In the middle of last month updated flight search on their website. That upended the way they display flights for sale. But it also changed award search, too.
No, they didn’t add any new partners for online booking. The only partners available on American’s website remain airberlin; Alaska Airlines; British Airways; Finnair; Hawaiian; Qantas; and Royal Jordanian. If you want to see availability or book any other partner airlines — like Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Iberia, or 14 others — you have to call. At least they stopped charging telephone booking fees for awards that can’t be booked online.
But they did screw up the award calendar. Limiting your search to American Airlines flights doesn’t actually limit your search to American Airlines flights anymore.
There’s really not many other airlines where I care about this functionality. But when I’m searching for transatlantic award space, I want to be able to:
- Search for non-stop flights only, so I know the route that the award calendar is telling me about.
- Exclude British Airways flights from the award calendar results, because of the extortionate junk fees that get added (which can run over $900 on a simple transatlantic business class roundtrip, and that doesn’t even factor the UK’s extortionate departure tax).
Searching for (4) business class seats between Chicago and London sure looks like there’s great availability. I specified American Airlines-only as I always do on a search like this.
And I limited myself to non-stop flights.
Here are the dates where there should be 4 business class award seats on a single flight between Chicago and London on American Airlines.
But that’s not what we get at all, because the award calendar is broken. Availability is on British Airways.
American’s new flight search certainly isn’t better than it used to be.