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Reader Robert N asks,
I’m curious as to how booking American/US Airways short haul award trips with British Airways Avios works come check in time? Once booking through BA.com, do we get a AA/US record locator? Or is there another method for checking into an airport (such as Washington Reagan) where there is no BA desk?
Short Distance Rewards are Great With the British Airways Program
Flights of 650 miles or less cost just 4500 British Airways points each way in economy, and you can redeem for partner airlines like American, US Airways, and Alaska Airlines. Flights up to 1150 miles are just 7500 points each way in economy. And business class is double that.
- DC-Chicago on American and DC-New York LaGuardia on the US Airways Shuttle represent great deals at 9000 miles roundtrip. New York – Toronto at 9000 points each way for business class (free checked bags) is a great deal, too.
These awards are why I’m flying domestic economy more.. and loving it.
How to Get British Airways Points
British Airways points can be earned effectively by US frequent flyers since they come easily from a variety of sources.
- Transfer points you earn with Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to British Airways. The card has a 40,000 point signup bonus offer and earns double points on travel and dining. It has a $0 annual fee the first year, then $95.
- Transfer points you earn with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express to British Airways.
- Transfer points you earn with the Platinum Card from American Express to British Airways (although effective October 1 it will take 5 Amex points to get 4 British Airways points.. the transfer ratio will no longer be 1-to-1.)
How You Check In for an American/US Airways/Alaska Airlines Flight Booked with British Airways Points
Here are some basic things to know that will help you not just with check in but also securing the best possible seat assignment for your flight:
- You always check in with the airline you’re flying. So a British Airways desk isn’t needed.
- You can use the Finnair or Royal Jordanian websites to change your frequent flyer number if you’re an elite and want elite seating and other privileges like free checked bags (and don’t have status with British Airways that would provide those benefits)
- You can get your American or US Airways confirmation number by calling British Airways and asking them, or by calling the airline you’re flying and giving them your name and flight details. Then you can check in online.
- You can check in at the desk or at the kiosk without the record locator — your ID suffices.