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Where Should You Bank Miles When Flying Royal Air Maroc?

by on May 25, 2014 · 3 comments

in American Express, Avios, Iberia, Royal Air Maroc, Sunday Reader Questions, Video Blog Post

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Recently, TPG reader Rosie emailed me to ask:

“If the airline I’m soon flying, Royal Air Moroc, is not affiliated with any alliance, am I out of luck when it comes to banking miles? Does this mean that the miles won’t count?”

I’ve been to Morocco, and it’s a pretty amazing country. However, I’ve never flown their official airline, Royal Air Maroc. I’ve read some things about their maintenance track record that convinced me I wouldn’t want to fly with them unless I absolutely had to. However, despite getting listed as #14 on Business Insider’s “20 Worst Airlines To Fly Economy”, the Aviation Safety Network reports only 12 accidents/incidents since 1958, and their SkyTrax ratings aren’t too bad. That said, considering that Morocco is just south of Europe, there are plenty of European carriers I’d rather fly.

Since Rosie is choosing to fly Royal Air Maroc, though, she’ll be relieved to hear that while the airline isn’t in an alliance, their Safar Flyer loyalty program does have a few transfer partners. I think the Royal Air Maroc partner that makes the most sense for miles-banking is Iberia. The Spanish carrier is owned by British Airways, and the two airlines share the Avios mileage program. Note that you’ll only earn .3 Avios on discounted Economy fares, but you’ll earn 1 Avios per mile flown for full-fare Economy, and a 50% bonus for Business and First Class. Furthermore, Iberia Avios have some decent short-haul redemption options, and they’re also a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards. So go ahead and top up your Avios account, and at the very least earn yourself a short-haul award.

Royal Air Maroc is the official airline of Morocco

Royal Air Maroc is the official airline of Morocco.

Otherwise, good luck flying Royal Air Maroc. I have friends who’ve flown the airline without many good experiences to speak of, but you could well prove them wrong. Besides, it’s not about the flight, it’s about the destination!

For more information related to this post, check out:

Destination of the Week: Marrakech
How To Get Around the Glitch Moving Avios Between British Airways And Iberia
Maximizing Iberia Flights With British Airways Avios
The Ultimate Guide To American Express Membership Rewards Airline Transfers

Let me know if you have any other questions by messaging me on FacebookTweeting me or emailing me at [email protected]

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Jeremy

    I flew Royal Air Maroc from LHR to Casablanca recently. While checking in I asked to credit my miles to Iberia and they told me that they would never arrive in my account. I considered ignoring him and later trying to deal with it, but instead I chose to create a Royal Air Maroc account, get their signup bonus (I think 3K miles) and be done with it. I’ve since discovered RAM has AWFUL customer service, so I’m glad I did it this way.

  • Ivan M.

    I flew Royal Air Maroc last year. Luckily, they were very short domestic flights. My advice – bring a fan! Our midday flight from RAK to CMN had no air-conditioning. It was not pleasant to say the least. The other flight from CMN to FEZ was air-conditioned but we waited literally over an hour for our bags. Among things that appeared before our bags were a folding chair and something that looked like an animal carcass wrapped in paper. Looking back, the whole experience was fun as part of an exotic trip. But yeah, Royal Air Maroc is more about adventure (Indiana Jones style) than about miles…

  • Ed

    Ah…Royal Air Maroc; I remember them well…

    Last year, we flew with RAM from Marseille to Marrakesh with a scheduled two hour, 20 minute layover in Casablanca. We arrived at CMN and made our way to the gate. Only then did we find out that RAM had canceled our flight and put us on the next one, scheduled to leave an hour and 45 minutes later. To this day, I’m convinced that the airline consolidated two flights in the interest of frugality.

    This particular gate was isolated from the rest of the airport’s terminals, with a separate security checkpoint. It had nothing but a snack bar that only took cash, no information desk, no ATMs or money exchange, no wifi, and not even a magazine rack, so the 4+ hour wait was…well… “uneventful”.

    Once we got on the plane, I learned something else about RAM’s frugality; the rows are incredibly close to one another. Because I’m 6’9″ tall, my knees are normally (and painfully) pressed into the hardware of the seat tray in front of me, but this was the first time that I *literally* could not sit down because the seats were so close to one another. They swapped me with a person in the exit row, and everything was fine.

    That said, if I had to do it all over again, I’d opt for a direct flight on another airline, even if it means flying on a different day of the week… or on RyanAir (I can’t believe I just said that).

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