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A popular use of British Airways Avios is booking flights on its Oneworld partners, including American Airlines and US Airways. However, recently readers have reported that British Airways’ site is not showing any award space on American Airlines — and hasn’t been for two weeks — meaning that you’ll currently have to call British Airways if you want to book awards on American.
I decided to test this out, and sure enough, when I searched for American Airlines flights on British Airways … nothing came up.
I searched on American’s site for a mock booking from New York-area airports to Toronto (YYZ) and found MileSAAver availability for 12,5000 American AAdvantage miles:
If you were able to book these short-haul flights with British Airways, which offers a distance-based award chart, these same flights would require only 4,500 Avios each way. However, when I searched on the British Airways site, these same flights weren’t showing up at all. So, for the time being at least, it does look like you’ll have to call British Airways if you want to book American flights.
Curious to see if I’d get better results with US Airways, I searched on American’s site for US Airways flights from Charlotte (CLT) to NYC-area airports, and happily, a few popped up at the MileSAAver level.
I then headed over to British Airways’ site to see if I’d have any better luck finding US Airways flights — and sure enough, the British Airways site pulled up the same US Airways flights, meaning I’d be able to book online with Avios.
Next, we decided to tweet to British Airways (@British_Airways) about what was going on. The Twitter rep came back with a response that didn’t seem to make much sense, since until recently, the airline had already enabled booking of American Airlines awards through the site. Either way, the tweet confirmed that AA awards are not currently bookable online.
For now, if you’re looking to book American Airlines awards on British Airways, you must do so over the phone by calling (800) 452-1201 between the hours of 7:30am and 8:00pm (be sure to request that the BA rep waive the fee). We’ll keep you posted if we hear more.
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