A List of All Possible International Gateway Cities When Using AAdvantage Miles


Below is a list of all possible North American international gateway cities when using American Airlines AAdvantage miles. Why are these important? As we’ll learn in my series on the value of AAdvantage miles, when traveling on an AAdvantage award from North America to any other region, a free stopover is allowed at the North American gateway city. And for awards on which free stopovers are allowed, North America is defined as the USA (including Alaska and Hawaii), Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Understanding the free stopover is crucial to exploiting the AAdvantage program.  We’ll be using this “stopover” for free oneway trips to Hawaii, the Caribbean, or virtually anywhere in the continental United States!

If your home airport is on the list, you’ll be able to take advantage of the free oneways. If not, you can have a free stopover at one of the airports on this list on your way to another continent. The list is ordered from most partners that use the airport as an international gateway to least. In case of ties, it is ordered alphabetically by airport code.

A List of All Possible International Gateway Cities When Using AAdvantage Miles:

New York (JFK) American, airberlin, British, Cathay, Finnair, Iberia, JAL, LAN, Qantas, Royal Jordanian, El Al, Etihad, Jet Airways

Los Angeles (LAX) American, airberlin, British, Cathay, Iberia, JAL, LAN, Qantas, Air Pacific, Air Tahiti Nui, El Al

Chicago (ORD) American, British, Cathay, Iberia, JAL, Royal Jordanian, Etihad

Toronto (YYZ) British, Cathay, Finnair, El Al, Etihad, Jet Airways

San Francisco (SFO) airberlin, British, Cathay, JAL, LAN

Boston (BOS) American, British, Iberia, JAL

Honolulu (HNL) JAL, Qantas, Air Pacific, Hawaiian Airlines

Miami (MIA) airberlin, British, Iberia, LAN

Vancouver (YVR) airberlin, British, Cathay, JAL

Cancun (CUN) airberlin, British, LAN

Dallas (DFW) American, British, Qantas

Newark (EWR) British, El Al, Jet Airways

Mexico City (MEX) British, Iberia, LAN

Punta Cana (PUJ) airberlin, British, LAN

Washington DC (IAD) British, Etihad

Las Vegas (LAS) airberlin, British

Orlando (MCO) British, LAN

San Diego (SAN) British, JAL

Montreal (YUL) British, Royal Jordanian

Antigua (ANU) British

Atlanta (ATL) British

Barbados (BGI) British

Baltimore (BWI) British

Denver (DEN) British

Detroit (DTW) Royal Jordanian

Houston (IAH) British

Kingston (KIN) British

Nassau (NAS) British

Philadelphia (PHL) British

Phoenix (PHX) British

Puerto Plata (POP) airberlin

Raleigh-Durham (RDU) American

Fort Myers (RSW) airberlin

Santo Domingo (SDQ) Iberia

Seattle (SEA) British

San Juan (SJU) Iberia

Tampa (TPA) British

Saint Lucia (UVF) British

Calgary (YYC) British


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  1. So if I live in Chicago. Does that mean I can fly through anchorage, stop for a few nights and then have them send me from there to hong kong? What happens if the routing to asia or europe doesn’t pass over hawaii or another sweet city. Can AA route your trhough whatever cities you want as long as you give them the flight numbers and there is award availability. Thanks a lot! love the blog

  2. […] help you explore the possibilities of this stopover trick, I’ve compiled the most comprehensive and up-to-date list of possible North American International Gateway Cities anywhere. If your home airport is not on the list, then you will only be able to exploit the […]

  3. I only carry Citibank AA miles as I was trying to get elite status currently I had available 175,000 miles and 595,000 elite qualifying points. I need your advice: what shall be the next steps? Shall I continue using the AAdvantage citi cards or shall I also apply for hotel cards etc. I will love to reach elite status but I only travel once a year around USA (Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada) and once a year to Europe. I like used my miles for up-grade to first class after I buy the cheapest coach seat available. Right now I am a gold member but I guess only for one year.

  4. Your information re: Qantas and JFK is incorrect. it is not considered a gateway city. as the SYD-JFK flight goes through LAX first.

        • I was finally able to get this… if at first you don’t succeed, call again even if the first agent tells you no.

          Sorry for the initial misinformation. I had trusted the first agent.

          • What’s the acronym? HUCB? Hang up; call back. And when I said in the abstract what I wanted to do, the agent paused for a long time. I think she was about to say I couldn’t get the free stopover. But before she could, I said, “Let’s just input the flights and see how it prices out.” She agreed to that, and it priced out as a free stopover.

  5. Totally new at this – I have booked points before but this is wild.

    I booked a aa POINTS CATHAY PACIFIC FLIGHT from JFK to Vancouver (YVR) in August.

    I can make the second leg back a stopover & book a ticket from JFK to carib., hawaii & other places as long as AA PARTNERS WITH THEM?
    SAME CLASS of my flight I have both a business & first class ticket? can I DO IT 6 MONTHS OUT & SEE IF i CAN GO & CHANGE IT LATER ON? If I do not go I get taxes & fees back?

    • This ticket is not eligible for free oneways since YVR and JFK are both in the North American region. Your international flight must leave North America to unlock free stopovers and free oneways on AA awards.

  6. I thinkI got this now – you need to be exiting the north america (USA (including Alaska and Hawaii), Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean) & then on the way back you get a free stopover say back in your US major airport & then bam you have a free one way to any where else in this North America continent.

    You have to book the trip the first 2 legs as one way awards – right?

    also if you do it business class – do you get the free last leg in the same class?


    • You can book this as two oneways or a roundtrip. Just make sure you book the free oneways at the same time as the rest of the award. And yes, the free oneway(s) will be in the same class as the rest of the award.

  7. This is a phenomenal list. Thank you VERY MUCH for compiling it and making it available in a bookmark-able form.

  8. Great post, very interesting. My home airport is PDX, if anyone is aware of hacks like this or other special tricks available out of PDX I’d love to learn.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing the information about one way awards. If I am coming from Tokyo and want a stopover in Dallas and the final destination is PDX then what is my gateway city with AA? The economy seats @ 25K miles are routing through Chicago before going to DFW? Can I get from DFW to PDX on a free one way? I really appreciate all your knowledge.

    it seems the one way flights from NRT to DFW are not available for the 25K miles but if i could find one should i list DFW as my home airport. I have to do that on my AA profile page?

  10. Just to drive this point home. What if I live in a gateway city and want a one way. Ie I live in San Diego, could I add Cancun on a trip that return will be BKK->SAN (via NRT) stopover–>Cancun on JAL. I don’t see this being possible but adding Hawaii?

  11. Do I have to be flying the airline that uses that city as a gateway?

    Lets say I want to book a ticket from Seattle to Paris. Can I do Seattle to Philadelphia on AA (gateway for BA), then Philadelphia to NY then NY to Paris? Philadelphia is a gateway for BA but not for AA (which I am flying).


  12. […] Originally Posted by bobbybrown SEA is not a gateway city because AA and JAL doesn't operate any SEA-Asia flight. Thanks for the reply. I thought it was a gateway city of any carriers in the alliance offered an international flight. Mile Value lists it as an International Gateway City for its BA flight from Seattle to London: https://milevalu.wpengine.com/a-list-of-all-p…vantage-miles/ […]

  13. I am planning a trip to Barcelona from Los Angeles using AA miles, so let me see if I have this right. So if I can find the space, then on the departing flight I can do LAX-NYC//NYC-BCN. On the way back can I do BCN-LAX//LAX-HNL? And if so I have one year to take the LAX-HNL flight correct? Do I have to designate the day I fly that route when I book the BCN-LAX//LAX-HNL flight? Thanks.

    • You’re on the right track, but there is no BCN-LAX direct flight, and you need your first airport in the US to be LAX for the second half to work, so you’d want BCN-LHR-LAX or something. Yes, you need to book all segments of the award including the free oneway at once.

    • It doesn’t work. It should based on AA’s written rules, but if you search MIA-POP//POP-MUC, it will not display MIA-POP as a free flight, but rather a 17.5k flight + a 20k flight.

  14. Please remove KIN from the list.

    Event though BA has weekly flights on Wednesdays to Gatwick, you will be charged separately for the inbound to Kingston segment.

    LAX-KIN-LGW-KIN (Milesaaver Low Season) = 52,500 Aadvantage Miles.
    40K for the return across the pond and 12,5K for the North America segment.


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