British Airways Improves Online Award Search Tool

A few months ago British Airways made some pretty substantial improvements to their online award search tool, whereby they began allowing you to search for multiple classes of service at the same time. While I don’t find the British Airways award search tool to be the most intuitive option for searching OneWorld flights, it does display availability on more OneWorld carriers than any other website.

Anyway, it appears they’ve made yet another improvement to the website, though admittedly it’s more minor than the previous one. Now when you search for award space and select your flight it will quote you the total price in both Avios and dollars on the search page, rather than making you go to the results page. This makes it much easier to compare the cost of various award options.

British Airways award search tool

Next on my wish list for British Airways’ website is that they start displaying Alaska Airlines award space. I book Alaska tickets all the time, and it’s such a pain to always have to call to book. Furthermore, for Executive Club non-elite members it sucks to have to pay the phone ticketing fee, given that the flights can’t be booked online. On one hand I also wish they’d display Aer Lingus award space, though at the same time I’m happy they don’t, since it means fewer people are competing for those seats (and flying Aer Lingus transatlantic is the single best use of Avios, in my opinion).

When possible I continue to use American’s website to search for OneWorld award space. It allows you to specify whether you want to search award space for flights with connections or just nonstop flights, and displays award space for an entire month at a time. The big catch is that they don’t display award space for several OneWorld partners, including Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines.

American Airlines award search tool


  1. Lucky –

    Quick question, that I’m sure you have addressed before, but I cannot find it, is there a reason why American does not display Cathay, JAL, et al award space while other airlines clearly can? I assume it is due to some sort of IT issue, but hopefully you know more about if/when this might become a reality?

    I really enjoy the blog.


  2. YES. I emphatically second your request for making Alaska award space bookable on the BA website. This would make avios significantly easier to use and more valuable for those of us based out of the northwest US.

  3. The #1 improvement I’d like them to make is to make “refining” the search much easier. Having to start over entirely from scratch just to switch from HKG-JFK to HKG-ORD on the same date is extremely time consuming.

  4. Sorry this is unrelated, but having trouble finding a good answer – I am trying to book an award flight from DFW-HNL for an early morning (7-8am). Will AA routing rules allow me fly from SDF-DFW the previous night and keep the 22.5K miles? (the lay over would be 10-12 hours) I can’t get it to work using a multi-city it keeps pricing out as 37.5K miles.

  5. Looks like a found it – can’t do more than 4 hours unless there aren’t any sooner flights (which there are, they are just aren’t Saver tickets).

  6. Good going BA; Household account now allows family/friends booking too. Wouldn’t things turn 180-deg, if the next step BA takes would be to remove the taxes on the FF-tickets? Oh well – I can keep hoping! šŸ˜‰

  7. Lucky,

    Thanks for the reply. FYI the “email me when someone replies to these comments” function isn’t doing anything.


  8. +1 on making AS awards bookable on-line. However, I’ve always found BA willing to waive the phone booking charge in the 6-8 AS bookings I’ve made as an Executive Club non-elite. The last few times they didn’t even mention the charge.

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