If You’re Having Trouble Booking Avios Awards on American, Here’s Why

If you are searching British Airways for Avios awards on American Airlines the past week you may have been greeted with, “Error – There was a problem with your request, please try again later.”


I have been looking at December travel Minneapolis-New York. I tried different browsers and the app. All the same error. Other American Airlines routes: same thing. Other partners: no issue.

Then I noticed that searching a few months out produced typical flight results. I tried walking the results back and got stuck on January 11, 2017.


With the help of FlyerTalk I see it is tied to the January 11, 2017 change in American Airlines fare buckets. For flights from that date, so-called first class domestic flights are using business class fare buckets. This excludes 3-cabin service such as JFK-LAX/SFO transcons.

This is a win for us because that means prices for first class go down to the business class level. Flights under 1,150 miles were 30,000 Avios in first. Now they are 15,000 Avios. But only for flights from January 11, 2017.

The response of the British Airways website is to produce errors for searches in any cabin for dates prior to January 11, 2017.

Until resolved, you’ll have to call British Airways Executive Club to book pre-January 11, 2017 flights. Insist they waive the telephone booking fee.

Alaska flights are unaffected: you still need to call and their pricing is unchanged.

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  • fabinhoBP

    It is the same error for bookings after 01/12/17.

  • No, you can book as normal from 01/12/17.

  • Reminder please

    Same trouble for me today. Will someone remind me – I should know but don’t remember – how it should price these days for two connecting short hops? There’s not a nonstop option so it’s a short ~400 mile flight followed by another ~400 mile flight (under 900 total). Should that price at the 7,500 total or 7,500 each for a total of 15,000 one way? I remember it changed recently but can’t recall the details. Thanks!

  • 15,000. What changed this year is that flights touching the US are minimum 7,500 Avios while rest of the world the minimum remains 4,500.

  • Reminder please

    That part I remember (4500 –> 7500) but for some reason I was thinking that connecting flights go by the total mileage, not each leg calculated separately (one way; obviously round trip is calculated separately).

    Is it calculated the same in Europe?

  • fabinhoBP

    Just tried once again and still getting an error. It might de the route: MIA/LAX.

  • Most BA flights in Europe price differently under the Reward Flight Saver, both Avios and the cash part can be lower, you need to have had earn activity in your BA account in the prior 12 months. Comair flights in Africa also get it.