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Confusion over booking flights on American Airlines website

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I'm planning a trip to Spain next year and have been looking at the consolidated websites to find the range of options that fly the route I'm interested in as well as a range of prices. I'm looking to go from NYC - Madrid, returning from Malaga - NYC. The time frame is roughly 3 weeks. Right now, I'm focusing on the routing.

When I go to sights like Kayak, Hipmunk, and others, I find the following combination:
NY - Madrid (nonstop, 7 hours +) on American Airlines and return flights on Iberia & Finnair, with a total travel time of around 11 1/2 hours. Very doable. They are also part of One World, which American is a part of.

When I go to the actual airline site, it seems that they no longer offer the option to pick the departure and return flights separately, and the combination I'm looking for is not on offer. I see the departure flight I want, but the return flights are much longer and not worth it. Or, I see the return flight combination, but the departure flight has a stopover, making it a much longer trip than necessary. I hope I'm explaining this right!

Is this new? And, more important, is there anything I can do about it? It was so much easier choosing 2 separate flights; offering only certain paired flights limits the options significantly, and for the worse, I'm afraid.

Thanks for any suggestions you guys might have!

Paule

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