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If you're an American Airlines AAdvantage elite member, you're hopefully well aware of the elite benefits you get when flying American. But you may not know there are 16 other airlines with which AAdvantage elite status holders get benefits.
Over the past few years, American has been aggressive about adding and enhancing partnerships. AAdvantage members can now get first-class upgrades on Alaska, free checked bags on JetBlue and bonus miles when flying intra-Brazil — and those aren’t the only airlines you can get AAdvantage perks with.
Take a look at all of the airlines that AAdvantage elites can benefit from flying, plus which perks you'll get on each airline.
Oneworld and Oneworld Connect airlines
As American is a member of the Oneworld alliance, AAdvantage elite members enjoy benefits when flying on any other Oneworld airline. The benefits depend on your AAdvantage elite status tier — Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum — and sometimes the airline you're flying.
You can also get some Oneworld elite perks on Fiji Airways — a Oneworld Connect member.
Benefits when flying Oneworld airlines, broken down by tier
Perks vary based on your elite status level. As you move up the status tiers, you can expect to earn the same perks as the lower tiers, plus additional perks.
AAdvantage Gold members get Oneworld Ruby privileges:
Access to business class check-in.
Preferred or pre-reserved seating.
Priority on waitlists and when on standby.
AAdvantage Platinum elites get Oneworld Sapphire benefits:
Access to business class lounges.
Extra baggage allowance — guaranteeing at least one checked bag of up to 23 kg (50 lbs).
Priority baggage handling.
AAdvantage Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum members get Oneworld Emerald perks:
Access to first and business class lounges.
Access to first class priority check-in.
Fast track at select security lanes.
Priority baggage handling.
Extra baggage allowance.
Priority on waitlists and when on standby.
Access to preferred or pre-reserved seating.
Ruby and Sapphire benefits.
Unfortunately, not all Oneworld airlines provide all of the guaranteed Oneworld elite benefits.
British Airways' version of basic economy, bluntly called "hand baggage only" fares, implies that you won't be able to check baggage when booking this fare — even if you have Oneworld elite status. So be prepared to pay for your checked bags. In addition, British Airways doesn't provide priority baggage handling privileges to Oneworld elites.
Qatar Airways' Doha hub offers some of the most spectacular business and first class lounges in the world. Unfortunately, Oneworld elites don't get access to these. Instead, Qatar provides separate lounges for Oneworld elite members.
» Learn more: How to make the most of Qatar Airways economy class
Additional benefits on Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines joined the Oneworld alliance on March 31, 2021, guaranteeing AAdvantage elites certain benefits when flying on Alaska. In addition to the Oneworld benefits, AAdvantage elites get a few extra, like:
Free checked bags: When flying on Alaska, all AAdvantage elites are guaranteed at least two free checked bags. That's much better than the one-piece allowance guaranteed through the Oneworld partnership. AAdvantage Gold and Platinum members get two free checked bags, and Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum elites get three free checked bags.
Upgrades to Premium Class: Alaska's equivalent of Main Cabin Extra is called Premium Class. AAdvantage elites get complimentary space-available upgrades to these seats when booking any fare but Saver — Alaska's basic economy ticket. The timing of the upgrade depends on your elite status tier and fare booking class.
Upgrades to first class: In April 2021, American and Alaska announced reciprocal elite upgrade benefits. This perk is available only to Executive Platinum and Platinum Pro elites booked in any fare class except Saver.
Mileage earnings when flying Oneworld airlines
AAdvantage members flying on other airlines can still earn AAdvantage miles and elite status credits based on the distance flown and the airfare booking class. American Airlines spells out the rates at which you earn these credits in earning charts.
In addition to these base earning rates, AAdvantage members can get elite mileage bonuses when flying on most Oneworld airlines at these rates. Only S7 Airlines and SriLankan Airlines are excluded.
40% for AAdvantage Gold.
60% for AAdvantage Platinum.
80% for AAdvantage Platinum Pro.
120% for AAdvantage Executive Platinum.
In July 2020, American and JetBlue announced a new partnership that they've since dubbed the Northeast Alliance. This partnership has developed relatively slowly, but finally now includes several reciprocal elite benefits and mileage earnings.
AAdvantage members earn miles on JetBlue flights similar to how they're earned when flying American. Entry-level AAdvantage members will earn 5 miles per dollar spent; this number increases based on your status tier, up to 11 miles per dollar spent for Executive Platinum elite members.
In addition to earning bonus miles, AAdvantage elites get the following elite benefits when flying on JetBlue:
Priority bag delivery.
One free checked bag for AAdvantage Gold elites and two free checked bags for all other elites.
Note that the Northeast Alliance doesn't cover JetBlue's flights to London. So you will get these elite perks and mileage earnings only when flying to JetBlue's destinations in the U.S., the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico and South America.
» Learn more: JetBlue sweet spots
In February 2020, American Airlines launched a new code-share partnership with Brazil's largest airline, GOL Airlines. AAdvantage members earn the same miles and elite credits on these GOL flights as if they were flying American. AAdvantage members can also earn miles when flying on GOL-marketed flights — including an elite status bonus for elite members.
In September 2021, American Airlines and GOL announced upcoming reciprocal elite status perks. Details are still thin. But in 2022, American Airlines AAdvantage members "will gain access to GOL's elite benefits, such as priority check-in, priority security, priority boarding, a larger checked baggage allowance, lounge access and preferred seats," according to a September news release on American Airlines' website.
In addition, GOL and American plan to add an "enhanced joint loyalty offering to give customers more ways to earn and redeem miles." Hopefully, this means the addition of award redemptions. However, for now, AAdvantage members enjoy elite status bonuses only when flying on GOL.
If you're an AAdvantage elite flying on partner airlines
AAdvantage elites get benefits when flying on 16 partner airlines. The perks you'll enjoy vary between airlines, so knowing the perks that you're entitled to can help when deciding which airline to fly.
Perhaps you avoid booking British Airways' "hand baggage only" fares and opt to fly transatlantic on American Airlines, Finnair or Iberia instead to use your elite free checked bag benefit. Or, when flying domestically, you'll know to prioritize JetBlue and Alaska over other options thanks to the reciprocal elite perks you get on both.
Keep in mind that not all airline agents will be aware of all reciprocal elite perks, so you may need to gently inform agents who won't let you use a stated benefit.
How to maximize your rewards
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