Friday, April 27, 2012

Hawaiian Airlines And British Airways Awards Now Bookable On American Airlines Website

This functionality has been available for a few weeks now, but I thought it was important enough to make a brief mention here. American Airlines has been steadily improving their online award booking engine for the past few months, first adding Alaska Airlines availability and direct online booking last year, and now adding Hawaiian Airlines and British Airways as well. They've also promised that this functionality will be expanded to even more airline partners very soon!

Airlines have been quick to add fees to just about every aspect of flying lately, so any step in the opposite direction is always a welcome change. By allowing online booking of award tickets on Hawaiian Airlines and British Airways, passengers can avoid the $25 phone booking fee per ticket. I know first-hand how frustrating this can be since I actually booked Hawaiian Airlines flights using AAdvantage miles for my parents and myself a few months ago. So in addition to the normal taxes associated with the award tickets, I also had to pay $75 just for booking over the phone. Now this fee can be easily avoided by booking online.

In addition, being able to search for and book British Airways award availability on the American Airlines website is a huge relief, since their own website is so incredibly clunky and bug-ridden. Now you can see an entire month and more of availability all at once, and jump directly to the date you prefer:

On the left side of the page, you can also select "Non-stop only" in the pull-down menu. For direct routes that are operated exclusively by British Airways, Alaska Airlines, or Hawaiian Airlines (and not American Airlines), only partner availability will then be displayed. Do note that the massive fuel surcharges imposed by British Airways will still be collected even if you book on the American Airlines website, as evidenced below:

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