How to find AA award space on BA.com

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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.

 

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[…] sometimes doesn’t show American Airlines availability when flights are indeed available. See this post for tips on how to make it work, though in this case I couldn’t get British Airways to show […]

[…] 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. […]

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

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.

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

[…] 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! […]

P T

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

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

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

David

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

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.

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

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.

Charles

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

Blue

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

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.

Peter

thanks for the tip

CaveDweller

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

CHEERS

P-like

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

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

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

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

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.

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

I also saw connecting itineraries when availability popped up.