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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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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.
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.
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)