Ending the Year as a Plat on American

Welp, here we are in December. Happens like this every year, doesn’t it? I’m about 55K points/43K miles in on American this year after going into in hard into the airline only in June. If I wouldn’t have been so into Delta for the first half of the year, I’d be firmly Exec Plat on AA. But whatever, live and learn, right?
I definitely want to quality for Exec Plat in 2014. Not messing with Delta any more, not interested in United. Travel is Free pretty much outlined my reasons for wanting this, even though there’s been some flak recently about pursuing any type of status at all – on any airline.
On this day in mid-December, I am currently flying to San Diego from JFK, then fly back later this week. After that, I have two more flights this year: JFK-LAX and LAX-NAN. Cumulatively, this is about 12K miles and will net me, as a Plat, 25K redeemable miles.
I currently have 108K miles to redeem and really have my eye on that Zone 7 Explorer Award redemption in 2014 before the merger sets in. My mind is aflutter thinking of all the places I could go. Only regret is that I probably won’t get to South Africa on Oneworld, (not) thanks to BA’s stupid freaking fuel surcharges and the fact that I have no desire to connect in London anyhow.
It’s been a good six months on American. I’ve had numerous exhanges with the team on Twitter, a few upgrades even as a Plat, and much relaxation time in the Admirals Clubs. I do worry about the upcoming merger, the “New American,” and the general direction of the airline as a whole. But I do think they have the most honest loyalty program out there. United hugely disappointed me with their devaluation because of the bifurcation of partner airlines. They raised redemptions on their own metal pretty modestly, but took a page right out of Delta’s understanding of an “alliance” when they split the chart in two. Oneworld, the smallest alliance, also seems to be the most tightly knit. There’s no guesswork as to how partner flights with transfer back to American: it’s all 100%. Can’t get easier than that. (Poor Korean/Delta/Skyteam – what a shitty situation.)
My planned travels so far for 2014 include the gayest trip to Vegas EVAR in February, and Munich for Oktoberfest, in, well Oktober. Aside from that, I’d like to squeeze in the Explorer Award, a trip to Dublin (BOS-DUB) with Avios, a weekend in NOLA, and some Pacific NW exploration (I’m thinking VYR-SEA-PDX-maybe NorCal).
I have a rule about mileage running: it has to be to a place I genuinely want to go. In this regard, it’s not a true mileage run so much as a cheap ticket for a quick trip, but I like this rule. It’s enriching and expands my travel horizons (and earns me miles).
Pretty soon, for Christmas and New Year’s, I’ll be flying my first RTW trip with a crazy JFK-LAX-NAN-AKL-SYD-MEL-AUH-CAI-IST-CDG-EWR itinerary, although I’m hoping to tighten up the segments after AUH back to NYC. Maybe AUH-FRA-JFK if Lufty releases the space? We’ll see. But I can’t wait to experience the different metals (Fiji Airways, AIr New Zealand, Qantas, Etihad, Egyptian, Turkish, United BusinessFirst), lounges, airports, and destinations. As always, will report back.
Wish I was already Exec Plat, but it’s been a pretty good year. Cheers to ending the year as a Plat, and happy and safe travels to all that will be out and about this holiday season.
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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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