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Awards travel: Book British and Hawaiian on American Airlines' site

April 30, 2012|By Terry Gardner | Special to the Los Angeles Times

Members of American Airlines’ AAdvantage frequent-flier program can now book awards travel on British Airways and Hawaiian using American’s website.

American’s frequent fliers can redeem their points for one-way, round-trip and multi-city award travel on American, Alaska, Hawaiian and British (including a combination of the carriers).  Most award reservations can be held for five days (unless flights are scheduled within a shorter period of time).

On partner airlines, only MileSAAver awards (which require fewer miles) can be booked for economy, business- and first-class tickets. AAnytime Awards (which typically require twice as many miles) are available only on American Airlines.

I searched for AAdvantage Award tickets for a May trip to Oahu or  London.  I found more availability for MileSAAver Awards when I searched for flights on American and its partners (the default search setting) than I did just on American.  For a trip from LAX to Honolulu (HNL), the website offered award options on American, Hawaiian or Alaska.  For travel to London Heathrow from LAX (or neighboring airports), options came up for American, British Airways and Alaska (connecting flight within the U.S.).

 A free ticket isn’t free, of course.  Award tickets to Oahu required payment of domestic security fees attached.  Award flights to London had much steeper fees, as several readers have noted recently. Award flights on British Airways typically had international fees that cost about $700. American award flights typically had fees closer to $200 (but often cost more miles). 

In May, I generally found more Economy MileSAAver (22,500 miles) awards available on Hawaiian or Alaska Airlines to Oahu or on British to London than on American Airlines.

Info: American Airlines, (800) 882-8880.

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