How to fly from the US to Morocco with points and miles
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Morocco is one of those places that reeks of mystery. Its narrow cobblestone alleyways, colorful souks and opulent mosques feed the soul of the backpacking adventurer, while its stunning beaches and mountain ranges attract the affluent leisure traveler.
Regardless of your travel style, Morocco is a must-do. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get there for practically free — and with points you might already have.
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Morocco reopened its doors to travelers on Feb. 7 as coronavirus-related restrictions were lowered. After the country’s tourism hiatus, there’s never been a better time to visit.
Here’s a quick look at your best options when booking award flights between the U.S. and Morocco.
Flying Blue doesn’t publish an official award chart, but it prices its award flights pretty consistently based on the region to which you travel. For example, flights from the U.S. to Europe price as low as 21,500 miles one-way, plus moderate taxes and fees.
Here’s the reason Flying Blue is such a powerful tool for reaching Morocco: Air France prices Northern Africa (countries such as Morocco and Algeria — and even Israel!) the same as it does Europe. You can fly to Morocco for:
- 21,500 miles in economy.
- 55,000 miles in business class.
Plus, these prices may drop periodically due to Flying Blue Promo Rewards, which discount various routes between 25% and 50%. For example, below you can see business-class flights from New York to Casablanca for 55,000 miles in business class — but the economy prices are only 21,500.
Transfer partners: Flying Blue miles are remarkably easy to earn. It’s a transfer partner with all the major transferrable currencies, including:
- American Express Membership Rewards (points transfer at a 1:1 ratio).
- Bilt Rewards (1:1).
- Capital One miles (1:1).
- Chase Ultimate Rewards (1:1).
- Citi ThankYou (1:1).
- Marriott Bonvoy (3:1).
When you transfer Marriott points to Flying Blue in increments of 60,000, you’ll get a bonus 5,000 airline miles. In other words, 60,000 Marriott points equals 25,000 Flying Blue miles.
Award searches and availability: You can book awards directly at airfrance.us. If your dates are flexible, leave the travel dates blank. You’ll be taken to a convenient calendar view of award prices.
ANA Mileage Club
ANA is a member of Star Alliance, with airline partners that reach just about everywhere on the planet. ANA doesn’t fly to Morocco itself, but a handful of its partners do.
When you select your flights on the ANA website, be sure that you use airlines that don’t incur fuel surcharges. Think partners like United Airlines, Air Canada, LOT Polish Airlines and TAP Air Portugal, or a mixture of said carriers.
One quirk of booking award flights with ANA is that you can only book round-trip flights. If you don’t plan to begin and end your trip in Morocco, ANA miles may not be your best option. You can, however, add a stopover to your trip for no extra miles.
Those who can make it work are handsomely rewarded, though. You can fly from the U.S. to Morocco for:
- 55,000 miles round-trip in economy.
- 88,000 miles round-trip in business class.
Here’s an itinerary from Newark to Casablanca in economy for 55,000 miles and about $86 in taxes and fees.
And here’s a similar itinerary in business class for 88,000 miles and $158 in taxes and fees.
Remember, you can add a stopover and open-jaw to ANA Mileage Club awards for no extra miles. So, you can stretch your points and miles even further by booking something like this: Newark to Lisbon, Lisbon to Barcelona and Casablanca to Newark. This would let you see three cities for the price of one round-trip ticket, plus the cost of a one-way flight from Barcelona to Casablanca.
American Airlines AAdvantage
If you’ve been earning American Airlines miles thanks to the abundance of shopping promotions lately, you may opt to simply book your flight with American Airlines miles. While prices can be slightly higher than with other programs, the value is still amazing — and you can book your flight from many, many more U.S. airports, making it much more convenient.
American Airlines is a partner of Royal Air Maroc, the flag carrier of Morocco. So if you’re headed to Casablanca, you’ll be shuttled to one of the North American cities Royal Air Maroc serves (Miami, Montreal, New York or Washington, D.C.) and then fly nonstop to Morocco. Here’s what you’ll pay:
- 22,500 miles in economy.
- 57,500 miles in business class.
Just note that while you’ll likely find award availability from your home airport, you may not be able to fly business class on your first leg — especially if it’s a short hop. That shouldn’t stop you from booking the itinerary which includes up to eight hours in a lie-flat seat.
Below you can see flights from Miami to Casablanca with both economy- and business-class prices. Below each flight time, you can see the words “Operated by Royal Air Maroc.”
Transfer partners: You can transfer Marriott points to American Airlines at a 3:1 ratio. Again, you’ll earn a bonus 5,000 American Airlines miles if you transfer Marriott points in increments of 60,000 — so 60,000 American Airlines miles equals 25,000 American Airlines miles. Additionally, Bilt Rewards points transfer to American at a 1:1 transfer ratio.
Award searches and availability: Flights can be booked directly on aa.com.
Etihad miles can be extremely valuable for flights on partner airlines, but often abysmal for actual Etihad flights. One sweet spot is to Morocco on Royal Air Maroc. You’ll pay the following for a one-way flight to Morocco:
- 22,000 miles in economy.
- 44,000 miles in business class.
Again, from North America, Royal Air Maroc serves Miami, Washington, D.C., Montreal and New York. While there aren’t many routes to choose from, the price is so low that you may consider booking a positioning flight from your home airport to catch a cheap award flight like this.
Transfer partners: As with ANA, you can transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy to Etihad. Our guide to Amex points will show you how quickly you can accrue the points you need.
Award searches and availability: Unfortunately, you cannot book Royal Air Maroc on the Etihad website. Instead, you’ll have to first find availability on Royal Air Maroc through partners like American Airlines (as illustrated in the screenshot above).
Once you’ve found the flights you want, note the flight numbers, dates, and departure/arrival times and call Etihad Guest at 877-690-0767. You’ll have to give this information to a customer service representative who will book the flight for you. Read this post for more details.
If you’ve got a reservoir of American Express Membership Rewards points, Capital One miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards points, Citi ThankYou points, American Airlines miles or even Marriott Bonvoy points, you’ve got a ticket to Morocco from just about anywhere in the U.S. You’ll get the best deal, however, if you live near the cities Royal Air Maroc serves — namely, Miami, Washington, D.C., and New York.
Be sure to factor in the taxes and fees that accompany each award flight. Some airlines pass along fuel surcharges that can sharply reduce the value of your points.
Featured photo by Tuul and Bruno Morandi/Getty Images.
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