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Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club American Airlines booking using Avios – seat selection

  • tblank19

    Quick question for anyone with experience booking partner airlines (particularly American Airlines flights).

    I am looking to book an economy flight using Avios from Miami to the Caribbean on a 737. Looking at the seat maps when clicking through a dummy cash booking it seems there are multiple categories of economy seating (preferred, main extra, normal) which are all available for me to select for free as a BA silver. Does anyone know whether you can also select the preferred seats for no extra charge when booking an Avios reward seat?

    As a secondary question, I also have a number of Qantas points and was also considering making the booking using these. However, as I do not have status with Qantas, wondering if it is possible to change my FF number to BA after making a partner airline booking via Qantas?

    Many thanks for any help.


    Don’t know about economy, but I have a business class redemption from Miami to Barbados in June.

    BA website wouldn’t let me select seats. I had to phone AA with the BA booking reference and ask for the AA ref.

    Could use that on the AA site to select seats.

    Might be the same for you with your status.

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer

    No need to phone AA and of course you can’t select AA seats on the BA app / website.

    If you go to select seats via BA it will pass you through to AA and show the AA booking reference.

    You need to make a note of that as you’ll need to to manage the AA flights from seats, check in and meal selection via AA,

    I have never had an issue with selecting seats in AA and my status feeds through to AA.


    Didn’t work for me.
    All I had was ba ref and ticket number.
    Neither of which worked on ba site.


    Yes, you should be able to select American Airlines Preferred and Main Cabin Extra seats free on Avios award bookings associated with your BA Silver number.

    Note that this doesn’t necessarily apply to all OneWorld programmes – e.g. Qantas Sapphire members can choose AA Preferred seats free, but not Main Cabin extra. Something to do with the Transatlantic partnership giving BA preference here.

    As @BAFlyerIHGStayer says, you should be able to start with MMB on the BA system and get passed through to the AA system, with its own record locator. If all else fails, a call to BA would give you the AA reference to use on the AA system.

    And yes, if you book the award flights through the Qantas FF programme using their points you would need to attach your BA Silver number to your booking as well to get access to free Preferred and Main Cabin Extra seats. (Anyone can book the other AA seats free, unlike on BA flights). American’s system is a little tricky in the way it handles 2 different FF numbers in a single booking so you would probably need to call American to do this, and even then have to rely on getting a knowledgeable AA customer service representative.


    I’ve never had an issue selecting seats on AA award flights (as Blue and Silver). As noted above, start the selection in MMB, you will then be taken to the AA site where you can select seats free of charge.


    And mce comes with alcohol! Enjoy and try to use flagship in mia too…


    Thanks all for the very helpful responses!

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