MrsMJ and I were #1 and #2 on the list….and we were the only 2 to clear. I was amazed. I honestly hope AAdvantage does not switch to the “comp” upgrade plan for all elites.

  3. Adam says:

    So far I’m also at 100%, AA Platinum here who came over from DL as Gold in January.

  4. Nick says:

    Yeah the upgrade process on UA really sucks these days, something is quite broken when you realize almost everyone in first has flown less than you this year and spent less as well.

  5. joetraveler says:

    I’m new on the path to AA gold. How do you accumulate multiple 500 mile upgrades in your ‘bank’? thank you

  6. UnitedEF says:

    I dropped to Gold this year from EXP fearing the worst but I hvae been 100% as well which is quite remarkable. I hope USeless airways doesn’t ruin the current AA upgrade program.

  7. James says:

    Same here. Most recent was LAX-HNL and HNL-LAX last week and yesterday, respectively.

  8. David says:

    I dont know what you’re doing right and I’m doing wrong, but I’m Lifetime Platinum and and 1 for 12 this year…..
    maybe I should switch to United (no way)

  9. DavidB says:

    I’m pretty much 100% since moving to AA from UA as a ExecPlat vs 20% the year before I switched on UA as a 1K. One of the features of AA is that upgrading is a positive request process, i.e. elites must indicate they want to upgrade (even ExecPlats) when completing the booking process, and of course use 500s. (I suspect many ExecPlats don’t even do this selection and are happy to sit in the back and get free booze and food.) When UA announced its UDU program it was going to do away with domestic upgrade certs but at a MagoDo gathering we insisted these were still a valuable perk to advance confirm upgrades. The other thing we suggested was that UDUs be made something one requested and not automatic…thus reducing the demand and thus better likelihood of success. UA kept the RPUs but didn’t take our advice on making UDUs a positive option instead of universal.

Posted by Adam | 2 Comments

The Fidelity promos for AA, DL, and UA have been around for some time and offer an easy way to earn up to 50,000 bonus miles for depositing $100,000 in a new or existing account each year. Back in 2010/2011, the promos were extremely lucrative as you could double-dip by signing up for more than one partner promo per year and you were even able to cycle your money into and out of your account to reach the “100,000″ requirement. However, in recent years Fidelity has placed more scrutiny on both the rolling 12 month limitation and the cycling of funds to reach the 100k threshold (some still report this working but others have been warned). One positive change is that all three offers are now open to existing account holders and no longer limited to new customers (though there were ways around this requirement as well).  I followed the rules on this promo and signed up for the AA promotion in December 2011 and received 50,000 miles after maintaining 100k in the account for six months. I then pulled the funds and redeposited them in December 2012 to take advantage of the UA promotion. While the miles took almost eight weeks to post in 2012, in 2013 they posted to my United account after only 5 1/2 weeks. Back in December, I repeated the process again but went back to the AA offer (it had been well over the 12 month mark since my last December 2011 AA offer).  Though it’s rare for Fidelity to try to pull the miles back, I’m maintaining the funds in the account until the nine month mark as I want to be able to take advantage of the promo again next year. Yes, for 2014 Fidelity has changed the T&Cs to require that you keep the funds in your account for 9 months instead of the former 6 month requirement. They may clawback the miles if you do not meet the new terms. Note that there is still no requirement to actually engage in the purchase or trading of any stocks.

Remember, the bonus limitations are based on your social security number, so you can withdraw the funds, sign your spouse or significant other up for the promo, and then redeposit those same funds to qualify them for the bonus. An Apple $500 gift card offer is also available.

AA Offer 
DL Offer
UA Offer
Apple Gift Card

Questions? Check out this flyertalk thread for further details.

Posted by Adam | 7 Comments

American is offering 1,000 bonus miles every time you fly a round-trip on new nonstop flights between New York LaGuardia and the cities listed below from April 1, 2014, through June 30, 2014. Registration prior to flying is required!

  • Charlottesville Albemarle, VA (CHO)
  • Dayton, OH (DAY)
  • Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem, NC (GSO)
  • Knoxville, TN (TYS)
  • Little Rock, AR (LIT)
  • Louisville, KY (SDF)
  • Norfolk, VA (ORF)
  • Richmond, VA (RIC)
  • Roanoke, VA (ROA)
  • Wilmington, NC (ILM)

Participating Airlines:
American Eagle

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T&Cs - AAdvantage bonus mile offer is valid for nonstop travel on American Eagle operated nonstop flights between New York LaGuardia (LGA) and Charlottesville, VA (CHO), Dayton, OH (DAY), Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem, NC (GSO), Knoxville, TN (TYS), Little Rock, AR (LIT), Louisville, KY (SDF), Norfolk, VA (ORF), Richmond, VA (RIC), Roanoke, VA (ROA) or Wilmington, NC (ILM) from April 1, 2014, through June 30, 2014. Offer applies only to AAdvantage members who purchase and fly on eligible published fare tickets. Bonus miles do not count toward elite status qualification or AAdvantage Million Miler status. Registration prior to travel is required.

Posted by Adam | One Comment

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