Save on using American Advantage miles to Europe

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Seems American co-partners with British Air on most American Advantage flights to Europe. The taxes and fees are very high. Some times you can get lucky and save big bucks if you can find a flight that is on an American flight or one with co-partner Air Berlin. For example my wife and I are flying from Barcelona to Washington State in October using the economy 20,000 miles. If used British Air flight, tax and fees were $716. Using flight with Air Berlin, taxes and fees were $122. That's almost $600. On the downside spending night in Dusseldorf. However the hotel rates there are excellent - many 2-3 stars on Priceline less than $100. We found a Holiday Inn for 15,000 reward points.

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TVM for the revelation. j/k

"Co-partner"?

DSJ said:   TVM for the revelation. j/k

"Co-partner"?
It's a "most unique" relationship.

Co-partner = Code share partner

Iberia is another European option for AA that avoids the high fees

It's interesting, but how does this really help, considering the airfare consolidators automatically covers inventory of all code-sharing airlines and sorts by net price anyway?

Moreover, whenever multiple airlines have similar prices, it's favorable to choose EU flag carriers because the EU has better consumer protections on air travel problems (well above warsaw convention mandates). What I'm not clear about is whether the operator has to be the EU flag carrier, or the ticket stock.

OTOH, EU flag carriers tend to be stingy on miles (the same class seat that earns full miles on AA earns 50% of the miles on BA).

bonghead said:   It's interesting, but how does this really help, considering the airfare consolidators automatically covers inventory of all code-sharing airlines and sorts by net price anyway?

Moreover, whenever multiple airlines have similar prices, it's favorable to choose EU flag carriers because the EU has better consumer protections on air travel problems (well above warsaw convention mandates). What I'm not clear about is whether the operator has to be the EU flag carrier, or the ticket stock.

OTOH, EU flag carriers tend to be stingy on miles (the same class seat that earns full miles on AA earns 50% of the miles on BA).

This topic is about award tickets, not revenue tickets. There are significant differences in surcharges when using AA miles for an award between flying on BA metal vs AA/AB/IB metal. As the OP mentioned, many of the award options with AA to Europe are on BA through LHR, which is how you rack up a huge surcharge, so the opportunity here is to fly AB to Germany or IB to Spain to avoid those surcharges.

bonghead said:   It's interesting, but how does this really help, considering the airfare consolidators automatically covers inventory of all code-sharing airlines and sorts by net price anyway?

Moreover, whenever multiple airlines have similar prices, it's favorable to choose EU flag carriers because the EU has better consumer protections on air travel problems (well above warsaw convention mandates). What I'm not clear about is whether the operator has to be the EU flag carrier, or the ticket stock.

OTOH, EU flag carriers tend to be stingy on miles (the same class seat that earns full miles on AA earns 50% of the miles on BA).

OP is about savings when using miles to acquire a ticket, not purchasing outright; the delta in cost is based on the taxes and fees, not the ticket price.

This is nothing new, there are numerous threads over at FT about this. It can work for domestic as well, an example being, when there was100k Avios bonus for aCC signups, using the miles through BA vs a domestic carrier (even for U.S. flights) resulted in very different bottom line costs.

OP is right. This isn't new but this is great to know if you have avios or AA miles. I believe you need to transfer miles to Iberia to benefit from this, correct? I remember reading something like that on the pointsguy blog.

I believe he also states that you need to be an iberia rewards member for over 3 months to initiate a transfer



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