Award Rules (AA)

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AAdvantage Award Rules

This page contains additional information that is not contained in the AA.com Awards section; please start there for all of your award research, and use this page to fill in additional details.

AA offers three types of awards:

  • American Airlines Award (origin and destination based)
    • All travel must be on flights operated by American Airlines and/or its affiliates (American Eagle and American Connection).
    • Award Chart
  • AAdvantage All Airline Award (origin and destination based)
    • Travel must include at least one AAdvantage participant other than American Airlines and its affiliates.
    • Award Chart
  • oneworld Award (trip mileage based)
    • Travel must include two or more oneworld partners and/or their affiliates (see Affiliates (OW)) other than American Airlines/its affiliates.
    • Award Chart

Booking

  • All award travel is booked on the operating carrier, i.e., no codeshares allowed, except that travel may be booked on a QF-marketed but JQ-operated flight.
  • For booking inventory, see Award Booking Codes (AA)
  • Voluntary downgrading of individual segments to lower class of service is permitted on all awards, without reduction in miles needed or refund.

American Airlines Awards

Routing

  • Routing allowed is the same as per AA fares. If the routing is based on Maximum Permitted Mileage (MPM), a 25% overage is allowed.

Stopovers

DEFINITION

A connection is considered a stopover when it exceeds 4 hours if "domestic" (50 United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, St. Croix or St. Thomas), 24 hours elsewhere. Last scheduled flight in/first scheduled flight out does not count as a stopover even if the duration is more than four hours.

48 contiguous United States, Alaska and Canada free travel award

  • No stopovers are allowed.

Hawaii free travel award

  • No stopovers are allowed.

Caribbean/Mexico free travel award

  • No stopovers are allowed.

International free travel awards

(Central America/South America/Europe/Japan/Asia/India)

  • Stopover allowed at North American gateway.
  • When travel is wholly within Central America or South America, connections or stopovers in North America are not allowed.
  • A gateway is any city where a direct flight (even if with stops, as long as it has one flight number and is sold as one segment) leaves from or arrives into the country or area.

Roundtrip upgrade/companion/discount awards

  • Based on the rules of the fare purchased

One Way upgrade awards

  • One stopover allowed

Open jaws

  • Not permitted.

AAdvantage All Airline Awards

Stopovers

DEFINITION

  • Passenger has 24 hours to connect if travel includes points outside of North America.
  • Passenger has 4 hours to connect if travel is wholly within North America.
  • If there are no scheduled flights meeting the 4 hour timeframe, regardless of availability, the passenger must take the next scheduled flight but may not exceed 24 hours. If the connection exceeds 24 hours, it will be considered a stopover.
  • If there is a non-stop flight that departs after the 4 hour window and arrives at the destination earlier than a connecting flight within the 4 hour window, the passenger may be booked on the (later) non-stop flight.
  • Co-terminals are considered the same point.

Within North America

  • No stopovers are allowed.

North America to/from other regions

  • One stopover is allowed at the North American Gateway.
  • The gateway is the city where a direct flight (even if with stops, as long as it has one flight number and is sold as one segment) leaves North America or arrives from the other region.

Travel between or within all other regions

  • No stopovers are allowed.

Open jaws

  • No open jaws are allowed. Each destination ends a one-way award.

Routing

General rules

  • Routing allowed is the same as per applicable carrier's fare. If the routing is based on Maximum Permitted Mileage (MPM), a 25% overage is allowed.
  • When selling seats for through flights and the desired inventory is not available, you cannot opt to sell the flight point-to-point. If sold point-to-point, the error response MULTIPLE SEGMENTS FOR SAME FLIGHT - SELL AS ONE SEGMENT will be received, indicating this booking is not allowed. Overriding the error check by ending the PNR twice is not acceptable.

Within North America

(U.S. (including Hawaii and Alaska), Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, The Bahamas and the Caribbean)

  • Awards wholly within North America are valid on all partner airlines that market and operate their own service within North America.
  • Travel between two cities in the United States via Canada/Mexico is not allowed.
  • Travel between two cities in Canada/Mexico via the United States is not allowed.
  • Routing allowed is the same as per applicable carrier's fare. If the routing is based on Maximum Permitted Mileage (MPM), a 25% overage is allowed.
  • Connections of more than 4 hours are considered a stopover unless the passenger is taking the next scheduled flight and it is outside the 4 hours. Any connection of 24 hours is always considered a stopover.
  • MX award travel is not allowed on non-stop flights between Mexico and Canada
  • Award travel between Hawaii and North America does not include inter-island flights.
  • Inter-island award travel will allow a maxium of 2 flight segments.

North America to/from other regions

  • Award travel to/from North America is allowed on any combination of carriers that service the applicable region except as noted below.
  • Routing allowed is the same as per applicable carrier's fare. If the routing is based on Maximum Permitted Mileage (MPM), a 25% overage is allowed.
  • Travel to Europe, Africa and the Indian Sub-Continent/Middle East must be via the Atlantic only.
  • Travel to Asia and the South Pacific must be via the Pacific.
  • Travel to/from Fiji/Papeete cannot be via Australia/New Zealand.
  • Travel to Easter Island (IPC) must be via Papeete (PPT) or use two awards (IPC is considered South Pacific, see below)
  • North American travel to/from Guam or Saipan, the transpacific segment must be on AA.
  • Mexicana award travel is not allowed on non-stop flights between Mexico and Canada
  • Passenger must travel the most direct routing.
  • Passenger has 6 hours to connect. If there are no scheduled flights within 6 hours, regardless of availability, the passenger must take the next scheduled flight but, may not exceed 24 hours.
  • A connection with more than 24 hours will be considered a stopover.

Travel wholly within or between all other regions

  • These awards do not allow a connection via North America and therefore, do not include travel on American Airlines.
  • Routing allowed is the same as per applicable carrier's fare. If the routing is based on Maximum Permitted Mileage (MPM), a 25% overage is allowed.
  • Connecting travel is not allowed outside the region or regions.
  • Passenger has 6 hours to connect. If there are no scheduled flights within 6 hours, regardless of availability, the passenger must take the next scheduled flight but, may not exceed 24 hours.
  • A connection with more than 24 hours will be considered a stopover. A stopover is allowed within Mexico for travel wholly within Mexico, as Mexico is considered North America.
  • The "wholly within listed countries" award for Australia/New Zealand is valid only on QF. Travel on other partners requires the SPacific-SPacific region award.

NOTE: Travel via a third region

  • Travel via a third region is not allowed (Note the exception table below).
Routing exceptions
  • Connection in Europe allowed when traveling between North America and the Indian Sub-Continent / Middle East.
  • Connection in Europe allowed when traveling between North America and Africa.
  • Connection in Europe allowed when traveling between Central / South America Zone 1 and the Indian Sub-Continent / Middle East.
  • Connection in Europe allowed when traveling between Central / South America Zone 1 and Africa.
  • Connection in Europe allowed when traveling between South America 2 and the Indian Sub-Continent / Middle East.
  • Connection in Asia 1 allowed when traveling between North America and Asia 2.
  • Connection in Asia 2 allowed when traveling between the Indian Sub-continent / Middle East and Asia 1.
  • Connection in Asia 2 allowed when traveling between Asia 1 and Africa.
  • Connection in Asia 2 allowed when traveling between Asia 1 and Europe.
  • Connection in Asia 2 allowed when traveling between Asia 1 and South Pacific.
  • Connection in Asia 2 allowed when traveling between Asia 1 and the Indian Sub-continent / Middle East.
  • Connection in Asia 2 allowed when traveling between the Indian Sub-Continent / Middle East and the South Pacific.
  • Connection in South America 2 allowed when traveling between Central / South America Zone 1 and the South Pacific.
  • Connection in the Asia 2 airport of Singapore or Bangkok (or possibly in addition, the Asia 1 airport of Tokyo Narita or Osaka) allowed when traveling between Europe and the South Pacific.

Geographic definitions

  • North America = U.S. (including Hawaii and Alaska), Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, The Bahamas and the Caribbean.
  • Europe = Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia
  • Central/South America Zone 1 = Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Venezuela
  • South America Zone 2 = Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile (excluding Easter Island), Paraguay, Uruguay
  • Africa = Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Melilla, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Reunion, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
  • Indian Sub Continent/Middle East = Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan
  • Asia 1 = Japan, Korea, Mongolia
  • Asia 2 = Bhutan, Brunei, China, Guam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Saipan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam
  • South Pacific = Australia, Easter Island, Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Tonga, Western Samoa

oneworld Awards

  • See applicability at top.
  • Mileage based.
  • Unlimited stopovers.
  • Cannot exceed 16 segments. Intermediate open jaws count as one segment each, as does transferring between airports in the same area, even if the airports are co-terminals (e.g., JFK/EWR/LGA). But a transfer between co-terminals does not count as an open jaw.
  • Maximum of two connections at an airport plus one stopover at that airport.
  • No stopover or connection in the airport of origination.
  • Stopover means more than four hours for domestic flights and more than six hours for international flights. If there are no scheduled flights within this timeframe, regardless of availability, you must take the next scheduled flight but may not exceed 24 hours. If the connection exceeds 24 hours, it will be considered a stopover. If there is a non-stop flight that departs after the 4/6 hour window and arrives at the destination earlier than a connecting flight within the 4/6 hour window, the passenger may be booked on the (later) non-stop flight. It is not necessary to check every flight/carrier to ensure passenger is booked on next scheduled flight.
  • Back-tracking permitted.
  • One open jaw allowed in the entire itinerary.
  • Trip miles are the sum of AAdvantage (not IATA) mileage of all segments, excluding surface segments. (Until 31 Aug 2008, trip miles were the sum of AAdvantage (not IATA) mileage between origination and destination airports of all stopover destinations, i.e., connecting cities were excluded.)
  • Free change of date and flight but not of routing or airline.

Qantas

Award segments on Qantas must be booked by 24 hours before the scheduled departure date. This is not an AA rule, but a general one from Qantas, who zeroes out award availability at T-24 hours.

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