American AAdvantage Updates Their Award Chart Regions

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.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I actually didn’t realize that JL pulled out of ULN and that CX/KA didn’t serve Vientienne.

    Also, it would have been nice if they got rid of their stupid zone transit for logical transits like NA–> SA1–>SA2

  2. Not sure if anyone @ AA took a geography class but can’t understand how India is in the Middle East and Sri Lanka is in Asia 2, even though their close proximity.
    Had hoped they would fix this.
    AA rules say going to Asia 2 must be across the Pacific but when you try to book partner flights, almost all to/from Sri Lanka go across the Atlantic.
    While we were finally able to work around this problem, it makes it very difficult.

  3. DennyBob, I consider that a feature, not a bug. It’s a lot cheaper in miles to fly F to Sri Lanka and then buy a separate ticket to India, 67500 v 90000 miles if I recall correctly.

  4. @Stannis

    While that’s true, it’s also not exactly convenient for those based on the East Coast who now have to fly via the Pacific…

  5. “kudos for trying to make things clearer and less ambiguous for members” Really?
    I believe deleting that deleting countries that neither AA no they partners fly to, is a stupid change. Airlines start and stop flying to countries once in a while, if an airline starts flying to Slovakia next month, and then another one stops flying to Ghana tomorrow, would AA be as fast in reflecting these changes in its award chart? Award region should include all countries (and sometimes autonomous, and de facto independent, and partially recognized regions). It doesn’t make sense to delete any of them for any reason.

  6. How about covering the changes to regions after the devaluation? For example, CMB moves from Asia 2 to Middle East/India, which is an increase beyond the cost of the asia 2 increase.

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