British Airways

How To Use British Airways Avios Points To Book Flights On American Airlines

By June 4, 2012 December 10th, 2013 2 Comments

The 100,000 Point Question

Since I encourage Readers to email me with any and all questions, big and small, it is not surprising that the #1 question I get is, “What Credit Card should I sign up for?”.

Although it depends on the situation, 9/10 times I recommend the Card with the highest Sign Up Bonus. For the past few months, that has been the British Airways Card which offers up to 100,000 Avios Points for signing up. (Remember Avios Points are British Airways’ terminology for their frequent flyer “currency”)

If I had to guess, 7/10 times when I’d write back to FFU Readers and recommend the British Airways Card, they would reply with either “But I’m not looking to fly to Europe” or “But I don’t fly British Airways…” or “Does British Airways even fly in the U.S?”

I certainly can understand the confusion because I would ask the same questions if someone told me to apply for a frequent flyer Credit Card for an airline that I never fly and isn’t even based in the United States.

Therefore, if you only take 1 piece of information away from today’s post, it should be that British Airways Avios Points can be redeemed for free flights on American Airlines.

So although this offer is for up to 100,000 Avios Points, since you can redeem the points on American Airlines, if you wanted to you could redeem all 100,000 Avios Points on American Airlines!

I’ve had this Card before so I am ineligble for another Sign Up Bonus, but I am going to have my Dad sign up for the Card so my Parents can essentially have a free 100,000 Points to use on domestic American Airlines flights in the U.S! Can’t really beat that!

What is really funny about this British Airways offer from Chase is that the actual American Airlines Credit Card issued by Citibank only currently offers 30,000 miles, so by signing up for the British Airways Card, you are getting 70% more Points which you can redeem for flights on AA!

Award Chart

If using British Airways Avios Points for free flights on American Airlines wasn’t already awesome enough, where these Avios Points become extremely valuable is that British Airways’s Avios program operates on a distance based award chart.

Link To British Airways Award Chart

What exactly does this mean?

Instead of a fixed rate per a geographic area like most Airlines (ie. 25,000 miles for a Saver Award Flight on United Airlines anywhere in the Continental United States), British Airways breaks it up into distance based zones. Depending on how many zones you are traveling between, that’s how many Avios it will cost you.

To showcase how valuable this can be for Domestic flights, I’ll use JFK Airport in New York City as an example.

The amount of Avios Points needed to fly from JFK to any of the cities below is quoted for a round trip. So for a one way trip, just divide the numbers below in half.

  • Boston – 9,000 Avios
  • Washington, D.C – 9,000 Avios
  • Miami – 15,000 Avios
  • Chicago -15,000 Avios
  • Dallas -20,000 Avios
  • Las Vegas – 25,000 Avios
  • Seattle – 25,000 Avios
  • Vancouver – 25,000 Avios
  • Los Angeles – 25,000 Avios

As you can see, you can fly anywhere in the Continental U.S for 25,000 Avios, however if you are flying short distances, it can be as cheap as only 4,500 Avios for a one way trip!

Hypothetically if you signed up for the British Airways Card and got all 100,000 Avios Points, you could take over 4 Round Trip flights from New York to Los Angeles on American Airlines for FREE!

How To Book Award Flights On AA With British Airways Avios Points

Booking flights on AA with British Airways Avios Points via BritishAirways.com is actually pretty simple.

Typically if you book your award ticket far enough out, I have always found availability for AA flights using the British Airways award search engine.

Step 1:

Step 2:

Once you are logged in, click on the Executive Club tab on the Menu and select “Spending Avios”.

Step 3:

Once you are on the Spending Avios screen, click on “Book Flights With Avios”.

Step 4:

Enter your airport information, dates, class of service, etc.

Step 5:

Since British Airways doesn’t fly domestic routes in the U.S, you have to expand the search to include OneWorld Partners like American Airlines. This can be done by clicking on either “Include Partners” or “Search”.

Step 6:

If flights for your specific dates and destinations are available, then your options will appear. Simply select your inbound and outbound flights and hit continue.

If there are no flights available, then click the button that says search 7 more days.

Step 7:

Once your flights are selected, simply confirm the details, enter your Passenger and Credit Card information, and complete your reservation.

Overall the British Airways engine is kind of clunky and nothing like United’s, but in the end it gets the job done and offers a great value!

Recap

Hopefully, this has answered a few questions about how to use British Airways Avios Points on American Airlines and showed you how valuable Avios Points can be for domestic travel.

As always, I suggest that if you are planning on signing up for a Credit Card, convince your travel partner to also sign up. It is the easiest way to double your haul of miles and is particularly useful since you are already planning on traveling with them!

All together, a Couple could easily snag 200,000+ Avios Points via this promotion.

If you have any questions about British Airways, or this offer, feel free to email me!

-Parag

 

2 Comments

  • James says:

    The "include partners" button is no longer there. I can't seem to find a way to use Avios to book flights online for American Airlines. If you have an alternate method, please post. Thanks.

  • Frequent Flyer University says:

    @James – They might have updated the site. It should be automatic now and include AA flights.

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