How To Book and Add Your AAdvantage # to a British Airways Avios Award Ticket

Today, I received a ticket to attend the San Francisco 49ers football playoff game this weekend against the Green Bay Packers. The game is being played this coming Saturday so I went ahead and looked for the lowest priced airfares for a Saturday departure and coming back Sunday morning. The lowest prices on Orbitz was $389.69 for LAX-SFO. Since this is a short distance flight, I decided to see if there was economy availability on British Airways using 9,000 Avios points and $5 cash. Since LAX-SFO is such a short distance, it only requires 4,500 Avios points each way.

Orbitz LAX-SFO - $389.69

Orbitz LAX-SFO – $389.69

To my surprise, I found wide availability for my dates this coming weekend on British Airways.

Looking for availability

Looking for availability

Wide availability for a Saturday Departure

Wide availability for a Saturday departure

Found wide availability for Sunday departure

Found wide availability for a Sunday departure

I was super excited to find out my Saturday morning departure and Sunday morning arrival in LAX was available.

Only 9,000 Avios points roundtrip from LAX-SFO

Only 9,000 Avios points + $5 taxes for a roundtrip from LAX-SFO

ERASE the pre-populated BA Executive Club Number

ERASE the pre-populated BA Executive Club Number

This is the most important step when trying to add your American Airlines Frequent Flier number after your award has been ticketed. You MUST ERASE your BA Executive Club number or else it will be hard coded into the reservation and you will need to pick up the telephone to speak with American Airlines to change it.

Remember, your BA PNR is DIFFERENT from your AA PNR

Remember, your BA Booking Reference # is DIFFERENT from your AA Record Locator #

After you have successfully entered your credit card number and billing address, you will see your booking summary. Ignore the British Airways Reference number so it is of no use when dealing with American Airlines.

Go on and click on My Reservations

Go on and click on My Reservations

After booking your British Airways Award ticket, it is issued almost immediately, so head on over to and click on My Reservations. You will need to continue without logging in.

You will need to enter everything in the fields EXCEPT your PNR

You will need to enter everything in the fields EXCEPT your Record Locator

You will need to enter your First Name, Last Name, and Flight Number (gather from your booking summary). Enter the Airport and choose the departure date, then click Go.

avois9Click on Add/Edit Passenger Information

Enter your American Airlines AAdvantage Number

Enter your American Airlines AAdvantage Frequently Flier Number

After entering your AAdvantage number, you can hit submit. If you see your BA Executive number pre-populated, then you must not have followed my guide correctly. You will need to call American Airlines and have them erase the BA Executive number (it might take them a few tries on SABRE). If you are an elite, you will be able to choose preferred seating.

You can choose preferred seating if you are an Elite on American Airlines

You can choose preferred seating if you are an Elite on American Airlines

I hope this guide will help you to successfully book your future British Airways Avios awards and take advantage of your American Airlines AAdvantage status. My next few guides will teach you some tips and tricks on how I book hotels and car rentals. I can’t wait to see my San Francisco 49ers win this Saturday!!

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  23 comments for “How To Book and Add Your AAdvantage # to a British Airways Avios Award Ticket

  1. January 8, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Good tips. Also if you forget to erase the BAEC number, you can just DM @AmericanAir to take care of it, don’t have to wait on the phone.

    • Sam
      July 5, 2013 at 11:22 am

      Thank you! I was looking for info on adding AA FF#s after booking and this was a huge help!

  2. k2o aka Cu
    January 8, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Great info…liken’ your blog! I’m looking forward to the tips on car rentals as I don’t rent often but need to soon~

    • January 9, 2013 at 7:13 am

      will have a post about that in the next few days!

  3. Pointsandtravel
    January 9, 2013 at 5:38 am

    great post! finally the BAAA hack is in the blogs!

  4. January 9, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Thanks for the tips! Congrats again on starting your own blog!

  5. Will
    January 10, 2013 at 12:07 am

    I had to log in to get to a Find Reservation page that allowed me to search by Flight Number and Date. If I did not log in then the Find Reservation page only had three fields, first name, last name, and record locator.

    I logged in and followed the rest of your steps and was able to add my AAdvantage # and pick my seat. Thanks!

    • January 10, 2013 at 12:26 am

      you’re welcome Will! Have a great trip

  6. Peter Silberman
    January 11, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Thanks for the blog article. I recently booked an AA flight with Avios and had to call AA to get the platinum seat. The article will let me avoid that issue in the future.

    Could you expand the article to include a few other issues with using Avios on AA? I called in to change flights close to flight time (earlier flight, same day)and the agent had trouble changing the flight since Avios were used. She said that I would have to call BA but I got a flight update about my newly requested flight about 5 minutes after we hung up. What is the best way to change flights close/far from flight time? Do you call AA or BA? Is BA online better?

    Also, If I want to cancel my original flight, can I leave the ticket on AA to use up to the year later like AA or do I need to redeposit? What is the process/fees to rebook later if I can hold ticket or to redeposit?


    • January 16, 2013 at 3:14 am

      Thank you for the response and thanks for reading my article. I will definitely have a series about using Avios on AA since I redeem a lot of Avios on American Airlines. When you use Avios to redeem on AA, the AAngels usually don’t like to mess with it since they can see it was redeemed with BA Avios and they will almost always refer you to BA. You can ask nicely and tell AA that you’ve been bounced around the telephone and that you’re tired of getting re-directed because the AA Agents can help you with anything and everything with one mouse click on their computers which are directly in front of them! Status helps as well…. If you want to cancel your original flight that was booked on BA miles, you will NEED to call BA.. the redeposit fees are generous and it’s only the taxes which you will forfeit. Thanks for reading!

  7. Joe
    April 27, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Great info you have here! Very easy to follow. One question, do you earn AA miles in the process for doing this?

    • April 27, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      Joe, you can’t earn miles on award tickets ;) glad you liked it

  8. ABC
    May 30, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    If I fly on BA. How do I add my AAdvantage #?

  9. Peter Silberman
    August 5, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    It looks like the new AA website will not allow a search for locator without being logged in. Could you update the instructions?

    I just booked an avios ticket and the aa site will not let me edit flyer info.


  10. Mike
    June 8, 2014 at 4:57 am

    There is a second way to do this – if you forget your ‘at the start’ approach. You can go to FINNAIR.COM and use the manage my bookng function with the BA record locator. Then go to the passenger information section, change the FFQ number and add your email address. Once that’s complete you should be able to do a lookup in AA and your status will be associated with the record.

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