Old Jan 20, 16, 3:19 pm
  #7  
sdsearch
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: home = LAX
Posts: 25,133
Originally Posted by STG View Post
Their Business Class product actually looked great. My wife and I are cheapskates though, so we try to only redeem miles on MileSAAver awards . I'd still research their various policies (especially baggage policies) ahead of time. I'm guessing that if you book in Business, they'll let you choose your seat ahead of check-in?

As for European travel, you're absolutely right. My wife and I are looking domestically, to South America, and to Hawaii for future awards. BA's fees are (almost literally) insane, and after our poor AB experience we're ruling them out too.
Be aware that AA, AB, and BA are not your only choices for getting to Europe using AA miles, but they are the only choices that show up on aa.com.

There are other airlines, including Iberia which has some extra fees but not as high as BA, and Finnair with no high fees, that can get you to Europe with AA miles, but you have to search for availability elsewhere (you can do a certain number of searches free as a FlyerTalk member at www.awardnexus.com, click on "more signup options" next to the big green Purchase button to get to the place where you signup for free with your FlyerTalk info), and then call up AA to make the booking.

And AA itself can have availability if you have flexibility in both when you travel and how you route (ie, the award all on AA with the fewest miles may require extra connections). Also, if AA doesn't fly to the place you want to go in Europe, remembe that "mainland" (non-Scandinavian) Europe generally has great and fairly fast inter-country rail service, and it can be very practical to fly AA to the closest place AA flies its own planes, then take a train the rest of the way.

Also, if you can fly AA to LHR across the pond, you don't get charged such high fees for connecting to BA only for intra-Europe connections. It's only when BA is how you fly from the US on the long flight that you get those astronomical fees.

So while there are wonderful places to visit in other parts of the world, certainly, don't give up totally on Europe just because you don't want to fly AB again and don't want to pay BA's high fees.
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