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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 434242 times)

Offline lubaby

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #860 on: March 14, 2016, 10:59:55 AM »
Which is the best points to book a flight from San to Lhr on BA?? I checked BA, AA and Iberia and the taxes are all very expensive..
LAN is the only one that doesn't charge YQ on BA.

Offline aryeh1

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #861 on: April 04, 2016, 02:57:48 PM »
Besides BA, Alaska does American airlines have any other partners, that amex points transfer into that I could use miles to book AA domestic Flights?
« Last Edit: April 04, 2016, 03:20:39 PM by aryeh1 »

Offline AJK

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #862 on: April 04, 2016, 03:11:21 PM »
Besides BA, Alaska does American airlines have any other partners that I could use miles to book AA domestic Flights?

CX, JL and oW partners.
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

Offline aryeh1

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #863 on: April 04, 2016, 03:20:58 PM »
CX, JL and oW partners.
Thanks forgot to add that amex points transfer into

Offline yuguy

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #864 on: April 22, 2016, 11:18:51 AM »
Going down a class of service, lets say from F to J: would AA just refund the miles, or its an entirely new ticket and have to pay to chnge the award?

Offline high end hobo

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #865 on: April 22, 2016, 12:56:24 PM »
Going down a class of service, lets say from F to J: would AA just refund the miles, or its an entirely new ticket and have to pay to chnge the award?
The latter

Offline Agoldsc1

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #866 on: April 28, 2016, 12:04:24 PM »
When booking a r/t NYC-TLV flight on Airberlin, is it possible to get a free domestic trailing flight, or will that incur extra mileage?

Offline Emkay

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #867 on: April 28, 2016, 12:09:25 PM »
When booking a r/t NYC-TLV flight on Airberlin, is it possible to get a free domestic trailing flight, or will that incur extra mileage?
Booking with BA? No, its distance based.

Offline Agoldsc1

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #868 on: April 28, 2016, 04:52:45 PM »
Booking with BA? No, its distance based.

Well, I'm booking using Avios through BA, but it's not really part of the Avios scheme. It's more like booking on AA using Avios.

« Last Edit: April 28, 2016, 06:51:41 PM by Agoldsc1 »

Offline Emkay

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #869 on: April 30, 2016, 03:36:08 PM »
Well, I'm booking using Avios through BA, but it's not really part of the Avios scheme. It's more like booking on AA using Avios.
No idea what your talking about.

Offline Agoldsc1

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #870 on: April 30, 2016, 11:38:41 PM »
No idea what your talking about.

My understanding is that Avios is distance based only on airlines for which use Avios as their principal award system (BA and IB), but not for other airlines that accept Avios but have their own award system (AA and AB). For example, BA and AB charge a different amount of Avios for a r/t JFK-TLV flight, even though it's the same mileage, no? And if that is the case, I'm wondering if it's possible to add a trailing flight on AB without incurring any extra charge.

Offline GAM Z.

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #871 on: April 30, 2016, 11:55:42 PM »
My understanding is that Avios is distance based only on airlines for which use Avios as their principal award system (BA and IB), but not for other airlines that accept Avios but have their own award system (AA and AB). For example, BA and AB charge a different amount of Avios for a r/t JFK-TLV flight, even though it's the same mileage, no? And if that is the case, I'm wondering if it's possible to add a trailing flight on AB without incurring any extra charge.
I think for everything it's distance based.

Offline Emkay

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #872 on: May 01, 2016, 02:31:10 AM »
My understanding is that Avios is distance based only on airlines for which use Avios as their principal award system (BA and IB), but not for other airlines that accept Avios but have their own award system (AA and AB). For example, BA and AB charge a different amount of Avios for a r/t JFK-TLV flight, even though it's the same mileage, no? And if that is the case, I'm wondering if it's possible to add a trailing flight on AB without incurring any extra charge.
I'm not sure where you got that understanding but it's incorrect.

Offline bznt

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #873 on: May 01, 2016, 08:38:52 AM »
When booking a r/t NYC-TLV flight on Airberlin, is it possible to get a free domestic trailing flight, or will that incur extra mileage?
Isn't united the only airline that has free domestic trailing flight ?

Offline Agoldsc1

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #874 on: May 01, 2016, 09:28:12 AM »
Isn't united the only airline that has free domestic trailing flight ?

Idk, that's the question.

Offline high end hobo

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #875 on: May 01, 2016, 10:41:50 AM »
Isn't united the only airline that has free domestic trailing flight ?
and Alaska for domestic airlines

Offline Agoldsc1

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #876 on: May 01, 2016, 11:15:14 AM »
Can I get a companion ticket on AB for 50% when booking award flights using Avios?

Offline high end hobo

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #877 on: May 01, 2016, 11:22:29 AM »
Can I get a companion ticket on AB for 50% when booking award flights using Avios?
no

Offline bznt

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #878 on: May 01, 2016, 11:59:13 AM »
and Alaska for domestic airlines
Can you please explain ?

Offline high end hobo

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #879 on: May 01, 2016, 03:05:59 PM »
Can you please explain ?
Alaska allows a free stopover even on a one way for their own metal.
E.g if you're flying NYC-SEA. you can stay in SEA for awhile and then go to LAX