American AAdvantage appears to have cleaned up its region definitions.
The number of miles for an award in a zone-based award chart is based not just on whether there’s saver award space, but the regions you are flying between.
If you want to fly from New York to London, you look up the saver award price for “Contiguous 48 U.S. states” to “Europe.” It thus matters what region a country is assigned to, as it affects the price of an award.
You can fly British Airways first class between New York and London
Although having gone through the extensive changes, it appears all that American has done is removed countries from the region definition list that neither they nor their partners fly to.
As a result, here are the changes by region:
- Europe: Removed Bosnia-Herzegovina, Greenland, Macedonia, Slovakia
- Africa: Removed Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Republic of Congo, Reunion, Rwanda, Somalia, Swaziland, Togo
- Asia 1: Removed Mongolia
- Asia 2: Removed Laos
It does not appear as though any countries were added to the list, and it does not appear as though any countries were moved from one region to another at this time either.
American used to have a number of countries listed where their partners don’t fly. They showed which regions a country belonged to, whether or not you could use your AAdvantage miles to fly there. I suppose that could have led to confusion and disappointment for some members, though this cleanup could also present issues (if it’s embedded in their systems and not just the website) should partners add countries that they fly to — they’ll need to stay on top of maintaining the list.
On the whole though this change shouldn’t affect any member’s ability to use their miles. And kudos for trying to make things clearer and less ambiguous for members, programs are complicated enough as it is without adding complexity where it isn’t needed.