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
Well, let’s hope BA does a better job than Aeroplan because you still can’t book Avianca and LOT. Speaking of Aeroplan what happened with SWISS F ticket?
+1 on the Swiss F ticket.
I just did the same for a ZRH-PHL flight. Took about 17 clicks of the calendar but it finally popped up. It appears they’re putting the blame on AA for this.
Once you make an American Airlines award on British Airways, you are unable to manage that booking including choosing your seat and checking in. The website does not load.
Called BA yesterday and even the agent wasn’t able to see any AA availability, so it’s not just restricted to their website. Couldn’t book a ticket that was showing had award availability on AA’s site.
I am not seeing a lot of Cathay on baec either. Not sure why. Usually they seem to correspond pretty well if I’m not mistaken. For example I’m looking at Ord to hkg and qantas shows 3x first class on 4 June and 3x business on 30 May. Both direct on Cathay. Neither shows on ba.
Actually scratch that. I had my search wrong 🙁
That would have surprised me if you had not since Cathay never releases more than one seat at a time in advance.
Actually my mistake was not seeing them Matthew! I was erroneously searching for economy and the ba search only shows three classes so it wasn’t showing first.
Both Cathay and qantas were showing three first class seats (Cathay stated three and my Qantas search was for three adults and showed availability).
It’s a week too soon for me unfortunately!
I have seen 2 seats available a few times noting that I have only been searching in the last two weeks.
Just checked and can still it on the BA app. 3x seats in first.
Seems like these issues tend to come and go. For the longest time with United, finding space on Singapore and Ethiopian was impossible…then SQ came online briefly, then gone. Makes you wonder if these are true systems compatibility issues, or manipulation of what they show.
BA use Avios, not miles as you incorrectly stated.