American's New Friends

American's New Friends

American Airlines and Air Berlin have announced a reciprocal frequent flyer partnership as Air Berlin begins the process to join the oneworld alliance. There is no set date for accrual of partner miles on the airlines to begin, but we’ve seen reports that Air Berlin is expected to start codesharing with American Airlines by Nov. 1, so perhaps the FFP partnership will begin around the same time. Air Berlin is expected to start flying as part of oneworld in early 2012.

Another new partnership for American is with JetBlue, which is getting quite a bit of attention. “The reason this got such large media attention is that American and JetBlue are an unlikely pair,” says Brett Snyder of CrankyFlier.com. “American fought JetBlue tooth-and-nail back during JetBlue’s start-up days, and now they’re holding hands.”

Not all routes on American and JetBlue will earn miles in each other’s frequent flyer program. Only select domestic routes on JetBlue served from New York JFK or Boston–18 in all including Denver, Houston, Phoenix, Washington, D.C. and more–and 14 American Airlines international routes served from the same airports including Brussels, London, Milan, Paris, Tokyo, Zurich and more will be eligible. The FFP partnership is set to begin later this year with no set date announced.

Bottom line: Most American AAdvantage members are very pleased with the news of both of these partnerships and oneworld members seem especially pleased with the addition of Air Berlin into the alliance. “This is a major coup for oneworld which has needed a Central Europe member for ages,” said FlyerTalk member CubsFanJohn.

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