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FlyerTalk Forums Thread Wiki: AA and Partner Airline Award info, rules (NOT for oneworld Explorer Awards) ARCHIVED
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FOR THE CURRENT, 2014, THREAD ON THIS TOPIC, PLEASE SEE: AA and Partner Airline Award info, rules (NOT for oneworld Explorer Awards) 2014 on

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Old Jun 6, 05, 11:10 pm   #1
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Post AA and Partner Airline Award info, rules (NOT for oneworld Explorer Awards) ARCHIVED

MODERATORS' NOTE

Stopover information has changed as of May 2009! For more information on AA's current One-Way Flex Awards, which were released on May 9, 2009, see:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...-9-2009-a.html

New (March 15, 2012) chart for All Partner awards


As of March 2012, All-Partner Awards have been rebranded as oneworld and Other Airline Awards, while oneworld Awards have been rebranded at Explorer Awards - see: AA Award Reservations and (FT) NEW oneworld / AA Explorer awards using AA Miles (NOT for Partner Awards)

dstan
AA Forum Co-Moderator

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Introduction

There are two types of awards discussed in this thread, AA Awards and All-Partner (All-Airline) Awards, which are targeted to passengers traveling to a single destination. Please note that oneworld Awards, which can be used for travel to multiple destinations, have distinct rules and mileage requirements and are discussed in a separate thread.

As of May 9, 2009, AA and All-Partner (All-Airline) Awards are now booked solely on a one-way basis. Two or more one-way awards are redeemed for round-trip or multicity travel.

As of Oct 1, 2010, All-Partner (All-Airline) Awards may be redeemed on all British Airways flights, including previously excluded flights between the U.S. and U.K. Note that additional British Airways YQ fuel surcharges now apply based on class-of-service and distance flown: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...-1-2010-a.html


_________________________________________________

AA Award and All-Partner (All-Airline) Award Rules

• AA Awards are valid for travel on flights that are marketed and operated by AA (no codeshares). These awards can be booked online at AA.com.

• All-Partner (All-Airline) awards are valid for travel on AA and any of its partner airlines, and can include travel on multiple partners. These awards must be booked over the phone, and will incur a Ticketing Service Charge (waived for EXPs).

• Up to four one-way awards can be booked on a single ticket (PNR).

Quote:
General Rules

Passenger has 4h/23h59m to connect (depending on domestic or international travel). If there are no scheduled flights within this timeframe, regardless of availability, the passenger must take the next scheduled flight but, may not exceed 24 hours. If the connection exceeds 24 hours, it will be considered a stopover.

If there is a non-stop flight that departs after the 4h/23h59m window and arrives at the destination earlier than a connecting flight within the 4h/23h59m window, the passenger may be booked on the non-stop flight.


Stopovers

Within North America
None.

Between North America and Europe, India, Asia, or Central / South America
One stopover is now permitted only at the North American "gateway" on awards between North America and another zone (in either direction). Note that multiple stopovers are permitted on oneworld awards, which have separate rules and mileage redemption rates.
_________________________________________________

Partner Award Inventories

Award booking inventory classes for each carrier in the AAdvantage Award program are listed below and may be useful when on the phone with an AA rep or when checking availability. This information was originally posted by 777Brit and recently updated by Austinrunner. See also the Award Booking Codes page in the FlyerGuide wiki for updated information.

Quote:
• Award availability on the following airlines is available on the Flightstats.com website (free account after an easy registration process): 9W, AS, G3, GF, HA, IT, LY, TN

• Award availability on the following airlines is available via AwardNexus.com (free account for FlyerTalk members with additional premium options available for purchase): AA, 4M, AB, AS, AY, BA, CX, FJ, HG, IB, JL, KA, LA, LP, LY, MA, QF, RJ, S7

• Award availability on the following airlines is available via KVStool.com, a subscription website: AA, 4M, AB, AS, AY, BA, CX, EY, FJ, G3, GF, HA, IB, JL, KA, LA, LY, MA, QF, RJ, S7, TN, XL

• Award availability on the following airlines is available via ExpertFlyer.com, a subscription website: AA, AS, AY (economy), G3, HA, LY, QF, TN

Code:
CARRIER                    FIRST     BUSINESS    ECONOMY  
--------------------------------------------------------
  AA - American Airlines     Z          U           T      
--------------------------------------------------------
  9K - Cape Air                      unknown      
--------------------------------------------------------
  9W - Jet Airways           R          D           X      
--------------------------------------------------------
  AB – Air Berlin                       U           X      
--------------------------------------------------------
  AS – Alaska Airlines       A                      W      
--------------------------------------------------------
  AY – Finnair                          U           X      
--------------------------------------------------------
  BA – British Airways       Z          U           X     
--------------------------------------------------------
  CX – Cathay Pacific*       Z          U           T      
--------------------------------------------------------
  EY - Etihad                O          I           N      
--------------------------------------------------------
  FJ – Air Pacific                      U           X      
--------------------------------------------------------
  G3 - GOL                              I           X      
--------------------------------------------------------
  GF - Gulf Air                         P           T      
--------------------------------------------------------
  HA – Hawaiian Airlines                            T      
--------------------------------------------------------
  HG – Niki                             U           X      
--------------------------------------------------------
  IB – Iberia                Z          U           X      
--------------------------------------------------------
  IT – Kingfisher                       Z           R      
--------------------------------------------------------
  JL – Japan Airlines        Z         U/D†        T/S†
--------------------------------------------------------
  LA – LAN Chile#            Z          U           T      
--------------------------------------------------------
  LY – El Al Israel          P          X           E      
--------------------------------------------------------
  QF - QANTAS Airways        P          U           X      
--------------------------------------------------------
  RJ – Royal Jordanian                  U           X      
--------------------------------------------------------
  S7 – S7 Airlines                      U           X      
--------------------------------------------------------
  TN – Air Tahiti Nui        A          I           W      
--------------------------------------------------------
Notes

*Includes Cathay Pacific affiliate KA (DragonAir).

#Includes LAN affiliates XL (LAN Ecuador), LP (LAN Peru), 4M (LAN Argentina).

†JL Business Class award travel within Japan ONLY is booked in D inventory. JL Economy class within Japan ONLY is booked in S inventory.

N.B. N.B.: MA / MalÚv ceased operations as of Feb 3, 2012.
IT / Kingfisher has suspended operations.

_________________________________________________

General Routing Rules

The OP of this thread noted that there are some imbedded tables at the end that are impossible to decipher.

Quote:
Routing

General Rules

Passenger has 4h/23h59m to connect (depending on domestic or international travel). If there are no scheduled flights within this timeframe, regardless of availability, the passenger must take the next scheduled flight but, may not exceed 24 hours. If the connection exceeds 24 hours, it will be considered a stopover.

If there is a non-stop flight that departs after the 4h/23h59m window and arrives at the destination earlier than a connecting flight within the 4h/23h59m window, the passenger may be booked on the non-stop flight. It is not necessary to check every flight/carrier to ensure passenger is booked on next scheduled flight.

When selling seats for through flights and the desired inventory is not available, you cannot opt to sell the flight point-to-point. If sold point-to-point, the error response MULTIPLE SEGMENTS FOR SAME FLIGHT - SELL AS ONE SEGMENT will be received, indicating this booking is not allowed. Overriding the error check by ending the PNR twice is not acceptable.

Within North America
  • Awards wholly within North America are valid on all partner airlines that market and operate their own service within North America.
  • Travel between two cities in the United States via Canada/Mexico is not allowed.
  • Travel between two cities in Canada/Mexico via the United States is not allowed.
  • Passenger must travel the most direct routing.
  • Connections of more than 4 hours are considered a stopover unless the passenger is taking the next scheduled flight and it is outside the 4 hours.
  • Any connection of 24 hours is always considered a stopover.
  • MX award travel is not allowed on non-stop flights between Mexico and Canada
  • Award travel between Hawaii and North America does not include inter-island flights.
  • Inter-island award travel will allow a maxium of 2 flight segments.

North America To/from Other Regions
  • Award travel to/from North America is allowed on any combination of carriers that service the applicable region except as noted below.
  • Passenger must use most direct routing.
  • Hawaiian Airlines is not valid for these awards.
  • As of Oct 1, 2010, British Airways is valid for all routes, including transatlantic flights between the U.S. and U.K.
  • Travel to Europe, Africa and the Indian Sub-Continent/Middle East must be via the Atlantic only.
  • Travel to Asia and the South Pacific must be via the Pacific.
  • Travel to/from Fiji/Papeete cannot be via Australia/New Zealand.
  • Travel to Easter Island (IPC) must be via Papeete (PPT) or use two awards.
  • North American travel to/from Guam or Saipan, the transpacific segment must be on AA.
  • MX award travel is not allowed on non-stop flights between Mexico and Canada
  • Passenger must travel the most direct routing.
  • Passenger has 23h59m to connect, regardless of availability.
  • A connection with more than 23h59m will be considered a stopover.

Travel Wholly Within or Between All Other Regions
These awards do not allow a connection via North America and therefore, do not include travel on American Airlines.
  • Passenger must travel the most direct routing.
  • Connecting travel is not allowed outside the region or regions.
  • Passenger has 23h59m to connect, regardless of availability.
  • A connection with more than 24 hours will be considered a stopover. A stopover is allowed within Mexico for travel wholly within Mexico, as Mexico is considered North America.

Travel Via a Third Region exceptions
Travel Via a third region is not allowed (Note the exception table below).

EXCEPTION TABLE:

To/From Via
North America to/from Indian Sub Continent/Middle East can connect in:Europe
North America to/from Africa can connect in:Europe
North America to/from Asia 2 can connect in:Asia 1

Central/South America to/from Indian Sub Continent/Middle East can connect in:Europe
Central/South America to/from Africa can connect in:Europe
Central/South America to/from South Pacific can connect in:S. America 2

South America 2 to/from Indian Sub Continent/Middle East can connect in:Europe

Indian Sub Continent/Middle East to/from Asia 1 can connect in:Asia 2
Indian Sub Continent/Middle East to/from South Pacific can connect in:Asia 2

Africa to/from Asia 1 can connect in:Asia 2

Asia 1 to/from Europe can connect in:Asia 2
Asia 1 to/from South Pacific can connect in:Asia 2

Asia 1 = Japan, Korea, Mongolia (China is now Asia 2)
Asia 2 = Bhutan, Brunei, China, Guam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Saipan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam

Europe to/from South Pacific:
will allow for connections in Singapore or Bangkok only. Stopovers in these cities for this award are not allowed.

**this rule may actually be this now:
Award travel between Europe and the South Pacific will allow for connections in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Narita, Osaka or Singapore only. Stopovers in these cities for this award are not allowed.**

Travel on LanPeru direct flights between North America and South America Zone 2 are allowed. Currently, only one market, Miami to/from Buenos Aries, has direct service. These can only be booked by the liaisons. Contact support for booking assistance.

Last edited by JDiver; Jan 20, 14 at 8:09 pm. Reason: updated award names
JonNYC is offline  
Old Jun 6, 05, 11:20 pm   #2
 
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Great to finally have authoritative info on this!

I just have to say that it is arcane rules like this that are part of the reason why AA's CASM is so much higher than "sane" airlines like JetBlue and Southwest. You practically need a Ph.D. in linguistics and geography to understand those rules. I can only imagine the amount of time spent by agents, supervisors (when the agent can't parse the rule or the customer believes the agent is misinterpreting it), inter-airline liasons, etc. etc. handling this kind of stuff.

Once AA finishes cutting all of the food, legroom, routes, etc. that they can, hopefully they will take a look at the cost of operating the infrastructure that gives us arcane ticketing rules. I know that the theory is that such rules decrease costs and/or increase revenue, but I simply cannot believe that the analysis that presumably showed a benefit to such rules fully took into account the costs of supporting them on an ongoing basis.
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Old Jun 7, 05, 3:07 am   #3
 
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Thanks again Jon. Useful information although I wish it were otherwise.

Why doesn't AA make this stuff public? I wouldn't have bothered to take up 30 minutes of an AAgent's time the other day trying to book something in contravention of these rules if I knew they were the rules.
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Old Jun 7, 05, 8:00 am   #4
 
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Change in NA Rules?

In the past NA award travel permitted one stopover anywhere in addition to the destination, effectively permitting a circle trip i.e. DFW-LAX-JFK-DFW which I have booked several times. If the current rules require the stopover to be at the logical connecting point on the most direct route between the origin and destination then of course such a routing would be impossible since LAX is certainly not on the most direct route between DFW and JFK. Do you think these rules now prohibit circle trips on award travel?
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Old Jun 7, 05, 8:44 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrussell
In the past NA award travel permitted one stopover anywhere in addition to the destination, effectively permitting a circle trip i.e. DFW-LAX-JFK-DFW which I have booked several times. If the current rules require the stopover to be at the logical connecting point on the most direct route between the origin and destination then of course such a routing would be impossible since LAX is certainly not on the most direct route between DFW and JFK. Do you think these rules now prohibit circle trips on award travel?
Same questions here - will they enforce this soon? I have booked my daughter for an award trip this summer DFW-PHL-SEA-DFW. They had no problems with it, basically told me I could use about any three US cities in any order for an award ticket. Maybe it's selective enforcement?
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Old Jun 7, 05, 9:24 am   #6
 
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A possible explanation is that the domestic award stopover rules are different for a ticket entirely on AA (as opposed to one using AS as well, for example). Is that the answer?
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Old Jun 7, 05, 9:54 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellow77
A possible explanation is that the domestic award stopover rules are different for a ticket entirely on AA (as opposed to one using AS as well, for example). Is that the answer?
I don't know if that's the answer, but there is definitely more to the story.

I recently had no problem using AA miles to ticket an all-AS award ticket itinerary OAK-oJNU-ANC FAI-OAK, i.e. open jaw with stopover in JNU on the OAK-ANC part (I've left out the connecting cities for clarity). Clearly JNU is not a "natural connecting point" so this itinerary would seem to violate the rules that were posted.
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Old Jun 7, 05, 3:39 pm   #8
 
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OK, I'm a little confused now. How are those tables supposed to work? The spacing is gone so I can't tell which places are subject to the 4 or 24 hour rule.

In addition, the wording is confusing me a little. Let's take this scenario: I want to fly LHR-xORD-SYR all on AA. The xORD-SYR leg is more than 4 hours and not the first flight out, but less than 24 hours. The last agent I talked to told me I could not do this. Is that correct?
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Old Jun 7, 05, 4:57 pm   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grouse
OK, I'm a little confused now. How are those tables supposed to work? The spacing is gone so I can't tell which places are subject to the 4 or 24 hour rule.

In addition, the wording is confusing me a little. Let's take this scenario: I want to fly LHR-xORD-SYR all on AA. The xORD-SYR leg is more than 4 hours and not the first flight out, but less than 24 hours. The last agent I talked to told me I could not do this. Is that correct?
Wouldn't you be able to take ORD as a stopover-- eliminating the need to count the hours to see if it's a transit or not? (Literally, I'm asking-- I'm not too good at reading these things either.)

And, yes, it's confusing w/o the spacing, that's the only way I got it.
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Old Jun 7, 05, 6:38 pm   #10
 
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Thanks to Jon for the information! Nice to see it set out clearly.

Comment: I notice the partner award info did not mention open jaws. I was told that one is permitted at either destination or origin, not both.

Question: Regarding travel between/within other regions, it says no stopovers are permitted. Say my award is between the South Pacific and Europe, e.g. AKL-LAX-LHR. The language seems to state that no stopover in LAX is permitted. Is this correct? A bit strange.
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Old Jun 7, 05, 7:04 pm   #11
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Jridge -
Yes, that is correct. No stopovers are allowed on awards that are not to/from North America. Annoying - especially for Oceania - Europe awards, but true unfortunately!

Also, I am not sure if AA still insists that one must take direct flights from Oceania to Europe which severely limits options and can be inconvenient. In the past, I remember reading on here that AA was insisting upon using the direct BA/QF flights because then you were not going via another continent as far as your ticket was concerned (it was listed as a through flight). Another dumb rule!
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Old Jun 8, 05, 5:10 pm   #12
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I think there's something to be said for defining certain terms consistently within the organization, like stopover. If a stopover on a domestic ticket is a break of four hours or more, I don't see why that can't the rule on award tix. Same thing with the 24 hour rule on international tix. I just don't get it. I've read both sets of rules and I don't understand them.
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Old Jun 8, 05, 9:27 pm   #13
 
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I don┤t get it either. But two months ago i booked an award ticket LHR-ORD-CMH-DFW-MEX-ORD-LHR with a stop over in CMH. At first I had trouble with the agent at a ticket counter in Mexico, because she said I was braking a rule (reservation was made without a problem). The famous rule of only being able to get a stop over in either MIA, ORD or DFW. But after a little chatting, she noticed that the system aloud her to continue, so she sent it to ADVANTAGE Desk in Lima, Peru for authorization and told me that if ADVANTAGE authorize it, it was OK. And they did, so I had no problem and she had no problem. So sometimes it is more of how the ADVANTAGE supervisor┤s mood is and not a matter of rules, jejeje.
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Old Jun 9, 05, 6:15 am   #14
 
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Please clarify what is a Natural Gateway?

Would MIA be allowed on a Stopover BKKx-NRTx-LAXx-MIA-LHR-LAXx-NRTx-BKK this would mean that LAX is the natural Gateway

or would it have to be BKKx-NRTx-LAXx-LHR-MIA-LAXx-NRTx-BKK in which case perhaps MIA could be accepted as the Natural Gateway
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Old Jun 9, 05, 9:59 am   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KentownFlorida
Please clarify what is a Natural Gateway?

Would MIA be allowed on a Stopover BKKx-NRTx-LAXx-MIA-LHR-LAXx-NRTx-BKK this would mean that LAX is the natural Gateway

or would it have to be BKKx-NRTx-LAXx-LHR-MIA-LAXx-NRTx-BKK in which case perhaps MIA could be accepted as the Natural Gateway
It's says "natural connecting point" (and defines same, somewhat clearly)-- not "gateway".. Gateway refers to something different.
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