Booking American Airlines awards

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Old Mar 6, 20, 8:44 pm   -   Wikipost
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British Airways' mileage currency (Avios) offer a potentially advantageous option for redeeming for award tickets on AA, especially on shorter flights. This wiki (which originated in a thread in the now-closed US forum) attempts to summarize key aspects of the program, as well as several problems and workarounds relating to use of the BA website.
CAUTION
Post #1 contains outdated information and should not be relied on.


What are the general rules for redeeming Avios?
  • Avios is charged per individual flight segment. The cost for a single connecting itinerary AAA-BBB-CCC is the same as the cost of two separate tickets for travel AAA-BBB & BBB-CCC.
  • Avios uses a distance-based chart. (See below.)
    • International first and AA domestic three-class first cost roughly 4x as many Avios as coach.
    • For segments over 2000 miles, business class (and first-class awards on AA domestic two-class service) cost roughly 3x coach.
    • For segments under 2000 miles, business class (and first-class awards on AA domestic two-class service) cost exactly 2x coach.
  • You can redeem one-way awards with Avios.
  • Avios is generally region-agnostic. (That is, a given distance costs the same regardless of whether it traverses one or more world regions.) Thus, Avios can provide great value when flying to Hawaii for those who fly coach and can do so in one segment.
  • There is no ticketing fee for online booking. If you call instead of booking online, there is a $25 ticketing fee. (Some people have success in getting this fee waived when an itinerary cannot be booked online, making a phone call unavoidable.)
  • There is no close-in ticketing fee.
  • BA charges $55 to cancel or change a ticket. However, if you cancel online, your cost is capped at the amount of taxes/TSA fees paid; for domestic itineraries on AA, this will normally be much less than $55. (This workaround does not apply to changing a ticket online, which will incur the full $55 fee.) You must cancel 24 hours in advance to get the Avios redeposited; see the BAEC T&C, section 17.
As of the May 30, 2019 award pricing changes, the chart for economy redemptions is as follows:

What's the process for redeeming Avios?
Go to the Avios award search page; log in; and enter your desired itinerary.
Great! That sounds easy! What's the catch?
Unfortunately, there are several practical restrictions on redeeming Avios for domestic travel on AA, especially when attempting to book online.
  • Most importantly, AA MileSAAver awards must be available. (You can confirm award availability at the lowest level by searching the AA site directly or by using a third-party service such as Expert Flyer.)
  • The BA search tool cannot generate partner itineraries that include more than one connection. (You can still book each segment as an individual ticket, although doing so will create problems if you wish to check luggage all the way through and/or if you miss a connection owing to flight delays.)
  • Even where AA has low-level award availability, the Avios search tool will often fail to display it. This is especially true on routes with numerous flights in a single day (such as the DCA-LGA, LGA-BOS & DCA-BOS shuttles), but occurs regularly on numerous routes. There is no workaround except calling BA reservations.
    • Recommendation: Always search for one-way awards. The BA search tool is known to display no availability in either direction on round-trip searches when awards are in fact available in one direction but not the other.
  • The BA search engine will accept metropolitan area pseudo-codes (WAS, LON, PAR, NYC, etc.) as well as individual airport codes. For best results, try both (e.g., DCA, BWI & IAD as well as WAS).
OK, I managed to make an award booking despite all these pitfalls. How do I get my AAdvantage number into the reservation in order to enjoy my AA elite benefits?
When finalizing the booking of your award ticket on the BA site, delete your BA Executive Club number from the frequent-flyer ID box. Once the ticket is issued, you can update the reservation on the AA site (using the record locator number provided by BA) to add your AAdvantage number.
I want to change my seat but the BA site never gave me an AA record locator. What's the solution?
Look up your reservation on the AA site using the BA record locator. You can also go to "Manage My Booking" on the BA site; simply select the desired booking (you may need to click the large plus sign at the right), click "Choose Seats," and then follow the prompts. You will be redirected automatically to the AA site, where you can also view your AA record locator and add your AAdvantage member number to the reservation.
How can I accumulate Avios?
  • Fly British Airways.
  • Credit OneWorld flights to British Airways.
  • Open a Chase British Airways credit card, ideally with a generous sign up bonus.
  • Move Chase Ultimate Reward points (CSP, Ink Plus, Ink Preferred) to your BA account.
  • Move AMEX Membership Rewards points to your BA account, preferably during the 2-3 times a year when a bonus is offered.
  • Move Marriott points to your BA account. 60K Marriott points yields 25K BA Avios.
  • Form a household account (see BA forum for discussion) so that miles can be pooled.
Credit: Much of this wiki is based on earlier work by SanDiego1K.
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Old Nov 20, 14, 12:23 pm
  #1  
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Booking American Airlines awards

The fact that US/AA flights are now bookable using BA Avios miles is clearly old news to everyone here but I thought some might be interested in the map I created in an effort to take advantage of the non-stop flights out of the New York-JFK hub + other NYC area airports. It doesn't look like I can embed a Google map on the forum so I'll point you to the link: American Airlines (+ US Airways) Flights: Using British Airways Avios out of New York-NYC. I hope some find it useful!

---------------------------------

Ever since US Airways and American Airlines announced their merger, Iíve been excited about the prospect of having many more options of using British Airways Avios for award flights within the US. This thought became reality on March 31, 2014 when US Airways officially joined the Oneworld Alliance and thus, overnight, travelers in the US had many more options to maximize Avios redemptions.

This opens up lots of opportunities for maximizing short, non-stop flights out of or to American Airlinesí and US Airwaysí hub cities:



First in this series, we looked at the US Airways hubs and only US Airways flights: Charlotte, North Carolina-CLT, then Philadelphia-PHL, Washington-DCA and Phoenix-PHX. Now, with the merger getting closer and closer to finalizing, Iíve begun mapping the American Airlines hub cities with a combination of AA and US flights. Iíve started with the New York hub at JFK and included flights from other New York area airports including LaGuardia-LGA, Newark-EWR, Westchester County-HPN and Long Island-ISP.

The New York-JFK hub is a substantial hub for American Airlines, with about a dozen international destinations as well as decent number of US cities served.

I have compiled this map to help assist in visualizing and then planning just how far a British Airways Avios will take you on AA/US:




Legend

Some great values are New York-JFK/LGA/EWR/HPN/ISP to:
  • As with all of these Avios redemptions, just about any Zone 1 city in green is probably a great value at just 9k Avios roundtrip, especially those destinations to Canada (Montreal-YUL or Toronto-YYZ)
  • New York-JFK to Bermuda-BDA for 15k Avios (if you can find availability) is a steal.
  • Any of the destinations in the Caribbean end up being a pretty solid deal for just 20k Avios roundtrip: San Juan-SJU, Saint Thomas-STT, Saint Maarten-SXM, St Kitts and Nevis-SKB or Cancun-CUN.
  • All of the European cities served by AA out of JFK can be booked for only 40k miles RT, which can be a good deal most of the time, especially compared to Delta or United who charge 50% more miles at 60k RT: Dublin-DUB, Manchester-MAN, London-LHR, Paris-CDG, Madrid-MAD, Barcelona-BCN, Zurich-ZRH, Milan-MXP.



BOTTOM LINE: Although the addition of US Airways to the Oneworld Alliance only adds ~15-18 flights to Americanís New York markets (mostly short, regional destinations), AA+US still has quite a strong route network with many choices to save a lot of points/miles when booking award tickets if you try to use BA Avios. Only 15k miles from New York to Bermuda? Yes, please.

-----------------------------------

You can find the interactive map here: American Airlines (+ US Airways) Flights: Using British Airways Avios out of New York-NYC
As a side note: I pulled all of the route info for the map off of AA.com and USAirways.com, I know that some routes are seasonal and some might even be slated for cancellation. If you see any destinations that I should remove, please let me know. Thanks!



---------------------------------

Last edited by JDiver; May 19, 15 at 10:24 am Reason: Restore original post title
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Old Nov 20, 14, 2:34 pm
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry: BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.1030 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/417)

"AA out of JFK can be booked for only 40k miles RT, which can be a good deal most of the time, especially compared to Delta or United who charge 50% more miles at 60k RT: Dublin-DUB, Manchester-MAN, London-LHR, Paris-CDG, Madrid-MAD, Barcelona-BCN, Zurich-ZRH, Milan-MXP."

Redeeming Avios for TATL travel on AA (or US) will incur hefty surcharges. For TATL, it's best to redeem Avios on AB (no surcharges), or EI (low surcharges).
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Old Nov 20, 14, 3:32 pm
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Using Avios.

Zone 1 is a bargain. (NYC-YUL/YYZ)
JFK-DUS in J on AB is nice as well.
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Old Feb 5, 15, 4:36 pm
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PPT to AKL or PPT to CHC using Avios or AA miles

How to find availability from PPT to AKL or CHC or ZQN for December flight? I want to use avios or AA miles.
Also, can i use avios or aa miles within new zealand? thanks in advance
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Old Feb 5, 15, 4:48 pm
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Not sure how you can check for TN availability other than phoning.

TN flies once to AKL on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays so wouldnt be too hard to get an AA agent to check the flight availability I suspect

There is no miles usage options within NZ ; domestic NZ fares are pretty cheap so just check Air New Zealand and the Jetstar sites for those
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Old Feb 5, 15, 5:02 pm
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Thanks Dave. You're correct i just saw $69 flight from AKL to CHC.
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Old Feb 5, 15, 5:04 pm
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Originally Posted by agila View Post
How to find availability from PPT to AKL or CHC or ZQN for December flight? I want to use avios or AA miles.
Also, can i use avios or aa miles within new zealand? thanks in advance
Tough route/part of the world to use AAdv miles on, to say the least.

And, if you use EF, don't get confused by the presence of QF 3826 PPT-AKL. It doesn't show up as a codeshare in EF but it is.
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Old Feb 5, 15, 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
Not sure how you can check for TN availability other than phoning.
Expertflyer will show TN availability.
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Old Feb 5, 15, 5:15 pm
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Originally Posted by millionmiler View Post
Expertflyer will show TN availability.
Wow! Cool-- never knew that!
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Old Feb 5, 15, 8:24 pm
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
Wow! Cool-- never knew that!
Its not a new development. At least its been an option with EF for 4 years or more. Also, I've found that what EF shows is exactly what AA agents can see - never ever have I seen a difference.
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Old Feb 5, 15, 9:30 pm
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Originally Posted by agila View Post
Thanks Dave. You're correct i just saw $69 flight from AKL to CHC.
Provided you booked early, and there's no major events on the date you want to travel $69 AKL-CHC is pretty normal entry level fare. You also might want to keep an eye out on grabaseat.co.nz, it NZ answer to the LCC market. They sell seats on up-coming dates on NZ flights, e.g. frequently they have deals with AKL-CHC for $45.

Just watch out, as all entry level fares on NZ/JQ don't include checked bags.
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Old Feb 5, 15, 10:05 pm
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Perhaps someone else more familiar with Avios can respond, but if I'm not mistaken, one can't use Avios for flights on TN. [but clearly you can use AAdvantage miles for TN flights]

And if I am correct that one can't use Avios for redemptions on TN, then as JonNYC pointed out, as QF3826 is a code share flown on TN, not on QF metal, presumably it wouldn't be redeemable using Avios.
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Old Feb 5, 15, 10:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Max M View Post
Perhaps someone else more familiar with Avios can respond, but if I'm not mistaken, one can't use Avios for flights on TN. [but clearly you can use AAdvantage miles for TN flights]

And if I am correct that one can't use Avios for redemptions on TN, then as JonNYC pointed out, as QF3826 is a code share flown on TN, not on QF metal, presumably it wouldn't be redeemable using Avios.
TN is not a partner of BA so cannot use BA Avios to redeem on TN whether directly or via a codeshare
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Old Feb 9, 15, 10:48 am
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Award travel HNL-DFW in F, use Avios or AA miles?

I'm trying to save my Aadvantage miles to use for Europe but the Avios needed for this flight is 60,000 vs 37500 for AA miles.

New to Avios so not really sure if this redemption makes sense. I'd like to use my US miles but they don't offer one-way (unless using RT miles).

Any insight or recommendations? Thanks.
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Old Feb 9, 15, 11:51 am
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Originally Posted by TxTrav View Post
I'm trying to save my Aadvantage miles to use for Europe but the Avios needed for this flight is 60,000 vs 37500 for AA miles.

New to Avios so not really sure if this redemption makes sense. I'd like to use my US miles but they don't offer one-way (unless using RT miles).

Any insight or recommendations? Thanks.
So, Avois has an economy rate (1x), business class rate (2x), and first class rate (3x). The forward-cabin of a two cabin plane is called "first" domestically here in the US, and so Avios prices out at the 3x rate, which AA does not do.
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