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Crazy fees on booking AA flights through BA?

Crazy fees on booking AA flights through BA?

Old Apr 28, 21, 10:42 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 63
Crazy fees on booking AA flights through BA?

I live in Seattle and usually fly BA to the UK. I've had a lot of BA miles, mostly via American Express Membership Rewards points, and have usually found it nice to use these to fly in Club World or First on awards, despite the high surcharges associated with those awards (typically about $1300 round trip right now).

I just noticed that AA has started nonstop SEA-LHR service, but gosh, the booking disparity! If I book a round trip on AA in business class at AA using AA miles (sample trip I tried today is January 4 to Jan 18, flights 156 and 155), on AA that's 100K miles and $328.55. On BA, booking the same flights comes in at 154500 Avios and $1771.17. Is this sort of thing normal? In the past it has always seemed to me that the surcharges when booking one carrier on another's plan tended to follow the surcharge practice of the flying airline rather than the booking airline -- but here it's even higher than BA's surcharges for BA flights.

I can of course book AA with AA miles, but I have a harder time earning those and I have a nice bundle of Avios all stashed away (and growing, of course, because of the current and recent restrictions on travel). It'd be nice if it turned out that this was some sort of temporary glitch....
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KurtBJC is offline  
Old Apr 28, 21, 11:19 pm
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: JAX
Programs: Former BA/AA/CP/LY employee, BA Executive Club Blue, IHG Platinum, Samsung Platinum
Posts: 3,074
Yes, on Joint Business routes at least, BA charges the YQ/YR that applies to paid fares on partners. AA also charges BA's YQ to AAdvantage members if they book BA.

BA/AA charge the exact same YQ/YR amounts on trans-Atlantic flights. BA collects it on all bookings, paid or rewards, AA collects it only on paid bookings and BA awards. AA doesn't charge it to AA members on AA rewards. Has been thus since the Joint Business started in 2008, but of course the surcharges keep going up…
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JAXBA is offline  
Old Apr 29, 21, 8:09 am
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Mexico
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 1,487
I'd spend those Avios on inter-American rewards rather than ex-US to UK/Europe flights. You will find some great value especially on last minute bookings. Plus if you have BAEC status of Silver you can add in your BA number and use the AA lounges even when their elites have no access.
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TTmex is offline  
Old Apr 29, 21, 10:01 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 63
Originally Posted by TTmex View Post
I'd spend those Avios on inter-American rewards rather than ex-US to UK/Europe flights.
Yes, that's just what I'm thinking right now. I've found the BA bookings with the high surcharges to be worthwhile in the past, because I can't sleep on planes without a flat bed at all, but if AA is going to be offering flat beds at a quarter the cash, it's hard to justify using BA for those unless some other consideration (availability would be the obvious one) compels it. So I can conserve my AA miles by not spending them on domestics, and do the domestic flying via BA miles. That should work, though I can see that I'm going to find myself wondering how to earn as many AA miles as I can BA miles -- the Amex Membership Rewards program is really nice for BA, but doesn't do AA at all, even at a reduced redemption rate.

And, JAXBA: thanks for that explanation. That's very clear; not what I hoped to hear, but it certainly explains why this is this way.
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