American falls out with Etihad & Qatar

Copyright Jon Champs 2017
American 773ER at Heathrow

In protest over the ME3 and almost inevitably a political reaction to Qatar starting the process of buying AA shares, American has cancelled its code share agreement with both airlines. For Etihad this is not especially egregious, but for Qatar this is a slap in the face. It’s an attempt to say ‘you may own shares but we don’t want you here’, and it undermines the ability of Qatar – or American – customers from booking through flights. 

The other big issue is that Qatar is in Oneworld with American and both are obliged to interline passengers, check baggage through, share mileage awards and lounges.  It seems remarkably short sighted and vindictive of American Airlines, whose ability to deal with overseas competition is near non-existent, unless of course, it’s on their terms and benefits them more.

It gets more complicated in that Qatar is 20% owner of IAG – therefore Iberia and British Airways, both in Oneworld, and BA and American have a joint venture operation across the Atlantic. If anything it underscores how pathetically childish American are being.