British Airways’ Website Isn’t Showing American Airlines Award Availability

One of the best uses of British Airways Avios is for shorthaul travel on American. That’s because British Airways Executive Club has a distance based award chart, so the best values on the chart are for shorthaul travel, and there are no carrier imposed surcharges for shorthaul travel on American.

As a reminder, you’ll pay the following number of Avios for one-way economy shorthaul awards:

  • Segments of 1-1,150 miles cost 7,500 Avios
  • Segments of 1,151-2,000 miles cost 10,000 Avios
  • Segments of 2,000-3,000 miles cost 12,500 Avios

However, this great value is less useful than in the past, given American’s lack of saver level award availability on their flights.

Nonetheless there’s still some space. The bad news is that at the moment British Airways’ website isn’t displaying any American award space. This is true regardless of which route you’re looking at. For example, take the below flights between Los Angeles and San Francisco, where saver level award availability is actually pretty decent.

Meanwhile British Airways’ website shows nothing.

Unfortunately the same issue seems to apply by phone, and British Airways phone representatives can’t see the space either, so the blocking seems to be occurring no matter how you try to book.

This isn’t the first time that British Airways’ website has had such a glitch. Back in 2015 there was a similar glitch, which ended up lasting for several weeks.

Some might assume that the timing is a bit too convenient, and that it’s related to the 40% transfer bonus from Amex Membership Rewards to Avios.

Personally I don’t necessarily think that’s the case, and would give British Airways the benefit of the doubt on this one (and it’s not often I do that). 😉

For other good uses of British Airways Avios, see Tiffany’s post from yesterday.

I’ll post again if I have an update on the situation.

(Tip of the hat to The Points Guy)

Comments

  1. Since British Airways was looking to cut costs, they figured an easy way to do that with minimal impact would be to stop paying for the functionality needed to display AA award space. Can’t say I blame them.

  2. Is it just me, or is any one else tired of Ben’s constant snarking against British Airways.

    The repeated diatribe against Britain’s national carrier is BORING and SMALL MINDED.

    My most recent experience with them was last week DXB-LHR-GLA in Club World/Europe. They were very good indeed. Much better than any experience I have had with any American carrier!

    I am left asking myself – where does all this anti-British bile come from?

    Could it be anything to do with his German ancestry?

  3. There is hardly availability anyway because Saver Awards are almost non-existent via AA anyway. It took forever for me to find the right combination to book travel for April – and I still didn’t get the best deal. There’s always Saver Awards for one date but not the other or not at all. Somehow, I managed to find Saver on the outbound from LAX to Cabo (SJD) so 3 tickets were only 22,500 which is awesome. But, had to buy tickets on Delta for return at $169 each. Can’t wait to get rid of the Avios and American at some point, I have over 100,000 miles with them and can’t do much with them for international tickets to Europe without paying outrageous fuel charges.

  4. I have been searching Iberia for a flight and this is a problem there too. And also Iberia can’t see some of BA’s availability on OpenSkies.

  5. Tried to call BA to book an award flight on AA but they said they’re not seeing any availability on their end either. It was available on AA’s website… Any thoughts?

  6. Timing is everything. Booked with success yesterday prior to the noted issues. I lived in middle America so the direct flights on AA booked via BA are of excellent value.

    Additionally, I find availability on BA on the BA site but not other airlines, including AA. JAL and CX are two good examples .

  7. @ johnny crighton – well I have to say I’ve had similar thoughts myself in the past BUT he’s not the only blogger to feel the same way about BA – and I’m not terribly impressed with them myself at the moment. It does seem that the only times he can say anything nice about the UK is when he’s talking about One Direction or Adele. So I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over it. He does at least acknowledge that Americans can get very good fare prices on BA…. and he’s a bit nicer about Virgin! 😉

  8. I called BA Avios 2 days ago, The agent was able to find and book ONE flight from DCA to Portland ME for 7500 miles, and he kindly waived the phone booking fee because I told him that there was no availability online.

  9. Lucky, This problem of not seeing AA space on the BA Executive Club website has been going on for many months. Please add it to something you regularly check to see for yourself. I can rarely find availability and usually only within 1-2 weeks of departure; certainly not 330 days out. I still have 180,000 Avios from my BA days and I consider myself fortunate if I am able to spend them down by 20,000 a year (without wasting them on a flight of low value). I disagree with the people who find AA miles useless; I find them the most valuable of the mileage currencies I use (Delta, BA, LH, Lifemiles, and AA).

  10. I was in earlier today, looking at other routes without issue. Can you pinpoint when this may have occurred? I’m wondering if some regular update caused the issue.

  11. As I know AA always have tons of award availabilities for redeeming AA miles and this trend has been a long time. I will call CX to double check if they see nothing on AA either. If not, that will be the case that BA is blocking AA award ticket.

  12. I had the same issue with AA showing saver award buy ba not able to see it on the phone and also on the website
    They said they cannot do anything

    This sucks but could it be because it was psa operating as american eagle? It was still showing up as saver award on AA and technically should still be bookable using avios

  13. BA isn’t even showing all of their own award space right now. I am able to see space from ORY to EWR on American for some dates, but BA is saying for some of the dates that there is nothing available at all on those same dates.

  14. Using AA miles to Europe seems to only have the exorbitant added fees and surcharges for BA flights going through LHR. Iberia via Madrid or AA flights have added costs also, but much less.

  15. Oh yes, after nine months of hunting there is saver award space LAX-SFO every day in August. Just perfect.

  16. ***Having now booked a flight out of one of JAL’s other gateways and booked non refundable positioning flights***

  17. Worked yesterday (or the day before). Does not work today (or yesterday). Booked non stop AA flight via BA without issue yesterday. No AA availability displayed on the BA site today. Timing is everything.

  18. Third day of this for me… the Hawaii tickets I’m trying to book on American metal still can’t be seen, regardless of date, time, routing… Sigh. Should have never transferred AMEX to BA without calling them first. I just spoke with a supervisor who said it’s a “known issue with no timeframe for when it will be rectified.” He told me to call back “in a few days” for an update. Gee, thanks.

  19. I accumulated a lot of Avios using the BA Visa card, but have found trying to book award flights on AA to be a quixotic quest (in most situations). It’s like owning a half ton of gold [buried] on Mars… at least you’re rich on paper.

  20. I believe the problem is larger than just AA availability. I was seeing ton’s of JAL space yesterday on certain routes. Today nothing not a single seat in JAL whereas yesterday multiple seats on multiple flights.

  21. Can anyone confirm or refute what @Philco says, that BA isn’t showing award availability for other airlines?

  22. I called BA today. I was told that the reason we can’t book certain milesaver awards on the BA website is because AA has restricted them from doing so and that’s why they’re not showing up on the website.

  23. Is this still a problem? I can’t see any AA availability on BA, despite saver flights showing on AA’s site.

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