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Last week I flew from Cleveland to JFK on American with my son Rafi. He qualified for a grand trip after participating and being tested in the Chidon Hamitzvos on the Iyun level.
Much to his chagrin I booked us on American, but I also had a backup flight using United miles just an hour later. The timing and location of the American flight to JFK was preferable to the United flight to Newark, as it got in earlier and we were staying in Crown Heights.
I’m still sitting on hundreds of thousands of Avios from the days when you could cycle through 100K Avios signup offers, and was happy to find availability to book the flight for 7.5K Avios, a bargain at twice the price for a one-way flight that would have been $398.
Thanks to Hyatt, I also have AA Executive Platinum status with a plethora of AA flight benefits, but it’s not straightforward to get that number on the reservation.
If you have an American credit card you also get benefits like pre-boarding, free checked baggage, and more, but you need to have your AA mileage number in the reservation to receive those benefits.
- The CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum World Mastercard is offering 65,000 AA miles for opening the card and spending $4,000 in 4 months.
- The Citi AAdvantage Platinum World Elite Consumer Mastercard is offering 50,000 AA miles for opening the card and spending $2,500 in 3 months.
- The Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Consumer Mastercard is offering 50,000 AA miles for opening the card and spending $5,000 in 3 months.
- The Citi AAdvantage MileUp Consumer Mastercard is offering 10,000 AA miles and a $50 statement credit for opening the card and spending $500 in 3 months.
While booking a ticket with Avios on BA.com, some people have luck deleting their name and Avios number from the reservation, but that option was greyed out for me:
After booking the ticket I was given my BA record locator, but that didn’t work on AA.com.
Instead I clicked on “Manage my booking” on BA.com and then select seats, which brings you to AA.com and your AA record locator:
Unfortunately on AA.com the ability to switch from my BA mileage number to my AA Executive Platinum number was also greyed out:
In the past, I have been able to use OneWorld’s Finnair.com to manage the reservation and change the mileage number from BA to AA, but this time that website was not able to pull up the reservation with the BA or AA record locator:
So I went to RJ.com, the website of fellow OneWorld airline Royal Jordanian and entered the BA record locator under manage booking:
And sure enough, I was able to pull up the booking:
And modify my information:
And enter my AA mileage number:
The RJ site asks for a lot more detail than Finnair, such as passport number and expiration date, but I made all that up without issue.
After that change AA.com had my trip saved under manage trips after I logged in:
And I was able to select Main Cabin Extra seating without a problem:
In the end, we were upgraded to first class and the flight was on time. MirAAcles do happen.
For the return trip, we spent the morning in Manhattan at Spyscape (free with my Go Everywhere pass) before having delicious burgers at Le Marais, and then flying United home from Newark. We even had time to meet up with free Chinese food delivery from New Kosher Special to the terminal, which I brought home for dinner. Thanks to CLEAR and PreCheck, a 25 security minute line took us just 30 seconds.
I transferred 10,900 Capital One miles (gotta’ love 100 mile transfer increments!) over to Lifemiles, which was enough for 2 United tickets with their transfer bonus. And after swapping out my United mileage number, we were upgraded on that flight too. Not a bad deal at all!