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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 434411 times)

Offline nobiggy

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #500 on: October 07, 2014, 10:14:45 AM »
What miles are you using?

How are you searching?

I am using AA miles. Using BA QF award search engines.

Offline nobiggy

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #501 on: October 07, 2014, 10:40:52 AM »
CX from LHR is tough.
Try MXP, CDG, FRA, AMS, or FCO.

Thanks a lot it helped. The biggest issue is HKG-MEL. Now that's hard and you can only go through (SYD,BNE) and thats also booked, and I'm not interested in so many stops.
(I even have CX 238 F on hold from LHR-HKG but I doubt I will be able to use it  >:( especially CX doesn't fly first to Australia.)

Offline Drago

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #502 on: October 12, 2014, 02:02:49 PM »
So when I booked TLV-HKG-HAN, AA charged me a "base fare" of $12 per ticket above the expected taxes
When I asked them to get me details, she came back to me after speaking to a supervisor, or rate desk, and said that it's standard on Pacific flights. When I pointed out that this wasn't a trans-pac flight, she just said okay.

I went ahead and booked it due to the impending start of the chag.

Anyone familiar with this? If it's incorrect, would I be able to get AA to sort it out for me?

Thx

Offline bubble347

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #503 on: October 14, 2014, 03:56:23 PM »
What miles are the cheapest to use when booking Qantas?
Watch this inspiring video.

Offline ilherman

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #504 on: October 14, 2014, 03:59:09 PM »
Which route?
You can say what you think when you think what you say.

Offline bubble347

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #505 on: October 14, 2014, 04:02:10 PM »
Watch this inspiring video.

Offline MEIR613

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #506 on: October 14, 2014, 05:35:40 PM »
NYC-SYD/MEL
AA for economy (37.5k) and AS for business (55k)

Offline ilherman

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #507 on: October 14, 2014, 05:38:42 PM »
AA for economy (37.5k) and AS for business (55k)
how far in advance can you book with AS?

Meaning, do you have to start with BA like you have to when you wanna use AA miles?
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Offline AJK

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #508 on: October 14, 2014, 07:12:28 PM »
Historically, no. But now, yes.
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 nobiggy

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #509 on: October 14, 2014, 10:16:30 PM »
how far in advance can you book with AS?

Meaning, do you have to start with BA like you have to when you wanna use AA miles?

Buisness and first to AUS is from the hardest tickets. QF just added the A380 from DFW-SYD so don't forget to check that out.

Offline AJK

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #510 on: October 14, 2014, 10:58:31 PM »
Just hard on QF. VA oftentimes has fantastic availability. In fact, that's how I plan to do BOB... ;)
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 ilherman

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #511 on: October 14, 2014, 11:21:58 PM »
Buisness and first to AUS is from the hardest tickets. QF just added the A380 from DFW-SYD so don't forget to check that out.
Supposely you can grab two seeds when they load their inventory
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Offline MEIR613

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #512 on: October 14, 2014, 11:41:36 PM »
Supposely you can grab two seeds when they load their inventory
They do, but then you need to book with BA or QF miles which is a fortune compared to AA or AS. 

Offline ilherman

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #513 on: October 15, 2014, 12:30:37 AM »
They do, but then you need to book with BA or QF miles which is a fortune compared to AA or AS.
Hence...
how far in advance can you book with AS?

Meaning, do you have to start with BA like you have to when you wanna use AA miles?
QF award seats historically go back to inventory after canceling.
You can say what you think when you think what you say.

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #515 on: October 18, 2014, 04:44:46 PM »
Is there a usually difference in availability between AA and US airways?

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #517 on: October 18, 2014, 08:24:08 PM »
He is in the award booking service and he never bumped into married segments? I've seen it with LH as well.
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Offline Dan

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #518 on: October 18, 2014, 09:19:50 PM »
He is in the award booking service and he never bumped into married segments? I've seen it with LH as well.
You've seen it with AA on other routes?
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline ilherman

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Re: One World Award Search Tips
« Reply #519 on: October 18, 2014, 09:40:34 PM »
You've seen it with AA on other routes?
Nope. Never seen it on any US carriers.
You can say what you think when you think what you say.