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Flying AA on airline partner (AY, BA, IB etc.) award? Tips & tricks.

Flying AA on airline partner (AY, BA, IB etc.) award? Tips & tricks.

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Old Mar 26, 19, 3:39 pm
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Flying AA on airline partner (AY, BA, IB etc.) award? Tips & tricks.

I searched for a thread offering insights to those of us using other airlines’ frequent flyer programs, such as those using BA or IB Avios awards to fly American Airlines, which can be significantly “cheaper” in miles “currency”, but haven’t found one. Yet I do recall members using such to fly AA, and there are many questions regarding this topic.

For example, using BA Avios,

The Points Guy’s How to Book Award Flights With British Airways Avios shows the sweet spots booking AA domestic First or mainland - Hawaii flights.

British Airways doesn’t charge surcharges on flights operated by American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and LATAM flights within the United States, to Central America, South America, Mexico, Canada, or the Caribbean. - link to a beginner’s guide to using BA Avios by The Globetrotting Teacher
Go to the BAEC forum or IB forum, etc. for discussions on how to book awards using partner airline awards on AA, of course, but there are tips for these AA denizens using “foreign” miles to book AA (MileSAAver inventory only, not AAnytime) awards.

Another tip was posted by guv1976 in the Iberia - Iberia Plus forum about using Iberia Avios to fly AA.

Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
Last Summer, I used Iberia Plus Avios to book a four-segment redemption ticket on AA for travel wholly within the U.S. Because this was a zero-fare ticket with no carrier surcharges, the ticket was exempt from U.S. Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs). Nonetheless, Iberia charged me $18.00 in PFCs ($4.50 x 4).

Based on other posts here on FlyerTalk, it appears that Iberia has been doing this for some time.

Following a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Iberia has agreed to refund the $18.00 that was improperly collected, is awarding me 10,000 Avios as an apparent customer-service gesture, and is investigating how the error occurred.

If you have improperly been charged U.S. PFCs on zero-fare, zero-carrier-charge Iberia Plus redemption tickets, you may now be able to recover those fees by complaining to Iberia and/or the U.S. DOT. Keep in mind, however, that only redemption tickets with a zero fare and no carrier charges are exempt from PFCs. If you redeem IB Plus Avios for a ticket from the U.S. to Europe on any carrier, there will be carrier charges on such a ticket, and the ticket will not be exempt from PFCs.

Iberia Plus Avios can provide excellent value on short- and medium-distance roundtrips on AA within North America, especially those that require connections. Be aware, though, that Iberia does not permit any changes or refunds on redemption tickets for travel on AA.
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Old Mar 26, 19, 4:05 pm
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Thanks, JDiver! I think that this thread is a great addition to the AA forum.

A few things to keep in mind when redeeming Avios for award travel on AA:

1. Neither BA nor IB charges a close-in award-booking fee.

2. If you have both a BAEC and an Iberia Plus account, you can transfer Avios back and forth between the two accounts, as necessary, as long as both accounts have been "funded" with at least one earned Avios, and both accounts have been open for at least 90 days.

3. A roundtrip of 600 or fewer flown miles on AA can be had for just 11,000 IB Avios in Coach. A roundtrip of 601-1,000 flown miles on AA runs just 12,000 IB Avios in Coach.

4. BA still offers a multi-partner award based on total mileage flown (akin to the discontinued oneworld Explorer award that AA used to offer). And when redeeming for such an award in Business Class, BA still uses a 2X multiplier, rather than the 3X multiplier normally applied to medium- and long-haul individual flight redemptions. (But expect to pay hefty surcharges unless you limit yourself to certain carriers and certain routes.) BA multi-partner award chart here:

https://www.britishairways.com/trave...​​

Since Alaska is a BA partner, I believe that you can combine AA and AS on a BA multi-partner redemption.
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Old Mar 26, 19, 10:42 pm
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Thanks for the heads up. I’d forgotten the differences in each program

Iberia looks ideal for something like MSY-MIA-EYW return, which is 1051 total flight miles and would be 17k on IB, 25k on AA, and 30k on BA in Y.

Or a big difference in F. IB 34k, AA 50k, BA 60k!
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