On Friday American made a change to their oneworld and other partner award chart. They split up two regions that used to be a single region on the web page.
The “Middle East / Indian Subcontinent” region has now become two separate regions: “Middle East” and “Indian Subcontinent”
There has been no change to award pricing, however.
My fear when I saw this was twofold:
- Whether this suggested future price changes for travel to one region versus the other, hence the desire to decouple.
- How this would affect routing rules, the flights we’re able to take when booking awards.
Neither of these appear to be the case at this time. While American does have a “third region rule,” where you are only able to connect in a region other than that of your origin or destination where there is a specific exception allowing it, and so I worried we might not be able to use Etihad between the US and India or the Maldives as a single award any longer, that’s not the case.
Instead, I’m told this is purely a cosmetic change on the website, in order to be clearer to members which countries now allow transpacific travel and not just transatlantic routings.
Cathay Pacific First Class
Last month American AAdvantage improved its award routing rules to allow travel to the ‘Indian Subcontinent’ via the Pacific on American Airlines and on Cathay Pacific. You no longer have to fly exclusively via the Atlantic, for instance, when traveling between Los Angeles and Delhi.
By separately defining the countries that are part of the Indian subcontinent they make clear where this applies:
- Sri Lanka
And that this exception doesn’t apply to travel to the Mideast region (Bahrain; Egypyt; Iran; Iraq; Israel; Jordan; Kuwait; Lebanon; Oman; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; United Arab Emirates).
In practice, of course, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan aren’t actually eligible for transpacific routings because Cathay Pacific doesn’t serve those countries and flights must be via Hong Kong.
Cathay Pacific Destinations in the Indian Subcontinent Region
Put another way, there’s no change to pricing or routings and these ‘new regions’ are simply cosmetic for clarity.