Update: American Airlines tells me “You’re correct – there is a glitch in the system which caused these issues and we’re working with our third-party partner on a fix. ”
Update 2: American follows up, “British Airways award space is now accurately displaying on aa.com. Thanks again for letting us know about the error.”
Reader Jeff wrote in asking about booking British Airways awards with American AAdvantage miles. There’s definitely something strange going on.
He noted to me, “I was searching for awards to [London Heathrow] on aa.com. They only show [American Airlines] awards for June 2022 and I have to back up to October 2021 to get aa.com to show BA award space.”
I first looked at New York JFK – London Heathrow and had no problem finding space on my first try, for the first set of dates I plugged in (May 18, 2021):
However then I plugged in a date for space in May 2021 for Austin – London Heathrow and only American Airlines flights came up. I pulled up the award calendar and it appears to register BA space correctly. (Only British Airways flies the route non-stop, and nearly every day has business class award space available.)
But when I click any day, I get the result that nothing is available. So I called American, and the agent I spoke with couldn’t see any business class award seats on Austin – London Heathrow either… for all of May or June. (She claimed “they just haven’t loaded the seats yet,” natch.) She was happy to offer me coach.
Right now American Airlines doesn’t appear to have access to all of the British Airways award inventory that BA is offering – and that is bookable by other airline partners. For instance, Alaska Airlines has no difficulty showing the space:
I’ve reached out to American, but wouldn’t expect a response on a Sunday evening. I imagine this is a glitch, rather than a new attempt by American AAdvantage to restrict access to award seats.