American Airlines Award Routing Rules: Allowable Third Region Exceptions List & Stopover Policy [2020]

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American Airlines Award Routing Rules: Allowable Third Region Exceptions List & Stopover Policy [2020]


While American AAdvantage program is one of my favorite mileage programs to use for premium cabin's redemption on AA's partner airlines, AA has an award routing rule that when you travel between two regions, you can or cannot transit through another region known as the "third region."

The third region when not permitted, AA will charge you for two separate awards instead of one. However, there are some exceptions, and therefore it is important to understand the rule and know what those third region's exceptions are when booking a mileage ticket with American Airlines. 

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Table of Contents  [show/hide]

    American Airlines Award Region Definitions

    First of all, it is important to know which country belongs to which region according to American Airlines's definition for AAdvantage award travel's redemption. 

    Region

    Countries

    Africa Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Melilla, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
    Asia Region 1 Japan, Korea
    Asia Region 2 Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam
    Caribbean Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts/Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Trinidad/Tobago, Turks/Caicos Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands
    Central America Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua
    Europe     Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom
    Indian Subcontinent Bangladesh, India, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
    Middle East Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates
    North America United States including Alskas and Hawaii, Canada, Mexico
    South America Region 1 Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Manaus (Brazil), Peru
    South America Region 2 Argentina, Brazil (excluding Manaus), Chile, Falkland Islands, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela
    South Pacific American Samoa and Samoa, Australia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

    Third Region Award Routing Rule

    American Airlines AAdvantage program has a rule when it comes to how you can route an award ticket. The rule is basically: 
    When you are traveling between two regions, you cannot transit through a third region. If you do that, you will be paying for two separate awards instead of one. 
     
    In other words, the route has to be as "direct" as possible; otherwise, you will be charged for two award tickets as opposed to one award ticket. For example, you cannot fly from United States to Austria and route through Asia (third region). Similarly, you cannot fly from United States to Asia Zone 1 and route through Asia Zone 2. 

    American Airlines understand this type of restriction does not always work in real life routing scenarios, so they also make some exceptions to the rule by allowing certain routes to include a transit through a third region or with a particular partner airline. With that being said, it is useful to look at the following table so that you know which third region you can transit through when trying to price out an award ticket with AAdvantage program. 

    Complete List of Allowable Third Region Exceptions

    Origin
    (Region 1)

    Destination
    (Region 2)

    Allowed Third Region Transit

    Africa Asia Zone 1 Asia Zone 2
    Doha (Qatar Airways)
    Abu Dhabi (Etihad)
    Africa Asia Zone 2 Doha (Qatar Airways)
    Abu Dhabi (Etihad)
    Africa South Pacific Abu Dhabi (Etihad)
    Asia Zone 1 South Pacific Asia Zone 2
    Central America Indian Sub Continent Europe
    Central America Middle East Europe
    Central America Africa Europe
    Central America South Pacific South America Zone 2
    Europe Africa Doha (Qatar Airways)
    Abu Dhabi (Etihad)
    Europe Asia Zone 1 Asia Zone 2
    Doha (Qatar Airways)
    Abu Dhabi (Etihad)
    Europe Asia Zone 2 Doha (Qatar Airways)
    Abu Dhabi (Etihad)
    Europe South Pacific Asia Zone 1
    Asia Zone 2
    Doha (Qatar Airways)
    Abu Dhabi (Etihad)
    Indian Sub Continent Asia Zone 1 Asia Zone 2
    Indian Sub Continent South Pacific Asia Zone 2
    Middle East Asia Zone 1 Asia Zone 2
    Middle East South Pacific Asia Zone 2
    North America Africa Europe
    Doha (Qatar Airways)
    Abu Dhabi (Etihad)
    North America Asia Zone 2 Asia Zone 1
    North America Indian Sub Continent Europe
    Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific)
    Middle East
    North America Middle East Europe
    South America Zone 1 Africa Europe
    South America Zone 1 Indian Sub Continent Europe
    South America Zone 1 Middle East Europe
    South America Zone 1 South Pacific South America Zone 2
    South America Zone 2 Africa Europe
    Doha (Qatar Airways)
    South America Zone 2 Indian Sub Continent Europe
    South America Zone 2 Middle East Europe

    American Airlines Stopover Policy

    Any stopover that is over 24 hours is not permitted by American Airlines AAdvantage program without paying for two separate award tickets. This means that, you cannot transit through a third region and spend time there for more than 24 hours without being charged for two mileage tickets. 

    With some creative planning using American Airline's third region exception above, you may be able to transit in a region and spend time there under 23 hours layover. Doha and Abu Dhabi are great examples to spend such a short period of layover time to enjoy each city's highlights before reaching your final destination. 

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    PL

    Posted by: PL

    Hello there! People call me PL and I am a points blogger. Obsessed with using points and miles to elevate travel experiences to explore the world. Enjoy finer things in life and good food. I have a day job, this points blog is mainly my hobby and my contribution back to the points community. If you enjoy reading this post, please help me share it! If you enjoy what you read here, please make sure you subscribe or follow this blog on social media so that you will be notified when there's a new blog's post. I thank you for reading this blog. Your support means a lot to me and it is what makes this blog's work worthwhile. If I can be of any help, you can contact me: thepointslife at gmail dot com

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