During the month of October, I attended several interesting events, one of them being the oneworld MegaDO Launch Party. At the party were several executives from American Airlines, including Maya Leibman, President of AAdvantage, as well as Jeff Zidell, Vice President of Hyatt Gold Passport. Representatives from Boeing were also on hand to discuss their latest projects, namely the 787, as well as enjoy hearing from the people that may fly millions of miles in their jets.
The presentation gave us a chance to see the itinerary of the MegaDO, as well as the various promotions that American and Hyatt would be offering to us. The details of those offers, and the itinerary is posted below.
Hyatt: As I am already a Diamond member, their "Tiered Bonus Challenge" won't do me much good. I'm currently sitting on 32+ stays for 2011, and don't plan on staying another 19 nights to earn 25,000 bonus points. If I was in danger of not making Diamond, or not a Diamond member, this promotion would be more valuable to me. Hyatt announced that they are going to give everybody Diamond membership, but they must stay at least 18 nights from Oct 9 - Jan 13. Again, this doesn't benefit me in the slightest.
American Airlines: Now this is a promotion that I like! Maya announced that AAdvantage would run a special status challenge program for participants of OWMD. A Premier on United would be able to become Gold on AA, provided they flew 5K base miles from Oct 9 - Jan 13. A Premier Executive would become Platinum after flying 10K base miles, and a 1K would be eligible for Executive Platinum status by flying 20K base miles.
As a current 1K with United, I have been thinking about jumping ship after learning of the various changes to the MileagePlus program for 2012. I've not officially decided, so I'll be flying the 20K on AA to see if I should switch all of my flying to them.
American Airlines - Race to Executive Platinum
To earn the 20K base miles required for the Executive Platinum (EXP) match, I started to scour ITA and AA.com for some cheap fares to Europe or Asia. When I thought I had found a decent fare to Venice, the price kept changing, so I bailed on that and vowed to keep looking.
Five days ago, a good friend asked if I wanted to go to China, specifically Shanghai, to earn the miles needed for our EXP match. I've always wanted to go to China, so I thought "why not?!" What's the worst that can happen? The Official Fall 2011 China DO will be happening while we are over there, so I'm even more excited to go. Part of the DO will include a tour of the China Eastern Airlines Pilot Training Facilities, which looks to be full of full-size flight simulators. I'm really hoping I get a chance to fly in one of their birds-- definitely more fun that flight simulator on the computer ;)
The trip to Shanghai is as follows:
MCI-ORD = 403 miles
ORD-PVG = 7057 miles
PVG-ORD = 7057 miles
ORD-MCI = 403 miles
Total = 14919 miles
While I will be about 5,000 miles short of the the 20K required, American has been running some pretty decent fares from MCI to SFO. With one round-trip to SFO, I can take care of the remaining 5K, and earn EXP status for all of 2012, as well as eight System-Wide Upgrades (SWU), which are valid on ALL PAID FARES, something that no other legacy carrier is doing. On United, you must have a minimum of a W-fare to use a SWU on an international flight.
Grand Hyatt Shanghai
We plan on spending two days in Shangahi, and with my Diamond status, figured that our best option for lodging would be the Grand Hyatt. Situated next door to the Park Hyatt Shanghai, the Grand occupies the top 36 stories of a 80 story building, and should provide excellent views of the city. I've gone ahead and used a suite upgrade, and am hoping for a further upgrade to accomodate both of us. If the internet connection is stable, I'll be posting some preview photos after we land, next Friday.
That's all for now! If you've got any questions about this challenge, or want to ask me if I am crazy, feel free to comment below.