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American Airlines has just added GOL Airlines—Brazil's largest domestic airline—to its AAdvantage Partner Airlines webpage, opening the door to earning and redeeming AAdvantage miles on GOL flights. After losing its partnership with LATAM May 1, this development is a step towards re-establishing AA's lost foothold on the South American travel market.
Earning AA Miles While Flying GOL
Starting May 7, 2020, AAdvantage members can earn miles while flying GOL-marketed flights, with a couple of stipulations:
- Eligible flights must be within Brazil, or between Brazil and North America, South America, or the Caribbean.
- You must purchase an eligible published fare ticket in an eligible booking code.
As with most partner-marketed flights, you'll earn AAdvantage miles based on a percentage of the total miles flown. This percentage is adjusted depending upon your booking class.
Since GOL operates an all-Boeing 737 fleet with no business-class product, the peak earning rate is for AAdvantage members flying Premium Economy with either a C or L booking code.
Additionally, if you're flying GOL Airlines on an AA-marketed itinerary, you'll earn redeemable miles, Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs), Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs), and Elite Qualifying Segments (EQSs) the same as if you were on an AA-operated flight.
Redeem AA Miles to Fly GOL
AAdvantage award redemptions for flights on GOL Airlines will follow the guidelines set in AA's partner award chart. Interestingly, AA lists all of Brazil under the ‘South America Region 2' designation except for the city of Manaus, which it lists as ‘South America Region 1'. Here are some examples of award pricing:
- Contiguous U.S. to Manaus (MAO) — 20,000 miles in economy
- Contiguous U.S. to Brasilia (BSB) — 30,000 miles in economy, 40,000 miles in premium economy
- Manaus (MAO) to São Paulo (GRU) — 12,500 miles in economy
- Rio de Janeiro (GIG) to Buenos Aires (EZE) — 10,000 miles in economy
AA does not currently list an award price for partner awards in premium economy between several of these regions. This may be updated as AA continues rolling out the partnership, but until then, it’s unknown whether it'll be bookable or how many miles it'll cost.
Additionally, award flights on GOL Airlines aren't bookable on AA's website. This means that for the time being, you'll have to call American Airlines to book these flights. If you have a membership, you can use ExpertFlyer to search award availability.
If you need to stock up on AAdvantage miles, the gem of the co-branded lineup is the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®. This card is offering a 65,000-mile sign-up bonus after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening..
- Free checked bags for you and up to 4 companions on domestic itineraries
- Priority boarding to help you win the race for overhead bin space
- A 25% discount on inflight food, beverage, and Wi-Fi purchases
- Reduced Mileage Awards can save you 7,500 miles on roundtrip MileSAAver Awards
- Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on cable and satellite providers
- Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent at gas stations
- Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on select telecommunications merchants
- Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on car rentals
- Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
- Earn 1X mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases
Other Redemption Options
GOL also partners with Etihad—which is a transfer partner of Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, and Capital One Miles —and utilizes a distance-based award chart. Depending on your itinerary, this can present a much better value compared to AA's pricing. For example, an economy award between Rio de Janeiro (GIG) and São Paulo (GRU) costs 10,000 AAdvantage miles, but only 3,000 miles if booked through Etihad. In fact, the only times when it's cheaper to book with AA is when booking longer, connecting itineraries.
As far as other point options to Brazil, in addition to flying on the carrier’s own metal, you can book flights on Azul with United miles and flights on Aeromexico or LATAM with Delta miles. However, as both Delta and United have ditched their partner award charts, it's harder to predict their pricing.
This news comes right on the heels of AA ending its partnership with LATAM at the beginning of May—which was five months earlier than initially scheduled. Losing the partnership with LATAM meant losing AA's only South American partner, leaving little choice but to find another. With more than 750 daily flights to over 75 destinations, GOL seems like a solid replacement.
Would you use AA miles to fly GOL Airlines?
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