A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

signs of the times: frequent flying to Iraq

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on December 1, 2008

My return to New York yesterday was  hit with the usual winter travel snafus: weather delays, mechanical problems, and travelers with too much luggage. But I had work to do and a flexible schedule, so the extended airport time didn’t bother me too much.

And sitting in the airport certainly bothered me less than flying on a broken plane would have – so I was quite grateful when my original airline wrote my ticket over to an American flight.

American is an airline that I don’t often fly, so I put our “penalty box” delay to good use by reading its in-flight magazine. I was intrigued to learn that Royal Jordanian Airlines, which I used to fly quite frequently, is now an American partner:


I spent a few petulant moments imagining all the frequent flier miles I might have accumulated had this partnership been operative back in the early 2000s, when I noticed that the Royal Jordanian line had footnotes next to its X’es (its the bottom line in the photo above – sorry its so blurry).

Aha, I thought, feeling suddenly vindicated, I bet those miles don’t really translate into American Airlines frequent flier miles.

But that wasn’t want the footnote was for – or at least, it didn’t apply to all Royal Jordanian flights:


I imagine that miles flown on Royal Jordanian’s flights to and from Iraq are not eligible to be counted as frequent flier miles because technically no American is supposed to be traveling to Iraq, but I’m curious whether anyone knows the full answer.

And if you’ve ever flown one of these flights and tried to get mileage credit for it, I would love to hear your story. Given my own experiences trying to get credit for my usual US airline with flights taken on its Middle East partners, I suspect that asking for flight credit for an Iraq-bound flight would cause utter melt-down on the customer service side.


One Response to “signs of the times: frequent flying to Iraq”

  1. ajnabiya said

    I’ve personally never had trouble getting mileage for MEA between France and Beirut…but then it is officially, “Air France operated by MEA.” But, we are only warned against flying in, not banned entirely…though I did fly in back then (sshhh) but no mileage credit!

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