Once you find the award ticket at the low rate you think you got it all. But if you don’t have the right frequent flyer program associated with the booking it can significantly decrease its value.
So about three weeks ago I redeemed 12,500 BA Avios points for EZE (Buenos Aires) JFK (New York City) one way economy milesAAver award on American Airlines metal.
While completing the AA reservation it asks you to input your BA Avios Member number. While normally this wouldn’t be a big deal for me, this time it was.
My girlfriend is the passenger on this flight and last August she completed the AAdvantage Platinum challenge. Since this flight is on AA metal, having her Platinum status with AA be recognized increases the value of this low-level award.
As one of the perks of AA Platinum status is free access to Preferred Plus seating at the time of booking. Without access to Preferred Plus seating she was automatically seated in row 37, with it she moved to row 22. Now there are no extra amenities or goodies offered for different parts of economy but the quality of the seats locations are huge.
Another factor is the Boeing 777-200 configuration in economy class of 2-5-2. By having Platinum status she was able to avoid a seat in the dreaded middle row and also get her pick of an aisle or window in either “2″ row.
To accomplish all of this I had to call BA.com and/or AA.com. There can be a long wait time to have your call answered especially with BA. Fortunately I had the option to call AAdvantage Plat desk and had a CSR resolve the issue promptly. But there is a quicker way…
Thanks to UA Fan over at Flyertalk who pointed out a nifty and simple strategy to avoid the fuss of calling toll-free numbers. Delete the BA Avios # from your passenger information page when completing the booking. This will allow you to manually add in your AAdavntage #.
This is a small revelation because the BA.com “Manage my Booking” page does not allow you to manually add AAdvantage # into your reservation. It has the option and will take you through all the steps and then come up with blanks. So the only option used to be having to call AA and have them change it for you.
This is a huge return on investment for the Plat Challenge because she does not sleep on planes. This affords her a multitude of seating options at no extra cost to the low-level milesAAver award.
For people going through the opposite process; using AAdvantage miles for flights on British Airways metal there is a trick here for you too.
Many people have reported back success, when adding their British Airways Executive Club number into their reservations, on earning miles and tier points for their award travel.
Even when adding their AAdvantage number to the award reservation they were granted mileage. This is a very cool trick and worth checking out!
Because of the problem with adding frequent flyer numbers discussed in the first tip, you should just go ahead and call the British Airways CSR # 1 800 247 9297.
The Starwood card transfers to both American Airlines and British Airways at a ratio of 1:1 and a bonus 5,000 miles for a transfer of 20,000 Starpoints.