Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

BA (genuinely) improves the Avios awards search engine

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

The good people of Flyertalk spotted something yesterday morning – the reward search engine has been improved.  Genuinely improved!

Before, if you wanted to book a reward flight, it would only show British Airways flights by default.  If the route was served by a oneworld partner airline such as airberlin, Finnair, Qantas, American etc, all you would see is a little box in the corner saying ‘Click here to check partners’.

Now, all the results appear together.  Here, for example, you can see BA and Qantas flights down to Dubai (click image then click ‘full size’):

New award engine

It is also quicker to find routes flown only by partners.  Search for Berlin to Abu Dhabi, for example, and it brings up the airberlin service immediately.  Previously, you had to go through a page which said ‘Sorry, BA does not fly this route’ (“yes, I already know that!”) before clicking on ‘Partners’.

It is still not ideal.  Aer Lingus routes, for example, are not bookable online.  It would be helpful if you got a message when searching for an Aer Lingus route telling you this, but you don’t.

You also cannot see partner awards if you click on ‘calendar view’, which shows you which days over a month have reward seats.  You only see BA availability this way.

This is still much, MUCH better than most airlines offer, though.  Miles & More, for example, does not let you book partner awards online.  This is, I presume, an attempt to persuade you to book a Luthansa-family airline because you can’t be bothered to ring up and see what else is there.

So, thumbs up to BA for this one.

(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to see our latest articles on earning and spending your points and click here to see our list of current Avios promotions.)

Comments (7)

  • PGW says:

    This is certainly better than it was and saves the workaround we had to do before although you could book partner awards online.

    I’d like to see the option of searching different classes at the same time. I find it irritating that I have to make individual searches for each class.

    Nevertheless, this is a significant improvement.

  • AllTheNines says:

    Have BA changed the rules for ‘stop-over’ bookings when tagging on a ‘free’ Domeestic flight? I’m trying to book an IOM-LCY with a 2 week stopover and then LHR-DUB. Up until last week, this was still searchable and was showing as 4,500 Avios one-way + £15. Today when I search IOM to DUB it just comes up ‘Sorry, there’s a problem with our systems. Please try again, and if it still doesn’t work, you might want to try again later’.

    If I try EDI-DUB for example it does work with giving me the London stopover option. Seems to be something to do with the IOM, yet when I search IOM-LCY on the date that I’m after there is plenty of reward availability.

  • David says:

    My recollection was the the calendar display DID used to work for partners, obviously only when BA had no availability, but once you got past that it showed a calendar view.

    So, that would be a step back in many ways then sometimes.

    • Raffles says:

      Don’t think so …?

      • Britbronco22 says:

        I have never seen partner availablity on a calender view, always had to search by day (or use AwardNexus)

        • David says:

          I’m sure I’ve had it. Obviously not at first, only after saying include partners, and certainly not at all times, but I’m sure I’ve had it on some routes… strange.