For several weeks, it has been difficult (though not impossible) to book award flights on American Airlines using the British Airways Executive Club website. While the problem is not fixed, at least British Airways has acknowledged it.
Lately, AA award space has simply not shown up. Nothing. Whether domestic or international, business or economy, the space does not appear. The only way around it was to toggle between dates, sometimes 20-30 times (with the annoying catachpas, since the website assumes you are a bot), and somehow the space would randomly pop in. In other words, if I am looking for an AA flight from JFK to London on May 17th and I verified it on aa.com, I would need to search for the 17th, 16th, 18th, over and over again until the space popped up on the 17th. Sometimes that took just a few clicks, often it took far more.
I used this “trick” to successfully book several Award Expert clients on American Airlines with BA miles. Even so, this was an annoying and time-consuming workaround.
I have no idea what causes the problem. I don’t think British Airways does either. But at least BA is acknowledging it now. This banner now appears above the online award search tool:
And while I appreciate the acknowledgment, I’ve found that reservation agents are also having trouble finding the space. Some can, some cannot. Thus, I’ll stick to the date toggling “fix” I outlined above.
Acceptance is the first step to recovery. I’m pleased to see British Airways officially acknowledge the issue. Now comes the question of how long it will take BA to correct it. Let’s hope not long…
image: Mark Harkin / Wikimedia Commons