My goal for a large part of this year has been to earn Executive Platinum Status with American Airlines. To do that I would need to earn at least 100,000 Elite Qualifying Miles, (EQMs), something I would normally not be able to do. But this year is different, I’ve earned me double or triple EQMs on virtually every flight I have taken, allowing me to accumulate miles much faster than I normally would.
I started the weekend with almost 94K EQMs. I’ve had several years in which I have flown 50-60 thousand miles and earned that many EQMs; so I have never before had an EQM total as high as this.
I had booked one more trip to San Francisco (SFO) to take advantage of the double EQMs between Dallas and SFO. This trip will give me 11 SFO trips so fat this year. I like San Francisco, but not that much!
MY last two mileage runs (SFO and Portland) had enough of a layover that I was able to leave the airport and go into town. This would not be one of those, my longest layover was 1 hour 10 minutes, at SFO. This was a get-out-there and then get-back type of trip.
I boarded the 6:30 a.m. American Airlines flight from AUS to DFW. As I was checking my email I got a message from another FlyerTalk user, Mike, who told me he was on my all of my flights today and we could meet at DFW. Sounded like a good idea! We described what we were wearing so we’d recognize each other. We had a smooth flight to DFW, arriving a few minutes early, something all of my flights would do this day!
I met Mike when I deplaned and he offered to take me to the United Airlines Club in Terminal E. That sounded like a great idea, I had never been in a United Club, so I looked forward to it. We would not be able to stay long though, our layover was little more than an hour.
I wondered how the club would compare with American Airlines’ Admirals Club and the answer is a definitive “better and worse.” Each club offers a place to rest and get away from the normal terminal noise and congestion, so that is a draw. The AC however has a much more luxurious feel to it (this might be different if I was visiting a different United Club, such as the one at O’Hare, for example.). The chairs and sofas at the Admirals Club look much nicer, more modern, more comfortable. The chairs I saw at the United Club did not look like chairs I would want to sit in for several hours.
The one place where the United Club excelled was in the food selection. Their self-serve area offered cereal, muffins, bread, bagels (with a toaster!) and a coffee machine that not only offered regular and decaf, it also offered espressos and cappuccinos. Can I get these items at the Admirals Club? Maybe, but if they offer them they are not out in the self-serve area where I can just grab them and go. So, this advantage goes to the United Club.
After a short visit we made our way to the gate for our flight to SFO. The plane was one of my favorites, a 767, and I had a window seat in the exit row. Bad move on my part.
While the flight could not have gone better, I have to say I have never been as cold on a plane as I was on this flight. I have sat in window seats in the exit row dozens of times and not had any issues with it, but there was something different about this one. I just could not get warm. Maybe it was because it was a 767? Maybe we were at a higher altitude? I don’t know, but I was so glad when we landed at SFO and I could get away from that uncomfortably cold seat.
I took Mike to the beautiful SFP Admirals Club, and have to admit I actually stood for a short while in front of their fireplace, trying to warm up. Hot tea helped a lot!
While we were in the AC, we met another FlyerTalk member from Austin who was also on our flights. He was excited, with the flight that day he would earn Platinum status.
The AC was very relaxing. so much so that we lost track of time. The other Austin flyer came up to us saying we had to run if we wanted to catch our flight back to DFW. We told him that couldn’t be, we still had another hour. “Really? Well enjoy yourselves, my flight is getting ready to leave!” I looked at my watch, which was still on Austin time, and realized he was right.
The three of us ran to the gate where they were already boarding Group 3. Fortunately, my First Class upgrade came through and I had a much more comfortable flight back to DFW than I had had earlier in the day.
We had a smooth flight to DFW. landing 10 minutes early. I had an easy connection to my Austin flight which also landed early, and I was home by 8 p.m., much better than some of my earlier trips this year when I did not get home until almost midnight.
This was a totally uneventful mileage run, I didn’t even take any pictures. Great service by American Airlines, which went four for four. I had four flights and every one of them arrived early.
The following day my miles for the flight posted, giving me 97,078 EQMs for the year. Now I just had to wait for my bonus miles for the SFO-DFW flights.
Two days later I had to let my dogs out at three o’clock in the morning: while they were busy outside I picked up my iPhone, visited the AA application, and saw the following.
I had 100,006 EQMs and had earned Executive Platinum status!
I called the Executive Platinum desk that morning, they had already submitted my wife and I for upgrades to First Class for our Chicago trip later this month. Later this year we will fly to Asia on Cathay Pacific business class. Normally that would allow us to use Cathay’s business class lounge in Hong Kong — with EXP status we will be able to use the First Class lounge, and American’s Flagship Lounge in Los Angeles. So, we will get some benefits from my new status. For a detailed description of Executive Platinum status. you can read AA’s brochure with all the details.
I’ve made a lot of trips this year, it’s time for me to spend some time at home. I’ll do some more mileage runs, I just don’t know when.
Disclaimer: I own stock in AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines. The total value of my holdings is less than $90.
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