Topic Wiki

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 583956 times)

Offline yoshi

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #620 on: February 19, 2015, 06:54:57 AM »
How does Cathay availability work? Do they open up first class space close to a flight? if so when?
thanks :)

Offline jaywhy

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #621 on: February 19, 2015, 07:12:21 AM »
How does Cathay availability work? Do they open up first class space close to a flight? if so when?
thanks :)
Yes. Starting from 3 weeks but usually 3-1 day in advance.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #622 on: February 19, 2015, 07:14:13 AM »
WTH are these fuel charges all about?   :o

I thought BA does not charge YQ on AA.
That's only if the flight is entirely in the Western Hemisphere IINM.

Offline yoshi

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #623 on: February 19, 2015, 07:14:55 AM »
Yes. Starting from 3 weeks but usually 3-1 day in advance.
thanks

Online Tzadik Nistar

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #624 on: February 28, 2015, 11:41:09 PM »
I have a flight from ZRH -PHL -LGA on US airways
If availability opens on AA direct ZRH - JFK, will I have to pay a change fee to change it?

Offline jaywhy

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #625 on: February 28, 2015, 11:50:10 PM »
I have a flight from ZRH -PHL -LGA on US airways
If availability opens on AA direct ZRH - JFK, will I have to pay a change fee to change it?
Yes.

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #626 on: March 01, 2015, 12:01:13 AM »
Yes.
Because of change of airport or change of airline?

Offline MEIR613

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #627 on: March 01, 2015, 12:02:12 AM »
Because of change of airport or change of airline?
Airport 

Offline ilherman

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #628 on: March 01, 2015, 05:31:45 AM »
I have a flight from ZRH -PHL -LGA on US airways
If availability opens on AA direct ZRH - JFK, will I have to pay a change fee to change it?
Plus a $75 close in fee, if you have not payed it yet.
You can say what you think when you think what you say.

Offline MosheD

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #629 on: March 01, 2015, 08:15:59 AM »
I have wedding in London 4/20
There is (on ua website) aer lingus j availability bos-dub but thinking shlep nyc-bos//dub-lhr (9k avios) makes this not so worth it... But then again any ba flight will have high yq...
Thoughts?

Offline jaywhy

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #630 on: March 01, 2015, 08:38:37 AM »
I have wedding in London 4/20
There is (on ua website) aer lingus j availability bos-dub but thinking shlep nyc-bos//dub-lhr (9k avios) makes this not so worth it... But then again any ba flight will have high yq...
Thoughts?
You only have BA points?
Wait until Closer in and book United with 45k AC each way and no YQ.

Offline MosheD

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #631 on: March 01, 2015, 09:05:52 AM »
You only have BA points?
Wait until Closer in and book United with 45k AC each way and no YQ.
Is that j?

Offline MosheD

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #632 on: March 01, 2015, 10:52:22 AM »
Update - ba says no avail on aer lingus. Does it open up closer?
Also just chapped going anywhere but London first is good because then I can book it as stopover and avoid the ridiculous airport fee...

Offline jaywhy

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #633 on: March 01, 2015, 12:56:29 PM »

Offline maxie m

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #634 on: March 15, 2015, 02:30:04 AM »
Found award availability on aa  for JFK to phx on business/first for 25k, bookable on ba for 35k , isn't ba usually less? Also not seeing any availability on economy for my dates 4/16 and availability hasn't changed in almost a week does it usually open up later on closer to the flight dates?
Dumb people learn from their own mistakes,smart people,from the mistakes of others

Offline D93

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #635 on: March 15, 2015, 02:37:55 AM »
Found award availability on aa  for JFK to phx on business/first for 25k, bookable on ba for 35k , isn't ba usually less?
BA should be 37.5k. And BA is more in domestic F on 2 class planes - because they charge 3 times Y as supposed to 2 times Y.

Offline maxie m

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #636 on: March 15, 2015, 02:42:45 AM »
BA should be 37.5k. And BA is more in domestic F on 2 class planes - because they charge 3 times Y as supposed to 2 times Y.
OK thanks, you were correct on the rate it's 37.5k
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Offline Emkay

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #637 on: March 15, 2015, 04:37:48 AM »


Update - ba says no avail on aer lingus. Does it open up closer?

Ridiculously hard to get availability

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #638 on: March 18, 2015, 10:52:26 AM »
I thought OW's RTW award was dead? https://rtw.oneworld.com/rtw/

Offline JoeCha

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #639 on: March 18, 2015, 01:48:34 PM »
I thought OW's RTW award was dead? https://rtw.oneworld.com/rtw/
AA RTW awards are dead. Your link is life on another planet
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