How Do I Book Partner Airline Award Flights with BA Avios?
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TPG reader Josh emailed me to ask:
“I have an impossible time booking British Airways Avios award flights, as I’m usually looking for flights on their partner airlines. Do you have any tips?”
British Airways Avios can be incredibly valuable if you know how to use them. Using the British Airways website is all part of the grand strategy. The site actually does an amazing job at showing partner availability; you just need a bit of finesse to access it.
Often the British Airways site won’t create connections that show partner award availability. If this is happening to you, try searching leg-by-leg for availability. If you’re doing this correctly, the website will pull in flights on almost every single partner.
If you’re seeing the availability but can’t seem to successfully book it online, you can always call to book via phone. The last few times I called, they tried to charge me a booking fee, but I’ve politely asked them to waive it since the website didn’t allow me to book, and they graciously agreed. It’s frustrating to have to call, as the wait times can be long, but you may be able to reach an agent more quickly by calling the London line or Middle East service centers via Skype.
Finally, make sure to use good sense when redeeming on partner airlines, and don’t pick ones that have excessive fuel surcharges and fees. Try to redeem on Aer Lingus or Air Berlin if you plan on flying over the Atlantic.
Check out these posts for more tips on how to maximize British Airways Avios:
- Maximizing Avios on British Airways and Iberia
- Avios Distance-Based Awards
- Maximizing Avios for Caribbean Flights