Issues using Avios for American flights

The last three or four times I’ve gone to make award bookings using Avios for American flights has me about ready to throw in the towel. For those who don’t know, British Airways Avios points are an excellent option to use for shorter American flights as British Airways has a distance based award chart. As a quick example, I used 30,000 Avios to fly my husband and myself to the Bay Area round trip on American, which would have cost 50,000 AAdvantage points. So they can be an awesome option for domestic travel, especially as a Chase and American Express transfer partner!

But that’s not what I’m talking about today, the last few times I’ve gone to use Avios for American flights I’ve run into really annoying issues and I’m starting to wonder – am I just bad luck?

Issues using Avios for American flights

Issues using Avios for American flights
So, which is it British Airways? I have successfully entered the following numbers or no details entered? (and yes, I did enter the details)

I described here how I spent my Valentine’s Day trying to book one flight for my Sonoma and Napa trip, and how they attempted to charge me a phone booking fee.

The next few issues went as follows:

  • After I booked the above flight I never received a confirmation email and, since I’m lazy, I had already thrown out the scribbled down confirmation number from booking over the phone
  • The booking also did not show up in “My Bookings” on British Airways website
  • Despite giving the option to enter your AAdvantage number, the BA system refuses to actually accept mine or my husbands
  • I received an email confirmation for another flight but the AA record locator provided doesn’t work, so I can’t select seats

These are just a few examples of issues, there are actually a few more, and it’s really starting to bug me. I’m OK with the idea of certain awards you have to call and book. But in the past this has always been a somewhat simple process to just go on BA’s site and book American travel. Every single booking recently has had some issue or another.

Bottom Line

I’m not really sure what I’m asking for here. British Airways isn’t going to read this post and decide to get their act together. Maybe I just needed to do a little complaining, or put it out there in case I’m missing some key step (which I doubt but you never know!).

I’m certainly not going to stop Avios on American flights since they can be an excellent use of points but come on British Airways. Not that you care about my opinion but I’ve just been wasting your phone agents time and mine recently.

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