An Incredible AA Redemption Value & My “Free” Executive Platinum Status Paid Off!

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AA Executive Platinum Hyatt Globalist Upgrade

AA Executive Platinum Hyatt Globalist Upgrade

A few weeks ago I shared how my Hyatt Globalist status got me a fantastic gift because of their partnership with American Airlines. Specifically, for the next year I have top tier American Airlines Executive Platinum status and all of the perks that come with it. What an awesome little surprise that was.

I have been American Airlines Executive Platinum before, having reached that status a few years ago during a challenge. Back then a couple of trips to Panama with a side trip to Havana was all I needed to qualify. I enjoyed the status, but determined given my geographic location in Las Vegas, pursuing it the real way wasn’t in the cards.

It’s Good to be Back on Top

Still, free is free and ever since I received my Executive Platinum gift I have been excited to give my new status a try. I was originally supposed to fly to Europe this week but due to some unforeseen circumstances I had to return home from New York at the last minute. One of the better new perks added to Executive Platinum status over the years has been upgrades on award tickets so I sought to book a cheap coach award ticket and score the transcon upgrade.

Cash price for my flight home.

Cash prices were very expensive for this last minute flight (see above), but I didn’t want to overpay. I was happy to see there were several different itineraries available for a Standard rate of 12,500 AAdvantage miles. I have a decent stash of miles but would hate to pay more for a domestic award. And I didn’t! 12,500 miles for a $347 last minute redemption is a win!

Choosing the “Right” Flights Is Key

When searching I found 4 different itineraries with about the same travel time but different routings. One had me going through Chicago, another through Philadelphia, a third through Charlotte and finally a fourth through Phoenix. Unfortunately all direct options were CRAZY expensive.

The strategy I took was to look for the routing with the most first class seats available on the long flight. That turned out to be JFK-PHX-LAS. While the short PHX-LAS flight gave me little chance for an upgrade, half of the First Class cabin was empty on the JFK-PHX route. So I booked it!

Upgraded Very Quickly

AA Executive Platinum Hyatt Globalist Upgrade

I booked at about 22 hours before my flight so I figured that the upgrade(s) wouldn’t clear in advance. Unfortunately that didn’t turn out to be the case. I booked the flight yesterday afternoon and went about walking around the city. Less than an hour later when I checked my app I found that I was already upgraded to First Class on the JFK-PHX flight. Score!

While the shorter flight is now full in First Class, it is very short and I have a comfortable Main Cabin Extra seat, so I’ll happily sit in the back for that one. Getting more legroom and full service on a long flight like JFK-PHX for 12,500 miles very last minute is why I play this game.

First Executive Platinum Experience of 2020 – Bottom Line

I still have a year left on my gifted top tier American Airlines status and I have already scored a very good upgrade. Sure, sitting in the back wouldn’t have been the end of the world, but getting a First Class upgrade on a 5 hour flight is always great, especially when I did nothing for it except being loyal to Hyatt.

I suspect there will be some major operational annoyances as I once again shift more of my flying towards AA this next year, but at least for this moment so far so good!

Were you gifted American Airlines Executive Platinum status from Hyatt? How have your AA flying experiences been thus far?

Shawn Coomer
Shawn Coomer earns and burns millions of miles/points per year circling the globe with his family. An expert at accumulating travel rewards, he founded Miles to Memories to help others achieve their travel goals for pennies on the dollar. Shawn also runs a million dollar reselling business, knows Vegas better than most and loves to spend his time at the 12 Disney parks across the world.

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  1. I got it also. So far so go. All 4 of my segments that had a first class cabin I was upgraded 5 days out. I also like the recognition and extras when I am in the regional jets.

  2. I will fly more on AA this year with the EXEC Plat. I am a lifetime Plat and used to fly alot with them. I have a number of MIA-LAS tickets as I do every yr for business. Never cleared a single flght on stickers. Ill see if I get upgrades but I think it will be tough. Fley to NY for business 0-1 (9th on the upgrade list LOL) And I think my flight tomm is full in first so that will be 0-2. Ill keep score. I didnt know AA will upgrade straight award tic however so I learned something from you. And I also know like Delta Gloabl Upgrades the AA ones are near impossible to clear at booking. So you sweat out the possibility on day of in clearing a 12-15 hour flight. Sounds fantastic.
    I did do a same day flight change tonight so I can get more sleep vs early morning flight and that perk will be helpful. Got the same thing with Delta Diamond. And If you think another flight has a better upgrade chance you can flight a chance to better your odds. Ill get some value out of this and I was glad to get this from Hyatt either way.
    And I wanted to say you do a nice job with the blog along with your other writers 🙂

  3. My Hyatt Concierge gave like a 5 paragraph response when I asked about AA status (1 minute after I emailed him). But was basically a no and I would’ve appreciated a non-cookie cutter response more lol.


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