How Do I Determine How Many Miles My Upcoming Flight Will Earn?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by TexasFlyer, Aug 8, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. TexasFlyer Active Member

    Hi all,

    First, I realize that I may be embarassed by how obvious the answer to this question is after I am told. With that said, I've spent quite a while poking around the AA site looking for the number of miles my upcoming flights will earn and can't seem to figure it out. I am sure it is something simple I am missing. Thank you for any help!
    savydog likes this.
    • Original Member

    Microwave Silver Member

    Assuming we're talking about an AA flight, during the booking process the distance used to calculate mileage will be listed (when doing a search by Price & Schedule). Your earn rate will depend on elite status and booking class though, as there are minimums and bonuses for elites, and bonuses for certain booking classes.
    savydog and TexasFlyer like this.
    • Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    There are some websites that give airmiles data, but most airlines follow their own mileage tables which can be slightly different. The easiest way is to start to make a dummy booking for your exact routing. Remember that direct flights, even with an aircraft change, generally earn the airmiles from origin to destination and not the miles from origin to stop plus the miles from stop to destination.
    savydog and TexasFlyer like this.
  2. TexasFlyer Active Member

    Thanks for taking the time to explain how it works!

    I see that now. I was looking on my already made reservations rather than potential flights. It looks as though both my upcoming flights were made in deep discount economy class, so I only earn half miles.
    savydog likes this.
    • Original Member

    Microwave Silver Member

    Not true. All AA flight numbers will earn full miles (except flights booked in O between North America and Central/South America excluding Mexico), but may earn only 0.5 EQP/EQM (elite qualifying points earned per elite qualifying mile earned). This is a different concept and is related only to elite status--if you're just trying to figure out how many miles you'll earn toward your Vegas trip (or wherever you want to redeem your miles to go), you'll always earn 100%, and possibly a bonus for more expensive fares or premium cabins.

    Check out this page on the FlyerGuide Wiki, as it explains redeemable mile earning, EQM earning and EQP earning for each booking class.
    savydog likes this.
    • Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

    It's interesting because I just booked a flight with Delta a couple of days ago and I could have sworn that it was showing me not only the miles for the trip but also MQM. I could have sworn AA did that as well, but I'll be damned if I can find it now anywhere. :)
    savydog likes this.
    • Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    DL in principle gives MQMs on the booking page and miles sometimes--but not always--are shown in one of the little boxes that appear when you click to get more information on the flight. However, IME the MQM data can be wrong by a factor of 50%, so that you need to know the rough mileage and then can use delta.dumb to get the exact number that DL will use. The 50% discrepancy arises from the fact that sometimes delta.dumb forgets that M+ fares earn a 50% class of service additional credit on MQMs. A few months ago, people were reporting that the DL booking page was showing the 50% bonus for some cheap fares by mistake and I've noticed MQMs on the award booking page, which is just wrong too,
    • Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

    Yeah I think this is one of those things were you have to do your own homework. There's a bunch of other factors and potential earning opportunities that were being discussed in that Delta Mileage Runs thread, since you could potentially double/triple dip based on which card you use to book, ongoing promos, etc.

    Of course it's also an opportunity for the more enterprising people here to come up with something to answer that question. :)
    MSPeconomist likes this.
    • Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Perhaps I should point out again for emphasis that when you look for status and redeemable miles calculations on airlines' websites, the information does not necessarily included various promo miles, even for airline promos that are open to all or for which you've signed up. DL certainly doesn't try to do this and, in fact, it can take up to two months for promo miles to post, sometimes only after you've contacted DL several times. The bottom line is that you must pay attention.
  3. TexasFlyer Active Member

    Thanks Microwave for the clarification!
    I don't think I fly anywhere near enough to earn status - just trying to save up miles for a family trip to Europe a few years down the road.

    That seems like a decent return to me - I spent around $300 for what will earn around AA 3,200 miles
    savydog likes this.
    • Original Member

    edog22 Silver Member

    Great circle mapper is a good utility for determining the potential base miles certain routes would give you- in my experience it is accurate within +/- 15 miles. For example, you can compare RDU-JFK-SFO vs RDU-ORD-SFO and more exotic combinations. It does not include bonuses/status/etc.
    tom911 likes this.
    • Original Member

    jhflau11 Silver Member

    MileCalc is good tools. It's got a bunch of additional options to calculate by status.

    http://www.milecalc.com/
    Microwave likes this.
    • Original Member

    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

    This is my go-to as well. I've found about 90% of the time, it's accurate to the mile, and only a handful of times I've seen it vary from what I actually get credit for...but I've never seen more than a 4 or 5 mile variance.
  4. msny Gold Member

    Another option WebFlyer Mileage calculator. Has added options for Minimum miles, Status, Class and Promotional bonus.
    LookingAhead likes this.
  5. msg Active Member

    I typically use Great Circle Mapper for a rough idea. If I'm trying to calculate to the mile, the AA timetable also lists the mileage for every city pair. I try to qualify for elite status without having to be careful enough to worry about the difference between the Great Circle Mapper and AA's measurement, though!
    • Original Member

    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

    Not true:
    *Tickets between North America and Latin America booked in O are not eligible for mileage credit

    http://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/earnMiles/travel/airlines/american.jsp
  6. upgrade Gold Member

    As I recall, UA is an exception to this. About a year ago (maybe two), UA started crediting by flight segment regardless of flight numbering shenanigans.
    • Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Does UA do upgrades by segments or do the "direct" flights still disadvantage one in this way?
  7. upgrade Gold Member

    The word on TOBB is that "direct" flights are risky for the reason you suggest: if the upgrade doesn't clear on either part of the itinerary, then one gets no upgrade at all.

    Perversely, UA has "direct" flights -- e.g., UA808 BWI-DEN-LAX -- that involve a change of equipment.
    • Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    DL does this stuff too. I think it's fairly common, but I almost wish the regulators would forbid use of the same flight number after a stop.
    upgrade likes this.
    • Original Member

    Microwave Silver Member

    Yes yes of course you're correct. I've edited the offending post.
    • Original Member

    Skye1 Silver Member

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