As I posted about a couple of weeks back, American is running a double elite qualifying miles promotion through January 31. I posted a strategy at the time by which residents of California and Illinois could earn top tier (Executive Platinum) status for under $2,000 in just a few days.
Now, I’m neither a resident of California or Illinois, nor am I in desperate need of elite qualifying miles, given that I already have a bunch of international travel planned for 2012 on American, confirmed in first and business class thanks to the eight systemwide upgrades I get annually for being an Executive Platinum member.
Still, just to boost my beginning of the year balance, I decided to plan a fairly quick trip to Shanghai. Since flying American I haven’t really done all that many pure mileage runs, but rather just mini-vacations. In this case I’ll be going to Shanghai for four days.
The fare wasn’t spectacular — I paid $1,129 all-in, though I did manage to route the ticket from Tampa to Shanghai via Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles in both directions. That’s a total of 22,322 base elite qualifying miles, or 44,644 elite qualifying miles through this promotion (not to mention I’ll also earn 44,644 redeemable miles for the trip). Best of all, the long segments are all confirmed in business class.
And that’s exactly what I love about top tier status with American. Even as a leisure traveler I never have to mileage run, but rather can just take a few fun international trips a year upgraded to business class.
I now have two trips planned to Spain (in business class), one to Shanghai (in business class), and one to Japan (in first class), all on American.
And I hate to say this, but let me make my big, baseless airline prediction for 2012, given that American is in Chapter 11 — I suspect they’ll add fare restrictions to their systemwide upgrades, so that they can no longer be used on all fares. I’m certainly hoping I’m wrong…