MIAMI — After a number of policy changes, American Airlines (AA) has expanded its selections for its frequent flyer program (AAdvantage) members connecting through the Middle East. Due to an expansion of the AAdvantage offerings, patrons looking to book award flights can do so through a single itinerary with fewer fees while still connecting through the Middle East to destinations in India and Africa. Initially, AA travelers looking to book an award flight that connected through the Middle East had to change in Doha, Qatar Airways’ main hub. If flyers were to go through another transit airport in the region, they would have to book two separate itineraries, forcing them to use more miles and incur further costs. While American Airlines already had arrangements to allow passengers to fly with Etihad on award tickets, the carrier has extended to include access to Royal Jordanian flights, opening up access to a number of African destinations through one single award booking. Now, American Airlines has approved two more transit airports: Abu Dhabi and Amman. There, AAdvantage members can pass through with single itineraries. The same modality will take place through Doha to other destinations, as well. American Airlines looks to further grow its partnership with Etihad in the Middle East, and the American-based carrier has recently allowed customers the option to use Etihad awards on its website. The new routing opportunities come only days after American Airlines’ AAdvantage program won the Best Elite Program for the Americas at this year’s Freddie Awards. This marks the eighth time American has received this honor, which is boasted as one of the most prestigious awards in the travel industry for customer loyalty programs. The president of the AAdvantage program and vice president of Customer Loyalty and Insights, Bridget Blaise-Shamai, responded to the news, saying “Receiving this award is a testament to all of the hard work our team members do to create a program that provides our members what they value most in a loyalty program.” American Airlines has expressed interest in further expanding options for its most loyal customers, and future maneuvers may allow for easier access to other areas of the world on award flights, including East Asia.