May212016

Puerto Rico this summer for $300? Wife says “no” for AA Platinum elite mileage run

My wife is not into the miles game. She received an email offer this week for American Airlines fast-track to elite status. She needs to fly 12,500 EQM by September 9 to earn American AAdvantage Platinum elite status. She already has 6,278 EQM ticketed for flights to Europe in July. She is returning to California on an AAdvantage Business Class frequent flyer award ticket. She needs an additional 6,222 EQM by September 9, 2016 to meet her AAdvantage Platinum fast-track challenge.

My finger swirled around the mouse pad and click, click, click to find Los Angeles to San Juan, Puerto Rico SJU for $294 round trip two days ago and available for departures on most dates in July and August. I figured a quick trip to Puerto Rico and two nights in a nice hotel sounds like a pleasant way to earn miles in both our accounts and boost both our elite status levels to AAdvantage Platinum (50,000 EQM status) for 2017. I am currently AAdvantage Executive Platinum (100,000 EQM status) from a fast-track elite offer last summer. I am unlikely to fly 100,000 EQM in 2016, but I would reach 50,000 EQM with a round trip from LAX to Puerto Rico.

Los Angeles LAX – Charlotte, NC CLT – San Juan, Puerto Rico – Charlotte CLT – Los Angeles LAX = 7,199 flight miles for 7,199 EQM in AAdvantage. This is more than sufficient miles to reach wife’s AAdvantage Platinum elite status challenge goal of 12,500 EQM by September 9.

AAdvantage Platinum benefits include 100% flight miles bonus, free Main Cabin Extra seat selection and 72 hour upgrade window. Probably most important for Kelley is Oneworld airport lounge access on international flights for flights when she is traveling without me.

American Airlines Los Angeles LAX – San Juan SJU, Puerto Rico

$293.80  Wednesday August 3 – Saturday August 6

LAX-SJU AA $294 Aug3-7

This flight itinerary sucks with outbound redeye LAX to Charlotte and overnight in Charlotte on return flight. One possibility could be if I bought both our tickets on same itinerary, then there is a good chance Kelley and I would be upgraded (complimentary for me, my 500-mile e-upgrades for her). This itinerary would be two nights in San Juan and a third night in Charlotte. Lots of low priced upscale hotels on Saturday night August 6 for about $100 around Charlotte Airport.

Not sure where the deals are in San Juan? I did a quick search and saw hotels from $100 to $150 per night. Might be good value places to spend points too. But, no need for me to study Puerto Rico hotel rates at this time.

Wife Says “No”

Kelley said ”No” to Puerto Rico. Like most working people we know, Kelley wants to travel when she wants to travel and price is not the primary factor for when and where to travel. Puerto Rico is not a trip she wants to make this summer. Even for AAdvantage Platinum elite.

My fingers are back clicking on the mouse, looking for more AAdvantage fare deals to some place Kelley would like to visit.

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.

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  1. Leaving aside the miles: Puerto Rico is fantastic. Old Town San Juan is beautiful, a little piece of Spain – and it’s very easy to get away from the tourist crowds. The whole island is great to visit, and there are more islands (Vieques and Culebra – I’ve only been to the former but both are great, pristine beaches and great food). I typically prefer to go to new places rather than back to an old destination but have been to PR four times.

  2. Meant to also mention that it’s surprisingly pleasant in summer. Frequent storms but they don’t last long. It’s nowhere near as sticky as say Miami in summer.

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