My name’s Patrick, but American Airlines is the saint today

I broadcasted my foolish miles mistake to the world a few days ago, and I learned my lesson: don’t cancel award flights and expect to get your miles back.

If you’re surprising a friend with an award flight, find a way to confirm what state they’ll be living in when the flight will happen.

After emailing AAdvantage Customer Service asking if they could make an exception to their $150 fee for redepositing miles from canceled award flights, they emailed me back: Continue reading

Check out the mistake that cost me 20k AA miles

Apparently it’s common knowledge to many people, but I had no idea:

Canceling an award flight, even within 24 hours, is expensive.

I used 20k miles recently to surprise a friend with a flight to join us in Hawaii.

When we called her to tell her, she was psyched but told us she’d be moving from South Carolina to Florida before the trip would happen.

No big deal, I thought, I’ll just cancel that return flight and re-book it returning to Tampa instead.

American Airlines will refund your ticket as long as you cancel within 24 hours, right?

Wrong. Continue reading

How we’re getting 3 people to Hawaii and back for free

Before I jump in, please don’t think I’m trying to brag.

There are travel hackers out there who I’m sure could get way better value out of their points by using them to somehow get 1st-class tickets, along with a free stopover in Sydney, for the same price.

We’re flying coach, and we’re psyched.

Get on with it, so how?

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A sad end to American Airlines’ miles-based loyalty program approaches

Rewarding the rich is lucrative. Delta and United Airlines led the charge, and on August 1 American Airlines will follow, by beginning a revenue-based loyalty program.

Right now, the more miles you fly on American Airlines, the more loyalty miles you earn. Next month onward, your miles flown won’t matter. It’ll be all about how much you spend.

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Continue reading