"Earn Up to 100,000 AAdvantage Bonus Miles!"
That's the headline for American's new AAdvantage promotion.
There is a catch, however. To earn that 100,000-mile bonus, you'll have to complete 10 American or American Eagle flights. All 10 of those flights must be on different routes. And those different routes must be among American's newly added services, which means they're most likely flights to non-major cities (to put it politely).
Between April 9 and July 31, AAdvantage members can earn bonus miles for two or more different round-trip flights, as follows: 1,000 bonus miles for two flights; 4,000 miles for three flights; 6,000 for four; 10,000 for five; 15,000 for six; 25,000 for seven; 50,000 for eight; 75,000 for nine; and 100,000 bonus miles for ten flights.
Qualifying flights must be to or from the following cities (listed alphabetically): Allentown, PA; Asheville, NC; Augusta, GA; Beijing, China; Charleston, WV; Cheyenne, WY; Eleuthera, Bahamas; Fargo, ND; Fayetteville, NC; Harrisburg, PA; Lexington, KY; Myrtle Beach, SC; Rapid City, SD; Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; Sioux Falls, SD; Treasure Cay, Bahamas; and Tri-cities, TN.
Registration is required.
Deal or No Deal
This is a case where an eye-popping potential bonus is more or less obviated by an unrealistic hurdle to earning it.
Seriously, what are the chances of someone's flying to ten of the listed cities within a decade, much less by July 31? Let's say you manage to squeeze in four bonus-eligible flights while the promotion is in effect—still a stretch, but doable. That will net you 6,000 extra miles, which works out to just 1,500 bonus miles per trip.
For the majority of travelers, this is an underwhelming offer gussied up as something special in the air.
(As an example of an airline promotion that manages to deliver both value and accessibility, Southwest is offering double Rapid Rewards credits on all its flights through May 26.)
Reader Reality Check
While this promotion offers mediocre rewards for most, the combination of a daunting challenge and a major payoff will probably prove tempting to a zealous few.
Any mileage adventurers out there who will make it a point to earn the full 100,000 bonus miles? Identify yourselves, and keep us abreast of your progress.