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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 253799 times)

Offline davidd75

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #255 on: May 05, 2014, 01:18:47 PM »
AA wants to charge me 75$ fee for booking with 21 days of flight per passenger anyway to avoid fee?

also I am trying to find award flights from NYC, phl to TLV week of May 11 but not much success I have UA points, flying blue and avios it appears flights to israel are harder to find this week and next then flights from israel?

Offline bobzilla

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #256 on: May 05, 2014, 01:22:54 PM »

AA wants to charge me 75$ fee for booking with 21 days of flight per passenger anyway to avoid fee?


Try booking for a later date, then wait a few days and call to change the dates, they might not charge you...

Offline DXD

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #257 on: May 05, 2014, 09:48:23 PM »
Question about booking through AA - will the reps let me book by parts.

For example I am seeing SaverAward availability ORD -> CLT and then CLT -> BCN. However, when I search ORD -> BCN, I get nothing. Is there a way around it?

Thanks!

Offline Ez

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #258 on: May 05, 2014, 10:57:53 PM »
Try booking for a later date, then wait a few days and call to change the dates, they might not charge you...
Very small chance it'll work, their system is hard coded to charge that fee :(

Offline Dr Moose

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #259 on: May 05, 2014, 11:28:46 PM »
Try booking for a later date, then wait a few days and call to change the dates, they might not charge you...
IINM there's also a fee to change a flight
Hey there! I am using DansDeals Forums.

Offline Ez

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #260 on: May 06, 2014, 12:26:56 AM »
IINM there's also a fee to change a flight
Change fee also only applies within the 21 days period,
(as long as the original departure & destination stays the same)

Offline AI-TRAVEL

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #261 on: May 12, 2014, 09:02:37 PM »
whats the best way to search for cathay (yvr-jfk)?

Offline MEIR613

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #262 on: May 12, 2014, 09:16:52 PM »
whats the best way to search for cathay (yvr-jfk)?
BA.com or Qantas.com

Offline ilherman

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #263 on: May 12, 2014, 09:23:33 PM »
whats the best way to search for cathay (yvr-jfk)?
Asiamiles.com
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Offline smart brit

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #264 on: May 13, 2014, 12:56:24 AM »
BA.com or Qantas.com
ba is having some issues pulling up Cathay pacific online for the past few days

Offline ilherman

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #265 on: May 13, 2014, 01:03:08 AM »
ba is having some issues pulling up Cathay pacific online for the past few days
They always had problems IME.
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Offline AI-TRAVEL

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #266 on: May 13, 2014, 06:52:37 PM »
thanks guys.

Offline farmbochur

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #267 on: May 16, 2014, 09:25:04 AM »
Any speculation on when USAir and AA mileage accounts will become mergeable?
Risk is opportunity

Offline ilherman

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #268 on: May 16, 2014, 09:30:47 AM »
Any speculation on when USAir and AA mileage accounts will become mergeable?
Gary speculates early 2015.
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Offline farmbochur

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #269 on: May 16, 2014, 09:47:22 AM »
Gary speculates early 2015.
link?
TIA
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