Tag Archives: American Airlines

Booking a Last Minute Award Trip to Tokyo with American Airlines & United Airlines Miles

Buenos dias everyone! For a few months now, we’ve been talking about going to Tokyo in May, but we weren’t sure exactly when or for how long. When we were in Barcelona earlier this year, we picked up tickets to the Ghibli Museum for May 13 at the local JTB office, but that was all the planning we had done. This was largely because my partner just enrolled at Universidad Autonóma Metropolitana (UAM) in Mexico City, and classes started this week – but he didn’t get his class schedule until last Thursday! And it turned out he has an early morning lecture five days a week.

We knew that this Wednesday and next Monday were school holidays, so we had a general sense of how it could work, but we weren’t 100% certain how much class he would be comfortable missing until he actually went to class. Ultimately, we decided we could leave Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning and return on Monday, which would mean he’d miss two days of school for a five day trip.

It’s not a very long time to go all the way to Tokyo, but we really wanted to visit the museum and catch the end of wisteria season, so we decided to make it happen. As a result, I ended up booking some of the shortest-notice award tickets of my life – I made reservations on Monday afternoon for a flight on Tuesday evening.

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Trip Recommendations for Saint Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  Tonight, I am going on a family vacation with my parents and brother to Saint Kitts and Nevis (which is in the Caribbean).  Here is the routing for my flight (thanks to Great Circle Mapper):

  • San Francisco (SFO) to Atlanta (ATL) to Saint Kitts and Nevis (SKB) on Delta Airlines using 27,500 Delta SkyMiles + $15.60 in taxes/fees
  • I will visit the SFO Centurion Lounge tonight and then visit a Delta Sky Club Lounge in ATL in the morning (both free since I have the American Express Business Platinum Charge Card)
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis (SKB) to Miami (MIA) on American Airlines using 10,000 British Airways Avios + $53.46 in taxes/fees
  • I have a long layover and need to go from MIA to FLL – I think I will stop by the beach for some lunch before going to FLL
  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to San Francisco (SFO) on Virgin America using 8,094 Virgin America Elevate Miles + $5.60 in taxes/fees

Unfortunately, I did not write down the flight prices at the time I booked these flights, but I remember getting pretty good value out of my miles when I booked these flights.

SFO-SKB RT Great Circle Mapper

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ICYMI: Travel News Roundup for Saturday, May 6, 2017

Here’s all the news that caught my eye this week – let me know if you learn something new!

Airlines + Miles

The TSA is reportedly piloting a new requirement in Kansas City (MCI): forcing passengers to remove any paper products from their luggage. Yet another reason to get Global Entry if you don’t have it already. [Schneier on Security]

American Airlines has a new promotion where you can earn up to 10,000 points for transactions with their shopping partners. [Mommy Points]

American Airlines also announced that they plan to cram so many seats into their new 737 MAX planes that some rows will lose two additional inches of legroom. [CNN Money]

Hawaiian Airlines unveiled a brand and livery refresh. It looks pretty slick! [The Design Air]

JetBlue and Icelandair announced a frequent flier partnership. [USA Today] Continue reading

My Recent Citi Forward & Premier Credit Card Retention / Targeted Spending Offers

Good morning everyone, I hope you had a festive Drinko Cinco de Mayo yesterday.  A few weeks ago, I called Citi to convert my Citi Prestige Credit Card into a Citi Dividend Credit Card.  During that call, I asked the rep if it were possible to convert my Citi Forward Credit Card to another Citi Dividend Credit Card.  She checked the card’s offers and told me that no product change / conversion offers were available.  Undeterred, I asked if she saw any other offers on the credit card and she read off a few retention / targeted spending offers.  After going through all available offers, I accepted an offer for 3,000 bonus Citi Thank You Points after spending $300 in the next 30-90 days (I don’t remember the exact number of days, since I was planning on completing the spending requirement the following day).

To complete the spending requirement, I loaded / reloaded my Amazon gift card balance with $301 using my Citi Forward Credit Card.  A long time ago, the Citi Forward Credit Card used to offer 5x Citi Thank You Points at restaurants and bookstores (including Amazon).  But unfortunately, on June 4, 2016, Citi changed the earning rate of the Citi Forward Credit Card from 5x to 2x at restaurants and bookstores, thereby reducing my spending on the card from a lot to $0.

Fun fact: The rep mentioned that as long as there is a purchase once every 25 statement cycles (~2 years), Citi will not close the credit card for inactivity.

Reload Amazon Gift Card Balance

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Chasing American Airlines Elite Status and Knowing When to Stop

Buenos dias everyone. Last weekend, I was doing some trip planning for May, based on the following parameters:

  • I’ll be in Washington DC for work from April 29–May 5
  • My partner and I want to go to Japan in early May to see the wisteria at Ashikaga Flower Park and the Ghibli Museum (we have tickets for May 13). Dates are still up in the air because we’re waiting for him to get his university class schedule
  • I have a meeting in New York City on May 20th
  • I have a Qatar business class mistake fare booked from Denpasar to Los Angeles on May 26 that earns nearly 20,000 Elite Qualifying Miles and 2,600 Elite Qualifying Dollars each way towards AAdvantage status
  • I need to be in Providence for the graduation of one of my best friends on May 28, and then have a work meeting in Boston for several days afterward
  • I’ll be away from home for a month from mid-June to mid-July

I was racking my brain trying to figure out a way to make this all work, and came up with the following options, which I sent to my friend Jon, a fellow travel hacker and food blogger:

A flight map illustrating the following routing: MEX-SFO-TPE-NRT-HKG-NRT-JFK-NRT-HKG-DPS-LAX-BOS-EWR-MEX

Option 1: stay in Asia after my partner leaves, fly to NYC for meeting, fly back to Asia, return to US on QR mistake fare then go straight to Providence/Boston, return home June 1 or 2. Over 44,000 miles in less than a month

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