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Update 11/1/14: I got the 7,500 miles.

Saturday I went to a Cadillac dealership in La Quinta, California to test drive a Cadillac to earn 7,500 American Airlines miles.

Unfortunately the deal is now dead as View from the Wing reported (and no, I don’t have any idea whether your scheduled or completed test drive will earn the miles.)

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I’ll post my experience anyway because these test drive promos in which you can earn something like miles or a prepaid gift card are common enough.

  • What was the process?
  • How long did it take?
  • Did I have to take the test drive?

I set up my test drive online through Cadillac’s chat function for 11:30 AM at a Cadillac dealership near where I was staying for the weekend. At the appointed time, I headed to the dealership and my first turn was onto Miles Ave, an auspicious start.

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I got to the dealership on time and told the first employee that I had set up a test drive online through the promotion to earn American Airlines miles. He had never heard of it.

He told me I would be talking with Deena, and pointed me to a waiting area. I waited 20 minutes, reading the paper and eating the freshly baked cookies, which kept being replenished. Deena didn’t appear.

I went back to tell them I was still waiting, and I was assigned a new salesman.

I had indicated I was interested in a Cadillac XTS when I had set up the test drive, but I had no interest in purchasing a Cadillac.

The salesman brought around the Cadillac XTS and photocopied my driver’s license. Since I have a Hawaii ID, he asked if I was new to California. I was honest and said I was only around for a few days.

I hoped he would let me out of the test drive and just do whatever he needed to do for me to earn my miles. I didn’t want to waste his time. I wasn’t worried about my time because I thought test driving a car would probably be fun.

We went through a 10 minute test drive, and it was fun. There’s no law against acceleration.

I got back to the dealership, and he gave me his card. He tested the waters with, “Are there any numbers we can put together to get you into this car today?” I said there weren’t.

The manager gave me a piece of paper with the dealership’s code and told me “to input it online” to get my miles. I asked where. He said, “Wherever you set up the test drive.”

I explained that I did that on chat, so there was nowhere to input the code. He asked for my AAdvantage info and said a secretary at the dealership would process everything for me.

We’ll see.

I may or may not get the miles. I would prefer the former, but won’t do much in the latter case. This promotion was like a lottery ticket. I might get 7,500 miles (worth $131 to me) or I might not for about 1 hour of my time including getting to and from the dealership. If I don’t, at least I got to test drive a Cadillac XTS and learn a little more about these types of promotions.

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