How do you book or search for a flight on BritishAirways.com? British Airways doesn’t have the most user friendly booking system in the world and so this is a question I keep getting that has now turned into a post. If you’re an old pro or don’t care about British Airways Avios (miles), skip this post. Hopefully this will make the process painfully clear for the rest.
Let me first tell you how to book and then I’ll tell you more about finding tickets…
1) Go to BritishAirways.com and login.
2) It should take you to Executive Club (where you manage your reward points).
3) Click Spending Avios -> Then click Book flights with Avios
4) Type in flight details and click Search.
It will ask you if you want a stopover, I click “continue” and skip that part. If I make stopovers I do it manually. They might make your route longer and thus cost more Avios (miles).
Know that the British Airways search engine does not show all partners and it doesn’t even show all flights of those partners. I sometimes use Qantas to search for flights (or ExpertFlyer but that costs money). Also, BA’s website will try to route you through London every time (thus flying on BA)! It’s a pain and won’t show other flights once it gets the idea to fly through London. But it’s still easy to look for domestic flights or most international routes without problems.
Qantas is a great resource for searching for flights although you do need to create an account… but it is free.
American Airlines (AA.com) has come a long way with their website. Although it does show mostly the same major airlines of the alliance (and they do have some codeshare agreements that are different), it doesn’t try to route you through London or hide flights for no reason. But don’t get me wrong, British Airways has way more options but isn’t as user friendly.
Calling. I generally figure out my route completely before calling but there’s no harm in asking an agent as they have access to every airline’s info. Just as long as you’re okay with hanging up in the case the answer is not exactly what you want. Some people get on the phone, get a bad agent but are too shy to end the call and get stuck with a worse/more expensive ticket.
Anyways, I figured since I talk about Avios so much, might as well have a “how to find and book a flight using British Airways Avios” post to point back to. As always, include any tips if you have any!