Guide: Booking Royal Air Maroc Award Flights Using Etihad Guest Miles
I’m sure you’re thinking, “Royal Air Maroc? Never heard of it,” but stick with me, because these flights require a really low number of points for award travel to Europe, the Middle East, or large portions of Africa. My wife and I have made several award flight bookings for upcoming trips using this method and found it to be a great deal. I thought it would be useful to make a guide for booking Royal Air Maroc award flights using Etihad Guest miles, since these prices can not be beat.
Royal Air Maroc destinations
Royal Air Maroc is based out of CMN airport in Casablanca, Morocco, and all of their flights will pass through there. From the US and Canada, they fly out of Miami, Washington DC (Dulles / IAD), New York (JFK), and Montreal. They fly to nearly 40 cities around Europe, plus several in the Middle East and huge swaths of Africa.
Finding schedules for award flights
First, I play with the award booking tool on Royal Air Maroc’s website to get started and find flights that work for me. Make sure none of those are going onto their partners, because you need flights flown by RAM itself when booking this way. Being flexible with dates obviously helps.
Check the number of miles needed for your award flights
Royal Air Maroc uses a distance-based award chart when booking via Etihad miles. You can find a mileage calculator here to use, and then check your number against this chart. My bet is that you’re in the top range. Notice that the highest range is “above 2,000 miles,” which is definitely your trip across the Atlantic.
22,000 miles for economy one-way or 44,000 for business class one-way across an ocean is a deal!
Getting Set Up & Ready to Book Your Flight
- Make sure you have the required amount of points in those accounts.
- You then need to set up your Etihad Guest account, if you don’t have one already.
- Link your Etihad account to the account you’ll be transferring points from (Amex, Citi, Cap One), so you’re ready to transfer.
- Don’t transfer the points yet though!
Call Etihad to book your Royal Air Maroc award flights
Just so we’re clear, you’re sending points to Etihad and then calling them to book flights for their partner, Royal Air Maroc.
Unfortunately, these bookings can’t be done online, so call Etihad’s nearest phone center. When the agent picks up, they’ll ask about where you’re flying, dates, and all that normal stuff. Be sure they’re checking the Royal Air Maroc flights for your booking. Give the agent the flights you found earlier.
Here’s where things are not the smoothest: the agent has to get all the way to the “ready to pay now” part of the process before finding out if you can get the ticket. I’ve found that some flights showing award availability on RAM’s site weren’t available for partner bookings, and no one seems to know why. This is where flexibility can help.
Since there’s no benefit to booking a round-trip over 2 one-way tickets (open jaws aren’t allowed, FYI), if you can only get part of what you want, book the flights you want. Lock them in while exploring a plan B. Once the agent says your flights are available, mention that you’re transferring in points. Then transfer them while the agent reads the disclosure to you. My Amex transfers to Etihad have always been instant.
The agent will give you both the Etihad and Royal Air Maroc booking codes, and those will also come in your email confirmation. I’ve found the agents at Etihad really easy to work with and very knowledgeable about award bookings.
Bonus: free stopover in Casablanca, Morocco
Some of the Etihad agents don’t know this part very well, but you can kindly point them to the terms on their website:
“Stopovers are permitted”
Add a free stop in Casablanca as part of your trip without using any extra miles. Why not?!
44,000 miles for business class or 22,000 for economy is the cheapest number of points I’ve seen to get across the Atlantic. There are numerous options for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. This is a great deal on points for your next trip. I hope you found my guide on booking Royal Air Maroc award flights using Etihad Guest miles useful. I hope you are able to take advantage of it in the future.
Check out Royal Air Maroc’s products here.