1. Good info! IS there anything you could share in regards to finding space on JAL on even using there flaky website

  2. Hi! Thanks for the very informative post!

    I noticed you used an AA chart with higher mileage requirements than I am finding on the AA Website. To name one, the First MileSAAvers showed 67.5K miles instead of 62.5K.

    Over the past several days I have searched for flights to Europe from all the US gateway cities from Chicago to the East Coast and I have not been able to find any availability whatsoever for First MileSAAver awards.

    Perhaps the MileSAAver awards would be appearing with the new mileage requirements? If so, how do I arrive at that particular chart? What I mean is that when I go to “redeem miles,” then “book now,” I always get the “old”chart (62.5K for MileSAAver awards.)

    Many thanks in advance for your well-informed and trustworthy response! 🙂


  3. Nice analysis, Lucky! Could you add something on how to find spaces on LAN using BA miles? BA portal is kinda non-functional and Qantas does not show any South America city in their drop-down menu.

  4. Excellent. Seems a lot more cumbersome than SA. I am looking to go from US to HEL 07-11 September in Business. AA has no availabilty on its metal to Europe. There is lots of space to Japan. Is it possible to go to HEL through NRT? Any other suggestions? Obviously I want to avoid BA due to YQ. Thanks

  5. Hey Ben,

    BAs availability seems to be really bad a lot of the time. Can I just check reward availability on and then redeem using BA miles by calling into BA? Would I still use the BA chart to see how many miles the flight will be? How can I utilize stop-overs using this method?

    I think you mentioned something like this please clear it up for me.

  6. @ david — Same as above, I use the British Airways tool for finding JAL space. Not the most user-friendly experience, but it does the job.

    @ Steve — Sorry, I’m not sure which mileage requirement you’re referring to? The quote of 150,000 miles to Hong Kong was in British Airways miles, and not American miles. To the best of my knowledge American isn’t adjusting their award chart now.

    @ Sean — Due to the owner’s attitude I’ve never used it.

    @ Jeff — Given that British Airways doesn’t really fly to many places in South America (and certainly wouldn’t route you via Europe to South America), I actually find the British Airways tool fairly useful for searching LAN space nowadays. For a couple of months the BA tool was down almost nonstop, but now it’s functioning again.

    @ Jeff @ gluedtothewindow — I agree too! I have no clue what’s going on…

    @ JA — Unfortunately not. If you’re trying to avoid BA, frankly OneWorld doesn’t leave very many options. You can check Jet Airways too (by calling), though other than that there aren’t many options.

  7. @ Carlos — Yes, you could use American’s website to find availability and then book through British Airways, assuming you want to stay on American metal. You would still consult American’s award chart for the pricing. If you wanted a stopover you’d be best off booking it with British Airways by phone, and just tell them you weren’t able to book it online and they’ll waive the phone booking fee.

  8. Hi Lucky,
    BA website can find flights between major US and South America cities,but it cannot find flights within South America. For example, it does not recognize AEP,FTE nor USH. Is there a way to find available flights within South America? Thanks!

  9. Thanks for your response! I had meant the American Airlines Award Legend you included as the first graphic of your great post.

    Said Award Legend had first class MileSAAver awards at 67.5K and not the 62.5K I have seen on the AA Website.

    Sorry if I am not phrasing my question clearly enough….

  10. Thanks for your response! I had meant the American Airlines Award Legend you included as the first graphic of your great post.

    Said Award Legend had first class Mile SAAver awards at 67.5K and not the 62.5K I have seen on the AA Website.

    Sorry if I am not phrasing my question clearly enough….

  11. @ Steve — I was looking at flights from Chicago to Shanghai, which would cost 67,500 miles each way in first class. North Asia (which includes Japan) would have cost 62,500 miles.

  12. Is Alaska Airlines part of the OneWorld alliance? Can you use BA or AA miles and book award travel on Alaska? Finding space on them then calling and booking with BA or AA?

  13. @ 3LftTurns — They’re not, though they’re partners with several OneWorld airlines, including American and British. You can check Alaska award space on ExpertFlyer and Alaska’s website.

  14. Hey Lucky,

    Found a biz seat to HEL on Jet and Finnair from JFK via BRU with a 12 hour layover. What do you think? How is Jet and is it worth a day in BRU? Thanks!

  15. @ JA — Sounds good to me! From what I hear Jet Airways has a great business class product (they’re the only one I know of that serves Dom in business class), and Brussels is a great city. So I say go for it!

  16. Does CX usually only release one F seat per transpac in advance from LAX and SFO while offering two seats out of ORD? Could make a difference planning a trip with a significant other.

  17. Hi Ben, AA agent said I couldn’t use award inventory that shows up on Qantas or BA websites for award travel from JFK-SYD on Qantas next summer (using AA miles). She said each airline has its own inventory of awards and just because it shows availability on BA and QF doesn’t mean it’s available for AA. Is this correct or should I try calling again to get a more savvy agent?

  18. @ Cathy — The agent was wrong. That being said, when you call American I suggest not telling them you used the British Airways or Qantas tool, as it will confuse them. If you found flights that work just say “I called earlier and the agent gave me some flights that should be available. Can I read them back to you so we can book an award?”

  19. Hey Lucky, It worked! I was able to get 4 Business Class JFK-LAX-AKL-SYD on QF and 2 First and 2 Business on QF SYD-LAX-JFK. Thanks a lot. I got a great agent this time. I think you have to call back until you find someone who really knows what they’re doing.

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