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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 437014 times)

Offline mgarfin

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #800 on: January 10, 2016, 11:31:55 PM »
TAM intra Brazil with avios,
Can I research/book on line, or do I need to call?

Offline benjie1305

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #801 on: January 11, 2016, 08:08:35 AM »
TAM intra Brazil with avios,
Can I research/book on line, or do I need to call?

Search BA.com and then call AA.
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Offline philbenjoe

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #802 on: January 11, 2016, 03:48:34 PM »
I'm on AA looking for flights from TLV-BKK and select a date on the award calendar but I keep getting this message "The flight you selected is no longer available. Please modify your request.". I called AA and they don't see it. Is there anything I can do? 
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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #803 on: January 11, 2016, 05:22:55 PM »
I'm on AA looking for flights from TLV-BKK and select a date on the award calendar but I keep getting this message "The flight you selected is no longer available. Please modify your request.". I called AA and they don't see it. Is there anything I can do?

It's called phAAntom availability, nothing to do about it.

Offline philbenjoe

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #804 on: January 11, 2016, 05:24:16 PM »
Its been there for a few days. Other option is a full day stop in AMM. My wife won't hear of it...
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Offline D93

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #805 on: January 11, 2016, 05:30:30 PM »
Its been there for a few days. Other option is a full day stop in AMM. My wife won't hear of it...

PhAAntom availability can stay there forever.

How about TLV-AMM-DOH-BKK on QR F a380?

Offline philbenjoe

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #806 on: January 11, 2016, 05:31:24 PM »
60k?
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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #807 on: January 11, 2016, 05:34:00 PM »

Offline philbenjoe

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #808 on: January 11, 2016, 05:34:55 PM »
May i ask you how I find that routing? Its not showing up on AA or BA.
Also once I'm routing through there wouldn't it be worth trying EY?
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Offline philbenjoe

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #809 on: January 11, 2016, 05:48:11 PM »
How often do RJ seats open up to be booked with AA miles?
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Offline D93

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #810 on: January 11, 2016, 05:54:04 PM »
May i ask you how I find that routing? Its not showing up on AA or BA.
For TLV-AMM-DOH on RJ, search AA.com or BA.com
For AMM-DOH-BKK on QR search BA.com

Search each leg separately and then call AA to book it together

Quote
Also once I'm routing through there wouldn't it be worth trying EY?

No

Offline philbenjoe

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #811 on: January 11, 2016, 06:02:07 PM »
Seems like TLV-AMM is the issue. Nothing open at all.
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Offline D93

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #812 on: January 11, 2016, 06:17:15 PM »
Seems like TLV-AMM is the issue. Nothing open at all.

Call AA and see if they can see any space that's not showing online.

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #813 on: January 12, 2016, 02:10:15 PM »
How many online reservations can I possibly have at a time?
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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #814 on: January 12, 2016, 04:38:44 PM »
Looking at a JFK-CDG flight that is 20k AA + $5.60 for 2/11. Looks like band 5 on gcmap so it would be 20k BA as well so I would like to book with the one that gives me more flexibility. Really I wanted a biz class flight but nothing is open so if something opens up, I want to be able to cancel the one world flight and book let's say Air France or United biz class. Hope this makes sense. So the question is which points to use/what flexibility do I get with each?

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #815 on: January 12, 2016, 04:39:48 PM »
Looking at a JFK-CDG flight that is 20k AA + $5.60 for 2/11. Looks like band 5 on gcmap so it would be 20k BA as well so I would like to book with the one that gives me more flexibility. Really I wanted a biz class flight but nothing is open so if something opens up, I want to be able to cancel the one world flight and book let's say Air France or United biz class. Hope this makes sense. So the question is which points to use/what flexibility do I get with each?

Booking with BA will cost you YQ.

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #816 on: January 12, 2016, 04:41:28 PM »
Booking with BA will cost you YQ.
So I would only be out the $11.20 if I cancel?
ETA - oh you are saying I get YQ on top of the $11.20 if go with BA. Got it. OK I guess I'll stick with AA. What is AA cancellation policy?

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #817 on: January 12, 2016, 04:42:15 PM »
AFAIK, it's not possible to set alerts for JL space. Anyone know differently?
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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #818 on: January 12, 2016, 04:52:55 PM »
So I would only be out the $11.20 if I cancel?
ETA - oh you are saying I get YQ on top of the $11.20 if go with BA. Got it. OK I guess I'll stick with AA. What is AA cancellation policy?

Cancel without redeposit = free
Redeposit = $150

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #819 on: January 12, 2016, 05:03:36 PM »
Cancel without redeposit = free
Redeposit = $150
Thanks, last q. Can I cancel for free and redeposit with no fee if cancel within 24 hours of booking?