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How do I explain the AA OneWorld award based on miles flown to the agent?

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I'm working on a one world partner award going from Boston or JFK to Rome; via LHR (so I can use BA) in one direction, and Madrid (for Iberia) in the other. Since it's under 9000 miles, the 2 round trip business class tickets I'm trying for would cost 80,000 miles instead of the milesaver 100,000 per ticket.

But every time I call to work on this type of ticket, the agents start off by insisting that I can't do it, that it's going to cost 100,000; that it doesn't matter if I use the minimum 2 partners; that perhaps if I were doing a round-the-world ticket it could be done...

Yesterday, I got the same stuff from the agent. I tried to get her to just "humor me", but she was adamant it would not work so I was ready to "politely hang up and call back"; when she really started getting cranky with me, and insisted I talk to her supervisor so the supervisor could "prove it to me". So I said, fine, I'll talk to the supervisor. (By this time I'm mad too). She puts me on hold for the longest time, finally gets back on the line and is in tears; and tells me I was right, and she would like to work on the ticket for me. So now I feel badly because she's crying. Yuck. (I do now have a workable itinerary on hold until the 13th - not perfect, but it's ok).

Here's the $60,000 question:How do I avoid this kind of drama? Is the coding the agents use for this booking "OW80"? What is the correct name of this award - is it "one world all partner"; "one world partner"; "one world explorer"? It's very rare that I get an agent who immediatley knows what I'm working towards, and I'm thinking it must be that I'm just not giving them the proper information so they can help me get these tickets.

And one other question - with this type of award, do I have to use AA metal? I've been given conflicting info on that as well. It seems to me that I've had trips that only used partners, but this woman yesterday insisted AA had to be included. (It was fine - I want to use AA over the ocean to or from LHR to save on taxes).

I appreciate any help you can offer; this board is how I first learned about this type of award, and I'll bet it's saved me more than 100,000 miles over the years.


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