Mikeonbehind the curtain

Aadvantage 500 Mile Upgrade "Stickers"

A reader wrote in to ask:

"Do you have to use 500 mile coupons for every upgrade?"

As an American Airlines Aadvantage Gold (GLD) or Platinum (PLT) member you need 500 mile upgrade coupons (more affectionately known as "stickers" from the days when they were actually stickers applied to your paper ticket) for most domestic upgrades. The exception being full fare tickets booked into Y or B class. International upgrades require miles and are subject of ...

Dear [email protected] - Where's the beef?

On the occasion that my upgrade does not clear (gasp!) I have the treat of purchasing some in flight deliciousness including the current Boston Market (BM) sandwiches and salads. A few months ago I bought the pre-BM turkey sandwiches for $6 which were dry and bready, but I didn't realize how good it was until I had the option of purchasing a $10 salad with slivers of meat or a $10 (mostly bread) BM sandwich.

I know American famously saved tens of thousands of dollars by removing ...

Searching Airfares by Fare Class

So you've decided to take the American Airlines challenge and need to book your flights. Remember the challenge is based on points not miles. So we need to search for specific fare classes - unless you are indepentently wealthy, of course.

American is one of the few airlines that still let's you hold an itinerary online. This makes planning somewhat simpler in that you can find a good fare, put it on hold for 24 hours, and continue searching.

You only need to ...

American Airlines Challenge

In the last post we mentioned the American Airlines challenge. This challenge allows someone without elite status to fly a reduced number of miles to reach status more quickly. Normally one must fly 25,000, 50,000, or 100,000 miles per year to attain Gold, Platinum, or Executive Platinum status on American Airlines. However, with the Challenge, you can fly 5,000 or 10,000 miles in 90 days and qualify for Gold or Platinum instead. There is no challenge for Executive Platinum.

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American Airlines Points versus Miles

In the next few posts I will be explaining some technical differences in the way American Airlines counts miles towards status and rewards.

The American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flyer program uses two different counting systems to reach elite status. First, there is the traditional miles flown (or butt in seat miles) the mileage accrued while flying in any class of service. Second is the less common mileage points based on the fare class paid. Points have class of service ...

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The Upgrd Podcast One Year On

It's been a year since I met Ben and Fozz in San Francisco and said "somebody should do a podcast". Little did I know how quickly we would work on it and how much content we would produce.

A few weeks and a few emails later we were in business. Almost 40 podcasts later we have talked, emailed, tweeted, and chatted with many of you. It has been a great experience filling in our collective knowledge, sharing and learning with you as we go along. We really appreciate all ...

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