Two weeks ago I had a family emergency and needed to book a roundtrip flight from Los Angeles to Nashville at the last minute. The lowest-priced ticket I found was over $900 so I knew the best bet would be to use miles/points if possible. I checked Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards but the points required were outrageous–100,000 points roundtrip, which is many more miles than I have. Then I checked American Airlines Advantage and it was only 50,000 miles plus a $75 service fee for booking less than 21 days out. But I checked British Airways Executive Club and…BAM…only 20,000 points plus a $5 service fee for non-stop flights. The timing was perfect!
British Airways Avios for American Airlines flights is often a great option for domestic travel in the United States. The first thing to do is check on the American Airlines website to see if there are “MileSAAver” awards available. I like checking here first because I can view a month at a time. As long as there are seats available, you should be able to plug in those dates on the B.A. Avios site to do the actual booking. The MileSAAver flight MUST be on American Airlines and not on U.S. Airways to be able to book with Avios.
British Airways–Great Customer Service
I know I was lucky to get those seats but I feel I was even luckier to have booked them through British Airways because I was able to change them to a different return date just hours before my flight by explaining that my Dad, who was in the hospital, had taken a turn for the worse. They told me they would charge an $80 change fee but so far the charge has not come through. I can’t say for sure, but I doubt American would have done that for me. Most of all, I feel so incredibly fortunate that I was able to fly to see my Dad because it turned out to be the last time I saw him; he passed away the following week.
Having Points in Case of Emergency
Even if I had to spend the high price of a last-minute ticket I would have for an emergency but it was nice to have the points available plus the flexibility to change my flight when needed.