The 2012 AAdvantage Stats

I love stats, so the 2012 AAdvantage stats at the top of the AAdvantage FAQ caught my eye.

For all of 2012, there were 7,426,930 redemptions of American Airlines miles.

Over 700,000 were for "merchandise" including vacations, which I don't consider merchandise. Let's say the vast majority of these redemptions were awful values. Not all non-airfare redemptions are awful--Mommy Points found a good deal for Cubs tickets and experiences with Starpoints--but I rarely see values of even one cent per mile on these types of redemptions.

Over half a million were for upgrades.

Anatomy of an Award: Membership Rewards to Argentina

I recently booked a family of four an economy award from Miami to Buenos Aires with their Membership Rewards. It was an interesting award that I think demonstrates the complexities and fun of booking with American Express points.

I won't talk about that award specifically, but I'll use it as a jumping off point for discussion since it illustrates a typical Memberhip Rewards situation.

Double Dipping on American Airlines Flights with Business ExtrAA and a $424 Sign Up Bonus

Business ExtrAA is an American Airlines program designed for small businesses to be rewarded for their loyalty to American, and it's a great way for you to double dip your rewards on American flights, earning more free awards faster!

Right now, people who sign up for Business ExtrAA and meet minimum use requirements--more on those below--can earn 5,000 AAdvantage miles and 2,000 Business ExtrAA points.

Getting to the Maldives on Etihad using American Airlines Miles

At our Award Booking Service, we receive numerous requests to get our clients to the Maldives.

The New American Airlines Award Map is Fun But Nearly Useless

American Airlines has introduced a cool new Award Map, which tries to make award booking easier. It seems pretty useless to me. I want to be wrong. Please tell us in the comments how it can be useful.

The Award Map lets you input your home airport and either a destination region or goal. Your options:

You also input the number of passengers, how many miles you have, what cabin you want, whether it's one way or roundtrip, and the dates.

Clicking search will hopefully generate a map of results that meet your criteria.

The New American Airlines Award Map is Fun But Nearly Useless

American Airlines has introduced a cool new Award Map, which tries to make award booking easier. It seems pretty useless to me. I want to be wrong. Please tell us in the comments how it can be useful.

The Award Map lets you input your home airport and either a destination region or goal. Your options:

You also input the number of passengers, how many miles you have, what cabin you want, whether it's one way or roundtrip, and the dates.

Clicking search will hopefully generate a map of results that meet your criteria.

American Airlines Explorer Award: Many Stops in One Region

This is the sixth part of a multi-post Anatomy of an Award series about American Airlines Explorer Awards, which are ideal for around-the-world trips, trips with multiple destinations, and other “trick” itineraries. The first five parts dealt with a round-the-world example. To understand Explorer Awards, see The Rules.

American Airlines Explorer Awards aren't just ideal for round-the-world trips. They are also the ideal vehicle to take a trip to one region with many stops.

Normally you cannot take any stopovers outside North America on American Airlines awards unless you know some tricks.

American Airlines Explorer Award: How to Book

This is the fifth part of a multi-post Anatomy of an Award series about American Airlines Explorer Awards, which are ideal for around-the-world trips, trips with multiple destinations, and other “trick” itineraries. Previously: Asia West.

I had found a client the following round-the-world dream trip for 150k American Airlines miles and $278 per person.

Finding the award space should be the challenge, not booking the award, so here's how to make booking your Explorer Award painless.

1.

Free First Class Next Month: Searching BA.com to Redeem American Airlines Miles

Hey! You're reading an outdated Free First Class Next Month series. Check out the latest version published in April of 2015 here.

This is the twenty-first post in a monthlong series that started here. Each post will take about two minutes to read and may include an action item that takes the reader another two minutes to complete. I am writing this for an audience of people who know nothing about frequent flier miles, and my goal is that by the end, you know enough to fly for free anywhere you want to go.

Free First Class Next Month: Searching AA.com to Redeem American Airlines Miles

Hey! You're reading an outdated Free First Class Next Month series. Check out the latest version published in April of 2015 here.

This is the twentieth post in a monthlong series that started here. Each post will take about two minutes to read and may include an action item that takes the reader another two minutes to complete. I am writing this for an audience of people who know nothing about frequent flier miles, and my goal is that by the end, you know enough to fly for free anywhere you want to go.