Rumor: Etihad to Join Star Alliance, Ending American Airlines Partnership (Book Award Flights Now)

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This is yet to be confirmed, but rumors are swirling online that very soon, Etihad will terminate its relationship with American Airlines and join Star Alliance. 

Currently, Etihad isn’t part of any of the big 3 alliances.  But they partner with with American Airlines, which means you can redeem American Airlines miles for Etihad flights (at a reasonable rate), and vice versa.  At least for now.

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Are Etihad and American Airlines Ending Their Partnership? Rumors Say Etihad Will Soon Join Star Alliance

Here’s more about it.

Etihad and American Airlines Ending Partnership, Etihad to Join Star Alliance (Unconfirmed)

If this leak is indeed true, it’ll mean the end of redeeming American Airlines miles for Etihad flights.  This has been a good way to book Etihad’s luxurious Business and First Class, and cheaper than redeeming Etihad miles for the same flights.

For folks who have plans to redeem American Airlines miles for Etihad award flights, I’d lock-in your bookings as soon as possible.  Richard Kerr over at Award Travel 101 on Facebook says award availability could disappear today or tomorrow (Monday, February 25, 2019).  Remember, to book Etihad with American Airlines miles, you’ll have to call AA (you can’t do it online).

This would be a huge blow to folks who earn American Airlines miles from cards like the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® or Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® for the purpose of redeeming them on partner airlines, like Etihad. The information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Etihad First Class Is Among the Best Around – and Many of Us Use American Airlines Miles to Book It

But if Etihad joins Star Alliance (as early as the end of March according to rumor), that opens up a whole new opportunity if you collect miles from Star Alliance airlines like United Airlines and Air Canada.

It’s also good news for folks who earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points (United Airlines is a Chase transfer partner) or AMEX Membership Rewards points (Air Canada is an AMEX transfer partner).

We’ll monitor this and keep you updated of any changes or confirmation of the rumor.

Is this good or bad news for your travel plans?  Let us know in the comments.

(Hat Tip:  Richard Kerr @AwrdTravel101)

Jasmin Baron was an editor at Million Mile Secrets. She covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel. Her work has appeared in The Points Guy and Business Insider.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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