BA.com is not showing Royal Jordanian award space. You have to call British Airways and give the agent specifically worded instructions to book Royal Jordanian flights with Avios.
British Airways is a member of oneworld Alliance, along with the rest of these airlines:
- Air Berlin
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Royal Jordanian
They also have the following non-allied partners:
- Aer Lingus
- Alaska Airlines
British Airways’ frequent flyer program is called British Airways Executive Club, and you can redeem distance-based Avios for awards on British Airways flights or (in theory) on any of the other aforementioned airlines.
When researching awards between the Middle East and Asia for an upcoming post, one of the legs I was investigating was an Avios award between Amman, Jordan and Bangkok, Thailand. I wanted to know how many Avios it would cost, how much the out of pocket expenses would be, and what the availability forecast looked like–thinking it could be a potential Avios sweetspot. But I couldn’t find the award I wanted on britishairways.com, which lead me to discover a a specific method necessary for booking Royal Jordanian flights with Avios.
British Airways’ Search Results: Amman to Bangkok
The only results displaying on brithsairways.com were for Qatar or British Airways flights with out of the way routings, which makes the price of a distance-based Avios award skyrocket. Every day I looked at had similar results to this:
None were ideal. I needed a direct route out of Amman, which would only be found on Royal Jordanian Airlines (the flag carrier airline of Jordan headquartered in Amman).
So I decided to double check with American Airlines’ search tool, as I know that while aa.com doesn’t show all oneworld Alliance award space, it does show Royal Jordanian’s.
American Airlines’ Search Results: Amman to Bangkok
I found plenty of award space on aa.com for on Royal Jordanian flights between Amman and Bangkok in Business:
And a smattering of it for the same time period in Economy:
This was a bit perplexing as British Airways’ search tool is known for, generally, showing every airline’s award space that belongs to oneworld Alliance, yet it did not show any of this space that I found on aa.com. I went back to britishairways.com to cross-reference these results with specific dates, yet still nothing matched up.
What Does That Mean?
A couple of quick searches returned some insight from Flyertalk, an online forum frequented by the kind of people that read this blog along with all types of travelers. It seems that I was not the only person unable to see Royal Jordanian award space on ba.com, and the answer wasn’t that aa.com was showing phantom award space. I called American Airlines AAdvantage to personally confirm this, and after feeding the agent some different dates that I saw with space on Royal Jordanian, she confirmed it was bookable with American Airlines miles.
I then called British Airways Executive Club to see if any of their agents could find this alleged award space. Using a tip from this Flyertalker, I directed the agent to look up the paid ticket with the same flight numbers as those with award space I was seeing on aa.com. This worked right off the bat. The agent was able to see the fare code for award space when he searched that way. I asked the agent to check a few different flights in different cabins on different days just to fully confirm that this method works, and it turned up available award seats every time.
Steps for Booking Royal Jordanian with Avios
1. If you know you specifically want to redeem your Avios on Royal Jordanian flights, then search for the award space you are looking for on aa.com.
2. Take note of dates, flight numbers, and cabin.
3. Call British Airways Executive Club at 1-800-452-1201.
4. Feed the agent the dates, flight numbers and cabin(s) of your desired award.
5. When they come back to you with no availability, which they probably will, ask them nicely if they would look up the paid ticket for the same flight numbers, and to see if they find the fare code for award space there. There is a good chance, from the data points I’ve experienced and from what I’ve seen on Flyertalk, that this will do the trick, and the agent will then be able to see and book Royal Jordanian award space for you.
6. Proceed with booking. Depending on the agent, they will tell you there is an additional $25 fee for booking your award over the phone. If that happens, patiently shed light on the situation that it is not possible for you to book this space online because it does not show up in britishairways.com’s search results. Also depending on the agent, they should waive the phone booking fee.
AA.com is properly displaying Royal Jordanian award space. If you want to book it with Avios, you cannot find the space on ba.com. You need to call British Airways, and have the agent look up the flight that interests you. He should see the award space you found in the proper fare bucket.
Let us know in the comments if any of you have successfully booked an award with Avios on a Royal Jordanian flight, I am interested to see if we have any other data points. Hopefully British Airways will fix the error soon.