The Difference Between Award Miles and Elite Qualifying Miles

United RDM and EQM

Ross emailed me yesterday with a question about the United MileagePlus Explorer credit card. His question wasn’t so much about how to earn the bonus miles offered for new applications but what the difference is between award miles, qualifying miles, and qualifying dollars. It is probably … [Read more...]

How to Get Upgraded on Your Next Flight


About the only thing worse than waiting in a security line or the crowded airport terminal is actually sitting in coach. Seat 32B, to be exact. As you enter the plane and prepare yourself for the next four hours of misery, you’ll probably pass some happier passengers sipping on … [Read more...]

Some New Ideas for American Airlines’ Credit Cards

AA Survey

United747 posted on FlyerTalk some screenshots from a recent survey by American Airlines and Citi on their credit card benefits. I found it interesting because most airline-branded credit cards are not very appealing (to me) given recent years' improvements to generic travel rewards cards … [Read more...]

Searching for Upgrades on American Airlines

AA availability

I'm still slowly writing up some of the topics I discussed at the FTU Advanced in Chicago last month. Among them were using ExpertFlyer to search for (or at least estimate) upgrade availability on American Airlines. Some recent posts: Who Flies There? How to Plan Your … [Read more...]

How to Buy American Airlines Miles in a Hurry

Buy AA miles

When I was traveling in Asia last week with my sister, we were fortunate to fly out on Cathay Pacific in first class. The route from SFO to HKG was a great choice: Katherine lives in the Bay Area, and it's one of the few where Cathay still operates a Boeing 747. Unfortunately we didn't … [Read more...]

An Even Better AAdvantage Award to Africa

LAX-DFW on American, DFW-DOH-JNB on Qatar Airways, JNB-PLZ on British Airways/Comair

Last week, Seth at the Wandering Aramean posted "A better AAdvantage award to Africa," where he discussed getting around American's award routing rule restriction to Africa by using Qatar Airways. American Airlines usually only allows travelers to transit Europe on the way to Africa, which … [Read more...]