My Plan for the American Airlines Fast Track to Elite Status Promotion

American Airlines logo

The Promo

Last Week, American Airlines accidentally made public a promotion that was supposed to be targeted. I was alerted to it thanks to AAdvantageGeek. The details of the Fast Track to Elite Status promotion were pretty straight forward:

Fly a certain amount of miles between September 1 & December 31, 2013, and receive Gold, Platinum, or Executive Platinum status.

Fast Track to Elite Status Requirements

Fast Track to Elite Status Requirements

After going viral, the promotion was quickly pulled, but I did sign up Joann and myself.

At a glance, it doesn’t seem like much flying to reach Gold or Platinum. I can get about 6,000 miles from one LGA-DFW-SEA-DFW-LGA trip.

However, Gold or Platinum don’t really interest me. Per the Elite Benefits Chart, Gold and Platinum give you cool things like bonus redeemable miles, free checked bags, and waived award booking fees. Good stuff but not anything I’m willing to exert extra time and money for.

Now, American’s top tier, Executive Platinum, takes a bit more flying (30,000 miles) but those benefits are what Joann and I want.

Why are we going out of our way to fly 30K miles on American Airlines?

Great question. I think it’s a combination of a few things.

1. We like flying and traveling. There seem to be enough affordable fares on the weekend, which is our only free time until the end of the year.

2. More importantly, we’ll be able to utilize all the benefits of Executive Platinum status, especially the 8 Systemwide Upgrades that we’ll receive upon qualifying.

American’s Systemwide Upgrades upgrade any revenue ticket to the next cabin up (Coach->First, or Business in a 3-cabin aircraft).

Systemwide Upgrades can get you from Coach to here - AA 777 New Business Class

Systemwide Upgrades can get you from Coach to here – AA 777 New Business Class

Our status will last until February 2015 so we plan to take full AAdvantage of the perks like the aforementioned upgrades and also the Complimentary Upgrades on domestic flights.

3. And the last reason we’re going all the way to the top with this promotion? Because we want to! It sounds like fun so we talked it over and want to do it.

How We Plan to Fly 30K Miles in 4 Months

Simple. A combination of one existing vacation that we’ll now fly on American and a bunch of Mileage Runs.

We planned a trip to New Orleans in 3 weeks, but since the flight was booked using Southwest points, we can easily cancel and get all our points back.

We decided to change that trip to somewhere farther… and tropical. I found a decent fare to from LGA-HNL via DFW. Over 10K miles in one shot! We’ll be 1/3 of the way there.

In order to make that trip a bit more fun,  I had us upgraded to First Class using a Systemwide Upgrade. I’ll get into that in another post ;).

So that is our only “real” trip booked for this promotion. Currently, we only have one other trip booked, a mileage run to LAX that will give us about 8 hours to putz around before heading home on a red eye. With those two trips,  we’ll have flown 15K miles,  halfway to the 30K needed to make Executive Platinum. Now I just need to find a few good mileage runs to get the rest of the way.

The Last Time We Were In Hawaii!

The Last Time We Were In Hawaii!

How To Find Mileage Runs

One of the best ways to find mileage run fares is to follow The Flight Deal, either on their web site or Twitter.

AAdvantageGeek posts 9 Mileage Run tips that one should know when trying to complete this promotion,  or any mileage run for that matter.

I use most of these tips, but I mainly just scour ITA Matrix to find good fares.

I’ll definitely be writing new posts on Mileage Runs as I find them,  specifically for this promotion.

Conclusion

All in all,  this should be a fun promotion.  We’re pretty excited for the journey and of course the “prizes”  at the end of the rainbow!

So that’s what’s in store for the end of our 2013. Should be a pretty interesting second half of the year.

Happy flying whether or not you were able to register for this promotion. If you have, let me know your plans.

8 Comments My Plan for the American Airlines Fast Track to Elite Status Promotion

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  2. Stephanie

    Question – about how much are you budgeting to reach the 30k? I’m also signed up for the promo and was thinking about going for EXP, but I’ve already booked 4 mileage runs between LAX and BDL and my cost is about $1k… Luckily that route also qualifies for double RDM, but I’m wondering if EXP is worth going for the final 10k that I’ll be short of. Hmm!

    1. The #hustle Blog

      I’ve budgeted up to $2000 on the high end, but I’d obviously like to get it as low as possible. If you have 20k miles booked for only $1k, I’d definitely invest in a few good MR fares to get the last 10k miles and get those 8 SWUs. To me, they are worth it to use for yourself and on FT’s Coupon Connex.

      Thanks for the comment, Stephanie!

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  5. Wellington

    I just found this blog thanks to one of your posts that popped up on google. I took advantage of this promo as well but was only able to get PLT. It has been a great year of travel since then.

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