Last Chance to Use AAdvantage Miles on Jet Airways
Airline partnerships are a great thing for award travelers, as they unlock additional earning and redemption opportunities outside of flights on a single carrier's metal. Unfortunately, these agreements aren't always mutually beneficial, and earlier this year we learned that one such partnership (between American and Jet Airways) would be no longer as of the end of 2017. As a result, you now only have a couple of weeks left to redeem AAdvantage miles on Jet Airways, so if you've been eyeing one of these redemptions, it's time to pull the trigger!
Jet Airways doesn't have a massive worldwide route network — in fact, only has service from one North American airport: a nonstop daily flight from Toronto (YYZ) to Amsterdam (AMS). However, it does offer service from London (LHR), Paris (CDG) and Amsterdam (AMS) to several cities in India and has extensive domestic connections from there. The carrier also services many Middle Eastern destinations along with Hong Kong (HKG), Singapore (SIN) and Bangkok (BKK), giving you a number of options.
If you spring for business class, you'll enjoy lie-flat seats on all of the carrier's long haul aircraft, and if your desired routing includes a 777 leg, you also have the option of booking first class (for an idea of the hard product, check out TPG's review of an Etihad-operated flight on a 777 wet-leased from Jet Airways).
Here's a sampling of the number of AAdvantage miles you'd need on one-way Jet Airways-operated flights:
Unfortunately you can't book these awards online, so you'll need to call the AAdvantage Reservations line at 1-800-882-8880. However, you can use ExpertFlyer to search for both economy and business-class award inventory, and availability is quite good. For example, I see at least two seats in business class and 5+ in economy on the Toronto to Amsterdam flight most days through the summer, giving you quite a bit of flexibility when it comes to crossing the Atlantic.
That being said, with the partnership ending at the end of the year, there are a few important things to keep in mind:
- All award travel must be booked AND ticketed by December 31, 2017. As a result, if you're planning to redeem your AAdvantage miles on Jet Airways, I would try to book by December 28 or 29 to allow plenty of time for the award to be ticketed and confirmed.
- Travel is valid for 1 year after ticket date but must be flown by December 31, 2018.
- You won't be able to make changes to any Jet segments after 2017. In other words, be sure of your plans! While this explicitly only mentions Jet segments, I wouldn't count on being able to make any changes to these itineraries once the clock strikes midnight on January 1, especially if your change involves a redeposit of your miles.
Finally, it's important to note that American's routing rules prohibit routing via a third region on an award ticket (with a few exceptions), so you wouldn't be able to add a connecting AA flight to Toronto to then fly to Amsterdam. However, Europe is an allowable region to transit from North America to the Indian Subcontinent, making Toronto to India via Amsterdam in the above chart an acceptable itinerary.
Fortunately, even though you'll no longer be able to redeem AAdvantage miles on Jet Airways in 2018, you're not shut off from other redemption options. The carrier announced a new partnership with Delta at the end of 2016, and the flights are even searchable on Delta.com:
In addition, the carrier's JetPrivilege program was just added as a Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer partner earlier this year, so you can now redeem points earned on cards like the Citi Prestige Card for Jet Airways flights. However, American is the winner when it comes to award rates for the Toronto to Amsterdam flights across all classes of service, as Jet Airways charges 37,500 in economy, 75,000 in business and 112,500 in first. Yet another reason to pull the trigger now if you're interested!
Having an airline partnership end is never a good thing, as it reduces your flexibility when it comes to earning and/or redeeming your hard-earned miles. That being said, the upcoming breakup of American and Jet Airways at least came with plenty of notice (and isn't surprising given Jet's new arrangement with Delta). If you're thinking of redeeming your AAdvantage miles on Jet Airways, you only have until the end of the year to finalize your plans, so get planning before it's too late!