Not Seeing American Award Availability On BA.com?

In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about the partners we work with. Thanks for your support!

One of the best uses of British Airways Avios is for shorthaul travel on American. 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.

The icing on the cake is that while American AAdvantage charges a $75 close-in ticketing fee for non-elite members, you don’t have to pay that when redeeming Avios. So you can redeem Avios for travel on American a couple of days before departure and avoid that fee.

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

Earn British Airways Avios

In the past there have been periods where British Airways’ website hasn’t displayed American award availability, for whatever reason. British Airways should have access to exactly the same saver level award availability as American shows directly, but sometimes British Airways’ website doesn’t show that.

This problem has once again surfaced over the past few weeks, and British Airways’ website isn’t displaying most American Airlines award availability. At least not with a simple search. For example, take the below flights between Los Angeles and San Francisco, where saver level award availability is wide open.

However, British Airways’ website shows nothing.

There are two ways to deal with this website glitch. Regardless of which you choose, the best strategy is to always find saver level award availability on American’s website first, and then try to book through British Airways (given that American’s website is easier to use).

The first option is to call British Airways to book this space. During some past glitches, even phone representatives haven’t been able to see the space, so at least this time around the space continues to be bookable by phone. Calling British Airways is a test in patience, though. Their Executive Club contact center isn’t open 24/7, and hold times tend to be long. So they’ll really make you work for the ticket. If you do book by phone, ask them to waive the phone ticketing fee, given that this isn’t bookable online.

The other option is a bit more creative. Many report that if you refresh British Airways’ website over and over, that space will eventually show up. Once you do your search, just switch between dates (so in the above case, search September 17, then go back to September 18, and so on). For many people, the space will then show up after a couple of tries.

This will work sometimes, but not all the time. For example, I wasn’t able to get this work for the above itinerary, no matter how hard I try.

Hopefully British Airways gets this fixed soon, but at least the good news is that this space is still bookable, either by phone or by tricking the website.

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. @ Ben — Does the “trick” of searching over and over and over until the space finally displays not work anymore? It’s not much of a “trick”, per se, but I found a few weeks ago that if I searched enough times, it would eventually display. No rhyme or reason as to why or when, however.

  2. As reported in FT, you can avoid calling and just refresh the page until availability appears.

  3. Just tried the same exact search on BA. The initial search showed nothing; did a refresh and a bunch of flights became available. I didn’t know about this trick – thanks people, I never knew about this trick. The title of this post should be changed to, “How to see availability on BA for AA rewards”.

  4. Folks can refresh and yes you will see availability… but the issue is booking. I’ve recently tried twice to book, and it errors out right after payment. I did call BA and it was like a 90 minute wait time.

  5. @DCFrank – I gave up after being on hold with BA for >100 minutes. You must have had better luck than me, hold times are terrible at the moment.

  6. I called BA yesterday to book an available flight and they couldn’t see it either. I did the refresh trick and after at least 30 tries it showed up and I was able to book.

  7. Can you book for other one world partners on British airways? I’d like to book with Cathay Pacific but don’t want to mess it up

  8. My AA search showing me plenty of Alaska availability on SNA-SFO-YVR but not much for AA metal. Does Alaska partner with BA?

    Thank you!

  9. Latam availability all but dissapeared a couple of weeks ago for all routes including AuA-Bog

  10. Booked on BA after refreshing intermittently. Sucked to transfer Chase pts first in hopes of maaaaaybe getting it, but it showed up eventually. SO dumb.

  11. There are other weird glitches on ba.com…When I signed in under my account it showed no availability on a partner airlines Finnair reward flight but when I signed on my family member,s account it showed…BA has never been able to straighten out many issues with their website..

  12. This has been going on for over a month. BA says it is their IT that is dragging on fixing the issues.

  13. Noticed this glitch on Friday. Saw the open space on AA.com, then saw it was available on BA.com. So I transferred the Chase UR points I needed, and when I went back, the BA space was gone! I just refreshed a bunch of times, and it appeared again.

  14. Does this affect other Oneworld space by any chance? Partners that you want to book but seeing as BA used to be the best way to search for space on em, not sure if that is still reliable any longer.

  15. Message on BA Website:

    Sorry, we can’t show you American Airlines flights at the moment
    There is a technical problem with American Airlines’ reward flight availability which American Airlines is currently working to identify and resolve.

    While this problem is ongoing, to book a reward flight on American Airlines, please contact your local contact centre. We apologise for the inconvenience.

  16. I can’t believe it but this worked. Went from no flights available to seeing the saver space. Wonder if this is on purpose?

  17. @Shane – I’m getting the same message, “Sorry, we can’t show you American Airlines flights at the moment”. However this refresh trick was working and I was aware of it prior to reading for this post. I was specifically searching for this issue – it looks like the ability to book AA through BA with Avios has been down for quite some time 🙁

  18. I had extremely terrible experience of using BA avois points. During this spring break I booked a hotel with Avois via BA.com, and I got all the confirmation via email, so I thought my hotel reservation was done. But on the day when I arrived at that hotel, I was told by the hotel clerks that they never got booking info from BA!!! I had to book another hotel right away (it was a peak season and you can imagine how hard it would be book a hotel for that night at 6PM).

    I complained with BA and they simply returned my Avois point without any explanation. Now I am thinking that maybe they make the booking process so hard on purpose so we cannot use their points.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* I consent to the collection of my name, email address, and content so that One Mile at a Time may manage comments placed on this site.