How To Book American Airlines Flights Using British Airways Avios How To Book American Airlines Flights Using British Airways Avios

How To Book American Airlines Flights Using British Airways Avios

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One of the best uses of British Airways Avios is award travel on partner airlines, and for U.S.-based readers, there is no better partner than American Airlines. With 350 destinations spread over 50 countries, American Airlines operates one of the most robust route networks of any airline. The majority of these routes can be booked with British Airways Avios.

In some cases, using British Airways Avios instead of American Airlines AAdvantage miles offers a better return on your points or miles. This is especially true for flights to Hawaii, Asia, and even within the United States.

So how do you book American Airlines flights using British Airways Avios? The process is pretty simple and straightforward. In this post, we'll walk through the entire process of booking AA flights using your Avios.

Here's how to book American Airlines flights using British Airways Avios. Credit: Max Prosperi/AwardWallet)

British Airways Avios Partner Awards

One way to maximize the value of your Avios is to book partner awards.

British Airways partner awards typically offer a better return on your Avios than booking flights operated by British Airways. With dozens of major partners, there is no shortage of partner award availability. This is true even during peak travel periods.

Avios partner award redemptions start at just 6,000 Avios each way. Major partners include Alaska Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways, Qantas, and, of course, American Airlines. Additionally, British Airways Avios partner awards are priced based on flight distance in each segment. This often works in one's favor, creating sweet spots from this distance-based award pricing.

Here is the current British Airways Avios partner award chart:

Avios Partner Award Chart (Revised October 2022)

Distance/ZoneEconomyPremium EconomyBusinessFirst
Up to 650 miles (Zone 1)6,0009,00012,50024,000
651 to 1,151 miles (Zone 2)9,00012,50016,50033,000
1,152 to 2,000 miles (Zone 3)11,00016,50022,00044,000
2,001 to 3,000 miles (Zone 4)13,00025,25038,75051,500
3,001 to 4,000 miles (Zone 5)20,75041,25062,00082,500
4,001 to 5,500 miles (Zone 6)25,75051,50077,250103,000
5,501 to 6,500 miles (Zone 7)31,00062,00092,750123,750
6,501 to 7,000 miles (Zone 8)36,25072,250108,250144,250
7,001+ miles (Zone 9)51,500103,000154,500206,000

The only major drawback of using Avios to book partner awards is the possibility of running into high carrier-imposed fees and surcharges. However, if you are able to navigate around these extra charges, Avios partner awards can yield a lucrative return on your Avios. Check out our post for tips on how to avoid British Airways carrier-imposed fees and surcharges.

Image of American Airlines first class seat
American Airlines first class seat on Boeing 777-300ER. Credit: J.T. Genter/AwardWallet

Booking American Airlines Flights With British Airways Avios

American Airlines is one of British Airways' strongest airline partners. As a result, it's no surprise that it's quite simple to redeem British Airways Avios for flights operated by American Airlines.

Depending on your desired route, finding American Airlines' availability should be an effortless experience. There is almost always partner award availability on American Airlines flights within the Americas. It's also pretty common to find plenty of award space on American's flights between the U.S. and Europe.

So how do you know if an American Airlines flight can be booked with British Airways Avios? There are two ways to approach searching for American Airlines flights with partner award space. You can always visit British Airways' website to check for partner award flights.

However, if you want a calendar view, try searching on the Alaska Airlines site. There's also the option of using ExpertFlyer. Let's look at these three methods in depth.

Method 1: Use British Airways Executive Club to find award space

One way to find partner award space for an American Airlines flight is to use the British Airways Executive Club award booking engine. Simply head over to the Executive Club website and log into your account. Then, you can enter your desired departure, arrival city, and travel dates.

If there's availability, the following screen will show partner award space indicated by a partner airline logo. If you see the American Airlines logo next to a flight, it's an AA flight you can book with Avios. Be sure to check out our post on searching for and booking award flights with Avios.

award search results from British Airways website, including American Airlines logo to indicate who flies this route
Identifying partner flights with award availability using the British Airways website is simple with airline partner logos displayed along flight results.

It sounds like a pretty simple process. Unfortunately, this method of finding American Airlines award space will often require far more effort than one might think.

Spend any amount of time on the painfully slow Executive Club award booking engine and you'll soon encounter numerous instances where there is no award availability.

BA award search page showing no results
While the British Airways website indicates that there are no available flights, this may not always be the case.

Just because the Executive Club booking engine doesn't display partner award availability doesn't necessarily mean there isn't any. Not all American Airlines flights with availability are displayed through the Executive Club website.

Despite the dreaded “No Availability” displayed at the top of the flight result page, it's entirely possible that there is award availability. You can use the American Airlines AAdvantage booking portal to find hidden partner award space.

Method 2: Use the Alaska Airlines calendar

Rather than clicking on one day at a time or trying to figure out why you aren't seeing availability for AA flights on a particular date, using a calendar to view a month of awards at once can be much simpler.

Alaska Airlines mileage award search page

Head to Alaska Airlines' website and type in your starting and ending points, plus click on the box for “Use Miles.” While you could go straight to the calendar by checking that box, we want to use some filters first. Your results will look like this:

red boxes indicate how to filter only for AA flights and then how to find the calendar on Alaska's website

Here, you'll see all available results. Since we want to use British Airways Avios for American Airlines flights, I want to filter for only AA flights using the checkboxes under “Airlines,” then click on “Calendar” near the top left. That will take you to a monthly view of results.

award calendar results when filtered for AA flights in March 2024 between Miami and São Paulo, Brazil

You'll notice that not all of the flights have the same price. That's because of Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan moving to dynamic pricing on AA flights. However, the March 14 and March 15 flights show the same pricing on BA's site — even though they have different pricing on Alaska's site.

But what if the flights still don't show up on British Airways' website? You'll need to call a British Airways Executive Club customer service rep.

Make sure to mention that your desired flight was not listed on the British Airways website. This will allow the customer service representative to waive the customer service booking fee.

Method 3: Use ExpertFlyer

While it does have several features available with a free account, the best features at ExpertFlyer are reserved for paid accounts. One such feature is searching for partner award space and including three days on either side of your search date. You also can filter for nonstop flights only.

screenshot of ExpertFlyer award search page for AA flight MIA-GRU

After selecting the boxes for partner awards in first, business, and economy, my results look like this.

search results for MIA-GRU flights with American Airlines, showing partner awards that I can book with British Airways Avios

You'll see that there are no seats available in business class or first class on nonstop flights for this date. However, there are seven seats available on both flights that should be available for partner awards — which means using your Avios here.

Everything There is to Know About British Airways Avios

Want to learn all about the British Airways Executive Club program and Avios frequent flyer currency?

AwardWallet has detailed coverage of the Avios program, including how to earn and redeem Avios. Below you'll find AwardWallet's complete coverage of the program.

Bottom Line

One of the best ways to get the most out of your British Airways Avios is to redeem with a partner airline; for readers based in the U.S., there's no better partner than American Airlines. With little effort, you can find and book AA flights to hundreds of destinations across the globe using your Avios.

Need to top off your British Airways Executive Club account? New applicants for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card can earn 75,000 bonus Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

British Airways Visa Signature® Card
British Airways Visa Signature® Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
  • Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
  • Earn 3 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL.
  • Earn 2 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel. Plus earn 1 Avios per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • 10% off British Airways flights starting in the US when you book through the website provided in your welcome materials.
  • Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you'll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
  • Simply tap to pay with your contactless British Airways Visa Signature Card. Just look for the contactless symbol at checkout. It's fast, easy and secure!
  • Member FDIC
  • 3X Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL
  • 2X Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations
  • 1X Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases

Have you ever booked an American Airlines flight using Avios? What is your favorite Avios partner award or sweet spot?

4.3 / 5 - (10 votes)
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  • In Method 2, about checking Alaska Airlines website, you say “But what if the flights still don’t show up on British Airways’ website? You’ll need to call a customer service rep.” Do you mean to say, what if the flights still don’t show up on ALASKA? Then which customer service rep do you call – British or Alaska or American?

    • Good question. I clarified in the post that you’ll need to contact British Airways (if you’re using BA Avios to book the flight).

  • You left out AwardWallet partner shows award availability on American Airlines flights – through not only American Airlines and British Airways, but also through Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific), Qantas, Alaska, Qatar, and Enrich (Malaysia).
    On a flight I checked just now (Houston to Jackson, earliest flight out) British and Qatar had the highest point requirement (15,000) while Asia Miles had the lowest (10,000). American, Alaska, and Qantas were all between those amounts. On other dates I have gotten as low as 7,500 points from both American and British for that route.
    If that does not get the result I need, then I look at another way to access Expert Flyer, but on an “a la carte” basis: Award Nexus.

  • Kashif Ahmed says:

    I am trying to book flight from Dallas to Hawaii using Avios transferred from Amex.

    I see SAVER level availability on AA @ 22,500 miles for the following

    3/8/24 DAL >SEA > KOA on Alaskan
    3/18/24 OGG > DFW on AA

    Both these are also visible on Qantas. But not on BA. Called BA bit no help.

    Can you recommend some other options?

    • Ryan Smith says:

      Hi Kashif, unfortunately, each airline has its own awards to work with. Have you checked other partners for redemptions, like Qatar, Alaska, Cathay, or Iberia?

  • Mike Rocks says:

    I had done this in the past several times with great success. The last time was back in 2017. Since then, no flights I’ve searched for following the precise steps above show any flights available. I’ve played around with different departing and arriving cities and searched both domestic and international options. BA searches always come up blank. Any insights?

    • It’s still possible. The big choke point now is AA award availability. American Airlines isn’t releasing much availability to partners right now.

  • Randy Lewis says:

    You mentioned a couple of times that this method of using Avios points for an American Airlines flight is for DOMESTIC flights only. Can this be done with international destinations. Like the others I have tried several times to use Avios points and the system always tells me there in no availability. I pretty much believe Avios points are of no real value.

    • It can be done internationally! And indeed, there is often no award availability. Unfortunately, AA heavily restricts award space from partner bookings. But it’s worth digging if you’re on a route that’s cheap using Avios!

  • If I use Avios points to book an American Airlines flight, will I receive segment flight credit on American?

    • Unfortunately no. Only AA awards booked with AA miles count as eligible segments. And remember that flight segments only matter for Loyalty Choice Rewards — and that’s only through the end of February 2023.

  • Laurie Niederhauser says:

    I have tried to book flights for the last 4 months using Avios on American Airlines. I am starting to believe that it is a scam. I have called both Airlines and agents always claim I need to call the other agent.
    There should be a separate office that handles requests to using Avios points for flights…otherwise why bother using the British Airlines credit cards?

  • I am currently trying to do what your article states because we are trying to use some of our 800,000 avios points. But the Ba website never brings up a single American airlines flight, no matter what city or what date I put in. And so we have called American and they don’t find any flights available either, and we checked 8 different airports. I feel scammed by BA and American as these points are barely ever redeemable.

  • Debra Handel says:

    But how can one use Avios for international flights eg An American NYC-South America? They are in the alliance yet I can not see how even with 250,000 Avios.

    • Unfortunately, British Airways relies on American Airlines releasing award space on a route for BA to sell that award to you as an award.

  • Jason Allen says:

    I made the terrible mistake of transferring Amex points to Avios in order to buy Alaska flights and learned that BA has such restricted availability that I may just as well have thrown my points down a well. Even checking way out nine months has ZERO availability on Avios. Ugh. Calling any of the various British Airways numbers yielded nothing but understanding apologies. But there is no sending those miles back up to Amex.

  • Kelsey Maxwell says:

    What if there are award flights listed on, but when I go to British Airways it just tells me “sorry, we don’t fly that route”?

    • Ooh interesting. I haven’t run across that yet. What’s the route?

      • Kelsey Maxwell says:

        I tried to reply, but maybe that’s not allowed ha ha. AA has JAX to MHK (via DFW) that I can book with miles, but “we don’t fly here” on BA…

        • Kelsey: Sorry about that. We still manually approve comments since we get so many promotional ones. I just checked that route JAX-DFW-MHK on British Airways’ website and it’s pricing it out! It’s running 16.5k Avios though. So, you might be better served by another mileage program (check Qantas!)

          • Mike Rocks says:

            JT, I honestly don’t know how you’re finding flights. Like Kelsey, and others who’ve left comments, BA shows no routes. I’ve played around with dates, departure and arrival airports and the search always comes up with nothing.

          • AA has really shutdown a lot of partner award availability over the past few months. I too am having a lot of trouble finding any booking options through BA (or other Oneworld partners)

  • Charles Thornhill says:

    Until recently, I booked flights on the BA website for Hawaii and Liberia, Costa Rica. I would see several options for almost any day I chose and was able to select flights that worked for my purposes. Lately, I search the BA website for flights to Hawaii and Liberia CR and I find ZERO flights for ANY dates I use. Something has changed. A call to the BA Executive Club was useless… they tell me the award seats have not been released, or they are all booked. I would accept that answer for SOME dates… but note ALL dates. I literally can not find a single award flight to either destination.

    So… I’ll ask you… what has changed? I have over 900K AVIOS and I can’t find a single flight to spend them on.

    Dallas, Texas.

    • Chas – from my own experience and hearing from you/other people, it seems like AA is releasing its award seats as “web special” not as standard awards. Thus, it shows up on the AA site as a sale but isn’t available to other partners. They must release the seats as ‘saver awards’ for partners to have access. It seems suspicious, and unfortunately AA doesn’t provide answers. It’s also not fair to partners, who are giving access to Iberia/BA/Cathay/etc seats for AA redemptions, yet AA isn’t giving its seats to members of those programs.

  • Is there a way to book specific AA flights or are you limited to the flights displayed?

    • I wouldn’t put this in the “fun-activities bucket”, but you can generally book AA flights that aren’t displayed in the Avios search results by calling Executive Club. To save time, I’d recommend checking the Qantas award search or Expert Flyer to make sure there is really “saver availability” before calling. If Qantas or Expert Flyer shows the flight you want, it should be bookable by phone. However, that doesn’t apply to flights you find on AA’s website. They offer more space to their own members using AA miles than you can book with Avios or other partner miles.

  • You seem to fail to mention that BA executive club does NOT allow you to book a flight from the US to UK on American Airlines using BA Avios…

    • They do allow that. Can you provide more details? Note that BA doesn’t always show all booking options online. If you know AA has saver space, I suggest calling exec club to book the seats.

  • What’s the trick to be able to see the AAsaver awards on or its gone already for a while,? doesn’t show anymore the AA saver awards. hence don’t know if in fact its not avlb for purchase from or just not showing?

    Wonder if there’s any tricks on pulling up the awards aasaver chart after they scrapped that?

    But very informative post! Well written, thanks guys!

  • Any tips on finding MileSAAver flights? I’ve been having a difficult time figuring out which flights are in which categories. Also do you know the criteria for an Alaska flight to be eligible for booking through Avios since it’s not visible on the BA website? Thanks!

    • Unfortunately, this is a constantly moving target. AA fully ditched its old award search tool which helped you see exactly which flights were MileSAAver. Now, you have to search BA’s website for AA flights to know for sure.

      For Alaska awards, I’d recommend using AA’s site. If AS awards show up at 12,500 (for a domestic flight over 500 miles in distance) then you can be sure that flight has award space. Then you can call BA to book.

  • Jeremy Graves says:

    What is the cheapest way to extend the expiration date of my Avios? I have transferred 1000 Chase UR points to BA to reset the expiration date. That cost me 10 -15 USD depending upon the value of the UR points. Could I have done it cheaper?

  • I love all the “Intro the Travel” type blog posts I’m finding. As someone who is new to the game, these types of tutorials are SUPER helpful in learning the in’s and out’s of making the airlines work for me. Thank you, and keep the tutorials coming!

  • I have found Avios miles to be pretty terrible. I had 90,000 miles with them that expired. My fault to let them expire, i know but frustrating nonetheless. It certainly doesnt help that the exorbitant costs of taxes out of London make using miles much more expensive…

  • Several flights on the AA site show as MileSAAver but are not showing on the BA Avios site. Maybe because I need the late departures that arrive the next day? I called the BA executive club line and was told that they could not be booked using Avios. They only offered the same early flight I could see available on the BA site. She told me that availability was different between AA and BA, and there was nothing they could do. Any other suggestions?

    • Hey Brandi, I’ve run into this before as well. There does occasionally seem to be a discrepancy. If you also see the space on Qantas’ website, it should be bookable by BA. It can be quite frustrating. You might try calling again, or calling an international call center using Skype (like BA Hong Kong +352 30021208 or BA UK +44 1914907901

  • Alberto Vera Perejon says:

    From British Airways it is not possible to book American Airlines flights to Cuba using avios.

  • We have a bunch of Avios in a Household account that we’ve been unable to use on AA for domestic flights since the BA site seems to never show inventory. Hopefully this will allow us to get award seats by calling BA.

    Especially thrilled to learn that no close in booking fees will be charged!

    Now to figure out how to use the Korean Family Plan miles 🙂

  • Often tricky to find good deals with Avios given all the fees, thanks for the tips.

  • Very useful !! Pity why cant show those

  • Does anybodyy know from past experience??

    Does AA saver open up closer to the day of flight. I have been searching for the last few months for YYZ to LGA no availability.

    I have many Avios points and I can’t redeem

    Any suggestions….

    • Hey Isaac, they do a decent job of opening up additional seats closer to departure. You might consider subscribing to Expert Flyer to set up an alert for the AA flights you want so you can get an email notification if something opens up. Expert Flyer is $9.99 per month, but it could be worth it depending on how much time you spend checking flights.

  • Have had no luck getting AA flights to show up on BA. Will end up having to call in.

  • Can I do the opposite? Book BA with AA miles?

    • Yes you can. Just be aware that biz / first class awards will have high out-of-pocket costs from fuel surcharges. (Esp. transatlantic flights)

      BA levies the charges, and AAdvantage program will pass the costs directly through to you.

    • Be careful doing that as there are flights that are straight up cheaper with cash than the fees and taxes alone on an award booking AND you’re burning miles (think $200 for a cash ticket or 30,000 miles plus $250 in fuel surcharges).

  • Avios great for short haul travel lousy for long haul travel

  • Things like this are gold and showcase just why MR and UR points are so much more valuable than any single airline card. Learning the alliances of airlines and at times even having different options within that alliance are priceless.

  • says:

    Howie, have you seen the new reward sale option on AAdvantage? Lots of 12k rt domestic flights!

    • Hey Ron, it does seem that AA has been experimenting more than before with reduced cost tickets to select destinations. Thanks for pointing it out. Any favorite routes?

  • This is a great guide for those learning to use points. Thanks!

  • Nan Pollard says:

    I recently booked award seats on American Airlines RT Atl-Mia thru British Airways using CUR. Finding the seats was easy–transfer and booking the seats not so much. It took MANY phone calls to both British and Chase to do it because my name on my Chase accounts (first, middle initial, last) didn’t match my name on BA account (first, middle, last – just like passport). Eventually, Chase rep changed my name on my account to match BA, transferred points, and then changed it back to original. Any shortcuts to this? Most FF accounts ask for names to match passports or IDs (which for me includes full middle name) but CC don’t have fields to accommodate middle names. Thanks!

    • Hey Nan, I’ve dealt with the same situation. And it took several Chase agents before I found someone who could do the double name change.
      My solution was to make my name on all my FF accounts match my credit cards exactly. Then, I added a traveler on my BA account that matched my passport.

      In other words, you book an award ticket in your passport name (just like if you were booking a ticket for a friend or family member).

      So if your Chase account says John Smith, and your passport says John Michael Smith, you have your BA account profile set to John Smith and you book tickets for a traveler who “isn’t” the account holder named John Michael Smith.

  • Thanks a lot for information. A good way to spend avios.

  • Each year I have to fly from an event in Philadelphia to Grand Rapids for another event.

    Only American has a non stop which they charge a huge premium for over other flight options with a stopover.

    I always set an Expert Flyer alert for the flight and for last three years have always been able to make this short American flight using Avios thanks to their distance based award chart

  • Some people hate avios, i have learned to love them!

  • Taylor Shimkus says:

    Thank you for the information! I’ve been holding off on redeeming my Chase Ultimate Rewards because I can’t transfer them to American. I didn’t realize I could transfer them to British Airways then use the the Avios points to book and American flight!

  • I used this method a couple of years ago and it worked out for me. It’s a little bit wonky and stressful as I was trying to book the same flights on separate sites using a combination of miles from different airlines.

    In the end, it all worked out though and we were able to fly a family of 3 round-trip to Hawaii using only miles. This was done using AA miles, BA Avios, and Hawaiian Airlines miles. Can’t wait for the possibility to come up to do this again in the future!

    • Wow! That’s quite a feat and I’m glad it worked out for you. I don’t think I’d have enough faith to try doing that.

  • Years ago I got 100k Avios and my wife also got 100k from bonus offers. Used it for AA flights and then for hotels. Great deal!

  • The_Bouncer says:

    A good guide. Avios are still a decent deal in the US, despite the recent devaluation.

  • This is THE best way to use RBC rewards points, especially with the biannual 30% transfer bonus!

  • I think this is a good way to use Avios. The taxes and fees are a lot lower than using Avios to book flights European flights, so you end up having to pay very little cash wise. Another good way is to use Avios for hotel bookings.

  • I’m finding it difficult to find direct routes on my preferred routes so it is hard to find a deal with Avios.

  • rodrigo camino says:

    useful to compare! sometimes we just go with what is available but being flexible has perks

  • Avios is definitely turning out to be one of the better point currencies

  • No First availability ever on Transcon AA is sad. Not that it is good value anymore.

  • Thanks for this, very informative.

  • gonna use it soon!

  • I know a lot of this information specifically regarding BA and AA (since I am a member of the Chase ecosystem) but please post more articles like this. Earning miles is becoming common knowledge and is easy to do but using them most wisely is complicated. Thanks for this.

  • Can BA see same pool of award tix for AA flights ?
    I thought there are some difference.

    • There shouldn’t be a difference. When there is one, it’s a website error on the BA side. If you can see it as a SAAver Award on, you can book by calling BA (even if you can’t find the flight on the BA website)

  • Thanks for the information, I will use my avios.

  • Often very frustrating trying to find AA Flights with BA.

  • This is great, I know most people think this is easy, but it felt overwhelming to me for some reason. You broke it own into edible bites, thanks!

  • Using AA miles to book BA flights from the US to anywhere in EU is a joke! The fuel and tax surcharges are more than the total cost of a RT trip on a low budget carrier. Is there any work around this?

    • Yes! Book flights operated by American. The taxes and fees are typically under $100 round trip. You can use BA miles to book AA flights and avoid the surcharges.

      It’s a tricky system, but the fuel surcharges in this case actually depend on the airline operating your flight (the paint on the plane). It doesn’t matter if you use BA miles, Alaska Miles or American Miles; if BA is operating the flight, the taxes & surcharges are going to be huge.

      • Unfortunately, the routes I need to fly from PDX to CDG, AMS, or FCO are only flown by BA. I guess a positioning flight to SEA, SFO, or LAX would be my only option but at a cost of more miles or cash out of pocket.

        • Do you have transferrable points like Amex / Chase? If you’re already sitting on a stash of Avios, a positioning flight might be the only option.
          I find to be a great tool for looking at options to/from specific cities.

    • Yeah, don’t fly on BA. Use AA and BA miles to actually fly on AA.

  • Thanks, I didn’t know about the avoidance of close-in booking fees, which is an even bigger benefit than the mileage savings.

  • Stacy Y Liu says:

    Great to know you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to British Avios!! Going to look into these for future flights.

  • I do this at least once a year for domestic nonstop flights to Florida. The best part is no close in booking fee!

  • Thank you. I am looking forward to more of the “Award Travel 101 Beginner Series.”

    • Same. Earning points is very straightforward but using them is where the value is at and requires the work and research to achieve good value. I also appreciate articles like this greatly.

  • Glad the partner devaluation wasn’t that dire.

  • Thomas Hanrahan says:

    AA domestics are a great use of avios compared to long haul due to the crazy charges BA levy expecially ex-US

    • This is very useful advice given the taxes and charges on transatlantic flights.

    • What you said isn’t wrong but I feel for most people, this is about redeeming miles on AA within the credit card world. Ie with CSR, I can’t transfer points to AA but I can transfer them to BA to still have access to AA flights.

  • “If a flight has MileSAAver availability as shown by the American Airlines award-search engine, it is available for booking with British Airways Avios and should (but doesn’t always) display on the British Airways website. ”

    This is a big understatement. I am banging my head against the wall this week trying to book NYC-RDU in November. Absolutely WIDE open availability on AA and nothing showing on BA.

  • Definitely right about finding seats being the trickiest part! ?

  • says:

    Maybe you should include the timing involved in getting Avios miles via partner travels. This would help those with close in flight requirements while avoiding the AA $75 fee.

  • Avios is where its at

  • Liu Sheng says:

    British Airways Avios are devaluing after June 1.

    • It is after June 1st though. And if I’m not mistaken, that was only for redeeming BA miles on BA and by airline standards, it was a fairly insignificant change.

  • Needed a flight from LAX to Lihue for my son this August and managed to find one of the unicorns. Great points bargain booking it through BA. Thanks for the tips.

  • B1BomberVB says:

    AA flights booked using BA of <650 miles each still cost only 7500, not 9000.

  • We got great value using British Airways Avios to book American Airline flights in the Caribbean islands!

  • SO EASY!!!! Thanks for the tutorial! The benefits to cancel an AVIOS flight are awesome! $5.60! can’t beat that.

  • Great post for the “Beginner Series.” And, it’s on a truly valuable subject, as this method can lead to truly meaningful savings. If AA miles are worth 1.4 cents, when you save 9,500 miles, you’re saving $133.

  • these got devalued recently I believe

  • RoseMarie says:

    Nice article. If you have a short flight this is a great way to save on miles.

  • Really enjoy these “101” type posts. Even for those of us who travel often, many of us still don’t know it all. So any additional basic info is always beneficial. Thank you.

    • Ditto. Maximizing points and miles is now common knowledge but using them most effectively is where the actual value becomes known.

  • Since AA miles are getting to be useless maybe AVIOS will do the trick

  • For some smaller airports, BA’s website doesn’t always show AA routes. For example, Last year I wanted to use Avios to book DCA-ACK. AA’s website showed availability, but BA’s website didn’t show Nantucket as an airport BA’s partners flew to. However, when I called a BA agent, she confirmed that the route existed and had award space, and said that some smaller airports don’t always show properly on the Avios website, so I booked the ticket over the phone.

    • Alice Springs is in this bucket and can’t be searched on BA for paid fares but if you search for award fares, it allows ASP as a freetext entry instead of requiring selection of a prepopulated airport.

  • Just remember that Avios bookings cannot be changed within 24 hours, you will forfeit your miles and taxes paid.

  • Great information; thanks!

  • bulstrode says:

    Thank you, pretty useful information. I like BA because of their Household account – it makes things simpler to collect enough miles for award

  • Yes, there are great possibilities of redemption with BA avios (especiall with American as said in the article).
    Moreover, you can move BA avios them to Iberia avios if there is a more favourable redemption with Iberia.

  • As well as the obvious mileage savings, I think the cancellation fee here is one of the real benefits. You forfeit your taxes, and that’s it. Bargain

  • I think that I would have to be more committed to my date of travel to book AA through Avios. I see why a person would do it but if I’d have to travel and know that I would have to change it, then it’s not a guarantee that I’d be able to when booking through Avios. At least with AA I could use more miles, if I had to, and book another flight.

    I see the big benefit to use Avios close in. I never knew that and that would be a great benefit to it.

  • Maybe a bit off topic, but I may be redeeming miles in the opposite way – redeeming AA miles for a British Airways flight. I’m concerned about possible fuel surcharges with BA. How do I know if that will happen?

    • You can absolutely redeem AA miles for BA flights. That’s often a better value on biz class tickets or itineraries with multiple connections. However, you can’t avoid the fuel surcharges. If the flight is operated by BA, you’ll pay the fuel surcharges when using AA (or any other) miles. The ideal option is to book an AA operated flight across the Atlantic. If you do book with a BA operated flight, you can watch for an AA flight to open up later and make the change for free as long as your origin and destination don’t change. If you do change the itinerary from BA-operated to AA-operated flights, you’ll get a refund on the fuel surcharges.

    • Agree, redeeming AA points with BA especially to the UK is going to cost more in fees. On the AA web site do a dummy booking using points as though you are flying with BA or AA into London and see if there is any difference in cost. Unless it is a BA A380, I much prefer the AA 777W fly to Lhr but that is route dependant.

  • It is a great benefit for those that live in DFW, ORD and MIA.

  • Only if AA is not the worst of the big 3 legacy….

  • BA Avios have lots of good quirks like this and are generally good for domestic flights in countries where the taxes and fees are low. Very handy to have some in your FF mile collection.

  • For single segments, at least, Avios is clearly better…

  • You also can take advantage of the 30% extra Avios promo when transferring Chase UR until June 16 (5 days left).

  • I am definitely interested in using Avios to get to Hawaii from the west coast – thanks for the warning regarding limited flights/availability! I will have to be careful when transferring points to make this booking.

  • I thought there was a 7,500 Avios reward for flights less than 650 miles distance…

  • If you book via Avios. Would the fuel surcharge be higher ?

    • BA tends to charge slightly more in taxes and fees than AA on award tickets, but the difference is usually quite small. The fuel surcharge (hundreds of dollars) depends on the airline operating your flight. If it’s an AA flight, costs will be far lower with either Avios or AAdvantage miles than if it’s a BA flight.

    • There are no fuel surcharges if you are using AA airplanes even if you book with BA avios. However, if you use avios to book a flight on BA metal then the fuel surcharges are enormous and makes the booking almost prohibitive. I did not know that using avios, you do not need to pay the 21 day AA surcharge.

      • Yeah, I’ve seen tickets where the cash price was straight up lower than just the fuel charges on an award booking. So instead of getting about 1.4 cents/mile, you were paying BA about 0.4 cents/mile to redeem your miles. Asinine.

  • Michaelj1 says:

    Thank you for the heads up about saver flights appearing on the AA website but not on the BA website. I feel foolish having started out on the BA website in the past. Thanks again!

  • If only AA released more saver-level award seats…sigh…

  • Love this option to book AA flights. The no close in fee is amazing! I miss the 4500 avios award band though – crazy good value back in the day for expensive short hops.

  • used it several times, easy.