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Award Redemption CONSOLIDATED: Questions on booking Etihad First and Business with AA miles

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Kathy, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. T.A.

    T.A. New Member

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    Hope someone can clarify this for me -
    Using AA miles I would like to book an award flight on Etihad in F from Johannesburg to the US via Abu Dhabi.
    I am confused whether this route can be done as one award or two separate awards? AA award chart shows 120,000 miles from Africa to the US in F. Would this routing qualify?
    Also - to slightly complicate things - Etihad does not have F cabin on JNB-Abu Dhabi leg; so the whole award will be charged as F while one leg will be in J - in this case, would it be better/cheaper to book as 2 separate awards?
     
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  2. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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    #322
  3. Nash D

    Nash D New Member

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    Hi,

    I'm trying to figure out what might be the best points strategy to use for an upcoming award to/from the US to India on Etihad using AA miles. I'm looking at flying Etihad First Class from SFO/SJC-JFK-AUH-BOM, and business class on the return, BOM-AUH-LAX-SJC. It's myself and my wife, and our infant son (under 2).

    For this redemption, I have a couple of options at the moment:
    1. Transfer points to AA from Marriott (had a stash of Starwood points that converted to Marriott Rewards (MR) after the merger). I have 20k AA miles, meaning I have to transfer in 840k MR to get to 370k (350k factoring in the bonus, plus the existing 20k in the account).
    2. Buy AA miles, with the current AA buy miles promo going on, which looks like it would cost roughly $6k + taxes (buying 175k * 2 = 370k).
    Assuming a 0.9c/mile valuation for MR, the value of the reward seems to be $7560, and assuming a 1.4c/mile valuation for AA, the value of the reward seems to be $5180. Retail value for the award seems to work out to 25k for the outbound, 8k for the inbound, so $33k, which works out to 3.9c/mile for MR, and 8.9c/mile for AA.

    I'm not sure if that's the best way to compare, but what I'm trying to figure out is whether burning our entire stash of Marriott Rewards is a strategic use of points, or would I be better off doing it through AA miles (it's actually quite a lot of cash too, though). Perhaps split the difference, and do a combination?

    Also looked at Emirates+Alaska for the inbound, but that would cost more MR (82.5k Alaska miles per person, versus 70k for AA per person). Any other options that I might be missing?
     
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  4. AlinVA

    AlinVA New Member

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    In general, I don't hoard miles with no planned use in mind. I suggest you consider how easy it will be for you to earn more airline/hotel points, and whether you anticipate a need for them in the next 18 months.
     
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