Cost of flying 30,000 AAdvantage flight miles

What is the cost to earn 30,000 AAdvantage elite qualifying miles EQM? Where can I potentially travel flying 30,000 miles on cheap tickets with American Airlines and select Oneworld airlines?

These questions arise for me due to a fast-track promotion from American Airlines AAdvantage received in an email June 19, targeted specifically to my account.

Loyalty Traveler – My fantastic American AAdvantage elite fast-track offer (June 22)

This AAdvantage elite fast track promotion offers AAdvantage Gold at 6,000 EQM, Advantage Platinum at 12,000 EQM and AAdvantage Executive Platinum at 30,000 EQM by October 9, 2015.

I do not know why I was selected for this AAdvantage elite fast track offer. It could be that I held AAdvantage Platinum status in 2013 and dropped to no status in 2014 or it may be that I am a travel blogger. The email did not give a reason, only a high value offer.

AAdvantage Fast Track looks like the real deal to me

The cost to earn 30,000 EQM AAdvantage miles quickly revealed it can be done for well under $2,000 to fly 30,000 miles on American Airlines tickets that earn 100% flight miles as EQM.

San Jose – Jakarta, Indonesia $869.90 August 30-September 8 for 18,757 EQM with routing SJC-LAX-NRT-CGK-NRT-LAX-SJC and Japan Airlines flights marketed as AA codeshare flights.


One of the challenges of itineraries to Jakarta is finding American Airlines codeshare flights for Japan to Indonesia segments on Japan Airlines. Lowest fare tickets are JL code and those only earn 30% miles. An AA codeshare earns 7,240 EQM for the two Japan Airlines segments compared to 2,172 EQM, if ticketed as JL flights.

LAX-CGK AA-JL $743 Sep15

Los Angeles to Jakarta on routing LAX-NRT-CGK-NRT-SAN-LAX is 18,357 flight miles. The two JL coded flights in N class only earn 30% EQM with AAdvantage for 2,753 EQM from 9,177 flight miles of this itinerary. The ticket will earn only 11,933 EQM for 18,357 flight miles due to JL coded flights rather than AA codeshare flights.

So while the fare is $127 less from LAX than flying out of SJC, the ticket earns nearly 7,000 fewer EQM.

Los Angeles – Johannesburg, South Africa $1,157.90, this long haul itinerary knocks out 22,000 EQM with LAX-LHR-JNB-LHR-LAX on one ticket and offers an exciting destination for exploration.

Los Angeles – Hong Kong $758.30 for 18,715 EQM is a low cost ticket with the advantage of not requiring a restrictive visa needed for mainland China travel.

One of the quickest and low cost ways to earn 30,000 EQM is fly to Sao Paulo and ticket a flight from Sao Paulo back to San Francisco or to Asia. Earning 26,000 EQM is easy with two nested tickets flying to South America and back twice.

San Francisco – Sao Paulo, Brazil $723 round trip in September for 13,218 EQM via Miami or 12,987 via Los Angeles LAX. Added cost for $160 visa for Brazil.

This ticket can be nested with a ticket Sao Paulo – San Francisco $510 for 13,218 miles. These two tickets and one $250 domestic ticket will earn 30,000 EQM for under $1,500 all-in.

Another option is to knock out a full 25,000 EQM with Sao Paulo – Shanghai PVG $860 routing GRU-LAX-PVG-ORD-MIA-GRU for 24,967 EQM.

$1,600 for two tickets, plus visa fees for Brazil and China, and a single trip flying California to Brazil to California to Shanghai to California to Brazil to California over a two week period knocks out the entire 30,000 EQM for American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum status, valid through February 2017. The trip includes visits to two major cities of the world.

The price is right for me to fly 30,000 EQM with American Airlines and select Oneworld partners eligible for my AAdvantage elite fast-track offer.

I’ll be watching American Airlines fares for airfare deals over the next two months searching for tickets for 30,000 EQM in August and September flights.

On top of earning AAdvantage Executive Platinum with its benefits is the additional benefit of pulling in a potential 60,000 redeemable miles while earning 30,000 EQM over the next three months.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »


  1. AA LAX-DFW-HKG might be an option. Also do your calculations include any elite status EQMs earned for your temporary status during the challenge? Most of these challenges from AA include some level of status during the challenge as well.

  2. I received Gold during my Plat challenge last month. But I had the normal challenge and not a sweet deal like this one. Congrats!

  3. I was just looking to repeat a trip I did in april sna – dfw -hong kong -jakarta 23,000 or close for 685.00 in Sept or oct —- if it’s not sna try lax – sorry was playing with many options – hope that helps

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