American Airlines explains how their partnership with British Airways will affect the AAdvantage program

American Airlines flew us to London, then we were given to British Airways
After 13 years of trying, American Airlines and British Airways finally got regulatory approval to create a Trans-Atlantic Cooperation Alliance that will allow them to co-ordinate their schedules, co-market trans-Atlantic travel, and better integrate their frequent flyer programs.

Before approval, American was allowed sell tickets for flights connecting to BA flights in London as their own under a code share agreement, but they weren’t allowed to sell tickets on British Airways flights across the Atlantic.  And even though they were partners, AAdvantage members weren’t allowed to earn AAdvantage miles for trans-Atlantic travel on British Airways, now because of approval, you’ll not only earn AAdvantage miles when traveling to London on BA, but you’ll be able to redeem your miles for trans-Atlantic travel on BA planes.

Starting today, members of both airlines’ frequent flyer programs will earn miles when flying either carrier.   Overall, it looks to be an enhancement to the AAdvantage program and most people will be pleased with the improvements.  The only thing that might be seen as a negative is that British Airways charges a fuel surcharge on award tickets.  So if you redeem miles for travel on BA, you’ll not only have to pay taxes on your ticket, you’ll also have to pay this charge (this is something that members of the BA frequent flyer program already have to do).  American doesn’t collect a fuel surcharge on paid trans-Atlantic travel, so AAdvantage award tickets aren’t affected.  Read more about it here.

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I just received this from American:

American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia are now making the oneworld® Alliance even better by bringing you more flights, more convenience, and more opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles for your transatlantic travel. There has never been a better time to be an AAdvantage® member. Beginning October 1, 2010, you will be able to enjoy more rewards and privileges across all three airlines.

  • More Ways to Earn Miles
    AAdvantage members can now earn AAdvantage miles on all American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia flights.* And the miles earned for flights on all three airlines count toward elite status qualification.

    In addition, when you fly discount economy fares on any British Airways flight or any Iberia transatlantic flight, you will now earn 100% of the base miles flown — just like when you fly on American.

    Plus, AAdvantage Executive Platinum® and AAdvantage Platinum® members will now earn their elite status bonus miles for all of their travel on British Airways. View the details on more ways to earn miles.

  • More Flights For Award Travel
    Your miles can be redeemed for all flights on American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia.* The three carriers’ combined route network serves over 400 destinations in more than 100 countries, to give you more convenient schedule options when you are ready to claim a well-deserved award.
  • More Premium Privileges
    The new, expanded relationship will also bring you more opportunities to use miles to upgrade, and continue the reciprocal lounge access for transatlantic customers flying in First Class or Business Class, as well as oneworld Emerald® and oneworld Sapphire® status members. For complete details about upgrades and lounge privileges go to www.aa.com/upgrade andwww.aa.com/loungeaccess.

As an AAdvantage member, over time you will see more benefits as we continue to work with oneworld airlines to collectively enhance our product offerings and network.

For more details, visit www.aa.com/nowmore.

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