Not Wanting the Cheapest Fare?!

As a Qantas Frequent Flyer, there are some categories of American Airlines Coach tickets that earn me points and status credits. These are:  GLMNSV Discount Economy  and BHKY economy.  Other fare classes do not earn me any points or status credits eg OQ. I  don’t overly care about the points but Status Credits are important to me as I want to keep my priority check in, higher luggage allowance and lounge access. Often the difference in price between a Q and a N fare is very, very slight but the outcome is,of course, very different.

The obvious answer is to only fly First, Business or Full Economy. However, this is not always a practical or acceptable option for my budget or for my clients so I search for Coach fares that earn me those coveted Status Credits. When I am looking for these fares, however, the booking systems will usually show me the cheapest fare but as mentioned,  I don’t always want that. Delta’s booking system allows you to screen out certain types of discounted fares. I would like to find a way of being able to find the next cheapest fare.

Any suggestions on how I achieve this?


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  1. Choose the lowest fare, put it on hold and call AA customer service to change it to the class of service you want, then purchase.

  2. As you figured out, there’s no way to do that on It just searches for the cheapest fare.

    But, you can use the ITA Matrix tool to find the cheapest fares with specific fare classes.

    Go to:


    Under the Destination form field:

    -> Select Advanced routing codes

    Enter outbound routing codes:

    AA+ / f bc=G|bc=L|bc=M|bc=N|bc=S|bc=V|bc=B|bc=H|bc=K|bc=Y

    Enter return routing codes:

    AA+ / f bc=G|bc=L|bc=M|bc=N|bc=S|bc=V|bc=B|bc=H|bc=K|bc=Y

    ITA will only display fares where the booking class = G,L,M,N,S,B,H,K,Y

    Once you find the cheapest fares/dates , go back to and find the cheapest fare and put it on hold.

    Call the AA reservations line and ask them to change the booking class on your reservation (no charge)

    Go back to and purchase your ticket to avoid paying any fees.

    When you make your purchase and receive your ticket, confirm the booking class just in case there’s an error. You have 24 hours to get it fixed without penalty.

    It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s the only way I now to do it.

    Hope it helps!

  3. Thank you very muchly. Would be easier for AA to offer this as an option!

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