Ways to buy and use American Airlines AAdvantage miles for a trip to Paris from Sydney?

I want to go to Paris to Sydney return business class. Depart early July 2015 return late July.

American Airlines has a purchase plus bonus miles plus 10% discount.

I can purchase 90,000 miles and get 30,000 bonus, enough to get there with BA which is available for 120,000 miles.

Do you know what the approx taxes & fees would be for this? Or how I would find out?

Alternatively I could look at a combination of Etihad one direction and BA the other direction needing 135,000 miles. Any idea if I can make two AA purchases, one for 75,000 with 30,000 bonus and another for 25,000 with 7,000 bonus?

SYD-CDG-SYD on BA Business class taxes would be around 1150AUD Per person, 800AUD of that is BA fuel surcharges which can't be avoided... BA are one of the only carriers that AA/USDM pass on fuel surcharges for...

You can look this up yourself by using ITA - http://matrix.itasoftware.com/

Put in your travel route/dates (dates not that important as taxes shouldn't really change) and pick your route & carrier, in this case BA SYD-CDG-SYD and then click on the fare and it will show you the breakdown of taxes, just add them up (everything but the base fare).

Consider USDM as well, same number of miles and same price, same bonus on right now (they are about to merge) but USDM will let you be more flexible with your routing where as AA have some funny rules about AU-EU. Plus USDM will let you stop over on the way there or home if you wanted a few days somewhere warm in Asia :) Downside is USDM won't work on Etihad but AA will (as you point out)

Here are the taxes:

United Kingdom Passenger Service Charge (UB)
Carrier-imposed surcharge (YQ)
Singapore Passenger Service Charge (SG)
Singapore Passenger Security Service Charge (OO)
Australian Passenger Movement Charge (AU)
Australian Int'l Passenger Service Charge (WY)
Australian Int'l Passenger Service Charge (WY)
French Aviation Civile Tax (FR)
French International Passenger Service Charge (QX)
French Airport Tax (FR)
French Air Passenger Solidarity Tax (IZ)

As for the number of AA miles you can purchase. The maximum is 100k per account per year (purchased, not bonus) so you're idea of buying 75k and then another 27k wouldn't work :(

Each AAdvantage member is limited to purchasing or receiving in a calendar year, a combined total of no more than one hundred thousand (100,000) AAdvantage miles. Miles purchased through the Buy Miles program or received as a gift through the Gift Miles program count against this total.

But what you could do is buy the max 100k in AA, then top up some other way, say buing SPG points and then transferring them across to AA... Would work out slightly more expensive but would allow you to get the 135k points you want.

Another option to get around the 100k limit is since you would need to book LHR-AUH and AUH-AU as separate award redemptions is open another account in a family members name and buy the miles for one segment in their account but redeem it for you...

Thanks for your reply.

current deal is for purchase by 9 Feb so not enough time to try use Starwood.

I am a member of AA. Current deal allows purchase of 100,000 + bonus - discount. 

USDM allows purchase of max 50,000 + bonus - discount and requires membership for 9 days before purchase so not so good for current promotion although I would love the warm homecoming stopover.

Maybe I will look at going for Etihad on way over through AA, join USDM, and keep fingers crossed for another deal for the way home.

I am a newby and only travel overseas once or twice each year. Your site & now community section is fantastic and has encouraged me to look for deals. 



I think you can purchase 75K + 30K, then 25K + 7K should work. As the total purchase should be still within the 100k maximum.

But I agree USDM is probably a better option in this instance, as it gives you more flexibility, unless you really want to fly Etihad, which would cost you more miles anyway.

USDM would allow you to fly with CX, MH or JL, with just one stop in Asia (or QF to theseir respective hub city). You can also fly QR with one stop in Doha. It doesn't matter which Australian port that you found the award availability, you can simply find a connecting QF flight with no extra cost. Most of these airlines all have arguably better business products than BA. AA's routing rule won't allow you to do any of these in one award.

But, that is assuming you have an existing USDM account.

Only the French could come up with a 'solidarity tax'!

You have lot of comprehensive answers to choose from but I would reiterate that BA is the one to avoid, as both US and AA pass on its fuel surcharge. Best option as mentioned above would be CX, often has good availability as cannot be booked online by AA customers, use Qantas search engine to confirm availability, then ring up AA to book. AA have this week changed their fee policy and do not charge a phone booking fee if you cannot book online.

Also worth considering is Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.

We purchased points a few months ago @ 35% bonus and booked a one-way business class on CX (SYD-HKG-CDG).

Based on Onemileatatime analysis, there will be a points offer soon.


The booking process was really easy and the operator very polite and nice.

Total taxes came to USD132 for the one-way.



Hi Joy,

I hope you've been able to sort out your travel plans.  I thought you might benefit from a couple of pointers regarding American Airlines awards bookings.

First of all, once you have a AAdvantage frequent flyer account, you can log on to their website and search for award availability with a few airlines (American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, Finnair, Iberia,  US Airways, Air Berlin, Alaskan Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Royal Jordanian). Once you've selected award flights, you can continue through to the 'payment' page and you'll see how much the taxes and charges are.  I did this a few times at the start of my AA experience to get an idea of the different taxes that various airlines charge (and there is HUGE variance between them, due to fuel surcharges).

Secondly, the American Airlines site allows you to HOLD any award reservation for 5 full days without paying a cent.  I've found this REALLY useful in the past when you come across award availability on a route that you want, but need to discuss it first with someone else.  In those cases, I put in all my details, and on the final page where payment is offered, you'll see an option to HOLD the reservation.  Importantly also, you don't need any points in your account to hold an award.  As such, you can be in a position where you have 0 points, find an award flight that tickles your fancy, place it on HOLD, then immediately go and purchase the miles you need (if there is a good deal on).  I've managed to do this twice in the past year with great success.  Of course, the 100k miles per year purchase limit still applies, so family members might be able to help you out ;)

Keep that in mind when looking around AA, and best of luck!


ThankYou, thank you, thank you all, the site & participants are fantastic.

I am learning so much. Lots of reading, joining, discovering. 

Wish I had invested time in gaining knowledge sooner, but hooked now.