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I got in on the 100,000 British Airways Visa payday like many of you and I’ve written many posts about using britishairways.com to check Oneworld award availability (like this one on partner awards). There’s even a rock-star 50% transfer bonus to BA with American Express Membership Rewards points until July 31, 2011, so I anticipate even more people trying to us britishairways.com. However, lately ba.com has been abominable lately – refusing to work and giving out frustrating errors.
Is there a way to get around this? I’ve personally found that using the site at off-peak US hours works best. Between midnight and 6am EST, I’ve been able to use it with decent results – only getting an error once in a while and once I restarted, I was able to price out itineraries.
If ba.com isn’t working for you no matter what, you’ll have to call BA to book the award. But be prepared, the hold times can be long and the agents surly, so you should do all of your research before you call. How do you do research if ba.com is down? There are a couple tools that can help.
Qantas’ search engine
AA.com for AA awards (all SAAver level awards can be booked using BA miles)
Calling American AAdvantage at 1-800-882-8880 (usually no wait time) and working with a knowledgeable rep to find Oneworld space. Write down the flight numbers and then call BA to book.
Iberia’s search engine also has a Oneworld engine. Not perfect, but better than nothing. Click here to get an IberiaPlus account and then
KVS Tool- Not the sleekest interface, but I still find it pretty good at getting availability. Not Mac-friendly (KVS Tool- I know you’ll probably comment to this post, so can you let us know when a Mac version is coming out?!)
Expertflyer.com Limited Oneworld availability, see this post on how to use it with BA miles
I’m sure there are other tips and tricks, so please feel free to share your experiences below. No matter what – don’t give up!