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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 252481 times)

Offline ilherman

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #195 on: April 02, 2014, 12:10:06 PM »
I don't think OP asked for J.
So 100k IS enough for a RT on ElAl.
You can say what you think when you think what you say.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #196 on: April 02, 2014, 12:16:42 PM »
So 100k IS enough for a RT on ElAl.
Pretty sure ElAl is more than OW partners, last time
I called to check. But I could be wrong.

Offline ilherman

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #197 on: April 02, 2014, 12:45:15 PM »
Yes, you're wrong :)

I think it's either 80 or 90k RT. Probabky 90k.
You can say what you think when you think what you say.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #198 on: April 02, 2014, 12:49:53 PM »
Yes, you're wrong :)

I think it's either 80 or 90k RT. Probabky 90k.
:) No way it can be 80 if it's 90 online. But ya either way, most likely there'll be much more avail on these flights than on ElAl.

Offline ilherman

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #199 on: April 02, 2014, 01:02:35 PM »
LY availability is not bad. I would guess it's even better than US availability.
 
Just BTW J is 67,500 OW.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 01:21:36 PM by ilherman »
You can say what you think when you think what you say.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #200 on: April 02, 2014, 01:04:49 PM »
LY availability is not bad. I would guess it's even better then US availability.
 
Just BTW J is 67,500 OW.
Oh ok. Right.

Offline davidd75

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #201 on: April 02, 2014, 03:47:03 PM »
LY availability is not bad. I would guess it's even better than US availability.
 
Just BTW J is 67,500 OW.

+1
LY availability Economy is very good for NONSTOP flights compared to United, Delta and US airways

Offline davidd75

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #202 on: April 02, 2014, 03:49:41 PM »
-1
100K won't be enough if you go on ElAl.

You should be booking the US flights from PHL. There's PLENTY of avail NYC-PHL-TLV.

what do you mean NYC-PHL-TLV?

US AIRWAYS flies from phil only no?

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #203 on: April 02, 2014, 03:51:16 PM »
what do you mean NYC-PHL-TLV?

US AIRWAYS flies from phil only no?
That means flying from NYC to PHL and then PHL to TLV. If it meant either NYC or PHL, it would have said NYC/PHL-TLV.

Offline ranhan429

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #204 on: April 02, 2014, 04:34:39 PM »
LY availability is not bad. I would guess it's even better than US availability.
 
Just BTW J is 67,500 OW.

what is LY availability? How can I check EL AL availability? Obviously don't want to sit on the phone asking a rep which flights I can fly on with AAdvantage points. From what I saw on American's site each direction NYC / TLV is 45k miles economy, but again that was with 2 stops 20+ hrs.
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Offline davidd75

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #205 on: April 02, 2014, 06:02:21 PM »
what is LY availability? How can I check EL AL availability? Obviously don't want to sit on the phone asking a rep which flights I can fly on with AAdvantage points. From what I saw on American's site each direction NYC / TLV is 45k miles economy, but again that was with 2 stops 20+ hrs.

call AA advantage and ask them to book you on El AL should be a lot of options .  i am assuming you are flying coach/economy?

Offline davidd75

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #206 on: April 02, 2014, 06:03:19 PM »
That means flying from NYC to PHL and then PHL to TLV. If it meant either NYC or PHL, it would have said NYC/PHL-TLV.

Us airways has such a route originating in nyc?

Offline ilherman

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #207 on: April 02, 2014, 06:21:55 PM »
Us airways has such a route originating in nyc?
If you wanna do US Airways, you have to do NYC-PHL-TLV.
You can say what you think when you think what you say.

Offline @jack123

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #208 on: April 02, 2014, 11:58:53 PM »
general AA award question (hope its ok in this thread, didnt find a better one): do they care if you put a few different flights on hold to choose one of later - not trying to pull any shtick, just not sure between dates so putting both on hold for 5 days. will they care/ auto cancel? does it matter if on AA metal or not (mine are not)?
thanks

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #209 on: April 03, 2014, 12:03:07 AM »
general AA award question (hope its ok in this thread, didnt find a better one): do they care if you put a few different flights on hold to choose one of later - not trying to pull any shtick, just not sure between dates so putting both on hold for 5 days. will they care/ auto cancel? does it matter if on AA metal or not (mine are not)?
thanks
I've kept many on hold at same time. Don't think they care. Even offered to cancel some once I realized I didn't need them, but I didn't save all the record locators, so I couldn't help them find them to cancel them. Felt bad for anyone else looking to book, but they become available after 5 days. Just be careful - IB flights can only be on hold for 24 hours.