One of the beautiful things about the airline industry — for those willing to put in the time — is how variable the pricing is.
Whether you’re booking a revenue ticket or award ticket, pricing can vary exponentially depending on when you book, where you originate, etc.
For example, I’ve written in the past about how airlines publish cheap premium fares out of Cairo, Egypt, and Colombo, Sri Lanka.
You can fly from Cairo to Seattle via Doha and Miami in both directions for under $2,000 roundtrip in business class:
That’s ~23,400 flown miles. If you credit to American AAdvantage you’d earn 1.5 EQPs per mile, which is a total of ~35,000 EQPs.
But great fares aren’t limited to those markets. For example, there are similar fares published out of Casablanca, Morocco, which are even more tempting.
You can fly from Casablanca to Seattle via Doha and Miami for ~$2,100 roundtrip in business class:
That’s ~28,000 flown miles. If you credit to American AAdvantage you’d earn 1.5 EQPs per mile, which is a total of ~42,000 EQPs.
That’s literally paying five cents per elite qualifying point, which you’d be lucky to get in economy on a domestic US mileage run, for example.
Of course I realize the big catch here is that you have to position yourself to Casablanca. On one hand that’s not as easy as a domestic mileage run, though on the other hand it’s only a short flight from Spain. And if you do one of these, it’s quite easy to do multiple of these since you’re already in Casablanca.
But to think that two of these trips would cost you ~$4,200 and get you almost all the way to Executive Platinum… well, that’s pretty tempting.
Qatar Airways 777 business class
I always say, if you’re just getting started with trying to earn status, you can’t beat a cheap paid business class ticket, so you don’t have to “suffer” through economy before you’re eligible for upgrades.
I’m certainly tempted to book a couple of these…