As you can see by the title, I’m having a bit of a dilemma regarding where my father and I should travel. We currently have 350,000 AAdvantage miles and we’re looking to use those to book the flights. We originally looked at flying to London out of Boston on the BA A380 (flying on the A380 was one of our goals for at least one of the legs), which would only cost us 230K points for the both of us to fly Business Class round trip. The unfortunate side to flying British Airways is that we would also have to pay $3K in fees.
A few questions I have for those who have possible suggestions for me:
Does the use of miles plus paying the fees justify the tickets we’ll be buying (~$1600/person)? If not, should we consider flying on American, even though it is more miles, and then pay however much money needed to cover the rest of the fare?
Should we consider traveling somewhere else or flying a different airline for a better deal?
For reference, we were looking at traveling for about 4-5 nights in the window from April 12th to April 19th, 2019, but we’ll most likely do this trip over the summer since an unexpected opportunity in Atlanta popped up during this week.
I just took a look at the reward travel website - we could fly to Honolulu in Business for 230K points but both legs consist of two connections, with an overnight stay in LAX the first and ORD the second. 470K to have a 2-hour connection in DFW on the way out and a 5-hour connection in LAX on the way back.
Unfortunately we can’t redeem the AAdvantage miles for Japan Air even though they’re both in OneWorld. :(
For 320K points we could fly Business domestically to LAX but then fly economy out to SYD and back which probably isn’t worth the miles since you could 160K to fly economy both ways.
Seeing all this, I’m wondering if it would be more worthwhile to buy an economy ticket and then upgrade it to whatever necessary by using miles, or if we should just stick to domestic travel using miles.
We also looked at other locations such as Singapore or Dubai, but those would cost much, much more.
Fly FCO-MAD-LHR on Iberia in Business and then LHR-BOS on British Airways in business.
It’d be a little heavy on the airport/terminal changes, but I’m more concerned about the fees here…
The thing here is that with AAdvantage miles, there are two different fares - “MileSAAver” and “AAnytime”. With the MileSAAver, it’s only about half the price for miles, but you’ll be flying on other airlines with more connections and higher fees. There are also blackout dates which get more extensive the further you travel, and additionally, you may be placed in a lower class on some of the flights. With AAnytime, there are no blackout dates, but it’s about twice the amount of points. To make up for this, you’ll be flying American with as few connections as possible in either Business or First (If you select Business/First AAnytime, as opposed to Business and Economy if you select Business/First MileSAAver).
If you are to go to places that are not the UK (London) or Spain (Madrid), it will require a couple of connections. If you want to simplify it on the way out and get the A380 on the return leg, you can go to PHL on AA. From Philly you can go to many places in Europe direct from PHL. It may be a lot of miles though.
If we went to Singapore, we’d most likely take the Singapore Airlines flight out of EWR. OneWorld doesn’t fly into Singapore, and EWR isn’t that far from where I live. Compared to other destinations, it’s most expensive, but comparing it to other SQ flights from my area to SIN, I believe it’s one of the cheapest.