Posts tagged elite qualifying miles
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.
Yes it’s true! American Airlines announced today that the double Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) promotion is back!
Well, actually it never really went away. It was scheduled to expire on March 31 — they’ve extended that to June 30. That will allow more than enough time for me to earn enough miles to reach Executive Platinum status!
The plan basically remains the same: earn double EQMs and double redeemable miles on flights between DFW and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO), and also on flights between Chicago O’Hare and LAX, SFO, and an addition, Orange County, (SNA) California. Oddly, the bonus to SNA is only from ORD and not from DFW.
For all the details, visit the AA promotion page.
I have two mileage runs currently scheduled, one to SFO later this month that will earn double EQMs, and one in April to Portland that will not, but because of the odd routing (to Portland via DFW and Seattle) I’ll still earn more than 5,000 EQMs.
Two more SFO trips by June 30 and I will reach Executive Platinum. Barely, by my math I’ll have 100,011 miles, but more than 100,000 is more than 100,000.
This is an awful lot of flying for me early in the year, but it makes no sense for me to get this close to EXP and not go for it. I’ll fly fewer miles this year to make EXP than I did last year to make Platinum. This would not have happened without AA’s promotions, so to AA I send a huge THANK YOU!
In just a few short days it will be January 1. On that day my Elite Qualifying Mileage for the year will drop to zero. But it won’t stay there long!
American Airlines is running two promotions at this time: double Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) on all flights until January 31, and double EQMs and double Redeemable Miles (RDMs) on flights between DFW and San Francisco (SFO) or Los Angeles (LAX) through March 31.
The important thing for me is that these promotions will piggy-back on each other, giving me the chance to earn triple EQMs and triple RDMs on some of my flights — that is too good a deal to pass up! So, to take advantage of these promotions I have booked five mileage runs in January and two in February. Here is how those will work for me.
January: four flights AUS-DFW-SFO-DFW-AUS
Base mileage is 3,928. I’ll get double EQMs for the entire flight, giving me 7,856. I’ll then get double mileage again for the DFW-SFO flights. That’s 1,464 each way, giving me an additional 2,928 EQMs. Add that up and I’ll earn 10,784 EQMs for each flight. I already earn double RDMs for my Platinum status, so that gives me 7,856 plus double for the DFW-SFO flights, giving me the same total of 10,784. So, with these four flights I will earn 43,136 EQMs and RDMs.
January: one flight AUS-DFW-SFO-LAX-AUS
I was a little bit too quick with the purchase button on this one, buying it before I realized that the return flight went through LAX instead of DFW, which means I won’t earn as many miles on this flight as I did on the others. Base mileage is 3,706 times 2 gives me 7,412 EQMs. I’ll get double miles for the DFW-SFO flight, so that is an additional 1,464 EQMs for a total of 8,876. Again, I already earn double RDMs for my Platinum status, so that gives me the same 7,412 plus 1,464 for the same total of 8,876.
Total mileage at the end of January: 52,012 EQMs and RDMs
February: one flight AUS-DFW-SFO-DFW-AUS
Only one promotion is in effect in February, so I will not earn as many miles as I did in January. Base mileage for this trip is 3,928 plus the DFW-SFO bonus of 1,464×2 = 2,928 + 3,928 for a total of 6,856 EQMs. I earn double RDMS for my Platinum status so I’ll have 7,856 miles plus 2,928 for a total of 10,784.
February: one flight AUS-DFW-LAX-DFW-AUS
Base mileage is 3,470, plus double for the DFW-LAX segments gives me another 2,470 for a total of 5,940 EQMs. My Platinum status gives me double RDMs 6,940 plus the extra mileage to/from LAX of 2,470 for a total of 9,410 RDMs
Total for February: 12,796 EQMs and 20,194 RDMs.
My year to date totals after these 7 flights: 64,808 EQMs and 72,206 RDMs.*
That total will put me closer to Executive Platinum in February 2012 than I was to Platinum in February 2011. I may never have this chance again to go for EXP, so that will be my goal for the year. I’ll need another 35,192 EQMs to make it.
But that isn’t all that will happen for me in January and February. I signed up for a Hilton promotion that will give me 40,000 bonus points for 4 stays before March 31. Then I saw a note on Twitter about a mistaken room rate at the Hilton at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport of $20 per night. I actually waited a day before I booked this, but finally did and ended up with 4 one-night stays for a total of $93. For that price I’ll earn almost 45,000 Hilton points.
When I spend another $1,000 on my new Chase Sapphire Card I’ll earn 50,000 Ultimate Reward points than can transfer into Hyatt points at a 1:1 ratio. Given what I already have, I’ll soon have almost 60,000 Hyatt points.
All of these miles and all of these points at two different hotel programs (in addition to the 47K Starwood points I already have) give me great flexibility on arranging our next vacation. Once the miles/points have all gone into my accounts, I’ll be able to start the search.
Where will we go? Bali, Fiji, Maui are a few locations that quickly come to mind. Once I have the points in hand I’ll be able to see what is available and what we can afford. I do know one thing for certain: the search will be fun!
*Mileage figures come from the Flying Fish application. American Airlines measurement of the miles will be approximately the same, but no more than 20 miles difference for each flight.
Last week American Airlines announced that it was awarding double Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) on flights between March 18 and June 15. I think I can safely say that mileage runners rejoiced at the news, I know I did.
Now they are offering an even better deal: triple miles on nonstop flights between Boston and the West Coast (Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego). Oh, where was this deal when I flew Boston – Los Angeles – Boston a few weeks ago?
This Boston award is miles, not EQMs, but is still a great deal, particularly when you include the double EQMs.
So, I have booked another trip. Austin to Dallas to Boston to San Francisco to Dallas to Austin. I leave Austin early on a Saturday morning, fly from Boston to SFO that afternoon, take the red-eye from SFO back to Dallas, and get back to Austin at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning.
With the double EQM promotion, I’ll earn over 13,000 EQMs, that’s 3,000 more than I earned for my trip to Ireland! How many miles will I earn? Well, with my normal Platinum bonus that will also be over 13,000. The question is, how many extra miles will I get for the triple mileage from BOS to SFO?
There has been some discussion of this on Flyer Talk. The consensus seems to be that a PLAT flyer would earn the normal double mileage, and then the double mileage again. The first double is the normal PLAT bonus, the second double is the bonus that along with the basic miles, gives triple mileage. I hope that makes sense! haha!
So, I’d earn an additional 5,400 miles, putting my total at over 18,000 miles for the trip. That is too good a deal to pass up. So, I have booked it.
My goal is to make Platinum again this year, with this flight I will be at 43,000 EQMs and will need only 7,000 more to make that goal. With the double EQM bonus, that should be easy.
Thank you AA for the bonuses!
American Airlines is offering double Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) on all flights booked and flown between March 18 and June 15 — this is too good a deal for a mileage runner to pass up.
I currently have 18,418 EQMs in my account and need 50,000 by December 31 to remain Platinum.
My next trip is this weekend, a quick run to San Jose and then come back on the same plane; this will be one of those rare mileage runs where I am home for dinner! However, I made the reservation before March 18 so I will not get the double EQMs. But I will earn almost 3,000 and that will put me at 21,370 for the year.
I booked another trip to Seattle: Austin to Dallas to San Jose to Seattle to Los Angeles to Dallas to Austin. Leave Saturday morning, take the red-eye out of LAX and be back in Austin by 9 a.m. Sunday. Not bad, I would earn over 5,000 EQMs, and then get the double promotion!
But then I realized I had outsmarted myself: the terms and conditions (T+C) for the promotion are very specific that the double bonus does not apply to codeshare flights: my flights from San Jose to Seattle, and Seattle to LAX have American Airlines flight numbers, but are on Alaska Airlines metal, a codeshare! Darn! So, that means that I will get the bonus for my American Airlines flights from Austin to Dallas to San Jose, and then Los Angeles to Austin on the way back, but not for the San Jose to Seattle to LAX route. Oh well…
I’ll get 3,876 EQMs from AUS to SJC, 1,650 from SJC to SEA to LAX, and then 3,470 from LAX to DFW to AUS. I’ll earn almost 9,000 EQMs for the trip, which isn’t bad, and more than 10,000 total miles for the trip.
With this trip I will be at approximately 30,000 EQMs for the year: I need a 10,000 mile trip to earn the remaining 20,000 EQMs that I need for my Platinum status. I’ll keep looking!
In an unexpected move, American Airlines (AA) has announced that it will double the amount of Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) that its AAdvantage members can earn on trips ticketed and taken between March 18 and June 15. American’s offer is a huge benefit for those trying to maintain or exceed their current elite status!
This promotion makes a huge difference for me: I need to earn 50,000 EQMs this year to maintain my Platinum status. I currently have a little over 18K EQMs, so I need another 32,000 to stay Platinum. That is a lot of miles!
However, with this bonus, I only need 16,000 to remain Platinum, a much more manageable number for me.
American offered this same benefit last year after the chaos caused when they grounded their MD-80s for several days, a move that caused major problems for hundreds of thousands of travelers. Once that problem was solved they offered double EQMs as a show of appreciation to the people who continued to fly American. I took advantage of it and the bonus EQMs helped me get to the 50,000 EQM mark much faster than I would have ordinarily done.
This year, there has not been any problem to compare to the MD-80 grounding. So why did they do this?
As the global economy endures the worst downturn in decades, the number of people flying has dropped. American and the other airlines thought this would be a profitable year as the price of fuel dropped from its high of last summer, and service reductions created fewer empty seats on their flights. They did not expect the number of fliers to drop this year.
They have not only been hurt by fewer fliers, they have also been hurt by who those fliers are: many of them were business fliers who travel on short notice and buy full fare tickets, frequently in Business or First Class. The airlines make a lot more money from those travelers than they do the vacation traveler that buys a deep discount coach ticket four months in advance. As the number of business travelers drops, so does the airline’s profit margin.
My guess is that this double EQM promotion is done to get those business travelers back in the air. Only time will tell if this will work, but in the meantime, I am going to try to do as many mileage runs as I can between now and June 15. Double EQMs is too good a deal to pass up!