This is great news for most people with American AAdvantage miles.
Royal Air Maroc recently joined oneworld
At the beginning of the month, Royal Air Maroc formally joined oneworld, which was an exciting development. Obviously the announcement would have been more exciting if COVID-19 weren’t a thing and if the airline were actually flying, but it’s still a great long-term addition to the alliance.
This means that it’s now possible to earn and redeem miles with all oneworld loyalty programs for travel on Royal Air Maroc, not to mention receive reciprocal elite oneworld benefits.
Royal Air Maroc 737
American AAdvantage moves Morocco to Europe
American AAdvantage has zone based award charts, meaning the cost of a partner award is generally just determined based on the regions you’re traveling between. I appreciate that American publishes award charts at all (unlike Delta and United), and for that matter find American’s award rates to generally be quite good.
Along those lines, there’s an interesting development — on the American AAdvantage award chart, Morocco has been moved from Africa to Europe. You’ll see this under the “region definitions” portion of their award chart.
That means the mileage requirement for travel to Morocco is now based on Europe travel, which is fantastic news.
Royal Air Maroc 787-9 business class
What are the implications of this?
American charges the following number of miles for travel between the US and Africa:
- 40,000 AAdvantage miles one-way in economy
- 75,000 AAdvantage miles one-way in business class
Meanwhile they charge the following number of miles for travel between the US and Europe:
- 30,000 AAdvantage miles one-way in economy
- 57,500 AAdvantage miles one-way in business class
Royal Air Maroc 787-8 business class
Not only that, but with Morocco now being in Europe, this means you could route from the US to Europe via Morocco, which is a great option given Morocco’s geography, as well as Royal Air Maroc’s network. Previously that wasn’t possible.
Similarly, this is great for those looking to redeem miles between Europe and Morocco:
- One-way economy awards have gone from costing 30,000 miles to costing 12,500 miles
- One-way business class awards have gone from costing 55,000 miles to costing 22,500 miles
Even though American is taking some liberties with geography, this ultimately makes sense:
- A New York to Casablanca flight is basically the same distance as a New York to London flight
- It doesn’t make sense that a New York to Casablanca award costs the same amount as a New York to Doha to Cape Town award
The only real downside here is that the cost of awards between Morocco and other points in Africa has just increased, if that’s the extent of your award. Within Africa:
- One-way economy awards have gone from costing 17,500 miles to costing 30,000 miles
- One-way business class awards have gone from costing 35,000 miles to costing 55,000 miles
This is a fantastic change on the part of AAdvantage, and makes it significantly more compelling to redeem AAdvantage miles on Royal Air Maroc. Not only does it lower the cost of awards, but this also means that you can route from the US to points in Europe via Morocco.
Well done, American!
(Tip of the hat to my awesome colleague Jordan)