Head to Morocco for 44k points with wide-open, business-class award space

Jun 5, 2020

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Editor’s Note: As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year.

Earlier this week, American Airlines added Royal Air Maroc award bookings to AA.com, finally giving award travelers a simple way to find Royal Air Maroc award space online. This is great news for American flyers, and it’s even better news for those looking to book the carrier’s business class using points and miles — though not necessarily using AAdvantage miles.

While American actually includes Morocco as part of Europe for pricing awards, this generally isn’t the best option. Instead, you can book one-way awards on Royal Air Maroc using Etihad Guest for just 44,000 miles, giving you the ability to transfer points from Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One or Citi ThankYou Rewards.

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If you’re looking to make this redemption, now’s the time to book. We’re finding wide-open business class award space from Royal Air Maroc’s four U.S. gateways to its hub in Casablanca (CMN) in late-2020 and early-2021. Most dates have at least two award seats available too, so it’s perfect for a family vacation or couple’s getaway.

In this article, we’ll show you all the open Royal Air Maroc award space we found in late-2020 and early-2021 and look at some of the best ways to book it. But first, let’s discuss the risks of booking future travel during the coronavirus pandemic.

In This Post

Should I book travel now?

(Photo by Brendan Dorsey/The Points Guy)

Before we dive into Royal Air Maroc award space, let’s address the elephant in the room: booking travel during the coronavirus outbreak.

While there’s no doubt that you shouldn’t be traveling right now, it can be a great time to book future trips. We’re consistently finding solid award space in late-2020 and early-2021 on long-haul business class routes, giving you lots of options for booking future trips. That said, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when booking future award travel.

The first is that we’re not 100% sure when normal travel will resume. The virus’ outbreak is showing signs of slowing in many parts of the world, but it isn’t completely contained yet. Many countries are keeping their borders closed to tourists for the time being and haven’t announced reopening dates just yet. This means you could be forced to cancel your tickets at the last minute, so make sure you understand the award change and cancellation policy of the airline you’re booking with before you book.

Further, the travel industry as a whole is on rocky financial ground, forcing many airlines to request government assistance to stay afloat. With that in mind, make sure you have faith in both the airline you’re booking with and Royal Air Maroc — if either goes under, your ticket (and miles) could be rendered worthless.

For example, only book a Royal Air Maroc ticket with Etihad Guest miles if you think Etihad will survive the travel downturn. If you transfer points from your credit card and Etihad goes under, you could be out of your ticket and the points you transferred.

Open Royal Air Maroc Award Space

(Photo by Brendan Dorsey/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Brendan Dorsey/The Points Guy)

Royal Air Maroc isn’t the most well-known international airline, but you shouldn’t ignore it. The carrier’s long-haul fleet consists entirely of 787 Dreamliners, equipped with a solid, business-class hard product: lie-flat seats in a reverse-herringbone layout. Its service is good too — TPG’s 2019 review said that the food was decent and the staff was attentive.

Coming as a surprise to many, the airline typically operates flights from its Casablanca (CMN) hub to four U.S. gateways: Boston (BOS), Miami (MIA), New York-JFK and Washington-Dulles (IAD). While it is among the airlines that have suspended operations due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’ll hopefully be back up and running later this year. Its schedule right now has the New York flight operating daily, while the Boston, Washington and Miami flights operate three times a week.

We’re finding a pretty incredible amount of award space to and from all of these cities — in the case of New York to Casablanca, there’s open business class award space every day from November to March.

So without further ado, here’s a quick look at all of the transatlantic Royal Air Maroc award space we’re finding between November 2020 and March 2021. Each of these dates has award space for at least two passengers, but some dates may have more seats available.

Boston (BOS) to/from Casablanca (CMN)

Outbound:

  • November: 2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28 and 30
  • December: 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 28, 31
  • January: 2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28, 30
  • February: 1, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27
  • March: 1, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25

Inbound:

  • November: 2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28 and 30
  • December: 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 28, 31
  • January: 2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28, 30
  • February: 1, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27
  • March: 1, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27

Miami (MIA) to/from Casablanca (CMN)

Outbound:

  • November: 1, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27, 29
  • December: 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27, 30
  • January: 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29, 31
  • February: 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 28
  • March: 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26

Inbound:

  • November: 1, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27, 29
  • December: 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27, 30
  • January: 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29, 31
  • February: 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 28
  • March: 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26

New York-JFK to/from Casablanca (CMN)

Outbound:

  • November: 1-30
  • December: 1-31
  • January: 1-31
  • February: 1-28
  • March: 1-26

Inbound:

  • November: 2-30
  • December: 1-31
  • January: 1-31
  • February: 1-28
  • March: 1-27

Washington-Dulles to/from Casablanca (CMN)

Outbound:

  • November: 1, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27, 29
  • December: 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27, 30
  • January: 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29, 31
  • February: 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 28
  • March: 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26

Inbound:

  • November: 1, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27, 29
  • December: 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27, 30
  • January: 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29, 31
  • February: 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 28
  • March: 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26

Best ways to book Royal Air Maroc awards

Etihad Airways sign at an airport
(Photo by Sorbis/Shutterstock)

The best ways to book Royal Air Maroc business class with miles is through Eithad Guest and AAdvantage. Etihad Guest is the cheapest option and best for nonstop flights, while American AAdvantage is the easiest option and best for connecting itineraries.

Royal Air Maroc Etihad Award Chart

As mentioned earlier, transatlantic tickets in Royal Air Maroc business class cost just 44,000 Etihad Guest miles one-way with minimal taxes and fees. In order to book the ticket, though, you’ll have to find award space on AA.com and call Etihad Guest to book. This can be a time-consuming process, but you’ll walk away with a great deal.

Unlike AAdvantage, Etihad Guest has credit card transfer partners too. You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou points to Etihad Guest at a 1:1 ratio, and you can transfer Capital One Miles at a 2:1.5 ratio. In addition, you can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to Etihad Guest at a 3:1 ratio, and you’ll get a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriot Bonvoy points you transfer.

READ MORE: How to redeem Amex Membership Rewards points for maximum value

But that’s not to say that booking with AAdvantage miles is a bad deal. As noted above, American recently moved Morocco from its Africa to Europe on its award chart, so a one-way business class ticket from the U.S. to Casablanca (or vice-versa) costs 57,500 miles. Plus, since the award space shows on AA.com, you can book these award tickets without having to call the airline.

Another upside to booking with AAdvantage is that you can add connections to Europe for no additional miles. For example, you can book a ticket from New York to Casablanca to Madrid (MAD) and pay the same 57,500 miles one-way. Royal Air Maroc has a large European network, serving cities like Brussels (BRU), Copenhagen (CPH) and Paris (CDG), so keep this in mind the next time you’re planning a trip to Europe.

Unfortunately, American doesn’t have any credit card transfer partners, but there’s a slew of other ways to earn AAdvantage miles. If you need to quickly top up your mileage balance, you can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to AAdvantage at the same 3:1 transfer ratio discussed earlier.

Bottom line

Redeeming Etihad Guest miles for transatlantic Royal Air Maroc award tickets is one of the best deals in the miles and points world. This award space may not last, so now could be a great time to book if you fancy a post-coronavirus outbreak trip to North Africa or Europe. Just make sure you understand the risks of booking travel during a pandemic before you transfer points.

Feature photo by Brendan Dorsey/The Points Guy

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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