Last Saturday American improved the functionality of their online booking tool by allowing members to search for award availability on two additional partners, British Airways and Hawaiian Airlines. They join Alaska Airlines which began showing availability on the site earlier in the year. One of the biggest advantages of this update is the ability to now book award flights to Australia online. The most common request I receive on Juicy Miles is for business or first class awards from the US to Sydney. While Qantas is normally the preferred carrier for those with AA mileage, Hawaiian offers flights via Honolulu. I was pleasantly surprised yesterday when I went to fulfill a request for December 2012 and the calendar indeed correctly displayed the Hawaiian availability. I booked a round-trip flight from New York to Sydney in Business for 125,000 AA miles and $129 USD in taxes and fees…though a overnight in HNL was required.
Economy was available as well for 37.5k each way. While it’s definitely nice to see Australia awards available on AA, I’ll still be calling AAdvantage to book Qantas when available. Most prefer the non-stops from LAX and DFW, the ability to fly the A380 to Sydney, and being able to fly direct to Brisbane or Melbourne. However, I will definitely be using AA.com to book Hawaiian awards to Hawaii, especially for the direct JFK to HNL flight.
British Airways award availability was also added on Saturday, just remember to keep in mind the fuel surcharges and taxes. When booking a trip from the US to Cape Town, South Africa, the taxes and fees on a one-way economy class ticket (37.5k miles) are $469.80 or $763.20 (75k miles) on a business class ticket. Again, a great feature to now have on the site, just make sure that you are aware of the total cost.
Alaska availability has been up on the site for some time and is usually quite good, especially from LAX.
AAdvantage has stated that they are working hard to continually enhance the online booking tool to include the rest of the oneworld partners throughout 2012. I’d most like to see Cathay, Japan, LAN, and Qantas awards added for OW as well as Air Pacific, Air Tahiti Nui, and Etihad.
Have you been able to snag any great flights using the new online functionality?