Book through AA or British Airways?

Old Apr 16, 2023, 11:10 pm
  #1  
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Question Book through AA or British Airways?

Looking to book a first trip to London from PDX. The cost is the same for the flight no matter if I search on AA or British Airways. On AA, it does give me the option to make it refundable (at $200 more per ticket, yikes).

Is there any advantage to booking through one vs the other? If a flight gets canceled by them, would we have a better chance of getting onto another flight with a certain airline?

Thanks!
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Old Apr 16, 2023, 11:42 pm
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Originally Posted by travelfam7700
Looking to book a first trip to London from PDX. The cost is the same for the flight no matter if I search on AA or British Airways. On AA, it does give me the option to make it refundable (at $200 more per ticket, yikes).

Is there any advantage to booking through one vs the other? If a flight gets canceled by them, would we have a better chance of getting onto another flight with a certain airline?

Thanks!
If you book on BA, there are certain discounts available if you are an AARP member, or if you have the Chase/BA credit card. Details here:

https://www.aarp.org/membership/bene...itish-airways/

https://www.britishairways.com/en-us...visa-signature

Note that, regardless of which airline you book through, if you book the PDX-LHR nonstop operated by BA, you will have certain protections under UK law on the outbound flight in the event of delays or cancellations, in addition to being protected on the return flight. If you book connecting flights operated by AA, you would only receive such protections on the return flights.
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Old Apr 17, 2023, 12:44 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976
If you book on BA, there are certain discounts available if you are an AARP member, or if you have the Chase/BA credit card. Details here:

https://www.aarp.org/membership/bene...itish-airways/

https://www.britishairways.com/en-us...visa-signature

Note that, regardless of which airline you book through, if you book the PDX-LHR nonstop operated by BA, you will have certain protections under UK law on the outbound flight in the event of delays or cancellations, in addition to being protected on the return flight. If you book connecting flights operated by AA, you would only receive such protections on the return flights.

Thank you! That is very helpful information. I think booking through BA makes sense to get legal protections.
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Old Apr 17, 2023, 1:01 pm
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Originally Posted by travelfam7700
Thank you! That is very helpful information. I think booking through BA makes sense to get legal protections.
It's not booking through BA that gives you the U.K. protection; it's booking the flight operated by BA, even if it's sold with an AA codeshare flight number.

Note that if you collect AAdvantage miles, you will earn based on the pre-tax fare paid if you book AA flight numbers. If you book BA flight numbers, your AAdvantage earnings will be based on distance flown and fare class.

If you are interested in booking through BA, even persons under 50 can join AARP as an "Associate Member," and still get the BA discount.
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Old Apr 17, 2023, 1:48 pm
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Id say, all else equal, whether to book BA or AA depends on ticket price.

For a 10000 mile flight at the lowest business class fare class on AA/BA, you earn more AA miles on BA if the base fare is below $2700. Conversely you earn more AA miles on AA if the base fare is above $2700.
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Old Apr 17, 2023, 3:54 pm
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Correct, it all depends on the price, if you're trying to maximize LPs:

Try plugging in both options here, and see which one is better:
https://lpcalculator.com/#/landing
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Old Apr 17, 2023, 6:30 pm
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Originally Posted by aisleorwindow
Correct, it all depends on the price, if you're trying to maximize LPs:

Try plugging in both options here, and see which one is better:
https://lpcalculator.com/#/landing
Well, price and status.
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Old Apr 17, 2023, 6:58 pm
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Originally Posted by skunker
Well, price and status.
Status does not matter for maximization; it's a multiplier and both airlines' earnings get multiplied by the same amount.
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Old Apr 17, 2023, 7:59 pm
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler
Status does not matter for maximization; it's a multiplier and both airlines' earnings get multiplied by the same amount.
Using the variables provided ($2700, 10,000 mile trip, I class) it would break down as:
Base member: 5 x 2700 = 13,500 LPs
EXP: 11 x 2700 = 29,700 LPs
or with BA codes
Base member: 10000 + 5000 (cabin bonus) = 15,000 LPs
EXP: 10000 + 5000 + 12000 (status bonus) = 27000 LPs

Sure seems like status matters if trying for maximization. The breakeven is about Platinum with 21,600 LPs for AA codes and 21,000 for BA codes
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Old Apr 17, 2023, 9:04 pm
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Originally Posted by skunker
Using the variables provided ($2700, 10,000 mile trip, I class) it would break down as:
Base member: 5 x 2700 = 13,500 LPs
EXP: 11 x 2700 = 29,700 LPs
or with BA codes
Base member: 10000 + 5000 (cabin bonus) = 15,000 LPs
EXP: 10000 + 5000 + 12000 (status bonus) = 27000 LPs

Sure seems like status matters if trying for maximization. The breakeven is about Platinum with 21,600 LPs for AA codes and 21,000 for BA codes
You are correct, as the status bonus only applies to base mileage and not the class of service bonus. If it applied to both, then the mileage ratio would actually be constant between BA and AA regardless of status level.
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Old Apr 17, 2023, 9:24 pm
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Who is operating the flights? Everything else equal, I would rather book with whom ever is operating. Much less chance to pass the buck if something goes wrong.
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Old Apr 18, 2023, 6:02 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976
It's not booking through BA that gives you the U.K. protection; it's booking the flight operated by BA, even if it's sold with an AA codeshare flight number.

Note that if you collect AAdvantage miles, you will earn based on the pre-tax fare paid if you book AA flight numbers. If you book BA flight numbers, your AAdvantage earnings will be based on distance flown and fare class.

If you are interested in booking through BA, even persons under 50 can join AARP as an "Associate Member," and still get the BA discount.
Thanks for clarifying!
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Old Apr 18, 2023, 6:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Cledaybuck
Who is operating the flights? Everything else equal, I would rather book with whom ever is operating. Much less chance to pass the buck if something goes wrong.
To me, it looks like BA is operating the flights. That's what is says on AA website.
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Old Apr 18, 2023, 8:42 pm
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Yes, if you're looking at the nonstop from PDX-LHR that's only operated by BA.
Where it gets more complicated is if you're flying from an AA hub where BOTH AA and BA operate flights -- then you have to decide between (1) buy an AA flight from BA, (2) buy an BA flight from BA, (3) buy an AA flight from AA, and (4) buy a BA flight from AA. And you can mix-and-match the outbound and return to an extent.
But as others have alluded to, the choice of which flight to take (i.e., "operated by") will be dependent upon (a) the importance of EC261 protections, (b) aircraft type/seating configuration, (c) importance of pre-assigning seats which for BA planes you have to either pay for or have OneWorld status for most business class fares and below, and maybe catering/service (BA generally better although in coach/premium economy it's probably pretty close). The choice of who to buy the ticket from will be dependent upon (a) price [including AARP or Chase Visa discount] and (b) mileage/status maximization. Status may play into this as well - if you have status it will be easier to get through to a phone agent for that airline if you need.
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Old Apr 18, 2023, 10:28 pm
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Originally Posted by ijgordon
Yes, if you're looking at the nonstop from PDX-LHR that's only operated by BA.
Where it gets more complicated is if you're flying from an AA hub where BOTH AA and BA operate flights -- then you have to decide between (1) buy an AA flight from BA, (2) buy an BA flight from BA, (3) buy an AA flight from AA, and (4) buy a BA flight from AA. And you can mix-and-match the outbound and return to an extent.
But as others have alluded to, the choice of which flight to take (i.e., "operated by") will be dependent upon (a) the importance of EC261 protections, (b) aircraft type/seating configuration, (c) importance of pre-assigning seats which for BA planes you have to either pay for or have OneWorld status for most business class fares and below, and maybe catering/service (BA generally better although in coach/premium economy it's probably pretty close). The choice of who to buy the ticket from will be dependent upon (a) price [including AARP or Chase Visa discount] and (b) mileage/status maximization. Status may play into this as well - if you have status it will be easier to get through to a phone agent for that airline if you need.
Fascinating! There is definitely much more to it than I thought/knew. We don't have any status, and very few AA points (I mostly fly Alaska). Am I understanding correctly that for this flight, we would have to pay to select our seats if we book with BA, but not have to pay with AA?

(After I figure this out, then I need to decide economy vs premium economy for double the price)
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