American And Etihad Expand Codesharing On US Routes

Filed Under: American, Etihad

American is the only US airline to partner with two of the big three Gulf Carriers. Specifically, Qatar Airways belongs to oneworld, while American has a partnership with Etihad outside of the alliance.

While you earn American elite qualifying and redeemable miles for all eligible Qatar Airways flights (due to their participation in oneworld), the same isn’t true for Etihad Airways. For travel on Etihad Airways, you earn AAdvantage miles as follows:

  • For Etihad marketed and operated flights out of North America, you don’t earn any miles
  • For American marketed and Etihad operated flights out of North America, you earn full elite qualifying and redeemable miles
  • For Etihad marketed and operated flights in other regions, you earn redeemable miles


The idea is simple — American doesn’t want to give you AAdvantage miles for travel on Etihad out of North America unless you book it as an American codeshare. And that makes perfect sense, since they otherwise don’t have a joint venture or alliance partnership. They don’t mind issuing you redeemable miles for travel between other regions, though, given that American can’t really compete in those markets.

Anyway, the good news is that American is expanding the flights on which they codeshare with Etihad. Starting April 30, 2015, American will begin codesharing on Etihad’s Dallas to Abu Dhabi and San Francisco to Abu Dhabi flights. That means it will finally be possible to earn AAdvantage redeemable and elite qualifying miles on these routes, which wasn’t previously possible. It was silly that you could book an Etihad codeshare from Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi, but not from San Francisco, for example.


Furthermore, Etihad will codeshare on more American flights within the US, though that’s not nearly as exciting, in my opinion, since it doesn’t have as many positive implications.

And while I know I’m beating a dead horse here, the irony of this partnership expanding continues to amuse me, given the ongoing battle between the big three US carriers and big three Gulf carriers.

When it’s convenient, the US airlines shame anyone for associating themselves with these horrible, abusive companies which are taking away American jobs and trying to destroy our economy (their words, not mine). But when it’s convenient, meh, not so much. After all, $20 is $20…

Bottom line

Irony aside, this codeshare expanding is a logical move given that these are reasonably new routes for Etihad, so it was silly that they codeshared on the other US routes, but not these. And I’m also incredibly grateful that the US carriers are such hypocrites, because I do love redeeming my American AAdvantage miles for travel in Etihad’s First Apartment.

Etihad A380 First Class Apartment

  1. I think you meant “codesharing” not “coedsharing” in the sentence that you have in bold.

  2. Nice launch to AA status which is more useful than EY status. One business flight and you’re there basically with the 50% bonus.

  3. Well, U.S. Airlines have to do that.basically, they cannot compete with ME3 on routes to India, Southeast Asia and Africa.
    Soon,Delta will suspend their African and Indian routes and United will suspend their Indian routes. These markets are profitable , but United and Delta just simply don’t know how to do business there.

  4. I hope that means my upcoming DFW-AUH-DFW flight I purchased during the Xmas mistake will earn AA miles

  5. Hi Ben

    Seems from recent weeks that the word has got out about cheap redemptions for Etihad’s First Apartment! I’m in the UK and by 8am here, 331 days out, both Saver First awards have gone, every day for the last two weeks! Any idea what time exactly the seats are released? Otherwise I’m going to have to slum it in Business..


  6. This is a positive step but I wish that you could get AA miles for Etihad-marketed & operated flights to/from US. Would love to credit my DFW-AUH-DFW trip from Christmas price mistake to AA but I suppose it will have to go to ANA.

  7. @ Alex — The seats haven’t been booked, they’re just not making them available for awards the second the window opens. Keep checking, as space is very likely to open.

  8. @lucky thanks. How did you work that out? Intuitition? Any way to tell on Expertflyer or similar?

  9. @ Alex — No, just because that’s what Etihad has been doing for quite a while. They often don’t make space available right as the window opens.

  10. @Lucky,

    So is this mean NOW I can book and redeem AA miles for Etihad First Apartment from SFO – AUH? do they have a better plane out from SFO than out from LAX? I heard LAX one is better, is it true…….
    Also how easy it is to find award availability and how many miles does it cost?

  11. @ SFOflyer — This has no impact on redeeming miles. LAX has a better plane than SFO. 90K for F one-way.

  12. Hi Ben,

    I want to fly from London to Beijing via Middle East, so I can redeem Etihad First Class Apartment. Is it possible to redeem Etihad by using AA miles and have a layover in Abu Dhabi, which will cost the same miles as directly from Europe to Asia 2? Does American still allows layover like that? Thanks a lot.

  13. Does this mean, I should Not give Eithad my Aadvantage number on my flight to Abu Dhabi tomorrow, and instead ask for a Eithad loyalty number… and somehow use it later? Do they transfer? Booked on Orbitz directly to Eithad… no codeshare.

  14. Lucky, any feel for how long before Etihad will start opening up award space in F on their A380 service to JFK? I’ve noticed they are pretty generous on last minute F space on their 787 service to IAD already.

  15. @Lucky,

    thanks, to quote your last answer:
    “@ SFOflyer — This has no impact on redeeming miles. LAX has a better plane than SFO. 90K for F one-way.”

    Is this LAX-AUH flight on 777 or A380?

  16. @ Mike — It’s anyone’s guess, as they’re quite inconsistent. I’d recommend checking back, as it could happen anytime.

  17. Will an Etihad marketed itinerary partly operated by Air Berlin and partially by American earn EQM’s and Elite Bonus miles? I can’t get a clear answer on the AA site. It doesn’t cover such a scenario as both AB and AA are One World carriers.

  18. @ Puneet — Technically an Etihad marketed flight operated by airberlin wouldn’t be eligible for mileage accrual with AAdvnatage.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *