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I’m sure there are 10+ mentions of this promo in the blogosphere, as there are for credit card changes and announcements. I encourage you to read my analysis in these situations even if you’ve read someone else’s. I only write on a subject when I have something big to add–otherwise I’ll just link to someone else’s post.

American Airlines had an awful last few months. Its pilots were causing flight cancellations and late arrivals as an annoying protest against management for seeking to lower its costs during bankruptcy.

Those problems are now behind American, and it wants to repair the damage to its image caused by the delays and cancellations. To that end, it is offering double elite qualifying miles on its flights between November 1 and December 31 of this year.

If you are an elite, you will also earn double redeemable miles during that time period. If you aren’t an elite, you will earn double redeemable miles during 11/16 – 11/26. Lost about the difference between elite qualifying miles and redeemable miles? See Choosing Where to Credit Miles Earned from Flying.

This promotion, coming at the end of the year, when many people are scrambling for status, comes as most welcome news. What’s it worth?

That depends on several factors that I’ll break down.

Value of RDM- How much do you value one redeemable AA mile? I value one at 1.77 cents.

Value of EQM- How much do you value EQM? You should value your 1st through 24,999th EQM at 0. The 25,000th EQM is worth what you value Gold Status at. Same with EQMs 25,001 to 49,999–worthless. But EQM 50,000 is worth whatever Platinum is worth. EQM 100,000 is worth whatever Executive Platinum is worth.

Value of Flights Taken- This promo offers bonus miles on flights taken in November and December regardless of when they were booked. If you have a flight booked already, we can assume you are getting your ticket price’s worth out flying it. But if you book a mileage run right now to get involved, that flight itself has zero worth to you if you don’t mind flying and negative worth if you find it to be an uncomfortable time waster.

What Status You Have- If you have no status right now, you’ll earn 1 redeemable mile and 2 status miles per mile flown during the promo period. If you are Gold, that changes to 2.25 redeemable miles and 2 status miles per mile flown. If you are Platinum or Executive Platinum, its 3 redeemable miles and 2 status miles.

Or at least that’s how I interpret this term:

Generalizations

You will get the most value out of this promotion if you are Platinum and use it to get to Executive Platinum with flights you already have booked, and you use the redeemable miles earned for high value redemptions.

The reason is that you will be earning the maximum 3 redeemable miles per mile flown, you’ll get the biggest value from your EQMs, jumping to Executive Platinum, and you will have a high value for the flights booked, and for the miles used for later awards.

You will get the least value if you have no status with American, book mileage runs, and use the miles earned poorly.

Your redeemable miles and elite qualifying miles are not valuable in this instance, your flights have negative value, and you aren’t even earning extra redeemable miles.

Formula for What This Promo is Worth to You

A = Value of redeemable miles

B = Extra redeemable miles earned through promo

C = Value of Status earned through promo in excess of value you would have without promo

D = Ticket prices

E = Value of flights taken

A * B + C – D + E

Example: You are a Platinum with 75k EQM. You had one transcon booked for 5k miles for November already. You did not plan to mileage run to reach Executive Platinum. You value the flights of a mileage run at negative $200 because you hate wasting your time.

You decide to mileage run the last 20k EQM because of the promo. You find two $250, 5k EQM mileage runs that equal 20k EQMs after the doubling bonus.

A = 1.77 cents, you use my valuation

B = 35k extra miles, 5k extra for the flight you already booked, 30k on the flights you are booking to do this promo

C = $2,000, you love those 8 system wide upgrages

D = $500

E = – $400

Plug it in, and you find out that the value of the promotion for someone like this is a whopping $1,1719.50. This is definitely among the high possible valuations, owing completely to finding someone near Executive Platinum status who would not have reached it without the promo.

Registration

You must register in advance for this promo. Do that here.

Recap

American is running a promotion offering double status miles in November and December on all flights flown. People with AA status will get double redeemable miles too.

You must register in advance for the promo. Do it now before you forget. To figure out whether you should take advantage of the promo (and how much), plug your values into my formula above.

Bonus

Here are four FlyerTalk mileage runs on American. Check the Mileage Run forum daily for the best deals. See here for my guide to the forum.

BOS

BUF

NYC

SEA

 

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