Travel Tips: Getting American Card And Elite Benefits When Booking A Ticket With British Airways Avios

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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.

While booking a ticket with Avios on, 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

Instead I clicked on “Manage my booking” on and then select seats, which brings you to and your AA record locator:




Unfortunately on 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 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, 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 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!

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29 Comments On "Travel Tips: Getting American Card And Elite Benefits When Booking A Ticket With British Airways Avios"

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Cool trick. Was hoping you were going to share a way to get upgraded on an award ticket with just platinum pro status but alas, that day hasn’t come yet.

In terms of changing my Avios number to my AA number, I just called BA executive club and they did it for me no problem. Then it showed up in my AA account, got MCE seats, etc.


its all about chidon


Was your AA executive platinum status extended to 2023 ? I also had executive platinum status thru Hyatt but they sadly took it away Mar 31.


Thanks I was wondering the workaround to get my free bag! Curious though, officially its against AA terms and conditions to do this. Considering that AA is so harsh on abusers of its program do you think this workaround is something to be wary of?


Great story! And thanks for the tip on RJ, I had forgotten about them for one world flight management.


Good story!! btw every time I try to book Avios on on American it says no availability any advise?


just to confirm you did not use your AA credit card for the BA fee and it still worked, correct? I just a booked flights for Aug and wondering if I should go for an AA card. How many suitcases do you get with the AA card?
when I looked at Lifemiles, the best I have seen from EWR to FLL is around 20,000 one way… any tricks I can read up about? BTW thanks for the BA tips and my booking to FLL for the summer


In the past I have called the American gold elite customer service number, and they remove my BA frequent flyer number from the record for me.


If I am the AA card holder and my reservation has a total of six people, do I get one or six bags free? Thank you


Perfect timing as usual! I’m flying NYC-CLE round trip with kids…..No way I’m paying for all those bags. I’ve been trying Finnair for a few weeks now but it wasn’t working.


It’s been a while but this is what I have done in the past.
When booking the ticket for myself, I actually book it as if for another person and don’t enter any frequent flyer number.
Then, after it is booked, I find the reservation on and add my AA number.
Smooth sailing from there.


July 2022 update – this worked for me, even after I checked in! My old boarding pass had the higher group boarding number and then I removed that from my mobile wallet and logged in on AA’s website to resend the boarding pass which had the new and lower boarding group number (due to having an AA credit card).


Once you’ve gone to “manage my reservation ” and transfer to AA website you’ll see your AA res #.
I call AA and,ask to add my ff # and then done!


This option disappeared on RJ website (I used it in the past), but it did work on Thank you!


This is very nice, it works when you are on BA flights too: I book British Airways, travel on British Airways flights and get my AA benefits.