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Last week I shared that American Airlines operated award flights were temporarily not bookable online using British Airways Avios. While the glitch was always expected to be temporary, it did last a couple weeks in total, and calling British Airways to book over the phone often ranges from “not very fun” to “pretty miserable” largely because of frequently large hold times.
The great news is that the online booking functionality has been restored, and you can again potentially save big by booking your American Airlines operated award flights online using the distance based British Airways Avios award chart instead of simply booking the awards using American Airlines miles and their zone-based award chart.
Since we are on the topic, I’ll give three quick examples for those newer to this concept because this really is something you need to put into practice – especially since you can easily rack up British Airways Avios on the British Airways Visa Signature® Card and transfers in from both the Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards programs. All mileage prices listed below are in economy and on nonstop flights. Itineraries requiring connecting will increase the total number of Avios required since each segment prices individually.
Award availability should be the same with British Airways Avios as with American Airlines AAdvantage miles as long as the flight is available at the lowest MileSAAver level.
LAX – Lihue, Kauai on nonstop American Airlines flight – 45% savings via British Airways
This trip would cost you 12,500 British Airways Avios each direction instead of the 22,500 miles American Airlines would want. For a round trip, that is a savings of 20,000 miles per person.
Dallas – Montego Bay on nonstop American Airlines flight – 43% savings via British Airways
This trip would cost you 10,000 British Airways Avios each direction instead of 17,500 American Airlines miles. For a round trip, that is a savings of 15,000 miles per person.
New York – Orlando on nonstop American Airlines flight – 40% savings via British Airways
This trip would cost you 7,500 British Airways Avios each direction instead of the 12,500 miles American Airlines would want. For a round trip, that is a savings of 10,000 miles per person.
This same principle also works with other British Airways partners such as Alaska Airlines and US Airways, though be aware that Alaska operated flights cannot be booked on the British Airways website – you must call to book those over the phone. If you want to learn more about this whole process of booking partner airlines using Avios then check out this post.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.