Yesterday I wrote about how American seems to have loosened up the restrictions on their routing rules a bit when it comes to connecting in the Middle East on AAdvantage award tickets.
American has a rule whereby you can’t transit a third region on an award ticket when you’re traveling between two regions. There’s a list of exceptions, whereby you can transit a third region when traveling between two regions.
Via JonNYC at TravelingBetter, it looks like American has liberalized their award routing rules for connections in the Middle East when traveling between two regions. But they only apply if connecting to/from Qatar Airways in Doha.
Here’s what JonNYC has to say:
OK, so new exceptions for award routings. A new category of “QR -> QR” exceptions.
That is to say, new 3rd region connections that are legal as a single award as long as it’s a QR->QR connection only.
South America Zone 2 -> Africa (Europe still allowed as well)
Africa -> Asia 1 (Asia 1 still allowed as well)
Africa -> Asia 2
Europe -> Asia 1 (Asia 2 still allowed as well)
Europe -> Asia 2
So these all make perfect sense. At the time the rules were written these weren’t added as exceptions because Qatar Airways wasn’t a partner. But there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to connect in Doha when enroute from Europe to Asia, Africa to Asia, etc.
Not mentioned above is North America to Africa, which definitely now also allows connections in Doha. I was able to hold a ticket from Philadelphia to Doha to Johannesburg for 75,000 miles in business class.
Anyway, it’s great that American is loosening up the rules here. The above suggests this is specific to Qatar Airways, though I hope that the same will apply to Etihad Airways as well, which is my preferred airline between the two, as I find they offer both a better first and business class product (and seem to treat their employees considerably better).