Dec052016

ARNing to AAdvantage Platinum elite for $1,818 in 2017

This is Part Two of my presentation for a strategy to cheap AAdvantage Platinum elite qualification in 2017 flights with British Airways Premium Economy tickets.

Part One lays out the American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flyer program changes effective for redeemable miles as of August 1, 2016 and Elite Qualifying Dollars effective for earning AAdvantage elite membership with flights beginning January 1, 2017. Then I show the value advantage of BA Premium Economy tickets for AAdvantage elite qualification in 2017. Part one used a traditional ticketing strategy for LAX to London Premium Economy tickets with British Airways.

But my style of discount international airline travel focuses on untraditional ticketing by starting most of my round trip flights from Europe, even though my home base is Monterey, California.

ARNing to AAdvantage Platinum for $1,818 in 2017

John Oliver on Last Week Tonight did a segment on Charter Schools this season with these lines:

Oliver: Yes, education is first, last and always a business. Take the ‘l’ off the word ‘learning’ and what do you get? ‘Earning.’ Take the ‘e’ off and what do you get? ‘Arning.’ Yeah, sure, that’s not a word, but it could be in one of our English classes.

When I heard that piece, my initial thought was Stockholm ARNing is a ‘frequent flyer dictionary’ action verb for me. Stockholm Arlanda ARN is the airport I have most frequented the past couple years when flying between Europe and California on American Airlines and British Airways due to the frequent availability of the deepest discount economy class tickets for travel between Europe and San Francisco.

This post on British Airways Premium Economy is my 2017 version of ARNing as a strategy to re-qualify for American Airlines Platinum elite status in 2017.

In my previous post I detailed the elite qualifying and redeemable miles earning rate differences between British Airways Business Class ($4,852 round trip), Premium Economy ($1,166 round trip) and Deep Discount Economy ($624 round trip) tickets for Los Angeles to London LHR round trip tickets. That AAdvantage earn rate analysis favors British Airways Premium Economy tickets for earning many more redeemable miles and cheaper elite status qualification at a far lower cost than Business Class tickets. And Higher earn rates for Premium Economy tickets means far fewer flights needed to earn AAdvantage Platinum 50,000 EQM/$6,000 EQD elite status in 2017 than my traidtional strategy of buying deep discount economy tickets. The new 2017 earn rates requires to reach AAdvantage elite EQM and EQD with American Airlines issued tickets favors booking tickets with American’s partner airlines, if you shift purchases to higher booking class tickets.

My previous article showed how three round trip $1,166 tickets in BA Premium Economy LAX-London earns AAdvantage Platinum elite for around $3,500.

Loyalty Traveler – Earn AAdvantage EQD and cheaper elite status on BA Premium Economy tickets (Dec 5, 2016).

But a generally solid rule for airline ticket prices is there are more frequently lower fares available between California and Europe when starting travel in Europe.

British Airways Premium Economy LAX to London at $1,166 round trip is not a cheap ticket to me. There are Premium Economy long-haul flights offering even more miles for flyers interested in AAdvantage elite status at far lower prices. Which brings me back around to “ARNing”.

My frequent use of Denmark, Norway and Sweden for cheap deep discount economy round trip tickets between Europe and California has been central to my AAdvantage elite membership strategy.

In this post I show how British Airways Premium Economy tickets allow a member to earn AAdvantage Platinum elite status in 2017 with 50,000 EQM and $6,000 EQD requirement in 2017 for less than $2,000 in British Airways Premium Economy class tickets.

British Airways Premium Economy Booking Code T ticket

Stockholm ARN – London LHR – Los Angeles LAX – London LHR – Stockholm ARN

$605.59 USD (5,521 SEK) round trip   Sat March 6 – Mon April 3, 2017

ARN-LAX $605 BA-PE-T Mar6-Apr3

British Airways Premium Economy is T class.

AAdvantage Earn Miles Rates for British Airways Booking Code Partner Flights

AAdvantage BA earn table

https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/partner-airlines/british-airways.jsp

AAdvantage Earn Rate for BA Premium Economy T class:

LHR-LAX-LHR = 10,912 flight miles.

  • 100% base miles for flight miles LHR-LAX = 10,912 redeemable miles.
  • 1.50 EQM per flight mile = 16,638 elite qualifying miles
  • 20% EQD per flight mile = 2,182 EQD.

There are no Premium Economy seats on the Stockholm ARN – London LHR aircraft, so the booking class is Economy K.

BA Economy K class ARN-LHR-ARN earns:

ARN-LHR-ARN = 1,822 flight miles

  • 50% base miles = 911 redeemable miles + elite bonus (if applicable)
  • 0.50 EQM per flight mile = 911 EQM.
  • 10% EQD per flight mile = 182 EQD.

$606 British Airways Premium Economy Stockholm – Los Angeles round trip ticket earns:

  • 11,823 AAdvantage redeemable miles.
  • 17,549 AAdvantage EQM (35% of Platinum EQM needed in 2017).
  • 2,364 EQD (39.4% of Platinum EQD needed in 2017).

The real deal is $1,818 for three British Airways Premium Economy tickets earns over 50,000 EQM and $7,000 EQD to easily qualify for AAdvantage Platinum Elite in 2017 for less than 30% of the price to earn $6,000 EQD with American Airlines deep discount economy class tickets.

This Premium Economy is looking like my basic plan for 2017. British Airways global network means there are likely many low Premium Economy fares to be found in 2017 across different routes.

British Airways Premium Economy T Class

Stockholm Arlanda ARN – London Heathrow LHR – San Francisco SFO – LHR – ARN

$610.36 (5,562 SEK) round trip Premium Economy T  March 1 – March 15

ARN-SFO $610.36 5562SEK BA-PE-T

LHR-SFO-LHR = 10,734 flight miles in BA Premium Economy T class.

  • 100% base miles for flight miles LHR-LAX = 10,734 redeemable miles.
  • 1.50 EQM per flight mile = 16,101 elite qualifying miles
  • 20% EQD per flight mile = 2,146 EQD.

BA Economy K class ARN-LHR-ARN earns:

ARN-LHR-ARN = 1,822 flight miles

  • 50% base miles = 911 redeemable miles + elite bonus (if applicable)
  • 0.50 EQM per flight mile = 911 EQM.
  • 10% EQD per flight mile = 182 EQD.

Total AAdvantage Miles and EQD on $610 Premium Economy Stockholm – San Francisco round trip ticket:

  • 11,645 redeemable miles
  • 17,012 EQM (34% of 50,000 EQM needed for AAdvantage Platinum).
  • 2,328 EQD (38.8% of $6,000 EQD need for AAdvantage Platinum).

The above example of a two week trip to San Francisco is fine if you reside in Sweden, but I want long breaks in between my outbound Stockholm to California flights and inbound flights from California to Europe. I already have tickets for summer travel to Stockholm and I would like a trip back to Europe in late September or early October.

British Airways Premium Economy T Class

Stockholm Arlanda ARN – London Heathrow LHR – San Francisco SFO – LHR – ARN

$728.09 (6,641 SEK) round trip Premium Economy T  April 5 – Oct 2, 2017

DFW-SFO BA flight segment B

LHR-DFW = 4,750 flight miles.

SFO-LHR = 5,367 flight miles.

LHR-DFW / SFO – LHR = 10, 117 flight miles in BA Premium Economy T class.

  • 100% base miles for flight miles LHR-LAX = 10,117 redeemable miles.
  • 1.50 EQM per flight mile = 15,175 elite qualifying miles
  • 20% EQD per flight mile = 2,023 EQD.

This ticket earns fewer miles on the Premium Economy flight segments due to a flight distance difference of 795 miles in a Premium Economy cabin seat with LHR-DFW/SFO-LHR compared to LHR-SFO-LHR.

The interesting aspect of this ticket is the inbound third flight segment is a BA codeshare flight for an American Airlines operated aircraft DFW-SFO.

While the economy class flight segments on BA between Stockholm and London are Economy K class, this final segment on the AA flight is BA economy B class with a different earning rate for a full fare economy class ticket.

BA economy B class earns 100% base miles, 100% EQM and 20% EQD.

DFW-SFO = 1,464 flight miles.

  • 1,464 redeemable miles + elite bonus.
  • 1,464 EQM.
  • 292 EQD.

$728 British Airways Premium Economy Stockholm – San Francisco round trip ticket via Dallas earns:

  • 11,581 AAdvantage redeemable miles.
  • 16,639 AAdvantage EQM (33.3% of Platinum EQM needed in 2017).
  • 2,315 EQD (38.6% of Platinum EQD needed in 2017).

These British Airways Premium Economy fares from Stockholm to California look like the route to AAdvantage Platinum to me in 2017. And since I already have two ticketed flights to Europe with Star Alliance in 2017, my other elite strategy plan is still to work on Aegean Gold elite qualification for 2017.

Given the current frequent flyer revenue-based environment in the USA, I think I can still qualify for both middle tier elite with both Star Alliance and Oneworld in 2017 with Aegean and American AAdvantage and a spend level around $2,000 in each alliance for airline tickets.

Loyalty Traveler curated Airfare Deals and Google Flights and Kayak Explore tutorials.

 

 

 

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 »

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Comments

  1. I have never paid much attention to status because I have never truly flown enough “on purpose” to come close….so I do not know a whole lot about the ins and outs of it. From what i can grasp though from this article, this looks to be an excellent idea and if one looks for sales and searches you could get an excellent deal and get status really cheap even without a huge amount of flying!
    Looks like i need to start researching all this! Thanks!

  2. I guess you could use Ultimate Reward points for that itinerary and get AA Platinum for 125,000 UR? 🙂

  3. Rick,
    Do you purchase the tickets using the “european” British airways site and then credit the miles to your US aa frequent flyer account, or do you credit the miles to BA Avios?

  4. @David – Does not matter where you buy ticket as long as not through American Airlines and no AA coded flights.

    Enter American Airlines AAdvantage number. All my articles this past week are strategies for earning AAdvantage elite status with 2017 rules..

    I have not looked at the earn rate for British Airways Executive Club.

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