Off to Barcelona!

After a two day “layover” at home, it’s back on the road for me. Sometimes my planning is downright unfortunate, and this is one of those instances. Late last year I had booked a couple of mileage runs to Spain to get a jump start on Executive Platinum qualification for the year. It pays to book early, since it meant I was able to lock in upgrades to business class for all my segments. Besides, three days in Barcelona (a city I’ve never been to) doesn’t sound half bad.

Unfortunately this was before American announced double elite qualifying miles for the month of January, and as luck would have it, both of my trips were planned for February. I couldn’t help but book a quick trip to Shanghai in January to rack up nearly 45,000 elite qualifying miles, though I had totally forgotten my return flight from Shanghai would be only two days before my flight to Barcelona.

The bad news (or good news, depending on how you look at it) is that my sleep schedule has been totally screwed up the past couple of nights. I slept from 4PM till 2AM last night, and the previous night slept from 5PM to 1AM… so I guess I’m kinda sorta already on Barcelona time.

The bad news (or once again good news, depending on how you look at it) is my routing — I’m flying from Tampa to Barcelona via Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. Yes, that’s redeyes two nights in a row. All flights are scheduled to have wifi, though, so it’s all good.

Anyway, stay tuned, as it should be a fun couple of days. If you’d like to follow me on Twitter you can do so here, as I tend to have a lot to complain about say when flying. 😉

Now if only the weather were a bit warmer in Barcelona…

Filed Under: American, Travel
  1. lucky, how much more did you pay for your routing than direct TPA-JFK-BCN?
    Did you construct such routing on

  2. Barcelona is a great town, I’m sure you’ll love it. If you go to La Sagrada Familia, take the guided tour. It’s worth every penny.

  3. “Tampa to Barcelona via Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York.”

    How is that possibly within the MPM? Are AA’s routing rules that generous?

  4. The W in Barcelona is sweet…a little off the beaten path (around the port), but well worth a stay or at least a picture.

  5. @lucky

    I live in Barcelona, and i’m on holidays, if you want a guide i will be happy to meet you and show you the city

  6. Based on talking with Ben at the Chicago Seminar, more than likely he’s flying on a paid business class ticket that allows routing based on MPM.

  7. How long will you be there for? I get in on Thursday a.m. 9/9 from JFK on AA as well. Staying at the W and would love to buy ya a drink if you’re still in town!

  8. Nice, but I’m still waiting for the final posts about the now-stale A380 trips in LH’s First Class.

  9. I think I need a cold shower! After reading your back-to-back itineraries, for a second I started thinking what’s the point of this all… Yikes! Off to the shower. I’m sure that afterwards I’ll be back to envying you! 😉

  10. Lucky,

    Love your heart, but sometimes I doubt that your brain is functioning properly 😉

    OTOH, if it actually gets you a bunch of extra miles and it’s in J, then it’s not *so* bad.

    Strangely, my wife actually posited that if push came to shove, we ought to burn some miles on an out-and-back for the sake of flying long haul F. I told her she was nuts, we’d actually have to stay for awhile 🙂

  11. @ ChicagoDo’er, check out Lucky’s post on 1/10 about his upcoming travels and he states he got confirmed upgrade to business. I think he got tix from Tampa to Barcelona and based on fare rules, was able to fly all those miles since it was allowed per maximum mileage permitted. Now I may be wrong be just taking my best guest…

  12. Lucky, can you share some pointers on how you scored that routing? Was it a simple TPA-BCN fare basis? How do you input such a routing on

  13. Actually, I’m somewhat confused how this routing works. All of the AA TPA-BCN fares are MPM-based:


    The map posted seems to be about 10k miles, so where’s the fare break at?

  14. This was actually two separate tickets, one from Tampa to Los Angeles and one from Los Angeles to Barcelona. I’ll have more info on the routing/technique with the trip report.

    I’ll be in Barcelona for three days.

  15. The travel time in the US must be much greater than the flight to Barcelona (the attitude can be a bit much there). I really can’t comprehend this routing for what ever reason do you have agoraphobia? The journey is just as important as the destination, big time. I spent 5 hours today flying from Melbourne – Darwin and a cessna to Jabiru 4,300km. I understand mileage runs but stopped doing them years ago as I put a value on my time, I have a life social and other wise looking at the brightest of moons and stars at the moment, finishing a Sav Blanc and reading this post. I question your current state of sanity but then again after spending the arvo looking at aboriginal rock paintings. I have 5 days of making cake, yellow that is! After work each day my leisure time is in a World Heritage area that tourists pay $$$$ for and that is why I took this assignment to to be in a tin bird in 1A. The flight from Darwin in the cessna didn’t have any service but it was one of the most amazing journeys of the last year! Take a holiday Lucky at least 7 day’s and I would suggest BP18 Moorea. Stay sane.

  16. @Lucky, I’ve always wondered this. Now that you’re a certified TA, do you book all of your routes yourself through Sabre? For those of us without Sabre know-how, and don’t really have a convenient personal travel agent, what online booking engines allow the same route flexibility (that the airlines’ own websites don’t usually show) as booking through Agents? I know ITA is great for finding the routes, but what should we use to actually book it?

  17. “Sometimes my planning is downright unfortunate, and this is one of those instances.”

    The fact that this sentence was not immediately followed by “I completely spaced out and somehow booked a trip to Spain that would have me traveling on Super Bowl Sunday, and I won’t be able to watch the game, I’m such an idiot” makes your priorities totally screwed up in my book!

  18. @ Sean — Actually not really any advantage to booking it myself, so I just use publicly available tools. I’ll have a tutorial post on it very soon. 🙂

    @ Andrew — Super-who?

  19. Barcelona was the first city in Europe I visited! Enjoy all of the Gaudi architecture! Make sure to visit Park Guell.

  20. Enjoy your time in BCN! I highly recommend Els 4Gats or 7 Portes for an evening meal. 7 Portes offers what is arguably the best paella in all Catalunya.

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