American Airlines moves Morocco to Europe award region

Apr 24, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

While airline alliances are generally rather set in stone, the Oneworld alliance has had an exciting six months. The action kicked off with Delta poaching LATAM out of Oneworld, and carried on into 2020 with Royal Air Maroc joining Oneworld and the announcement that Alaska Airlines would join too.

Royal Air Maroc represents a huge addition as it’s the first African airline to join Oneworld, but because of its geographical position in North Africa, it also offers seamless connections to Europe and the Middle East. American Airlines seems to have read into this geography, and as reported by One Mile At a Time, AAdvantage has restructured its award chart to include Morocco in the Europe region.

Get Coronavirus travel updates. Stay on top of industry impacts, flight cancellations, and more.

This is great for travelers based in North America who were looking to fly with Oneworld’s newest airline to Morocco, as award prices from the U.S. to Europe are substantially cheaper than those from the U.S. to Africa. One-way AAdvantage awards from the U.S. to Europe cost the following amounts:

  • Economy: 30,000 miles
  • Business: 57,500 miles

While one-way awards to Africa cost the following amounts:

  • Economy: 40,000 miles
  • Business: 75,000 miles

Related: Maximizing redemptions with American Airlines AAdvantage

This represents a savings of roughly 25% whether you choose to fly in economy or business, but it also means you can fly from the U.S. to Morocco and connect on to other European destinations for the same price. In fact, one of the best opportunities that this change opens up is the ability to fly from the U.S. to Europe via Casablanca (CMN) and avoid the hefty fuel surcharges that normally come from crossing the Atlantic on Oneworld carrier British Airways.

Of course, if you planned on using Morocco as a jumping-off point to visit the rest of Africa, this will make those awards more expensive. Flying from the U.S. to Africa via Morocco will price out as a more expensive award to Africa, while one-way awards from Morocco to the rest of Africa will now cost 30,000 miles in economy or 55,000 miles in business class, meaning you could end up paying as much for a two-hour regional flight from Casablanca as you would for the entire transatlantic leg from the U.S. to Morocco.

Royal Air Maroc normally operates nonstop flights from its hub in Casablanca to Boston (BOS), New York-JFK, Washington Dulles (IAD) and Miami (MIA) — though these frequencies have been suspended in light of the coronavirus outbreak. All U.S. routes are operated by Boeing 787 aircraft, though the hard product on the 787-9 is much better than the 787-8 so you’ll want to check your seat map accordingly (and look for 1-2-1 seating not 2-2-2).

Related: To Morocco, in style: A review of Royal Air Maroc’s 787-9 in business from NYC to Casablanca

Royal Air Maroc’s 787-9 business class. (Photo by Brendan Dorsey/The Points Guy.)

While Morocco is most certainly not part of the European continent, this decision makes sense (in addition to being a plus for U.S.-based travelers). The flight from JFK to Casablanca is only 150 miles longer than the flight from JFK to London Heathrow (LHR), and much shorter than most nonstop flights between the U.S. to central/southern Africa.

Related: The best ways to get to Europe with points and miles

Bottom line

Royal Air Maroc joining Oneworld was a positive development on its own, but American Airline’s decision to reshuffle its award chart, and in the process knock 25% off the cost of these awards only further sweetens this deal. Whether Morocco is your final destination or you plan on using this as a unique and cheap way to route to Europe, this is something worth keeping on your radar moving forward.

Featured photo by Benét J. Wilson/The Points Guy.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.

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.