BA Avios was one of my favorite mileage currencies before American pulled the rug out and stopped releasing saver award space. BA can only book American flights when AA.com is showing saver award space.
Ironically that happened earlier this year after they devalued their award chart and forced BA to devalue their award chart for AA flights. That led to these posts:
-What Exactly Is American’s AAdvantage?
-A Comparison Of AA, Delta, And United Saver Award Space: Is AAdvantage The New SkyPesos?
-Is AAdvantage A ScAAm? See For Yourself And Let The DoT Know
Compounding matters is that AA has always used a first class fare code for the front cabin on 2 class planes for domestic flights. That meant flying first class with Avios was prohibitively expensive.
That has finally changed. Effective for flights on or after 1/11/17 the front cabin on 2 class planes will have a business class fare code.
Unfortunately American is still incredibly stingy with their saver award space. Many routes have no first class saver award space at all after 1/11, but hopefully that’s due to the fare class changes and space will improve shortly.
You can see in this BA award chart just how many Avios the reclassification will save you.
-Zone 2 NYC to Miami in first drops from 30K to 15K.
-Zone 3 Chicago to LA drops from 40K to 20K.
-Zone 4 Los Angeles to Hawaii drops from 50K to 37.5K.
|1 (Flights that don't touch the USA)||1-650||4.5K||9K||18K|
|1 (Flights to, from, or within the USA)||1-650||7.5K||15K||30K|