How to book American Airlines flights with Avios whilst ba.com is not working properly
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In theory, booking American Airlines flights with British Airways Avios is very straightforward.
British Airways will show American Airlines flights on their booking system and you book them like any BA redemption.
However, ba.com once again has issues displaying American Airlines award availability. This has been going on for a couple of weeks now with no end date in sight.
The good news is that you can still book American Airlines Avios redemptions. The bad news is that you need to do some research first and then call the BA call centre. There are reports that the call centre can also struggle to see availability at times, but you do at least have a chance.
You will need to use the American Airlines website to find dates with available seats, which to be fair you should be doing anyway as their search system is easier to use and more advanced than the BA one.
How to find American Airlines business class availability
Here is a step-by-step to finding American Airlines reward availability via the AA website, which you can then call BA and ask them to book for you.
On the AA home page, enter your preferred flight details, select ‘Redeem Miles’ and click ‘Search’. On a route flown by American and other carriers, you may want to go into ‘Advanced search’ and restrict the search to AA.
On the results page select select ‘Economy (or BusinessFirst or First) MilesAAver’ and ‘Full Calendar’. You can only book MilesAAver redemptions using Avios – ignore the other options that the website offers.
This is what you see for May/June from Heathrow to New York (click to enlarge, screenshot was taken last week so may have changed if you try to replicate it):
…. and from New York to Heathrow:
There is one thing you need to know. When you click on the coloured menu options, eg First MilesAAver, you will see results in two colours. Only days showing the same colour as the menu bar are bookable. Other days show one of the other available options, usually an AAnytime award which BA can’t book.
In my example, you want days showing 57,500 miles seats. Click through and make sure that the flight offered is direct. In this particular case, between New York and Heathrow, we recommend the 77W flights on new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft as these have by far the best seat.
Usually you would go over to ba.com at this point, plug in the same dates and the same flights will show. But with the BA website currently not showing American Airlines flights you will need to give the BA call centre a call in order to book, with fingers crossed that they can get it to work. Make sure to ask them to remove the phone booking fee as the flights were not available to book online.
For clarity …. you do NOT pay 57,500 miles. That is the price if you have AA miles. You will, in this example, pay 60,000 Avios each way which is the one-way cost of an Avios business class redemption from London to New York. Remember that all American Airlines flights are charged at peak day Avios pricing.
Hopefully this method can help you get around the current inability to book American Airlines redemptions online.
This is also a useful method if you are looking for American Airlines redemptions domestically as the AA website will often suggest flight combinations which ba.com does not spot.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (March 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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard
25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
British Airways American Express
5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
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.
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review
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.
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
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.
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) and free for a year Read our full review
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.