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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 471419 times)

Offline AJK

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #820 on: January 12, 2016, 05:14:39 PM »
No.
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Offline Redbull3

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #821 on: January 12, 2016, 05:32:33 PM »
No.
I was about to learn this lesson the hard way, but the agent was able to cancel b/c it wasn't ticketed yet, so the points never left my account. Phew that was a close one.

Offline philbenjoe

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #822 on: January 12, 2016, 05:49:04 PM »
Am I crazy to cancel TLV-AMM-BKK and switch it for TLV-AMM-DOH-BKK cause the first option they only have one seat vs second option I can get two seats?
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Offline D93

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #823 on: January 12, 2016, 05:53:42 PM »
Am I crazy to cancel TLV-AMM-BKK and switch it for TLV-AMM-DOH-BKK cause the first option they only have one seat vs second option I can get two seats?

No, just the opposite, you're crazy if you don't switch. QR a380 > RJ 787 and especially if you can fly QR F a380.

Offline philbenjoe

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #824 on: January 12, 2016, 06:03:03 PM »
I'm switching it now. Thanks. Do I get lounge access in DOH? Also (I'm sure its been asked...) does it matter that I have an Israeli visa or that passport was issued in Israel?
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Offline D93

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #825 on: January 12, 2016, 06:14:23 PM »
I'm switching it now. Thanks. Do I get lounge access in DOH? Also (I'm sure its been asked...) does it matter that I have an Israeli visa or that passport was issued in Israel?

Yes. No. No.

Offline philbenjoe

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #826 on: January 12, 2016, 06:16:21 PM »
Ok. Could not get them to waive the booking fee of $40 per person.
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Offline AJK

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #827 on: January 12, 2016, 06:18:46 PM »
Ok. Could not get them to waive the booking fee of $40 per person.

Should have been waived.
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

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #828 on: January 12, 2016, 06:21:52 PM »
Ok. Could not get them to waive the booking fee of $40 per person.
Should have been waived.

Just remind the rep about the (not so) new rule about booking partners that can't be booked online.
If you were already charged, call back and have them refund it.

Offline philbenjoe

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #829 on: January 12, 2016, 06:23:17 PM »
Hung up already. QR can be booked online.
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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #830 on: January 12, 2016, 06:23:43 PM »

Offline philbenjoe

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #831 on: January 12, 2016, 06:25:42 PM »
Oh. I will call back tomorrow to book and request they deduct it from the ticket. Thanks
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Offline jaywhy

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #832 on: January 12, 2016, 07:38:35 PM »
AFAIK, it's not possible to set alerts for JL space. Anyone know differently?
WATT.

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #833 on: January 12, 2016, 07:57:56 PM »
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

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #834 on: January 28, 2016, 04:44:16 AM »
Does IB have expanded availability for it's own members?

Offline high end hobo

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #835 on: January 28, 2016, 11:08:49 AM »
Does IB have expanded availability for it's own members?

It isn't known to

Offline Emkay

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #836 on: January 28, 2016, 12:53:15 PM »
Though there are some flights they have that aren't bookable to partners (vueling)

Offline jaywhy

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #837 on: January 29, 2016, 12:23:08 PM »
Does IB have expanded availability for it's own members?
Yes. Very much so.

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #838 on: January 30, 2016, 12:15:30 PM »

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #839 on: January 31, 2016, 02:09:08 AM »
How far out does JAL load their flights into the GDS?