Can You Earn AAdvantage Miles & Elite Credits On Royal Jordanian’s New Etihad Codeshares

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Etihad and Royal Jordanian have just announced a new codeshare partnership which will see the airlines place their respective codes on select routes out of Amman and Abu Dhabi.

With Royal Jordanian being a member of the oneworld alliance a reader has written in to ask if he can earn American Airlines miles and credit towards elite status if he books an Etihad flight though Royal Jordanian.

Fist of all here are details of the new Etihad/Royal Jordanian codeshare:

Under the new codeshare partnership Etihad will place its ‘EY’ code on Royal Jordanian’s flights from Abu Dhabi via Amman to the following destinations:

  • Larnaca
  • Berlin

Other destinations that will be added “soon” include:

  • Algiers
  • Tunis
  • Vienna
  • Montreal

an airplane on the runway

In turn Royal Jordanian will initially place its ‘RJ’ code on Etihad flights between Amman and Abu Dhabi and on flights from Abu Dhabi to…

  • Brisbane
  • Seoul.

Subject to government approval Etihad flights from Abu Dhabi to the following destinations will also carry the Royal Jordanian code:

  • Ahmedabad
  • Bangalore
  • Calicut
  • Cochin
  • Delhi
  • Chennai
  • Mumbai
  • Hyderabad
  • Trivandrum
  • Manila
  • Beijing
  • Shanghai

Now here’s the question Richard sent in:

“I don’t know if you’ve seen the news that Royal Jordanian and Etihad are now codesharing on some routes but do you think we’ll be able to earn american airlines miles and elite qualifying miles on these codeshares?”

With Royal Jordanian being one of American Airlines’ partners in the oneworld alliance this is an understandable question and it would be fantastic if we could earn AAdvantage miles and credits towards elite status by booking Royal Jordanian codeshares on Etihad’s very nice A380 and 787 aircraft…but we can’t.

Etihad Business Class A380
Image courtesy of Peter Russell via Flickr

Here’s why not:

Firstly, the Etihad/Royal Jordanian codeshare announcement makes no mention of reciprocal mileage earning so it’s not even clear if we’ll be able to credit Etihad codeshares to Royal Jordanian’s Royal Club let alone credit them anywhere else.

Secondly, even if there was a reciprocal mileage earning agreement between Royal Jordanian and Etihad it wouldn’t make much difference as this extract from the American Airlines Royal Jordanian page confirms:

earn AAdvantage® miles when you fly on Royal Jordanian marketed and operated flights

When you book an Etihad flight through Royal Jordanian you’re fulfilling the first part of that requirement (the flight is marketed by Royal Jordanian) but you’re failing to fulfil the second requirement as the flight will be operated by Etihad.

The good news is that you can earn AAdvantage Miles from flights taken on Etihad (as this American Airlines page shows) but the flights have to be marketed and operated by Etihad or be a codeshare flight with American Airlines.

Here’s the earnings chart:

a screenshot of a screen

You cannot earn credit towards American Airlines elite status on Etihad operated flights unless it is booked as an AA flight number.

Bottom Line

American is already partners with a number of airlines who also partner with airlines outside of oneworld (e.g. Qantas partners with Emirates and Malaysia Airlines partners with Emirates too) but there’s no way of earning American Airlines miles or elite status credits though those codeshares (unfortunately!).

In time Royal Jordanian Royal Club members may be able to earn miles and elite credits on Royal Jordanian marketed flights operated by Etihad but this won’t extend to American Airlines AAdvantage.