TPG readers’ best American Airlines AAdvantage success stories

Sep 29, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

We recently asked our TPG Lounge audience to share their greatest success stories with the American Airlines AAdvantage loyalty program. Here’s a look at some of our favorite answers. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity.)

Related: Maximizing redemptions with American Airlines AAdvantage

Trips to Maui, Mexico, South America and Europe

From tropical islands like Hawaii and Cozumel to major metropolises like Rio de Janeiro and Paris, our intrepid TPG Lounge members definitely know how to make the most of their American Airlines miles when it comes to seeing the world.

Newark (EWR) to Kahului, Maui (OGG) in lie-flat first class for 40,000 AAdvantage miles.” — Cara C.

“Not nearly as exciting as some but took our family of four from Dallas (DFW) to Cozumel for 22,500 AAdvantage miles each round-trip for a four-day weekend!” — Christy G.C.

“Business class from Washington, D.C. (DCA) to Brasília (BSB), with a return trip from Rio de Janeiro (GIG), for 105,000 AAdvantage miles total.” — Raina R.

“Round-trip from San Jose, California, to Montevideo, Uruguay. [Tickets were] $1,280 or 60,000 AAdvantage miles. It was in economy but I used miles and only paid $80 in fees!” — Thiago L.

“Only 30,000 AAdvantage miles to fly J one way on LATAM’s New York to Guayaquil to Galápagos route. Got a flat-bed seat for the flight between JFK and Guayaquil and 10% back so it was a major steal at 27,000 miles. Not only that, but the route will get you to Guayaquil in the morning so you can fly to Galápagos.” — William T.

Use your AAdvantage miles to see the Galápagos Islands. (Photo by guenterguni / Getty Images)
Use your AAdvantage miles to see the Galápagos Islands. (Photo by guenterguni/Getty Images)

“777 business class to London during Christmas for 57,000 miles. Can’t get better than that.” — Parham K.

“Business class from Miami to Amsterdam for 57,500 AAdvantage miles and $5.60 in taxes.” — Susie G.A.

“Business class from Philadelphia to Budapest nonstop for 60,000 round-trip.” — Clifford O.

“From Los Angeles to Paris round-trip for 36,000 AAdvantage miles, before the devaluation when they would give back 10%.” — Soroya G.G.

“Round-trip to Barcelona from San Francisco in first class for two at 75,000 miles each.” — Allen E.

“Our family of four went to Mykonos on American Airlines and British Airways in June for 30,000 AAdvantage miles each one-way. I checked the AA site daily 10 months out, looked at various destinations in Greece and hopped on it when I found it.” — KC N.

Related: How to earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles

Adventures in Africa, India and the Middle East

Not only does our TPG Lounge audience specialize in seeing the world with points and miles, they know how to do it in style, flying some of the best business- and first-class products in the skies to get there.

“Honeymoon flight: business class on American Airlines from New York (JFK) to Boston (BOS), Qatar Airways from Boston to Doha (DOH) to Nairobi (NBO), with return flights in business class from the Seychelles (SEZ) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) and JFK on Etihad.” — Ted D.

“First class from Kerala, India (COK) to Mumbai (BOM) to San Francisco (SFO) for 90,000 miles on Etihad.” — Charlie F.

Qatar QSuites home from our honeymoon in the Maldives (MLE) to Doha (DOH) to Chicago (ORD) for only 70,000 AAdvantage miles each.” — Bryan D.

“75,000 miles plus $65 in taxes and fees to fly from Northern California to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, with the long flights on Qatar in a Qsuite.” — Thomas P.

Qatar's Qsuites were a big hit with our TPG Lounge members. (Photo by Emily McNutt / The Points Guy)
Qatar’s Qsuites were a big hit with our TPG Lounge members. (Photo by Emily McNutt/The Points Guy)

“Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Doha (DOH) to Johannesburg (JNB) round-trip for a family of four in business class at 120,000 AAdvantage miles per person total. Took my dad on his first international flight and now he thinks all international travel is as magical as Qatar’s exceptional product.” — Jessica R.

“Business class on Qatar Airways in Qsuites from Los Angeles to Doha for 70,000 AAdvantage miles. Business class from Mumbai to LA on Etihad for 70,000 miles. Argentina to LA in economy for 30,000 miles.” — Beena M.

“Just booked Boston to Doha to the Maldives using 140,000 AAdvantage miles for business class in Qsuites for my wife and me. Then, on return, we’re flying from the Maldives to Abu Dhabi in business class on Etihad for 60,000 AAdvantage miles via a separate award for two. We’re stopping over in Abu Dhabi for two nights, then flying first class from Abu Dhabi to New York in Etihad’s Apartment on the A380 — it’s 230,000 AA miles for this part. Total AAdvantage miles used: 430,000 for roughly $35,000 in value! Pretty excited!” — Jeff K.

Related: How to redeem American Airlines AAdvantage miles

Epic Trips to Asia and Oceania

Some TPG Lounge readers mentioned how they’d used their AAdvantage miles to travel to far-flung locales in Asia, Australia and French Polynesia.

“Our favorite usage by far was for our honeymoon. 110,000 AAdvantage miles each way for each of us from New York to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific, with a return trip from Tokyo in first class. Incredible experiences on both. They knew it was our honeymoon so they did special things and on the Cathay Pacific flight, we got a $300 bottle of Krug as we left the plane.” — Pat G.

“JAL first class from New York to Tokyo for 75,000 AA miles per person after a 10,000-mile rebate. The cash price was about $14,000 per person.” — Kyle P.

“Used to be round-trip in Cathay Pacific first class for 130,000 AAdvantage miles from New York (JFK) to Hong Kong (HKG). I love those pajamas.” — Kevin C.

“First class on OneWorld partner Cathay Pacific from Los Angeles to Jakarta via Hong Kong for 70,000 AAdvantage miles each way, then on to Bali.” — Mariah S.

“AA miles are a fantastic deal for long-haul intra-Asia flights, Sydney to Singapore for 50,000 miles in first, for example, or Sydney to Kuala Lumpur in J for 40,000 miles.” — Prash K.

Have you visited Sydney, Australia, yet? (Photo by Ryan Patterson / The Points Guy)
Have you visited Sydney, Australia, yet? (Photo by Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy)

“Qantas first class from Dallas to Sydney for 65,000 AAdvantage miles. It was 2016 and I’d searched about 10 months out from just about every major U.S. city, then decided to check from my hometown airport in Kansas City and found a first-class award to Sydney through DFW.” — Debbie G.

“Qantas first class from London to Dubai to Melbourne for 80,000 AAdvantage miles each way. Those were the days.” — Ross H.

“New York to Fiji for three in business class for 80,000 per person each way. I just came back.” — Giovanna W.

Air Tahiti Nui in business class from JFK to LA on American Airlines and LA to Tahiti (PPT) on Air Tahiti Nui for 57,500 AAdvantage miles. Only two award seats per plane so I needed to check Expert Flyer a year out.” — Graham F.

Related: The best websites for searching Oneworld award availability

Featured photo of Qatar’s Qsuite by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

Vote for TPG UK’s four-class British Airways review in this year’s Lovie Awards!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.