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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 299995 times)

Offline KSMH

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #1065 on: November 19, 2020, 04:07:28 PM »
Hey all, not sure this is exactly the right place but its the oneworld thread so can't be so far off.

i have a lot of amex points (300k) i have to transfer into a one world partner. Not sure if i should go asia miles or avios? any ideas? mainly to be used flying business where i can.

Aeroplan IMHO would be use your most flexible option.

Avios is not worth much ($value) and Asia miles dosnt have that many partners and has fees.

If you have in mind a specific route then my opinion will change.
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Offline gibralter

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #1066 on: November 19, 2020, 04:49:23 PM »
thanks, I got another 300k points to dump into a star alliance. but i want to diversify a bit so i want some one world. I like the Cathay option to be able to waitlist flights that are not available to book.  but BA seems to be the go to for some reason but i can never find avaialbiltiy through them.

Offline KSMH

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #1067 on: November 19, 2020, 05:59:20 PM »
thanks, I got another 300k points to dump into a star alliance. but i want to diversify a bit so i want some one world. I like the Cathay option to be able to waitlist flights that are not available to book.  but BA seems to be the go to for some reason but i can never find avaialbiltiy through them.

Cathay is better for longer flights while BA is better for shorter less complicated routes.  (USUALLY) Another option would be Ethiad for 1 leg AA flights.
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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #1068 on: December 31, 2020, 11:15:16 PM »
How do you find out which AA flights are bookable with Avios if it doesnt show up on BA's site? The hack that was working a few months ago to get to the old AA search engine doesnt work anymore...

Offline shiframeir

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #1069 on: February 18, 2021, 07:53:28 PM »
How do you find out which AA flights are bookable with Avios if it doesnt show up on BA's site? The hack that was working a few months ago to get to the old AA search engine doesnt work anymore...
yup. i see websavers at AA that are double the price on avios...

Offline tov hashem

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #1070 on: April 06, 2021, 11:05:21 AM »
Does qatar airways open up space closer to flight?
I have 1 business seat but i need 2
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Offline mdv

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #1071 on: April 08, 2021, 11:58:13 AM »
Is qatars own award search tool accurate? 
I'm seeing availability on expertflyer and AA for a route but not on qatar.com
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Offline mdv

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #1072 on: April 08, 2021, 12:00:37 PM »
Also if im trying to do JFK DOH MLE and only the first segment is available in business is it possible to book the whole thing for 70k (jfk to doh biz and doh to mle economy) or there has to be availability for both segments in the same class in order to get them on one ticket?
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Offline justmeha

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #1073 on: April 11, 2021, 12:45:48 PM »
Also if im trying to do JFK DOH MLE and only the first segment is available in business is it possible to book the whole thing for 70k (jfk to doh biz and doh to mle economy) or there has to be availability for both segments in the same class in order to get them on one ticket?
you should be able to book it in one ticket (you might have to call) but you pay for the higher class the whole way with most programs.

Offline tov hashem

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #1074 on: April 14, 2021, 10:15:51 AM »
you should be able to book it in one ticket (you might have to call) but you pay for the higher class the whole way with most programs.
I Tried doing this with AA(on Qatar metal) they claim they cant mixed cabins on Qatar, any work around?
(or only possible to book with qmiles as 1 ticket?)
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