Many good things to report today on the status of Military Members and American Airlines. As you know American Airlines merged with US Airways which brought AA out of bankruptcy. If you were holding on to AMR then congrats you have 0.0665 shares of the new company, ticker symbol, AAL. Anyways never invest in an airline company, because you have jerks like me that fly for free, and you will never make money.
First off American Airlines doesn’t suck any more. Specifically they give a shit, especially about the appearance of their facilities. The lounges are nice, the furniture is new, even the check in counters are shiny and worthy of display in an Apple Store. However for the Military Member I have discovered many benefits unique to us just by using you CAC for lounge access as well as TSA pre-check on award tickets.
I booked a flight from ORD to STL using 7,500 Avios Miles that were moved from 6,250 MR points during their special offer. This ticket is usually $216 in peak season yielding a whopping 3.4 cents per MR point! Not as good as on JAL for HND to SGN, but still very good.
That’s not all that kicks ass, for domestic short haul flight there is no fuel surcharge, you get priority boarding with Avios, but I noticed that I didn’t get TSA precheck no matter how many times I put in my DOD ID as my Known Traveler ID number. No worries, a quick stop at the priority desk with my CAC got me the pre check! They said that 100% of DOD IDs get pre check where TSA Precheck and Global Entry has a 80% success rate! I guess the special trust and confidence in my commission from the American Government means something, even to the TSA. I lerened today to always use your DOD ID as the Know Traveler ID number, even if you have global entry!
The biggest score today is I walked nervously into the lounge with just ticket and CAC in hand, and surprisingly I was let in without showing any orders or leave paper work. Quite a change from the old company that said I needed to specifically be an Afghanistan veteran to get in. They are a huge sponsor of the USO, so kudos to American Airlines for not redirecting me to the USO, which is too dry for my taste. This CAC lounge access is a very similar experience I had at LAX and SAN, so its not a fluke!
I am planning on using all my 200k Avios for flying short haul in the USA. Here are some destinations according to flights.google.com:
Notably Traverse City Michigan which is the premier destination for Tim Allen’s ‘Home Improvement’ fans.
American Airlines may be my new favorite use of my miles and time. Seriously good redemption for short haul flights. Even if they are 7,500 instead of 4,500 last year. Remember the Zimbabwe dollar. You need to spend all this points before they devalue the Avios further. Dump your points like if they were any other unstable currency, its all going to be worthless soon.