When redeeming miles using one program for travel on another, you’ll generally have the frequent flyer numer from the account you used to book the ticket in the reservation.
If you use British Airways Avios for award travel on American, your BA account number is in the booking. That’s not always desirable. You may have elite benefits with American AAdvantage, or have the American co-brand credit card, and want your AAdvantage number in the profile to take advantage of benefits like priority boarding and free checked bags.
- There’s currently a glitch that’s been reported by many readers, that I’ve been asking American about for the last 6 weeks, where if you book a British Airways award ticket on American then American will not be able to assign you seats — even if you get your AAdvantage number with elite status in the reservation.
If you call an agent may see an error that it’s not permitted. Hang up, call back. Enough calls, or a message to the @AmericanAir twitter team, should get you the seat you’re looking for.
American Executive Platinum Benefits in Coach: Extra Legroom, Free Food and Drink
American technically wants you to have the account number in the reservation of the miles you used for the ticket, but it’s certainly possible to change this. I’ve historically used either the Finnair or Royal Jordanian websites to pull up the British Airways confirmation number, and then to replace the British Airways frequent flyer number with my AAdvantage number. (Any given site has worked on and off for years.)
You run into similar issues booking award travel on United with miles from a partner program like Aeroplan or Avianca LifeMiles. I can generally pull up the reservation at United.com with my confirmation number from a partner, but not change the frequent flyer number in the reservation.
However Ron L. reports success,
Use the Lufthansa website to retrieve your booking by using the Avianca record locator.
In “passenger details” change to frequent flyer number from Avianca’s to your United number
Give the computers a couple of minutes to talk to each other. Then log into your United account and – voila! – your reservation is in there.
You cannot change or cancel the reservation. However, if you have any privileges (such as free luggage) based on your status or on your affiliated credit card, you can get them. You can also choose your seats.