Information as of 1 January 2012 has been moved to a new thread, found here; discussion should be carried out in that thread. This thread is now closed.
Our thanks to Austinrunner for starting, and for nearly seven years maintaining this OP.
/AA Moderator Team
AA offers 3 distinct types of awards:
- All-Partner Awards,
- All-AA Awards, and
- oneworld awards.
The first 2 are the most common. All-Partner Awards
are typically for travel to a single destination, possibly with a stopover, using any AA partners including the oneworld alliance. They should be discussed at the following links:
This thread below is reserved for discussion of oneworld awards, which are typically awards used for around-the-world travel or travel to multiple destinations.
The following appears to be the consensus on the applicable rules concerning oneworld awards using American Airlines
AAdvantage miles. (The American Airlines oneworld rules, in Spanish, can be found here
SECTION 1: ELIGIBLE AND REQUIRED AIRLINES
An award itinerary must include at least two of the following airlines:
(1) British Airways (BA), including the following affiliates: BA CityFlyer (CJ), Comair (MN) (not to be confused with the Delta Airlines affiliate (OH) that has the same name), and Sun-Air of Scandinavia (EZ).
(2) Cathay Pacific Airways (CX), including its affiliate Dragonair (KA).
(3) Finnair (AY).
(4) Iberia (IB), including its affiliates Air Nostrum (YW) and Iberia Express (I2).
(5) LAN (LA), including the affiliates LAN Peru (LP), LAN Express (UC), LAN Ecuador (XL), and LAN Argentina (4M) but not including the affiliate LAN Colombia (L7).
(6) Qantas Airways (QF), including the following affiliates: JetConnect and QantasLink (including Airlink (ND), Eastern Australia Airlines, National Jet Systems (NC), and Sunstate Airlines (OF)).
(7) Japan Airlines (JL), including the following affiliates: JAL Express (JC), J-Air (XM), and Japan Transocean Air (NU).
(8) Malev (MA). However, oneworld announced on 3 February 2012, that Malev had suspended operations until further notice.
(9) Royal Jordanian (RJ).
(10) Mexicana (MX), including the following affiliates: MexicanaClick (QA) and MexicanaLink (I6). However, oneworld announced on 31 August 2010, that Mexicana, MexicanaClick, and MexicanaLink had suspended operations until further notice.
(11) S7 Airlines (S7), including Globus Airlines (GH).
Only the airlines listed in this SECTION may be used on an award itinerary. This list is significantly shorter than the list of airlines that may be used on an American Airlines all-partner award. (The following airlines may not be used for a oneworld award but may be used for an all-partner award: Etihad Airways (EY), Air Pacific (FJ), Air Tahiti Nui (TN), Alaska Airlines (AS) / Horizon Air (QX), Air Berlin (AB) / NIKI (HG), EL AL (LY), GOL (G3), Gulf Air (GF), Hawaiian Airlines (HA), Jet Airways (9W), Cape Air (9K),
and Kingfisher Airlines (IT)
. An award on GOL must be ticketed before 13 August 2012.)
The use of an affiliate airline and its parent airline is considered the use of only one airline for purposes of these awards
. For example, a person who wanted to use both CX and KA on an itinerary would have to choose one additional airline to satisfy the two airline requirements of this SECTION.
An award itinerary may, but is not required to, include American Airlines (AA), American Eagle
(including Executive Air), and American Connection
(including Chautauqua Airlines).
A person generally may not use this type of award to book a codeshare, i.e., a flight marketed by a particular airline but operated by a second airline. AA, however, announced on 13 October 2010, that, "Jetstar flights marketed under the Qantas (QF*) code are ... eligible for award redemption"
using AA miles. At least one member of flyertalk has reported being allowed to use AA miles to book a oneworld award on Jetstar (JQ)-operated flights
with QF flight numbers; however, another member was subsequently unable to do that and was told that it is allowed only for all-partner awards.
Although JQ is a wholly owned subsidiary of Qantas Group,
JQ is not part of the oneworld alliance.
For a list of QF codeshares on JQ-operated flights, refer to this
on 3 February 2012 that Kingfisher Airlines
is still slated to become a member of oneworld but the joining has been put on hold until the airline addresses its financial difficulties. On 2 February 2012, oneworld announced
that Air Berlin
will become a member of oneworld on 20 March 2012, along with its affiliate NIKI
. On 6 June 2011, oneworld announced
that Malaysia Airlines (MH)
will become a member of oneworld in late 2012.
SECTION 2: SEGMENT MAXIMUM
An itinerary may not exceed 16 segments.
Each flight number produces one segment, regardless of the number of intermediate stops. Therefore, the number of segments in an itinerary is not necessarily equal to the number of stops in the itinerary.
With one exception, an open jaw counts as a segment for this purpose. For example:
DFW -> LAX -> SYD / CNS -> BNE -> AKL -> LAX -> DFW has 7 segments. An open jaw that exists because the origin and final destination are different does not count as a segment.
A land segment between co-terminals counts as a segment for this purpose, regardless of whether the segment is considered to be an open jaw.
There is no option to exceed the 16 segment limitation by handwriting the ticket.
SECTION 3: STOPOVERS AND CONNECTIONS
(1) The American Airlines English-language website fomerly quoted the applicable stopover rule to be as follows:
"Stopover is defined as more than 4 hours for domestic flights, and 6 hours for international flights. If there are no scheduled flights within this timeframe, regardless of availability, you must take the next scheduled flight but may not exceed 24 hours. If the connection exceeds 24 hours, it will be considered a stopover."
(2) A person may stopover in each city 1 time. A person, however, may not stopover in the person's originating or final destination city.
(3) A person may connect through a city not more than 2 times. A person, however, may not connect through the person's originating or final destination city.
(4) For purposes of these limitations, a stopover does not count as a connection. Therefore, a person could stopover in a city once and
connect through that city twice. (This was confirmed by andrzej in this thread
, where he described his experiences while booking an award itinerary involving two connections through and one stopover in Santiago, Chile.)
(5) The departing city in an open jaw is neither a connection nor a stopover. Therefore, a person could stopover in the city once, connect through the city twice, and depart from that city at the tail end of an open jaw.
This paragraph does not apply to an open jaw consisting of the origin and final destination of an itinerary.
(6) A city includes all its co-terminals, which could be a different set of airports than the co-terminals included for purposes of paid revenue tickets. The following are the only co-terminals for this type of award
SECTION 4: OPEN JAW
Chicago: MDW & ORDEurope
Houston: HOU & IAH
Los Angeles metropolitan area: BUR, ONT, LGB, LAX, & SNA
Miami / Fort Lauderdale: FLL & MIA
New York City metropolitan area: JFK, LGA, ISP, HPN, & EWR
San Francisco / Oakland / San Jose: SFO, OAK, & SJC
Washington, D.C. / Baltimore: BWI, DCA, & IAD
Berlin: THF, TXL, & SXFJapan
London: LCY, LGW, LHR, & STN
Milan: MXP & LIN
Moscow: DME & SVO
Paris: CDG & ORY
Stockholm: ARN & BMA
Osaka: ITM & KIXSouth America
Tokyo: HND & NRT
Buenos Aires: AEP & EZECaribbean
Rio de Janeiro: GIG & SDU
Sao Paulo: GRU & CGH
St. Lucia: SLU & UVF
One open jaw is allowed anywhere during the itinerary, including in the originating country. For example, the originating city could be Dallas and the final destination could be Miami.
A person may not open jaw between Israel and any Arab League country except Jordan and Egypt.
SECTION 5: ROUTING AND EMBARGOED FLIGHTS
(1) The number of international departures from the originating country is unlimited, so long as the other limitations described in this post are not violated (such as the prohibition against connecting through the originating city).
(2) A person may backtrack from continent to continent. There is no requirement that a person reenter the continent of origin by crossing a different ocean than when the person left the continent of origin. For example, a person could go from North America to Asia then back to North America before heading on to Europe and then returning to North America.
(3) There is no limit on the number of transcontinental segments allowed within the United States.
(4) A person is not required to use the most direct routing for these awards. However, not using the most direct routing could increase the cost of an award. See SECTION 6.
(5) Royal Jordanian's (RJ) flights to and from Iraq may not be used for these awards. RJ's flights from Jordan to either the United States or the United Kingdom from July 15 through September 15 may not be used. RJ's flights from the United States to Jordan from May 15 through July 15 may not be used. RJ's flights from the United Kingdom to Jordan from June 1 through August 1 may not be used.
(6) Finnair's flights 1001-3000 (Finnair Leisure) may not be used for these awards.
(7) Travel between two cities in the United States via a city in Canada is not permitted. Travel between two cities in Canada via a city in the United States is not permitted.
(8) Japan Airlines' flights on the dates listed on its website
may not be used for these awards.
(9) Only a U.S. carrier may be used to travel between the United States (including Hawaii) and Guam.
(10) No flight to or from Cuba may be used for these awards.
(11) Although flights on S7 Airlines to and from destinations in eastern Russia may not be booked using an all-partners award, they may be booked using a oneworld award.
(12) A flight sector where the airline does not have traffic rights may not be booked using a oneworld award.
SECTION 6: TOTAL COUNTABLE TRIP MILES
The information in this SECTION applies only to tickets issued on or after 1 September 2008.
American Airlines does not publish its table of distances between airports worldwide. It is possible, however, to get a very close approximation of those distances at the Great Circle Mapper website.
When determining the "total countable trip miles" of an itinerary, the relevant cities are the originating city, the stopover cities, the connecting cities, and the city in which the itinerary ends.
For example, consider the following itinerary:
JFK (originating city) -> LAX (connection) -> HNL (stopover city) -> SYD (stopover city) -> CHC (connection) -> BNE (stopover city) -> CNS (connection) -> HKG (stopover city) -> BKK (connection) -> SIN (connection) -> LAX (stopover city) -> JFK (ending city)
The "total countable trip miles" of this itinerary would be 30,471 miles.
The "total countable trip miles" of an itinerary does not include any land segments.
SECTION 7: COST OF AWARDS
Total Countable Trip Miles = 0 to 1,500
Economy: costs 30,000 AA miles
Business: costs 60,000 AA miles
First: costs 80,000 AA miles
Total Countable Trip Miles = 1,501 - 4,000
Economy: costs 35,000 AA miles
Business: costs 75,000 AA miles
First: costs 100,000 AA miles
Total Countable Trip Miles = 4,001 - 9,000
Economy: costs 60,000 AA miles
Business: costs 80,000 AA miles
First: costs 100,000 AA miles
Total Countable Trip Miles = 9,001 - 10,000
Economy: costs 70,000 AA miles
Business: costs 90,000 AA miles
First: costs 120,000 AA miles
Total Countable Trip Miles = 10,001 - 14,000
Economy: costs 90,000 AA miles
Business: costs 115,000 AA miles
First: costs 150,000 AA miles
Total Countable Trip Miles = 14,001 - 20,000
Economy: costs 100,000 AA miles
Business: costs 130,000 AA miles
First: costs 180,000 AA miles
Total Countable Trip Miles = 20,001 - 25,000
Economy: costs 120,000 AA miles
Business: costs 150,000 AA miles
First: costs 230,000 AA miles
Total Countable Trip Miles = 25,001 - 35,000
Economy: costs 140,000 AA miles
Business: costs 190,000 AA miles
First: costs 280,000 AA miles
Total Countable Trip Miles = 35,001 - 50,000
Economy: costs 160,000 AA miles
Business: costs 220,000 AA miles
First: costs 330,000 AA miles
SECTION 8: BOOKING CODES
The inventory for oneworld awards, all-partner awards, and all-AA awards is the same.
X on all oneworld airlines except Cathay Pacific (CX), American Airlines (AA), Japan Airlines (JL), and LAN (LA).
T on JL (international), AA, CX, KA, XL, LP, 4M, and LA.
S on JL (domestic).
U on all oneworld airlines except JL (domestic), Mexicana (MX) and its affiliates, and Malev (MA).
D on JL (domestic).
I on MX and its affiliates.
R on MA.
Z on all oneworld airlines that offer first class awards except JL (domestic and international) and Qantas (QF).
A on JL (domestic and international).
P on QF.SECTION 9: TICKET VALIDITY AND CHANGES
(1) The ticket is valid for one year from the date of issuance (not from the date of the first flight).
(2) Once the ticket is issued, a change to the date, time, or number of a flight is free. These types of changes may be made even after travel has begun.
(3) Once the ticket is issued, a person is not allowed to change the name of the passenger, the routing (including stopovers or connections) of a segment, or the airline for a segment. (But at least one member of flyertalk has been allowed to convert a stopover at a particular airport to a connection at the same airport, or vice versa, after ticketing.) For example:
(A) A person would not be allowed to substitute British Airways for Cathay Pacific Airways (CX) for the flight from Hong Kong to London. Nor would the person be allowed to substitute Dragon Air for CX for the flight from Hong Kong to Manila.
(B) A person would not be allowed to substitute Brisbane for Sydney as the connecting point when flying from Cairns to Los Angeles.
(C) A person would not be allowed to make a Los Angeles to Brisbane flight nonstop if it was originally ticketed as Los Angeles to Brisbane with a connection in Sydney.
(D) A person would not be allowed to change a connection or stopover in San Francisco (SFO) to a co-terminal of that airport (San Jose (SJO) or Oakland (OAK)).
(4) holtju2 reported in post #170 of this thread that American Airlines allowed him to change an economy class flight to business class after he began travel on a business class award ticket. holtju2 originally booked the flight in economy class because there was no business class award availability on that flight. The flight was not an American Airlines flight.
SECTION 10: USING A BUSINESS CLASS AWARD ON FLIGHTS THAT DO NOT HAVE A BUSINESS CLASS CABIN
This SECTION applies only to a person who is both using a business class award and taking a flight that does not have a business class cabin.
The person is entitled to first class travel on American Airlines, if there is "Z" availability for that flight. If "Z" is unavailable but "T" is available, then the person must travel in economy class.
For a flight on a oneworld airline other than American Airlines, the person must travel in economy class (assuming that there is "T," "X," or "S" availability, as appropriate).
SECTION 11: RENEWING THE HOLD OF AN ITINERARY THAT HAS NOT YET BEEN TICKETED
American Airlines allows an itinerary to be put on hold for 5 days. There is no absolute right to extend the hold directly
. (In unusual circumstances, such as the need to obtain persmission from oneworld carriers to change the passenger name on an itinerary, an American Airlines supervisor may extend the hold.)
If the traveler does not wish to ticket the itinerary within the 5-day period, the traveler may indirectly
extend the hold by re-reserving all flights in the itinerary. Each of the flights to be re-reserved is subject to availability, as if the flight had never been reserved. The seats originally on hold are not considered to be available, i.e., do not go back into award inventory, when determining whether the flights may be re-reserved. For example, a traveler who is holding a business class award seat on QF 107 from Sydney to Los Angeles that is currently showing U0 availability will not be able to re-reserve that flight.
SECTION 12: AWARD AVAILABILITY TOOLS
This section does not include the airline's own website.
American Airlines (AA): Expert Flyer; Award Nexus;
BA website; QF website
British Airways (BA):
Award Nexus; QF website
Cathay Pacific (CX):
Award Nexus; BA website; QF website; JL website
Award Nexus; BA website
Expert Flyer (economy class only); Award Nexus; BA website; QF website
Expert Flyer (business class only); Award Nexus; BA website; QF website
Japan Airlines (JL):
Award Nexus; BA website
LAN Airlines (LA):
Award Nexus; BA website; QF website
LAN Argentina (4M):
Award Nexus; QF website
Award Nexus; BA website; QF website
Award Nexus; BA website
Expert Flyer; Award Nexus; BA website
Royal Jordanian (RJ):
Award Nexus; BA website
S7 Airlines (S7):
Award Nexus; BA website
The BA website has limitations when checking award availability for airlines other than AA, IB, and BA. The website formerly said, "If you are travelling on a route operated by Iberia or American Airlines, you will be offered available flights on these airlines as well as British Airways. For all other partner airlines, they will only be offered where British Airways is not available on the requested date or does not fly the route." These same limitations apply when using the Oneworld (BA) option on Award Nexus.
Airline Route Mapper,
which is a desktop application, is a useful way to visualize routes operated by airlines worldwide. It has some limitations, the most important of which is that it shows routes operated on the last date the application was updated and not routes that will begin or end after that date.
SECTION 13: TAXES, FEES, SURCHARGES, CHARGES, DUTIES, ETC.
Free award tickets are always exempt from the following:
U.S. passenger facility charges (XF)
U.S. flight segment tax (ZP)
U.S. international arrival tax (US)
U.S. international departure tax (US)
Free award tickets are always subject to the following:
U.S. September 11th security fees (AY)
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) fee (XA)
U.S. immigration fee (XY)
U.S. customs fee (YC)
Award tickets that include one or more British Airways (BA) or Iberia (IB) flights are not "free" for purposes of the above taxes, fees, and charges. This is because BA and IB impose a sometimes expensive fuel surcharge (YQ) on award tickets. This results in XF, ZP, and US being charged on those tickets as if they were paid tickets (in addition to AY, XA, XY, and YC).
You can double check American Airlines' calculation of taxes, fees, surcharges, charges, duties, etc. by entering your itinerary on the ITA website.