It is almost like the airlines want to make life more difficult for passengers when it comes to booking award travel. And in ways which often do not make much sense. Here’s a version of that tale built around the Avios program.
A friend of mine asked me back in mid-October about trying to book flights using Avios for travel from NYC to Los Angeles in March. I didn’t see much available at the time but wasn’t too worried; things have a habit of changing and on that route the inventory should appear if you pay a bit of attention over time. Fortunately she was paying attention because I mostly forgot. And when she reached out to me this week noting that seats on an alternate date were available I checked a few other things again.
I actually started on the AA site, knowing that if it wasn’t showing anything then there is no way Avios redemptions would be possible. Still no non-stop options but the connections weren’t all bad.
And from there I went over to the BA site to see what could be done. I saw a few options straight away and suggested them to my friend who still couldn’t find them. Even running what I thought was the same search. It is amazing what tweaking the query can do some times.
Turns out that the BA site doesn’t really think that “NYC” represents all three New York City airports, at least not in all queries. Oopsie. Forcing the search to LGA pulled up a number of options, though not all the choices available from AA. Still, something is better than nothing.
Also, if you’re using Avios to redeem for an award to or from a city with multiple airports this is a pretty good reminder that the search results might not really be what you expected.
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