I’ve been looking for some mileage run opportunities on American to redeem my systemwide upgrades for this year and get a head start on requalifying for Executive Platinum status, and I think there’s finally something great, but I’m just trying to figure out to which degree to take advantage of this.

Per this FlyerTalk thread, American has published under $700 fares between Frankfurt and Rio de Janeiro via the US. Slightly higher fares are also available out of Dusseldorf and also to Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires.

The fare seems to require a Saturday night minimum stay and be valid for a maximum stay of 30 days, with  travel having to commence by May.

You can use ITA Matrix to search for space pretty easily.

You can do anything from a simple routing between Frankfurt and Rio de Janeiro via Dallas in both directions, to a more complicated routing from Frankfurt to Sao Paulo via London and Dallas with the new 777-300ER on both longhaul segments.

I’m really struggling with pulling the trigger on this one. This is an amazing fare that can be flown in relative comfort using systemwide upgrades, though obviously the positioning costs for Frankfurt are huge. And while I don’t mind positioning, at that point I feel like I should do multiple of these trips in order to justify it, though at that point I feel like it’s sufficiently exhausting that I’m better off just sticking to domestic mileage runs.

Anyone else thinking of taking advantage of one of these fares, and if so, how do you plan on positioning to Frankfurt?

I doubt this fare will be around for very long…

  1. February 9th, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    CP@YOW said,

    Multiple trips exhausting? You’re getting old!
    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/united-mileage-plus-pre-merger/548987-six-transpacs-five-days-help-me.html

    ;)

  2. February 9th, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Tom // Sit in first said,

    For you, I thought positioning would be half the fun.

  3. February 9th, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Mike said,

    How about something like SQ:LAX-SIN-FRA-SIN-HKG-SFO for positioning and return.

  4. February 9th, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Wendy said,

    Do it you can go visit your relatives in Germany for a day or two. I’m sure you can find a award ticket on one of your favorites to Frankfort.

  5. February 9th, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    AdamH said,

    @CP@YOW I first found FT right before Lucky took off on the infamous 6 TPACs. I am about the same age as Ben and I could remember thinking, wow this kid is awesome, I would totally do that if my parents would ever let me. In retrospect I think it would have been a little rough, but still a good story to tell.

    With that said, Lucky, isn’t there some way you could take advantage of getting to FRA to try out some new airline. Obviously you could easily to LH, but I am sure you could come up with a more quirky routing.

  6. February 9th, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    gene said,

    Just go to san juan 12 times. Much easier…

  7. February 9th, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    DW said,

    It’s one thing if you are able to use your systemwide upgrades… But the thought of spending that much time in Y on AA’s 767s just made me shudder!

  8. February 9th, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    JRL said,

    Combine this with another trip. An award EX: SEA that you’ve been thinking of taking and make FRA, or somewhere cheap & near your stopover.

    Forward thrust my man.

    -JRL

  9. February 9th, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Aidan said,

    What is the likelihood of AA offering another DEQM promo in the near(ish) term? I realize AATHX just ended, so I’m not holding my breath. Any best guesses re: 2013 DEQM?

  10. February 9th, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    nelton said,

    hey ben, i have a question about redeeming lh first by using aeroplan. my friend and i are planning a trip to spain this march. i see availability on mco-lhr, currently, its opreated by 346, which i believe, its old version. but at march, it will change to 744, which i dont know wether its gonna be a new first or the old seat. since aeroplan charges $1000 for fuel surcharge, i dont want to waste my money on an old seat. so that one ticket, another ticket i think i will buy a biz class seat and use united gpu, do you think i have a chance?

  11. February 9th, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    John777 said,

    767s? No thanks.

  12. February 9th, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Aidan — It’s anyone’s guess given that they offered it twice last year, though I’d generally say it’s quite unlikely if a merger happens, as they’ll want to thin the elite ranks and not the opposite.

  13. February 9th, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    lucky said,

    @ nelton — The Lufthansa 747s have a very good chance at having the new first class, so I’d highly recommend doing that, as it’s a phenomenal product. Well worth the fuel surcharges in my opinion.

  14. February 9th, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    lucky said,

    @ John777 — Hah, but it’s possible to do the 777-300ER most of the way!

  15. February 9th, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    mark said,

    Any visa or entry costs?

  16. February 10th, 2013 at 12:59 am

    Stephan said,

    I am taking that trip mid of March. I will fly via LHR and MIA to GRU and back via JFK and LHR (on777ER). Positioning for me is easy since I live 40 min from FRA airport.
    You can do IAD-FRA-JNB-FRA-IAD for €600 on Star. Maybe the layover in FRA gives you enough time to do the run to GRU.

  17. February 10th, 2013 at 1:11 am

    hobo13 said,

    Lucky doubting a MR???

    My world is crumbling……

  18. February 10th, 2013 at 1:23 am

    Mandrake said,

    Maybe you could use this opportunity to work in a connecting flight on Aerolineas Argentinas. I think we’re all dying for review from you of their offerings! ;)

  19. February 10th, 2013 at 3:57 am

    mohamed b said,

    @lucky,can i ask you ehat is this systemwide upgrade???pardon me but our european airlines are so stingy we are not aware of all those benefits american airlines grants you!!!why american companues still using 767 transatlantic while must european scrapped it simetime ago?

  20. February 10th, 2013 at 4:03 am

    Brazilflyer said,

    It would be neat to see your review of Brazil airports and service. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Brazil trip report from you, and figured you just avoided the country because of the fairly high mandatory visa costs.

  21. February 10th, 2013 at 6:29 am

    Denis said,

    @ mark
    In Brazil, Europeans don’t need visas, though Americans, Canadians and Mexicans do. I don’t know how much they cost, since I’m Brazilian…

  22. February 10th, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Mark said,

    Americans need to include the non-inconsequential visa costs into their calculations.

  23. February 10th, 2013 at 9:42 am

    lucky said,

    @ mark — Depends on your nationality. Since I have an EU passport there are none for me. For those exclusively with US passports there are.

    @ mohamed b — Systemwide upgrades can confirm a one cabin on any route on any revenue fare with American. Top tier Executive Platinum members get eight of them per year.

  24. February 10th, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Tyler said,

    Visa costs follow reciprocity. I believe the Brazil visa for US citizens is 150-200, and is valid for 10 years with stays up to 90 days each.

  25. February 10th, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    iHATEbloggers said,

    The bloggers curse has killed these fares now (which were good from FRA but better from BRU)

  26. February 10th, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    lucky said,

    @ iHATEbloggers — The fare is still around. Thanks for not missing an opportunity to try and bash bloggers, though.

  27. February 10th, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Martin said,

    Bloggers keep me up to date on information that I don’t have time to search for on FT or MP. Thanks Ben.

  28. February 10th, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    mark said,

    When they are not talking about gibberish, travel bloggers are actually quite helpful.

  29. February 10th, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    mohamed b said,

    @lucky
    thanks for the infos,i feel european airlines treat us like crap!!!cant imagine this systemwide upgrade here.

  30. February 10th, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Denis said,

    @ lucky
    You forgot to mention that those who work from 8 to 5 and need to read about good deals in blogs are not eligible for those fares…
    @ iHATEbloggers
    Those fares are still available, and probably require your user id from FT, with a minimum of 5000 posts to book them. Besides, nobody can find these fares, since it’s only available on ITA, which is a very secret tool, and almost nobody has access to it.
    GET A LIFE!!!

  31. February 10th, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Denis said,

    @ Mohamed B
    From my experience flying Y, European carriers are much better than Americans. I can’t say anything about the FF programs, though.

  32. February 10th, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Carl said,

    Not counting the positioning cost, 4 round trips gets you over 80% to EXP for ~$2,800, assume you could knock it out in 10 days or so, two weeks with the positioning time.

    I am normally not a believer in mileage runs for myself, but since you do this for a living and it seems to boost your readership, which in turn boosts your ad revenue and card referrals, why not.

  33. February 10th, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    James said,

    does the fare allow stopovers in the US?

  34. February 11th, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Till said,

    @James it does.
    At least I manage to find flights on this fare ex HAM with stopover in MIA (also JFK which is a little more expensive). My problem is that I do not find any combination with a valid stopover on the way back, although the fare rules say, one stopover is allowed in each direction.

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