The British Airways website has a lot of good things about it, let’s be clear about that. However, when it comes to quickly checking award availability, I have begun to find it a pain.
I have two main issues:
The inability to look for First and Club World availability in the same search
The inability to see partner availability without clicking on a specific day (the calendar only automatically shows days with BA availability)
That’s why, in recent weeks, I have gravitated across to the American Airlines website. This allows you to check oneworld availability without even bothing to ask you if you have an AA account or not!
The downside with the AA site is that it will not show you availability over a whole month at a time, only a week. However:
You can switch between First and Business class availability in one click
If there is partner availability it will show on the overview page, unlike with BA
The downsides of using the AA site are:
It doesn’t show non-oneworld partners who offer seats to BA members
A BA Gold would not see the extra Economy seats that ba.com would show
You cannot see World Traveller Plus availability on the AA site
It will show you some AA partners which cannot be booked with Avios
The American Airlines site is not, therefore, a winner in all scenarios. If you want to very quickly check whether a First or Club World seat has opened up, though, it will be quicker than using ba.com. (Obviously you can use avios.com as well, but this does not include oneworld partner airlines.)
One day I need to take a proper look at the Qantas site as well, which some people also use to speed up the search for Avios reward availability.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.