American offering 25,000-45,000 bonus miles per premium transatlantic roundtrip!

For travel between September 19 and December 31, 2011, American is offering bonus miles for select premium transatlantic tickets.

If you purchase and fly on a transatlantic ticket booked in at least the “H” fare class (fairly expensive coach fare) on American, British Airways, or Iberia, you can earn 25,000 bonus miles for your first roundtrip, 35,000 bonus miles for your second roundtrip, and 45,000 bonus miles for every subsequent roundtrip.

Registration is required here prior to travel using promotion code EUR11.

This is actually at least somewhat tempting. Business class fares to Europe can be had for as little as $1,600 roundtrip all-in. If you theoretically did three roundtrips between Boston to London in paid business class you would earn an average of 35,000 bonus miles per roundtrip, plus at a minimum of about 15,000 miles for actually flying if you’re at least a Platinum (though you can do much better on the routing if you wanted to). That’s about 50,000 redeemable miles per roundtrip. If you value those miles at two cents each, you’re really only “paying” $600 for business class to Europe per ticket. Not bad!

So while it’s probably not worth booking a ticket just because of the promotion, it’s something to keep in mind if you already have a trip planned to Europe or if you’re trying to decide between a coach fare and a business class fare.

Let me put this in terms of a practical example I’m considering. I might go to London over Thanksgiving. A coach fare on American is $800, while a business class fare is $1,800. If I booked business class I would earn 25,000 bonus redeemable miles, in addition to 25% extra miles for flying business class. Assuming I value those additional miles at two cents each, that’s about $600 worth of miles, meaning I’m only “paying” an extra $400 for business class over coach. Furthermore, if I upgraded from coach to business class I’d have to pay the ~$200 UK luxury departure tax, making the difference only $200. Instead of using my systemwide upgrades to upgrade from coach to business class, I could instead use them to upgrade from business class to first class. At $100 each way, it seems well worth it.

Comments

  1. Something to point out – this promo can’t be applied to already booked trips. It has to be an itinerary booked beginning today 19SEP, so if you already have a trip booked, unfortunately you’re out of luck.

  2. “Business class fares to Europe can be had for as little as $1,600 roundtrip all-in.”

    Please do share … I can’t find anything less than $2500

  3. @Taylor–That restriction only applies to the BA version of the promo, if you’re trying to get BA miles instead of AA miles.

  4. @lucky: speaking of systemwides…I just achieved lifetime gold this week(yeah!). I thought they may give me a couple systemwides, but they didn’t. Is there any other way to get them than qualifying for exec. platinum?

  5. @ Dubble Jay — For reaching million miler you get (I believe) eight 500 mile “stickers” good for domestic upgrades if your address is registered in the US. If it had been registered outside the US, you would have gotten four systemwide upgrades.

  6. I’m flying BA F (AA coded A fare) LAX-LHR and AA F (AA I fare SWU’d) LHR-DFW in the next week. Does anyone have any insight based on past similar promotions on whether this will qualify for the promotion?

  7. @Dubble Jay & @lucky If you cross the million mile mark this year, you can request 35k miles instead of the 8 stickers, which is the new bonus when cross the million mile marker starting Dec 1. A more versatile gift.

  8. @BrewerSEA My MIA-LHR trip this summer qualified for the DEQM bonus even though I booked before the bonus was announced. Register for the bonus, you should be good.

  9. @qbrain Thanks for the reply. I’m mostly concerned because my flights are different routes and different tickets, but both TATL above H.

  10. Looks like the deal is off or I’m doing something wrong. I registered through AA and when I tried to book a flight to Europe using the code EUR11, I received an error message stating that the code is invalid.

    Also the cheapest flight in Business to Europe I’ve ever found is about $3800 round trip on Delta. Where do I find those sub $2000 Business Class flights?

  11. @BrewerSEA Different ticket numbers? That does sound like a problem. Call CS and get them to make a note in your record that it qualifies for the promo if you can, but I think the ticket number issue will be a sticking point, you can probably talk around anything else.

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