How to find AA award space on BA.com

This morning I asked “Is BA unable to see American Airlines award space?”  I had found an AA saver award that I wanted to book.  And I knew space was available.  Iberia.com and Qantas.com could see the space.  But I wanted to book with British Airways Avios, and BA.com could not see the award space.  A telephone agent couldn’t see the award space either even though she checked two different systems.  Her advice was to try, try, try again.

Guess what?  She was right.

In the comments of my post, Susan wrote:

What worked when I had this issue was clicking on other days of the week calendar that come up and then coming back to the day I actually wanted. The refreshed query without leaving the page brought it up after the third or fourth try. Did this trick a few times on multiple occasions with success. Hope it helps others.

So, I gave it a try.  It didn’t work.  I tried about 20 times in different ways.  No luck.  But Nick Reyes tried it too and it worked for him.  So I tried again.  Bingo!  This time, the award space showed up immediately when I ran the search.  But when I switched days and returned to the original day, the award space was gone.  So I switched days forward and back over and over until the space showed up again.  Eventually it did.

It’s clear to me that Susan’s approach is simply an easy way to force BA to run the same search over and over.  It’s like rolling dice.  Roll a 7 or 11 and you win!

This is what you’ll usually see when searching for AA award space on BA.com. Nothing.

 

You can click the tabs to pick different days. Sometimes another day will have awards available as shown here, but usually not.

 

Each time you click the tab, BA will run a new search for the selected day. You’ll spend a lot of quality time looking at a screen like this one

 

Sometimes BA will suspect you of being a robot. They do not like robots. Luckily you should be able to prove you’re not a robot by clicking a box.

 

BINGO! Keep trying over and over again. Eventually, if award space exists, it may show up. At this point is should be bookable online.

 

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Dave Shen
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Dave Shen

does this work with direct flights only? or would it work with a stop too like sfo-dfw-cun? or should i just be looking for each leg separately? thanks

Nick Reyes
Editor

I also saw connecting itineraries when availability popped up.

DaninMCI
Guest
DaninMCI

I have this superstition with many airlines like AA, BA, AF, etc. that say I want a flight on Friday the 20th. I will intentionally pick my date as say Wednesday the 18th and then adjust. I’ve never seen evidence that it matters but worry that there is some odd system that can see the date I actually want and make it not available for some weird reason. I know dumb but then I read your blog post today 🙂

Chris Baxter
Guest
Chris Baxter

Me too! I feel like if they know the dates you want to fly, they’ll adjust the difficulty of finding anything accordingly. Good to know I’m not the only paranoid search engine searcher.

ed k
Guest
ed k

Remember, companies use all kinds of data algorithms. You are not paranoid.

TKW
Guest
TKW

I tried and tried to find AAvailability on BA.com with no luck. I knew it was there, I thought there must be a new button somewhere for partner availability, In between tries I searched the web until I found this very helpful article. I clicked the tab for BA.com and searched again. It worked first thing. My superstition is going to be bringing this article up in a tab and then do my search. BA bots better give up when they know we are on to them.

P-like
Guest
P-like

JAL award space that appear on Alaska sometimes don’t show up on the BA site too.

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

Good 4 Susan
I had a bunch of websites I wanted to get people to join or spend $$$$$$ didn’t work !!!!

CHEERS

Peter
Guest
Peter

thanks for the tip

DaveS
Guest
DaveS

It would be interesting to read a discussion on when you would do that, as opposed to simply transferring the BA Avios to Iberia and booking there. I’m sure there are plenty of pros and cons – would be interested in a thoughtful analysis of that.

Blue
Guest
Blue

Careful with the validation! That’s a prelude to getting locked out of searches for several days.

Charles
Guest
Charles

Having the same issue here and tried and tried but no luck… will keep trying.

Matt
Guest
Matt

I’m imagining some noob in the future googling how to book AA award space on BA, finding this article because of the headline, and being *really* confused but making this his primary method for finding AA space.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Glad to see this documented after trying and trying again in the past and hit or miss. I’ve never seen three connecting flights though on BA, even when it shows up as fully available on AA

Peerpoint
Guest
Peerpoint

Thank you. This was very helpful. I was trying to book using BA Avios as well. Award seats showed up on my initial search and then I could never find them again. I even tried changing days but still no availability. Just need to stay persistent.

David
Guest
David

It does not work…never does. Avoid BA at all costs!

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[…] How to find AA award space on BA.com by Frequent Miler.  This is a really frustrating situation, and I can’t believe Avios […]

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[…] case you were wondering…How to Find AA Awards Space on BA.com. Keep trying, it will eventually […]

P T
Guest
P T

Worked for me today…..after many tries. Thank you so much. I would have given up in frustration and used AA miles.

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[…] How to Find AA Award Space on BA:  If you’re wanting to fly on American Airlines metal by booking your award seat with Avios, then you’ll want to read this.  Basically the moral of the story is, if at first you don’t succeed, then try, try again! […]

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[…] Finding American Award Space on British Airways […]

susan
Guest
susan

I helped some family do this and after many tries it worked two days ago. Then yesterday for the last ticket, when trying to pay with a credit card, the screen would just go back to the first page so I couldn’t pay and this happened twice. Tried again later and could pay the taxes and get the ticket using paypal to pay since the credit card kept throwing us out.

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[…] You can refresh the British Airways search endlessly. (HT: Frequent Miler) […]

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[…] Note:   It can be difficult to find American Airlines Saver level awards, which are the seats you can book with British Airways Avios points.  In the past, I’ve found Saver level awards on the American Airlines site, but couldn’t get them to appear on the British Airways site.  Lots of folks have had a similar problem.  If you find yourself in that situation, try this trick Greg from The Frequent Miler details here. […]