The Basics

Greenland IS Part of North America – According to These Airline Award Charts

Written by Charlie

Greenland is part of North America – not just geographically but also with some award charts. This would give great value if an alliance airline flew there!

In the news lately has been a lot about President Trump having discussed the possibility of buying Greenland. Denmark has said it is not for sale and a meeting that was to happen between the two of them has been postponed as a result. There, that’s enough of the politics on this – now let’s get to the award chart! 🙂

Greenland IS Part of North America – According to Airline Award Charts

Greenland is a place that is on my bucket list but it is not a very cheap place to get to. So, even though airplanes fly over it all the time, it is still a place that many people have not been too. It looks like a really beautiful place to visit and I would hope to do that at one point!

Award Charts and Greenland

There are two airlines that fly to Greenland and both of them are not in a major airline alliance. That means that we cannot use the normal miles we would have to fly to Greenland and lessen the cost of the ticket. However, that does not stop airlines from placing Greenland on their award charts. This happens many times with other countries as well that either do not have major airlines flying to them or an alliance does not have a partner flying to that location.

Actually, Greenland is part of the continent of North America, geographically speaking. As far as “ownership” it is part of the kingdom of Denmark. US airlines and others put Greenland into Europe for the sake of award charts.

But, with Lufthansa and Aegean and their award charts, Greenland is a part of North America. So, they got it right! Imagine if there were Star Alliance flights from Europe to Greenland! That would mean you could use 12,500 Aegean miles to fly from the US to Greenland – or just get off in Europe and not go to Greenland (though I would want to go to Greenland).

Given how close Greenland is to Canada, I wonder if there would be seasonal flights with Air Canada down the road? That would benefit different programs in different ways – United Airlines (which puts Greenland in Europe) would charge passengers going from Europe to Greenland (via Canada) just 25,000 miles for business class! That would be awesome!

This is just another way that airline award charts slot countries and regions to make it beneficial for their program. Probably no country is as different in region assignment as Israel, however. Some airlines have it in the Middle East, some in Asia, some in Europe, and some in North Africa! Again, I like Aegean for this because it makes it be 45,000 miles for business class from the US to Israel!

israel is not in europe

So, while Denmark may own Greenland, geographically and airline-award speaking, it is part of North America!

Featured image courtesy Bernd Hildebrandt from Pixabay

Please, this is just a fun airline award post – leave politics out of the comments!

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • A number of years ago it was occasionally possible to fly commercially from Canada to Greenland. I only know because I got deep down a few rabbit holes once when thinking about a trip to Greenland in conjunction with Iceland. There were some charters available in the summer several years ago – I can’t recall who operated them (it wasn’t any major airline IIRC). But it was fairly expensive (though it may have been a decent deal if you booked as a packaged tour). I’m not sure if any such charters are still offered though.

    As far as scheduled commercial service, at one time Air Greenland ran flights to Iqaluit in Nunavut territory in Canada. It also wasn’t cheap, nor were the flights from elsewhere in Canada to Iqaluit! But it would have been an interesting way to get there.

    I’d love to see AC fly there!

    Another fun fact – Iceland is split between the Eurasian and North American continental plates. It appears that KEF is just barely on the NA side (though I can’t find a super-detailed map of the North Atlantic Ridge where things split, to 100% confirm). So it’s too bad no airline FFP makes KEF in a North American zone! LOL!

    • Very cool, Ryan! Thanks for all of that info – I am really wanting to do Greenland and don’t mind it being from Iceland sometime!

  • Please don’t get involved with this idiot conversation by Trump. It’s bad enough it’s on the front pages for news; keep it off of travel blogs.

    • Thanks, JRG. It is more that sometimes I find interesting things with award programs that I do not feel warrant a post but when their is a link to something going on in the news, it gives me an opportunity to mention it and also hope that others see something they may have otherwise passed over.

  • ATA flew to Greenland on behalf of Air Greenland from Baltimore for a few months in 2007. It was in part subsidized by the Greenland Tourist Board, if I remember right. The loads were miserable.