American And China Southern Reciprocal Benefits Start Rolling Out

by Chris Dong

Starting immediately, frequent fliers of China’s largest airline and the US’s largest airline can earn and redeem miles on each other’s flights.

Here’s the mileage earning chart for American Airlines AAdvantage members when flying China Southern:

a screenshot of a screen shot of a flight schedule

Here’s the mileage earning chart for China Southern Sky Pearl members when flying American Airlines:

a chart with numbers and percentages

a close-up of a text

For China Southern Sky Pearl members, both redeemable and elite miles are part of the earnings structure. As is typically the case for non-Oneworld airline partners, American only provides redeemable miles for its AAdvantage members when flying China Southern.

As expected, premium cabins get more miles with discount economy fares getting as little as 10% of miles flown. Unfortunately, even an “S” fare in China Southern premium economy only earns 50% of miles flown for AAdvantange.

China Southern and American Partnership

In 2017, American bought a $200 million stake in China’s largest airline. Then, late last year, both China Southern and American announced an expanded codeshare partnership with reciprocal benefits coming in early 2019.

Well, its early 2019 and these are those reciprocal frequent flyer benefits with perhaps more to come in the next few months including reciprocal lounge access.

The Upshot

Talk of China Southern joining the Oneworld alliance has swirled for months. Fellow Oneworld member Cathay Pacific would likely be against the move as it sees China Southern as regional competition.

Whether they join Oneworld or not, all of this means that in the near future, there will be more opportunities to use AAdvantage miles on partner airlines — definitely a good thing.

American hasn’t added any partners in quite some time and has in fact lost or significantly cut back on benefits with airlines like Gulf Air (gone), Alaska (cut back), WestJet (gone), etc. Then, there was the rumor that Etihad would leave American as a partner and join United. So far, that hasn’t happened yet.

Are you looking forward to earning and redeeming American miles on another partner in China Southern?


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Mateo March 20, 2019 - 9:56 pm

I’m looking forward to China Southern joining ONEWORLD and AA eventually flying LAX-CAN profitably.
Those 2 things would be awesome.

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