How to Fly Business Class to Europe, Africa & the Middle East for 44K Miles (One Way)

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Royal Air Maroc award flights plane stock

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.

Royal Air Maroc award travel

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.

Royal Air Maroc award travel

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

Remember that you’ll be booking via Etihad Guest, which is a transfer partner from Citi, Capital One, and American Express (see master list of transfer partners here).

  • 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!
Royal Air Maroc award flights amsterdam
Fly to Amsterdam for 22K miles!

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.

Royal Air Maroc award flights phone

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?!

Final thoughts

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.

27 COMMENTS

  1. This post was amazing i try to read your blog fairly often, and you’re
    always coming out with some great stuff. I shared this on my
    facebook, and my followers resally liked it.
    Continue the great work 🙂

    • They’re your points. You can put the ticket in anyone’s name. When booking, they will ask for the passenger info.

  2. Great post, I had heard this option mentioned but hadn’t seen the details spelled out. Sounds like it’s a bit of work but worth the payoff if it pans out for one’s plans! There aren’t so many of these sort of oddball sweet spots as there used to be back in the day. I have a few things in mind to possibly try going this route.

    • It’s a great sweet spot. We live in Brazil. My wife is going business class to London for 44k, which is unreal.
      I’m flying economy to Beirut for 22k to visit a friend living there temporarily.
      My wife and I are meeting up together to fly home from Egypt for 44k biz class each.
      These are easily the lowest price points I’ve found.

  3. Was anyone really able to book it with a stopover? I made about 10 HUCAs recently and none of the agents would do that

    • I’ve booked this twice. I didn’t want a stopover on either one, but the agent on my 2nd actually asked me “is it direct or with a stopover”, which surprised me.

  4. So, to be clear: if I can find space, I can fly biz class all the way to Doha in Qatar for 44,000 Etihad miles from MIA/IAD/JFK/YUL?

    • correct. I did have an agent once try to charge me ‘per segment’ so make sure you don’t let them double charge you. Anything in that top bracket is 44k for biz class one way.

  5. I also am looking for help with the search, the search (ie IAD-FCO) I do shows “starting at 33K” but that I don’t have enough points to book it and won’t show me any details. What am I missing?

    • Brad, you can ignore the amount of miles they’re quoting, since you won’t be sending your points to RAM itself but to Etihad. You just want to find the availability from Royal Air Maroc. If you can’t move forward on the awards page, just use that as a starting point to see that ‘this date is available for awards’. You could start a cash fare booking to see the exact details of the itinerary of the date you’re looking at. It requires using a few tabs at the same time but can help you get all the info you need by going from a few angles.

      • So Ryan, how did you end up booking your ticket home from Cairo if Etihad can’t see the award space on the CAI – Casablanca leg?

        • Wound up booking just the Casablanca-São Paulo leg on points and then bought cash fare in economy on Royal Air Maroc. Hoping they’ll check our bags through when we show up in Cairo; not a big deal if they can’t, since we’ll have almost 4hrs on the layover. Funny enough, with their “over 2,000” distance chart, the Cairo-Casablanca flight would require the same number of points as the Cairo-Casablanca-São Paulo run, so I was annoyed having to do this, but it was the only way to use the dates that worked for us and not have either insane connections via points or pay cash for the whole trip.

  6. But how do you search by Business class? In the searches I don’t see the ability to search by Business class. Any way to do that?

    • Earl – in the ‘book with your miles’ feature on RAM’s site, you select class later in the process, which isn’t great for us, since we aren’t using points in their site. You can start on the award booking page to find availability of dates, check the bookings/cash fare page just to make sure it doesn’t show 0 availability in business class for the flights you want, but the real answer will come when you call Etihad. For our flight home from Egypt coming up on New Year’s Day, I checked a zillion times, called a zillion times, and what Etihad could see to book for me and what I could see on RAM’s site didn’t match. Seems like the Cairo-Casablanca leg isn’t offered for partner bookings.

  7. I did this for RTW19 2.0 (May) when Etihad 1st space IAD-AUH wasn’t going to open up, Mr Lucky had tipped me on the Air Maroc DreamLiners Biz. Reverse HerringBone nice service. Check for the 789 for RH
    Somewhat low utilization of the 44K.
    I still had to get to AUH for Apartment to SYD. CMN-AUH Etihad DreamLiner First Took about 5k more miles, but Casablanca for a day or so. Or longer in . Enjoy!

  8. Thanks Ryan! Great post. I haven’t heard much about this airline. GREAT to read about getting over there on only 44,000 points. I just redeemed 75,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles each way to fly business to Johannesburg from JFK. (Via Abu Dhabi). 44,000 miles seems like a bargain.

  9. Very useful post. Going to visit friends in Morocco next year and didn’t know about this.

    Just one thing, it’s IAD/Dulles not IAD/Reagan.

    • Thanks for catching that!
      You could theoretically stopover to visit friends and continue on somewhere else on 1 ticket, if you want to explore more of the region while there.

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