American Airlines and Etihad Airways upgrade their partnership. Earn AAdvantage Miles on AA marketed flights to Abu Dhabi

Etihad Airways Onboard Cabin Tour

American Airlines and Etihad Airways, the national airline of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates just announced that they will expand their existing codeshare relationship and allow members of each others’ frequent flyer programs to earn miles on codeshare marketed flights. American operates codeshare flights on Etihad flights out of Chicago and JFK to Abu Dhabi. For now you’ll only be able to earn AAdvantage miles on these flights, but coming later this year you’ll also be able to redeem your miles for flights operated by Etihad.  From the press release:

Etihad Airways, the Abu Dhabi-based national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and American Airlines announced today that they will build on their existing codeshare relationship by offering their passengers the opportunity to earn frequent flyer miles on flights booked on each other’s flights.

Starting June 1, members of Etihad Airways Etihad Guest frequent flyer program will be able to earn miles on eligible American Airlines flights. Likewise, members of American Airlines AAdvantage program will be able to earn miles on eligible Etihad Airways flights. The airlines plan to expand this agreement later this year to include mileage redemption across the two airline’s networks.

The codeshare agreement between Etihad and American, in place since August 2009, delivers a combined codeshare network of more than 50 destinations worldwide.

On Chicago-O’Hare and New York-JFK – Abu Dhabi routes, AAdvantage mileage accrual is valid only on American marketed/Etihad operated flights. On Chicago-O’Hare, New York-JFK and Toronto – Abu Dhabi routes, Etihad Guest mileage accrual is valid only on Etihad marketed and operated flights.

Etihad Airways was created by royal decree by the emir of Abu Dhabi in 2003 and his grown in just these few years to serve 66 destinations from their operations base at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Round-trip coach fares to Abu Dhabi from ORD and JFK on AA codeshare flights are about $2,600, which is almost $300 more than non codeshare flights, but for the extra money you’ll earn 14,550 round-trip AAdvantage Miles from Chicago and 13,734 round-trip miles from JFK.  You’ll also earn elite qualifying miles just as you normally would on eligible American Airlines operated flights.

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