Quick Tips for Searching Award Availability and Using Avios

Over the last few months I’ve had a few people ask how to look for and book flights with British Airways Avios.

  1. Go to ba.com.  In the top right hand corner sign into your account.
  2. On the top navigation menu click on “Executive Club”.   A drop down menu will appear and you can click on “Spending Avios”
  3. Under the flights section you’ll see a link for “Search and book a reward flight”.  Click on that link.
  4. Like any other flight search just enter your cities, dates, number of travelers, and preferred class of travel. Click on “Get Flights”
  5. You can click individually by date (options for a week is shown) or you can click on “change” and update your parameters.

Common Gripes:

“I can’t find award space”

British Airways shares all one world award inventory.  If you can find space on aa.com for an American flight they should have the same flight available through British Airways.  If you can see it on ba.com you might want to call British Airways and pay the phone booking fee if necessary.

Sometimes you’ll need to search each individual leg to be sure you’re getting accurate search results online.  For example, it might not show availability from PEK – YYZ, but when you search PEK – ORD then ORD – YYZ you’ll see available flights.

“It’s so expensive (points or dollars)”

You need to be careful because British Airways is a distance based program so you pay more Avios the further your fly.  Use Avios for short flights and direct flights.

Personally, I avoid actually flying on BA because they have such high fuel surcharges.  On a recent flight to Europe I was going to need to pay about $600 on way in fuel surcharges even though I could buy a ticket for $550.  I avoid airlines that charge fuel surcharges.

Other Tips:

If searching for American awards space I prefer to use aa.com because of the calendar view.  Once I’ve found the flight I want I got over to ba.com and search for those exact flights.

British Airways defaults searching for BA flights if they are available.  Usually, there is no way to avoid this, but when given the option say you don’t want a stop over.  If you say ‘yes’ they’ll only show flights on BA through London.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *