American Losing Another Mileage Partner: Gulf Air Exits April 30th

American Airlines is losing most of the value of its Alaska Airlines partnership at the end of the year.

They got outmaneuvered by Delta and will lose their Jet Airways partnership at the end of the year too.

And yet despite losing their Indian airline partner they are voluntarily relinquishing their reach into the Indian market by walking away from codesharing with Qatar and Etihad, in order to somehow have some ‘purity’ in their quest to make money via the political process instead of the marketplace.

Now comes word that another partnership is coming to an end as well. Gulf Air has notified their frequent flyers that the American Airlines relationship ends April 30th.

This is a relatively minor partner of American to be sure (though one with pretty good award availability). They’ve been partners for 11 years. American has not yet commented or notified members about the change.

Here’s what Gulf Air is telling FalconFlyer members:

We would like to inform our valued Falconflyer members that Gulf Air and American Airlines’ loyalty program partnership will conclude on 30th April 2018. Falconflyer members will still be eligible to earn Falconflyer miles for all tickets purchased and flown on American Airlines flights before 30th April 2018 and any Falconflyer miles earned for flying on American Airlines will remain in your Falconflyer account to be used towards other redemptions.

To earn, redeem and claim miles on American Airline flights going forward please note the following Terms and Conditions:

  • Falconflyer members can earn Falconflyer miles for all tickets purchased and flown on American Airlines flights before 30th April 2018.
  • Retroactive claims for American Airlines flights must be made before 31st October 2018. Claims made after this date will not be entitled to earn Falconflyer miles.
  • Falconflyer members can redeem their miles for American Airlines flights so long as the redemption tickets are issued before 30th April 2018, however, travel can commence after that date and must be completed within the ticket validity period or by the 30th April 2019. Changes to redemption tickets can be made before 30th April 2018. After this date, no extensions/changes will be granted and also cancellations will not be permitted.

This is too bad. Gulf Air was a reasonable way to connect via London, Paris, Frankfurt or Athens on through their Bahrain hub to various destinations in India and Pakistan. They also fly to places tough to get to on European carriers such as Iraq and Sudan.

Meanwhile American hasn’t been adding partners recently. Or benefits. There hasn’t been great news for AAdvantage members in awhile. This hurts American members, and but it’s hard to imagine with all the nastiness the airline has spewed at Gulf carriers (though not Gulf air in particular) that they can maintain good relations in the region generally. Sad.

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. AA has plenty of reach into the Indian market. It’s called oneworld and, in particular, British Airways.

    The reality is that until the billions in subsidies stop flowing into the coffers of the Mideast airlines from their governments, there is basically no money to be made in that market for a USA airline.

  2. I wouldn’t exactly call Delta ‘outmaneuvering’ American when it comes to Jet Airways…. AA was closer to Etihad and Qatar at the time and has since terminated Thise Agreements. Jet is not a Member of Oneworld nor were they ever considering Joining. AA may have something else brewing.

  3. @iahphx – British Airways via one European gateway is hardly plenty of reach into the Indian market, let alone the Pakistani one. Talk to people in Pakistan about how easy it is for them to connect through Heathrow.

  4. @iahphx

    I did fly through LHR once – forced to take AA and BA on ORD-BLR route as Etihad flight was grounded for maintenance. LHR is a truly awful airport for a first-world country. Overzealous customs officials abound. Also, they are rather good at losing baggage.

    If you have an Indian passport en route to US, expect to be questioned every few hundred feet.

    I would rather fly Delta or Lufthansa, in case the Gulf carriers don’t fly from my nearest airport

  5. @Gary Leff roflmao!
    One of the first airlines in the world to fly non-stop from Asia to JFK. PIA!
    Yup! PIA!
    Damn corrupt politicians,
    Guess who trained and taught the entire flight operations manual, from flight safety, engineering ro piloting, to Etihad, Qatar and Emirates?
    Yup! PIA!
    Not many people know that, but, alas! Once the crown jewel of aviation has now become a heap of dung and vile disgusting corruption filled execs.
    Only airline in the world with 28 CEOs!
    Not many people know this, but the Roosevelt hotel in New York, is owned by PIA.
    Even though your sarcastic comment is funny, it hurts those who actually know how great this airline was, once.
    Even Sir Richard Branson has said, give me rights to fly into Karachi, and I shall make it the world’s international travel hub.
    But, damn the politicians!
    Damn them all to hell!
    Only the Pakistani ones!!

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