The potential to earn American Airlines AAdvantage or British Airways Executive Club elite status through BA Premium Economy fares is a strategy I am still exploring for 2017 flights. The BA Premium Economy route I found at a great price is Stockholm to Los Angeles or San Francisco for $606 round trip.
The only way to get a longer distance in the USA is travel to Honolulu, adding another 5,112 miles to the 12,272 flight miles for Stockholm-London-Los Angeles round trip.
British Airways Premium Economy is a high earning ticket in both AAdvantage and Executive Club.
AAdvantage earns redeemable miles and EQM at a far higher rate for BA Premium Economy flights than economy flights. British Airways only operates London to LAX segments in Premium Economy. Other flight segments for Stockholm to London on BA and LAX – Honolulu on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines are economy class cabins. The deal with a Premium Economy ticket is the USA domestic segments book in Economy B class, a full earning fare class for redeemable miles and EQM and 20% EQD based on flight distance. The elite qualifying dollars EQD is the important factor in this fare. One round trip ticket for $1,032 earns more than $3,000 EQD in AAdvantage. Then all you need to do is fly American Airlines to pick up some additional EQM for AAdvantage elite.
British Airways Premium Economy T class
Stockholm ARN – LHR – LAX – Honolulu HNL – Dallas DFW – LHR – ARN
$1,031.99 USD (9,459 SEK) Tue Jan 31 – Sun Feb 12 (Ignore Google Flights price, Swedish BA site link has lower prices.)
Changing HNL – LAX to HNL – DFW on return flight increases flight miles to 18,367 round trip.
Each segment has a different earn rate for AAdvantage.
ARN – LHR – ARN BA Economy K = 1,822 flight miles.
- 911 EQM (0.5)
- $182 EQD (10%)
- 911 RDM (50% redeemable miles)
LHR – LAX / DFW – LHR BA Premium Economy T = 10,206 flight miles.
- 15,309 EQM (1.5)
- $2,041 EQD (20%)
- 10,206 RDM (100% redeemable miles)
LAX – HNL / HNL – DFW BA Economy B = 6,340 flight miles.
- 6,340 EQM (1.0)
- $1,268 EQD (20%)
- 6,340 RDM (100% redeemable miles)
Stockholm to Honolulu $1,033 round trip BA Premium Economy ticket
- 22,560 EQM (short of 25,000 EQM for AAdvantage Gold).
- $3,491 EQD (AAdvantage Gold requires $3,000 EQD)
- 17,457 AAdvantage redeemable miles
AAdvantage in 2017 uses Elite Qualifying Dollars EQD as the primary limitation preventing most AAdvantage members from attaining elite status. The cheapest way to meet the EQD requirement is ticketing Premium Economy low fares. This Stockholm – Honolulu British Airways Premium Economy ticket shows the earning power of long distance Premium Economy tickets in the 2017 AAdvantage program.
Since American Airlines flights in deep discount economy still earn 1 EQM per flight mile, meeting the EQM requirement for AAdvantage elite is not too difficult on low spend. Add in a few Premium Economy flights and you can make the EQD requirement for far less spend than the $3,000 – $6,000 – $9,000 – $12,000 thresholds needed when ticketing American Airlines flights.
British Airways Executive Club Elite Status
Executive Club elite status is based on earning Tier Points. Similar to AAdvantage, Premium Economy earns far more tier points.
- ARN – LHR – ARN BA Economy K = 20 Tier Points.
- LHR – LAX / DFW – LHR BA Premium Economy T = 180 Tier Points.
- LAX – HNL – DFW BA Economy B = 140 Tier Points.
340 Tier Points meets the elite qualification requirement for Executive Club Bronze (300 Tier Points), an equivalent status to AAdvantage Gold.