British Airways improves online award search functionality

It appears as if British Airways has changed their award search tool for the better. The actual page where you input your dates and route remains the same, but when you display the results it gives you a pretty awesome calendar results page.

The old search was pretty awful because it first searched British Airways award space and then partner award space. So for example if you wanted to search award space from Tampa to Miami you’d first have to go to the British Airways results page (which obviously showed no availability since British Airways doesn’t serve the route), and then click on a button to search partner airlines.

Now partner airlines automatically come up. For example, here’s what I get when I search award space in coach from Tampa to Miami:

Then you can easily switch the dates you’re searching, either by clicking the exact date you want on the top tab, or by clicking the “Previous Week” or “Next Week” button.

I actually primarily use the British Airways tool for searching Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines award space. For searching American, British Airways, and Qantas award space I far prefer American’s website. This change makes it much easier to search space on those airlines, since you’re not first forced to check routings that involve transiting London Heathrow on British Airways.

Now I just wish they’d add the option of booking open jaw/multi-city itineraries online, and also that they’d start allowing Alaska award tickets to be booked online.

(Tip of the hat to Travel Summary)

Comments

  1. I don’t see this. When I search for NYC to MIA on various random dates it says no availability even though there is on AA.

  2. @ John Doe — Are you sure you’re not searching Business/Club space? That’s the only reason I can think of that would cause that.

  3. YMMV with the phone booking fee. I’ve had 2 redemptions on AS and one on EI using Avios and in all 3 instances the booking fee was waived since it’s not possible to make reservations on these partners online. I don’t have any status with BA.

    The new search is a VAST improvement.

  4. Lucky,

    Although both Alaska and Hawaiian airlines are AA partners, you can only use avios to book Alaska flights, correct?

    Thanks.

  5. I dont mean to pry on your income, but for most common folks, a thousand $ goes along way to pay for other household living. certainly this pts and miles game pays off handsomely for family travel but we are very cautious with what to spend. a typical family budget dont have much leeway as a single guy like yourself.
    I do thank you for laying out the details for us to see.

  6. choi – not sure what you’re referring to. This article is about how to find award space, which is only useful if you’re redeeming miles and not paying for your airfare. It is quite easy to earn enough miles to fly your family wherever you want for free via credit card bonuses. Safe travels!

  7. Qantas has the better search engine for most city pairs to start a search. It shows most partners and has monthly overview. BA is way more cumbersome.

  8. @ TJ @ jettyboy — I’m probably crazy, but I prefer the BA search tool. The calendar doesn’t do much for me since it often has incredibly circuitous routings and doesn’t clarify for which cabin the duration shown is for.

  9. Hehe I was searching for hkg-sfo today in Feb. That would have been 31 clicks on BA but was just 5 clicks on Qantas as only one seat was available on one day in FeB 😉

  10. Interesting comments on using American and Qantas sites. If you’re a BA exec club member and want to book through those sites using Avios, how do you do that?

  11. @ ARR — While you can search for availability on other sites, you have to book through the program with which you have points.

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