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Gardyloo Oct 1st, 2010 08:37 AM

AA/BA/IB integration roll-out
The joint business venture "JBV" agreement between American Airlines, British Airways, and Iberia (signed earlier this week) started its roll-out this morning. Among the initial benefits/changes implemented today:

- Codeshare services on most (all?) AA/BA flights over the Atlantic, i.e. buy a ticket from AA for a BA-operated flight that will carry an AA flight number, e.g. AA 6127, SEA-LHR, actually flown by BA as BA 48. Bookable now.

- Full (100%) AA mileage earning on BA flights between the US and UK; formerly only earned 25% miles for discount economy fares, nothing for US < > UK routes - the change is effective for flights from today, regardless of when the ticket was purchased.

- Ability to redeem AA miles for BA flights between the US and UK;

- Ability to earn 100% elite mileage bonuses (Platinum and Executive Platinum) on all BA flights (was discontinued 3 yrs. ago, now reinstated);

- Ability to upgrade using AA miles & co-pay from one class to the next on BA metal; <b>however,</b> only from "full-fare" categories, e.g. Y > W (economy to premium economy) or W > J (premium economy to business) and the mileage requirements are very high. This is IMO a non-event;

- 100% mileage earning (was 30%) on discounted economy fares on Iberia services;

- And many more changes.

On the downside, AA will now pass along BA's fuel surcharges on award flights redeemed on BA metal. This will add (typically) several hundred dollars out-of-pocket on long-haul BA redemption tickets. Formerly AA did not do this (while BA did for its own FFers, so way out of balance.)

Lots and lots more, and more forthcoming in the near term, including (reportedly) a bunch of new transatlantic routes being announced next week (e.g. possibly LAX-MAD on Iberia?)

Among other things of interest to Fodorites, this means that one's options for mileage redemption trips to/from Europe (all issued as one-way awards) using AA miles have just skyrocketed - in terms of possibilities, not necessarily availability. But these are exciting changes.

Needless to say, reciprocal changes are being instituted for members of BA's FF program, but details are still forthcoming.

christabir Oct 1st, 2010 09:16 AM

Here is BA's info:

I'm not happy about the added AA fees. The fees are high! Glad I made reservation last month.

JoyC Oct 1st, 2010 10:16 AM

Exciting indeed!!\:D/

I haven't finish reading through all the changes yet, but will we be able to redeem AA miles on BA or IB interEuropean flights?

Gardyloo Oct 1st, 2010 10:41 AM

You've always been able to redeem AA miles on BA or IB within Europe, or between any other places. The only exception was taking BA flights between the US and UK. (Canada/Mexico/Caribbean < > UK was also okay.)

J62 Oct 1st, 2010 12:58 PM

Good to hear. I'm sitting on a lot of BA & AA miles I want to use next year for Spain, so this would seem to greatly enhance my options.

What I really want is to be able to use my BA miles & companion certificate on AA or IB metal - any insight on that?

Even better, what I really want to do is to use BA miles & companion for 2 pax, and AA miles for another 2 pax, same flights, non-stop NY to Spain both ways, or one way non-stop, the other way with stopover in London.

Not looking for an answer here (unless you know) - I'll dig through AA & BA sites.

Gardyloo Oct 1st, 2010 02:12 PM

<i>What I really want is to be able to use my BA miles & companion certificate on AA or IB metal - any insight on that?</i>

So far BA is saying that things like the 2-4-1s, shareholder discounts, etc. that applied to BA before today will continue only to apply to BA-operated flights in the future. Similarly, AA says its system-wide upgrades (formerly eVIPs) issued to EXP members will also only work on AA metal using AA flight numbers.

Jeff_Costa_Rica Oct 1st, 2010 02:16 PM

Thanks for the information, Gardyloo. :)

Does anyone predict a stampede of BA flyers to redeeming transatlantic awards on AA flights to avoid the BA fuel surcharge?

christabir Oct 1st, 2010 03:32 PM

Jeff - I read it that AA will now charge the same fees as BA. Not good.

socaltraveler Oct 1st, 2010 06:21 PM

We are at this moment in the process of using these changes to change our flights for June 2011. Using our FF miles we were going to fly from LA to Prague via Vancouver/London, then home from Budapest via Frankfurt/Dallas to LA. We would have flown on Alaska, BA, Air Malev and AA - and while it was a bit awkward, we were actually pleased they could get us there in Business/First with miles.

Now, we are flying LAX-LHR-Prague and home Budapest-LHR-LAX, still in First/Business, and all on BA. The surcharges are around $600 total, but we are losing two extra stops, a 6 hour layover in Vancouver, and will have a chance to now use the incredibly luxurious BA lounge at LHR on our way home.

So glad I opened my AA e-mail this morning. Their reservations person has been a pleasure to work with this evening.

wally34949 Oct 2nd, 2010 01:19 AM

Let me make sure I have this right.

I purchased a ticket from Miami to Barcelona back on January 31, 2010, on British Airways for travel during the upcoming Thanksgiving week. When I check in at Miami, I can tell British Airways that I would like miles with American Airlines and I will get 100% of the miles instead of just the 25%? And free wine with dinner, too?

Gardyloo Oct 2nd, 2010 06:36 AM

I'd phone BA and change my FF number long before checking in, and yes, you'll get 100% AA miles.

wally34949 Oct 2nd, 2010 01:59 PM

Thanks again, Gardyloo

scrb11 Oct 3rd, 2010 07:27 AM

What about earning AA miles and redeeming on Qantas?

socaltraveler Oct 3rd, 2010 07:32 AM

I don't think Qantas is part of this new plan - it's American, British Airways and Iberia.

scrb11 Oct 3rd, 2010 07:38 AM

Hmm, so I'm shopping for a new airline alliance because DL award redemptions have gone to hell.

AA gets high marks for awards availability in general but the BA thing was curious. Glad to hear it's changed.

Of course, UK taxes for departing from the UK are going up now.

Gardyloo Oct 3rd, 2010 08:05 AM

<i>What about earning AA miles and redeeming on Qantas?</i>

You always could and still can.

<i>Of course, UK taxes for departing from the UK are going up now.</i>

Which isn't any different regardless of airline or alliance used. The UK government is still pondering a switch to a "per-plane" tax instead of a per-person tax, but it looks like the November increase will go through anyway. The key is to change planes in the UK rather than originating there.

scrb11 Oct 3rd, 2010 02:37 PM

Originating there? If say you are flying back to the US from Italy, would it be something like FCO-LHR and LHR-SFO?

So the long-haul flight would be subject to that levy?

scrb11 Oct 3rd, 2010 02:39 PM

Hmm, and 50% accrual on the cheapest Qantas fares.

Makes it hard to take that A380 down to SYD.

Gardyloo Oct 3rd, 2010 06:48 PM

The UK Air Passenger Duty applies only to itineraries that originate in the UK (also defined as any connection greater than 24 hrs.) So just changing planes between FCO and SFO is exempt.

Gardyloo Oct 6th, 2010 07:24 AM

Update - AA, BA and IB announced some new transatlantic routes this morning in London, starting in April:

New York - Budapest, operated by AA;
Chicago - Helsinki, operated by AA;
San Diego - London, operated by BA; and
Los Angeles - Madrid, operated by Iberia.

The SAN-LHR service is a restoration of BA's former route between those cities; JFK-BUD was formerly operated by Malev (a Oneworld member) but discontinued a couple of years ago. ORD-HEL and LAX-MAD will connect to onward services operated by Finnair and Iberia respectively.

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