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No, American and Etihad's partnership is not ending

March 6 2020
3 min read
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American Airlines' AAdvantage program includes partnerships with Oneworld airlines along with some notable carriers that aren't full alliance members, including Air Tahiti Nui and Fiji Airways. This morning, it briefly appeared that one of these partnerships was coming to an end, as One Mile at a Time noted that Etihad had been pulled from American's list of partners on AA.com. While the page touting the partnership is still accessible, this was an ominous sign.

Thankfully, for anyone looking to book Etihad's fantastic first-class with AAdvantage miles, you can breathe a sigh of relief, as an American spokesperson has clarified that the partnership remains intact and that Etihad was removed "in error" from the partner page. It has now been corrected.

Unfortunately, it's worth noting that Etihad awards are no longer appearing on AA.com, a functionality that was added less than a year ago. Sure enough, here are the search results from ExpertFlyer (which is owned by TPG's parent company, Red Ventures) for a flight from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to New York-JFK in November:

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The award inventory also appears through the Etihad Guest program:

However, none of the three classes appear on American's website:

That being said, you can still book Etihad flights over the phone. I called American and spoke to an agent, who was able to pull up Etihad award tickets in all classes of service within 20 seconds.

An American spokesperson confirmed in an email to TPG that the lack of online award inventory was related to a technical glitch:

“Our teams are working to resolve a technical error impacting Etihad (EY) award itineraries, and have temporarily removed the ability to book awards with EY as the governing carrier on aa.com. Customers may contact our Reservations department to book EY awards in the interim, and we apologize for the error and the inconvenience.”

Bottom line

For the time being, it appears that both of these issues are technical in nature. However, if you've been eyeing an Etihad award ticket with AAdvantage miles (or an American flight with Etihad Guest miles), I'd still encourage you to book these sooner rather than later. Rumors have circulated for some time now about American and Etihad cutting ties, and given American's recent reinstatement of codesharing with Oneworld member Qatar — a key competitor of Etihad — it wouldn't be surprising to see changes to the partnership in the future.

WATCH: TPG staff reviews all four classes on Etihad

Remember that loyalty currencies should never be a long-term investment, and redeeming American miles is a fantastic way to enjoy Etihad's First Apartment or its solid business-class product, so don't wait until it's too late.

Featured photo by (Photo by Javier Rodriguez / The Points Guy)

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    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

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    670-850
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Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

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  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees