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In general, search on AA.com for award availability.

BA
If you want to book a flight with Avios, it is known from Dan's Knowledgebase that BA.com doesn't show availability very well, but some flights definitely are searchable there. Nonetheless, it's easier to just search AA.com, and if you find a MileSAAver availability, check BA.com to see if it shows up there, too. If it does, book it there. If it doesn't, you can always call up BA and reference the flight you found. Note that there is usually a very long hold time before BA picks up, and they will charge a phone booking fee. If the flight was unsearchable on BA.com, try fighting that fee, but YMMV.

IB
IB availability will not show up on AA.com You can call AA to find IB availability, but it's hard without being able to browse dates and have to ask the rep to check flights over the phone. Searching on Qantas.com will show IB flights - supposedly if they appear there, they can then be booked by calling AA.

OneWorld Explorer [OWE] The OWE has officially been cancelled [4/8/14] as part of the latest AA no-warning changing to its award program. Here's what the OWE looked like:
This is an around-the-world [RTW] award that is calculated not by the mileage cost of specific flights, but rather by the actual distance travelled on your trip. It is especially valuable for flying business class, as the difference in miles needed between coach and business is not very great on longer trips. See this chart to see the different tiers of how many miles it costs to travel different distances. You can take up to 16 segments on a trip, but there are MANY rules to follow when booking such an award.

Be prepared to spend a lot of time when planning this trip. (Personally [@Yehuda], it took 2 months with a few weeks of break in the middle from frustration.) Availability changes everyday, so you need to constantly check back to see if flights you needed are now available. It will also likely require changing your itinerary/order of stops numerous times. An itinerary can be held for 5 days (and can be extended past that on Day 5, if they are willing to rebook each flight for you, getting you another 5 days), but itineraries with IB flights can usually only be held for 24 hours. You will find that you will have to use hub airports since you're limited to OW partners. You will not find a flight from CDG-FCO without either stopping off in LON or MAD - both of which are out of the way. It's unfortunate, as it adds unnecessary distance miles to your trip, but it can be done. Remember that BA flights have high YQ, IB/AB have semi-high YQ, US/AA have very little YQ. (Unsure about other airlines, as my trip was TLV-Europe-NYC, so those were the only airline I had to work with.) You should check flight availability, again, on AA.com but the ticket must be booked on the phone (and they will charge a $25 phone booking fee, but again, try to fight it since this ticket cannot be booked online - although, honestly, by the time you've ticketed, they will likely have helped you out with much more than $25 worth of time). Technically, you can book it with any OW partner, but the odds are you probably only have enough AA miles to book this trip. AA reps definitely know about this award, although most have never booked it before. You will find that after calling so many times, you'll know more about the rules than they do. Once you have your perfect itinerary, they will have to send it to their rate desk to price it out. This can take ~24 hours. Because it takes time, if you have IB flights on the itinerary, they will make sure IB allows the flights to be held for longer than 24 hours, but confirm this with the rep before you hang up. Once it's priced out, you can pay for it. You can use 2 or more AA accounts to pay for it, but they will require each account to have enough miles to pay for 1 ticket. (e.g. If it costs 80K pax and you have 2 pax, they won't ask you to have 1 account with 160K in it, but they will require 2 accounts with at least 80K in each.)

Feel free to contact @Yehuda with any questions regarding the OWE.

« Last edited by AJK on July 27, 2014, 04:45:43 PM »

Author Topic: One World Award Search Tips  (Read 65509 times)

Offline deusconsilio

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #60 on: February 05, 2014, 05:21:28 PM »

Offline AJK

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #61 on: February 05, 2014, 05:22:05 PM »
Depends on how often one needs it.

"Worth" is impossible to define for someone else :P
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline DBK

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #62 on: February 05, 2014, 05:28:04 PM »
Depends on how often one needs it.

"Worth" is impossible to define for someone else :P
+1

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #63 on: February 05, 2014, 11:26:04 PM »
It worth the cost?
Didn't get a chance to download it yet and didn't realize there's a cost. Hmmm

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #64 on: February 05, 2014, 11:30:12 PM »
Oh it's only $20 for 2 months at the Diamond level. That's really not too bad. If it gets too tiring trying to book the Explorer award on the phone, I may buy this. AJK, do you find that it's accurate?

Offline AJK

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #65 on: February 05, 2014, 11:33:32 PM »
It's accurate.
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline Dan

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #66 on: February 05, 2014, 11:44:45 PM »
ANX is much more useful for an explorer award but it will cost you some nice dough.

KVS just scrapes public data. So does ANX but it will do the heavy lifting for you.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline jaywhy

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #67 on: February 05, 2014, 11:52:08 PM »
ANX?
ETA, I'm assuming Award Nexus?
« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 11:59:25 PM by jaywhy »

Offline Dan

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #68 on: February 06, 2014, 12:04:03 AM »
Ya. Was priceless for my OWE award.
Then again it was free back then and I would have racked up an obscene bill at today's rates.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline jaywhy

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #69 on: February 06, 2014, 12:18:40 AM »
Yeah, not a fan of their points based system either. And they are not cheap.

I also find that it sometimes doesn't show availability that shows when searching the website directly. Not worth the $. IMHO

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #70 on: February 06, 2014, 12:25:15 AM »
Oy wonderful. On the phone with AA now. UA agents have much more personality. It's beyond frustrating that they can only search one airline at a time.

Here's what I've got: The main OW partners in Europe are BA, IB, AB so travelling to different cities in Europe requires going back to LHR on almost every leg. For ex. I can get TLV-MAD-BCN-LHR but then when I want to go to CDG, AMS, BRU, ZRH, VCE, FCO, etc I have to keep going LHR-X-LHR before going on to the next city. Unless I'm missing something...

Offline smart brit

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #71 on: February 06, 2014, 01:09:27 AM »
You could fly via mad, bcn, vie, txl, muc, cgn, All with one world.
As air Berlin, niki and Iberia are partners too.
You could fly with elal if you are using aa miles

Offline Drago

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #72 on: February 06, 2014, 08:49:56 AM »
You've got the same conversation going on in both threads, and my lil 'ol head spins trying to keep track of both.

Offline Drago

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #73 on: February 06, 2014, 08:52:55 AM »
You could fly via mad, bcn, vie, txl, muc, cgn, All with one world.
As air Berlin, niki and Iberia are partners too.
You could fly with elal if you are using aa miles
Also FinnAir.
And he wants to build an Explorer ticket, so I don't think that LY is doable since they're not OW.

Offline deal boy

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #74 on: February 06, 2014, 09:04:48 AM »
can i add a stop over in europe if booking with aa miles