It could all be so easy!
I have 10,000 Etihad Guest Miles from one of the many promotions the airline ran last year. Now there isn't much use for me shuttling back and forth between Doha and Abu Dhabi on Etihad.
However, Etihad has a number of partners that are not associated with any alliance. I'm planning a trip to Africa and flights are expensive in this continent (there isn't a lot of flying!)
Now the Etihad partner page for Royal Air Maroc is simple and has all the details I need.
This is the award chart:
The flight I'm trying to book is just 1,425 miles from Dakar to Casablanca but it can't be booked online.
I have called the Etihad Guest Service Center about a dozen times now but conversations tend to go like this…
Me: Hi, I'm looking to book an award flight.
Agent: What kind of flight?
Me: A flight using my miles.
Agent: Ahh. Where from and to?
Me: Dakar to Casablanca on Royal Air Maroc.
Agent: Which airport is that? Can you spell it?
Me: D like Delta, K like Kilo…
At this point most agents give up and hang up as if they've never haven't heard anyone spell out the airport code before now…
Some make it to phase II.
Agent: Let me check (5 minutes later) – we do not fly that route.
Me: You do, it's with your partner Royal Air Maroc.
Agent: Let me check (10 minutes later) – I can't find that partner. Where do you have that information from?
Me: From your website.
Agent: Let me check…
20 minutes later I usually hang up…
This is true for both the UK and India call centers. I had a knowledgeable agent just once – but that was months ago.
Have you found a work around?