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 (January 2021)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
There are two official British Airways American Express cards:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)