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One of the most frequent questions I’ve been getting over the past couple of months is how come I can’t book American Airlines awards on the British Airways website?
Plenty of readers have British Airways Avios, in large part because the British Airways Visa Signature® Card is offering an initial bonus of up to 100,000 Avios (and because Chase’s ‘5/24’ limits getting approved for some cards reportedly do not apply to this product). (Offer expired)
- Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within your first year of account opening for a total of 75,000 bonus Avios. Earn a further 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening for a total of 100,000 bonus Avios.
One nice use of these points is redeeming for short haul travel on American Airlines (and Alaska Airlines).
- Non-stop flights up to 1150 miles cost 7500 Avios
- Non-stop flights 1151 to 2000 miles cost 10,000 Avios
- Non-stop flights 2001 to 3000 miles cost 12,500 Avios
American Airlines Economy
Many awards that would cost 12,500 AAdvantage miles cost just 7500 Avios. Los Angeles – Honolulu can be had for 12,500 Avios one-way.
As a general matter if a non-stop saver award is available to AAdvantage members it is available to British Airways members. However the BA.com website can be glitchy with award space, especially with American, this has been an on-and-off issue for years. As a result you may find space at AA.com and not see it at BA.com.
For instance here’s Austin – Dallas on June 20 at AA.com:
But go to BA.com and nothing appears to be available:
There are two approaches to dealing with this.
- You can just call British Airways to book, if you see saver award space at AA.com they should be able to see it over the phone. You will want to ask BA to waive telephone booking fees because of their website issues.
- You can refresh the British Airways search endlessly. (HT: Frequent Miler)
If you click on the next day (June 21) or really any other day, then click back, you may see the award availability show up. Just keep trying this over and over. On this go it took five times and clicking another date and then clicking back to the date I wanted (June 20) before the space showed up — but it can take 10 or 15 tries too.
This is just a website issue. The space is available to British Airways members, and the impediment is easy to overcome.