Book American Airlines Award Flights Like a Pro: Part 9 – Finding Iberia (& European) Award Availability using the Qantas Website

Book American Airlines Awards Like a Pro:

qantas Award Website

The Qantas website is easier to use than the British Airways website and lets you see a 30 day calendar of award availability for American Airlines, British Airways, and Iberia flights.  This makes it a bit easier when searching for awards to Europe.

But it is quirky in that it doesn’t show Japan Airlines award availability (use the British Airways website for that) and that it sometimes shows award availability for Cathay Pacific (better to use the Japan Airlines website) and other airlines, which can’t be booked by American Airlines (also known as phantom availability).

It also doesn’t let you search for all cities (Kansas City is a grave omission), and the results sometimes show mixed class of service (for example, a business class flight could actually have only 1 segment in business and the rest in coach).

If your departure city is not listed as an option on the Qantas website, you can search from a different gateway city and then use AA.com to find you how to get to that city.

But I do like the Qantas website to search for awards on Iberia and for awards to Europe.  That’s because the British Airways website tries to route you via London on a British Airways flight, whereas Qantas shows you the American Airlines, British Airways, and Iberia options.

However, Iberia availability from the Qantas website doesn’t always 100% match up with what American Airline agents can see.  But you can always double check via the British Airways site.  And sometimes you just have to hang up and call back until the agent can book the Iberia flight.

Iberia Departure Cities

Iberia  flies to Madrid from the following North American cities:

  •  Boston, Chicago, New York, Miami, Los Angeles,  San Juan

Iberia  flies to Barcelona from the following North American cities:

  • New York & Miami

Here’s a link to the Iberia route map.  Iberia flies to destinations in Europe, Africa, Middle East, South America, and Asia.

Using Iberia gives you another option to get to Europe from the US.  For example, you could:

  • Fly from Iberia or American Airlines departure cities in the US to Spain and then connect to other cities in Europe on Iberia
  • Fly from the US to London on American Airlines (no fuel surcharges) or British Airways (with fuel surcharges)  and then connect to a British Airways flight to Spain and then to the rest of Europe
  • Fly from the US to Spain and then connect to a British Airways or Iberia flight to London and then to the rest of Europe

And using Iberia to travel to Africa could save you the fuel surcharges which you would pay if you flew on British Airways.

However, Iberia has no First Class – only coach and business class.

How to find Iberia Award availability

Let’s say I want to find 1 seat from Nashville, TN to Madrid on October 12, 2012 in First Class.

I can search on AA.com, but it won’t show Iberia award availability, and will prompt me to call the reservation department.

So I break up my flight into segments.  I’ll first look for award availability from:

  • The US to Madrid on Iberia using the Qantas website
  • Then the award from Nashville to the US departure city of my Iberia  international flight on AA.com

Step 1 – Sign up for a Qantas account

Sign up for a free Qantas Frequent Flyer account.

For some strange reason, Australian and New Zealand residents have to pay to sign up!

Step 2 – Log into your Qantas account

Log into your Qantas account.

Step 3 – Finding availability from the US to Spain

Click on “Home,”  then click on “Awards” in the left side menu.

Iberia Awards

Step 1 – Click on “Home” and then “Award”

Step 4

Select “Qantas & Partner Classic Award ” under “Award Type.”

Select a one-way or round-trip flight and enter your destination and origin.

Iberia Awards

Step 4 – Enter your search information

Be sure to click the “Flexible with dates” option to see a calendar of available dates .

Then click “Go.

Step 5

You’ll see a calendar of availability.  Note that you can’t book any flights in Premium Economy using American Airlines miles

Iberia Awards

Step 5 – Calendar of availability

If your date is not available, choose another date in the calendar, and hit “Select Flight

Step 6

We soon see the results and find 1 seat from Boston to Madrid on Iberia flight 6166.

So instead of relying on the American Airlines agent to find this flight for you, you can feed this specific flight to the agent to book.

Iberia Awards

Step 6 – We find our award seat!

At this point, write down the flight details.  For example, I’d write down:

IB 6166 from Boston (BOS) to Madrid (MAD) departing at 19:55 on October 12 and arriving in Madrid on October 13 at 08:45 am in Coach.

Notice that the search results brought back a few different options:

1.  American Airlines to London and then take a British Airways flight to Madrid

2.  Boston to London and then to Madrid all on British Airways

3.  Boston to Paris on American Airlines and then Iberia from Paris to Madrid

Taxes and Fees

Booking an Iberia award using American Airlines miles is fairly cheap.  For example, it costs only $50.20 in taxes and fees for an award ticket from Boston to Madrid in Coach on Iberia.

And $78.10 for the return flight from Madrid to Boston in Coach.

You’ll have to pay a $25 telephone booking fee, but it is totally worth that fee to get access to partner airlines.

Calling American Airlines to make the booking

I’d then call American Airlines (1-800-433-7300) and ask them to put on hold (for up to 5 days) these specific flights which I found.

Bottom Line:  The Qantas website is great for searching for award seats on Iberia quickly.  And you may prefer it for certain other searches as well.  Write down the flight numbers and information and call American Airlines to book the flight.

 

90 Responses to Book American Airlines Award Flights Like a Pro: Part 9 – Finding Iberia (& European) Award Availability using the Qantas Website

  1. Thanks, Daraius, for generously sharing your knowledge with us! Love this series. With your help, I am able to book my free ticket ($~115 fees/taxes mostly from Air Tahiti Nui) using AA points to Europe this Fall. Free ticket to Asia is next for 2013. Thanks again!

  2. Iberia awards do show up on the AA website from the US gateway to Madrid. They show up as codeshare flights. If you are traveling to another city from Madrid on the same award, those flights are not available on AA.

    Iberia is also discontinuing its MIA-BCN flight later this year. It will be operated as an AA flight codesharing with Iberia.

  3. How about a write-up on booking Lufthansa award tickets, haha. They are pretty much non-existent, and when you can find one, the taxes and fees you have to pay just to use the miles are so ridiculous its not worth using your miles, as you can spend ~$100 more and just by the darn ticket.

  4. man , all bloggers only talk about “easy awards flights” to Europe ou Asia… :( Coem on man, help us out.. We from SOUTH AMERICA (speciallly brazilians) would like to see more info to get the best awards to fly from the US to Brazil, for exemplo…. We dont have that much info. What would bebetter? lets say, I have the Chase Sipphire Preferred and so far 65000 points, how these points could give me a nice award to Brazil? and i do not need a hotel, so my points is just for flights. Thnak you!

  5. @L – Very exciting! Thanks for sharing and safe travels.

    @Daniel
    – Iberia award flights don’t (yet) show up on AA.com. And you can book an Iberia flight from, say, Madrid to Paris using AA miles.

    @Damon - Lufthansa 1st class awards can’t be booked in advance any more (but they do open availability close to departure), but business class is quite easy. You also don’t pay fuel surcharge if you use US Air or United miles.

    @Josinei
    – AA miles are great for travel to South America! You can search on United.com for an award flight from the US to Brazil (30K miles in coach each way). Once you find what you need, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to United and book the flight.

  6. travel_junky

    You said to choose booking “Qantas & Partner Classic Award” when searching. What are the “Qantas & Jetstar Any Seat Award”? Are these not available for Partner awards?

  7. travel_junky

    One more question, which airline would have award seats between Melbourne-Bali? Quantas website says there are no award seats available no matter which month I search (even March 2013).

    I tried searching on Japan Airlines for Cathay flights from MEL-DPS (bali), but they all route through Hong Kong… any help is greatly appreciated.

  8. travel_junky

    Continuing my last though. Do all Cathay flights route through Hong Kong? That is all I’m seeing when searching on Japan Airlines website per you previous 8B instructions.

  9. Robert Hanson

    Something to keep in mind if searching for AA East Coast to Europe flights…. The BOS-LHR-BOS flight, and the second JFK-CDG-JFK flight of the day, are on a 757. No FC, and Business has the infamous “angled” seats aka slipping and sliding while trying to sleep. With the added thrill of single aisle narrow body aircraft. Only 4 bathrooms for 182 people, assuming none of them go out of order. If one does malfunction, you are looking at 62 passengers and crew per bathroom. For up to 7.5 hours….

    I refuse to take one of these flights, paid or award. I’m just not that desperate. An hour or so on Southwest is one thing, but TA is out of the question. I keep hoping paying passengers will boycott any TA narrow body flights, forcing the airlines to fly only widebodies, but so far no luck. :>{

  10. Travel_Junky: Try looking at one way travel.I checked Sept 12, 2012(no particular reason) and there were over a dozen different possibles almost all on QF in Econ.Not sure why no Business shows.Good luck.

  11. travel_junky

    Weird yea it does show availability through November 2012. Then if you search anything from Dec-March (I’m trying to travel over holidays at end of year) it says its unavailable. How far out can you book/search Quantas awards? Maybe its showing no availability because they aren’t bookable yet?

  12. Great search engine indeed!
    Many thanks for the instructions!

  13. Wow… this is slightly confusing. To view Europe OW routes, I need to use the Qantas search engine. To view Japan routes, I need to use the BA search engine, and to view Cathay Pacific, I need to use JAL website. Is this right?

  14. Daraius,
    Thanks for the info as always! But regarding Lufthansa; I live in Germany right now and try to get back to the states when I can. I’m a LH FF, but when trying to use LH miles economy or business class for an award ticket, I can never find award seats with them. Recently I tried a flight back to NYC end of April…nothing available; I tried back to Seattle in August…nothing (and they LH stateside rep states they search all Star Aliance as well); and tried routing through Canada without luck. The only option I found back to Seattle in August was through Chicago (then I would have had to buy my own ticket to Chicago to Seattle) economy, but LH wanted the normal 60k miles PLUS 478 euro!!! I can buy a ticket for 550 euro! So it was pointless to use my LH miles. Needless to say I’m frustrated with LH as I can’t use my miles, or use them without paying a ridiculous fee. I’m thinking of jumping to US Airways going forward. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated; you can email me with a response if you’d prefer. Thank You!

  15. Daraius,

    Your blog has been a tremendous resource and these AA postings lately have been awesome! But I must admit my head is really spinning and I’m having a tough time sorting it all out.

    I’m trying to book the following in mid-September: NY (or PHL) to BERLIN to ROME to NY (or PHL)
    I currently have 160k AAdvantage miles and 100k United miles. (actually, they’re Ultimate Rewards and haven’t been transferred yet to UA)
    Obviously I’d like to use the least amount of miles and cash. Any tips on the best way to do this?

    Thanks!!

  16. Daraius, these are very helpful. Is there a single list of all of the AA expert hints? I was having a hard time finding some of them and would like to link to them from my blog. Thanks very much.

  17. Tammy Horvath

    Anyone ever hear of a book called Aanomalies: Top 48 American Airlines AAdvantage program opportunities? It is a report on how to maximize American airline miles by First Class Flyer and costs $79 with a 90 day guarantee.

  18. what was the roundtrip total on iberia bos-mad-bos on coach and business and also is it true its not flat bed. Also using Avios what would be the fees and miles on iberia to bos-mad-bos thanks

  19. @travel_junky – The “Qantas & Jetstar Any Seat Award” are seats without capacity controls and are not available for partner redemptions. Cathay via Hong Kong is a good option, and yes, most Cathay flights will route via Hong Kong since that is there hub. As pssteve points out, there are options – especially when you search one-way. You can search Qantas awards up to 355 days in advance, but AA lets you book them only 330 days in advance.

    @Robert Hanson
    – I agree. TA flights in narrow body aircraft just isn’t very comfortable.

    @pssteve – Thanks for helping out.

    @Max – Glad you found it useful.

    @Cheaplee
    – You got it! Or you can pay and use Award Nexus which makes it a bit easier. You can also use the British Airways website for Cathay Pacific awards.

    @Damon
    – United will let you book 1 way awards, whereas US Air only allows roundtrip award bookings. Both airlines won’t charge you fuel surcharges so redeeming for economy seats would make sense. Here’s how you can search for awards on Star Alliance flights yourself and then call in to request the seats.

    @EH – It is easy to earn miles, but redeeming them is trickier! United lets you have a stopover on round trip (not on one way) awards, so you could have your stop over for 60K in coach or 100K in business. You’d have to pay for an extra segment within Europe for the same itinery on AA.

    @zzd – Good point. I’ll link the entire series together when it is complete.

    @Tammy Horvath
    – I haven’t heard of that book, but I googled it just now. It showed $179 with the 90 day guarantee.

    @thalha
    - The fees would be ~$150 in coach, and I don’t believe it is a flat bed. Avios would be about $250 per segment in coach and 20K miles (or 40K miles in business) per segment.

  20. it has been about 8 months since i got the 150k miles on citi aadvantage amex & visa card. Over 9 months since I got the AMEX premier reward & amex Gold Biz card. The cards (other then the bonus miles or points) are not useful to me and the annual fees are soon coming. I have used up all the amex points from the 2 amex cards and still have lots of advantage miles from the 2 citi aadvantage cards.

    From what I heared, i don’t lose the advantage miles even if I close the citi aadvantage cards?

    The citi aadvantage cards gave me so many bonus miles and the miles are very useful and helpful, miles good for airlines (one world) hotel stays, car rentals. Should i call to get these 2 citi aadvantage cards close now so i can churn ( reapply) for another bonus on same cards 15 or 18 months later?

    Also close the amex premier reward & amex gold biz card now so i can churn (reapply) 15 months later ?
    thanks for any suggestions!
    Any other cards with bonus miles or points i should apply now?

    Other than those 4 cards mentioned above,
    I have citi dividened world mastercard ( old card and no annual fee ) so won’t close it.

    Amex simply cash card ( i think it’s a biz card, useful cos 3 % cash back on gas always and 5% cell phone bill pay) won’t close.
    Chase freedom ( very useful)

    Discover card ( no annual fee and long time card) won’t close it.

    BOA cash visa card ( no annual fee & 3 to 2% cash back on gas & grocery always) got Dec 2011

    Chase southwest personal plus card ( not useful , annual fee ( ready to close it) got in NOV 2011

    Chase sapphire preferred visa card ( good, got bonus miles but not too useful like freedom, might downgrade or close next year. Got this early Feb 2012.

    I have about 5 Hard pulls in last 2 yrs and my most recent score is 749 average.

  21. sorry i meant to say ” 5 HARD PULLS in last 12 months not 2 yrs.”
    thnaks

  22. Pingback: American Airlines Award Chart | Million Mile Secrets

  23. Pingback: AA Redeem Miles | Million Mile Secrets

  24. Pingback: Cathay Pacific Redeem | Million Mile Secrets

  25. Pingback: American Airlines Award Travel | Million Mile Secrets

  26. travel_junky

    @pssteve and @Million Mile Secrets
    When I try searching one-ways on Qantas & Partner Classic Award, the website shows no availability in any class for MEL-DPS any dates after mid December through March 2013…..seems strange. Could all the award seats be gone already? Any help is appreciated

  27. @travel_junky - They could have just not loaded the flights or not made it available for awards yet.

  28. Pingback: LAN Awards | Million Mile Secrets

  29. Pingback: Cheap British Airways Avios Redemption | Million Mile Secrets

  30. Hi Daraius,

    If I understand this correctly, Iberia seems to be the cheapest way to travel to Europe with the AA miles So if I’m planning to go to Italy, the best way is to f ind an american city flying to Madrid or Barcelona then from there flying to Italy via British, AA and the other partners right? Like what I told your in my previous comments/questions, if I plan to go to Italy this January from D.C. you think the best way is to go to NY then fly to Madrid then catch a connecting flight to Italy? Lastly, would you happen to know if it is better to buy miles for an infant or just pay for the upfront taxes they usually charge for kids less than 2 yrs. ? We are taking my baby who will 18 mos then. Thanks much!!

  31. I am looking at flying CDG to LAX. There are many seats available on Iberia CDG-MAD and MAD-LAX so I will likely make this booking. Do you know if AA will charge the standard Europe to North America award miles (20/30k econ, 50k bus) or will it count as two oneworld bookings (within Europe then Europe to North America)?
    I have use the BA website for many years to find availability, but didn’t know about using Quantas until today. You’ve made my searching so much easier. Thank you!

  32. @carmen - If you’re looking to not pay fuel surcharges, any option which does NOT involve British Airways on the transatlantic segment will work. If you want to go to Italy, you could 1) Fly from the US to London on AA and connect on British Airways to Italy 2) Fly from the US to Spain and connect on Iberia to Italy 3) Fly to Germany via Air Berlin and then connect 4) Finnair to Finland.

    The best way will be to piece your award together segment by segment. If you’re taking an infant and paying with AA miles, you have to pay 10% of the regular fare for the infant ticket.

    @Scott - You can also fly directly from CDG to LAX on Air Tahiti Nui (call and ask the agent to specifically search that route or use ExpertFlyer). If you connect within 24 hours you will be charged the flat rate from Europe to the US and won’t be charged for 2 awards. The Qantas tool is easier, but it isn’t always accurate – particularly for Iberia!

  33. Let me understand correctly, I can’t use my united miles to travel to Vince via Munich (stopover) from PHL on one way award ticket? Also I am planning to travel to Paris from Venice via train and I can’t seem to find AA direct flights from Paris to NYC or PHL on AA.com. All options are via BA with heft fuel surcharges.

  34. @Ali – You can’t have a stop-over on a 1-way United award ticket, but you can transit for less than 24 hours via Munich to Venice. I’d suggest searching for a BA flight from Paris to London and then connect to an AA flight to the US. That way, you won’t pay the hefty fuel surcharges.

  35. I don’t think that the website is working for looking for availability. I tried with both firefox and safari, but both times when I try to search for awards, the file isn’t found. Ugh!

  36. Hi Daraius, I’ve decided to fork out the YQ charges at BA to fly F, first week of July. I’m currently looking at availability ex-BCN via LHR, going specifically to ORD, but any city will do (e.g. seems JFK/NYC tend to have more availability). I’ve been following availability patterns in the last few days and it seems BA is holding back on inventory until the very last minute (1-3 days). Any insight regarding how many days before BA releases inventory? Also, do you have ideas on which US cities to look at. The ones I’ve looked at are ORD, JFK, EWR, MIA, IAH, IAD, DFW, LAX, SFO.

    Ideally I want to fly July 2/3 but it seems Wed and Thurs are the ones being released relatively more advanced (e.g. 1 week ahead) so this means I have to book very last minute. Moreover flights coming out of LCY tend to be the ones released way in advance (an A320 which is a waste…). Thanks!

  37. @Stacey - Is it still not working?

    @econflyer – I’ve had good luck with BOS, PHL & PHX. You can also search on the AA website since they now show BA availability and they have a calendar view. I don’t have much insight on when award seats are released, but you could ask an award booking service.

  38. I am planning a trip with my family for Summer 2013. We have over 600,000 AA Advantage miles. We want to fly from Dallas to Munich. Munich to Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Palma de Mallorca to Paris. Paris to Dallas. What is the best way to do this. I’ve been reading all these posts on how to book flights, but still not sure how to do this. Thanks so very, very, very much for any advice.

  39. @Laura – You can’t get a free stopover outside the North American gateway city, so you would have to pay for each segment separately, or buy the intra-European segments separately. Also, getting enough seats for a family will be hard. Another option could be a the AA Explorer award which is distance based and which allows you to have stopovers in Europe. I’d suggest reaching out to a few award booking services to see the best option which they can find for you.

  40. Pingback: American Airlines Award Travel - Stopovers & Openjaws | Million Mile Secrets

  41. Okay! Hopefully I’m beginning to get the gist of how this works!
    What if I took a direct flight from dallas to Paris using AAdvantage miles, stop over in Paris for 5 days, then from Paris on to Munich?
    Then I would BUY a ticket from Munich to Mallorca, Spain.
    For my return home, use AAdvantage miles for say Mallorca direct to London, stopover in London a couple of days, then London direct back to Dallas? Could I do that?
    Again, thank you so very much for your guidance!

  42. @Laura - I replied to you via email.

  43. Nice post. Does Iberia allow stopover in Madrid for onwards to other EU cities if traveling from USA.

    For example: DFW – MAD (stopover for a week) – Athens – DFW. All of this for the cost of DFW – Athens – DFW.

  44. @Kashif – If you’re using AA miles, you can’t get a stopover outside the North American gateway city.

  45. I just tried the JAL site and while it shows 4 seats available in Business on Cathay from SFO to TPE, the American agents are telling that there is no availability. Is there reason why JAL would have those seats available to them but not to AA?

  46. @Jon – Try breaking down the searh, so ask them first to check for the SFO to HKG segment. Perhaps ask them to check for 2 seats first and then ask for 4. And sometimes there is “phantom availability” where the seats which JAL shows are not available to AA. Try double checking with the BA website.

  47. Thanks for the info! I’ll try the 2 segment approach. Both JAL and BA show partner availability on cathay for the dates I want, but I’ve talked to 3 separate AA agents now and none of them seem to be able to find any availability on Cathay. Does AA work off of different inventory?

  48. @Jon – Can they even see 1 seat on those segments? And are they searching for the right day and time?

  49. It worked after I requested it segment by segment. It’s surprising that the 5 different AA agents I spoke to didn’t know to check the segments individually. They also all told me that each airline is given an allotment of award seats and that AA must have used theirs up on CX while JAL and BA still had their separate inventory of CX award seats.

  50. @Jon – Glad it worked out!

  51. Dear Daraius, I really enjoy the tips and tricks you mention in your website. They have proven relevant, and helpful! Now I need your expertise. Spouse is flying on revenue ticket from Dallas to Stockholm via London. DFW-LHR-ARN. I am flying with our child, using his points, and trying to copy his itinerary. We have AA on the DFW-LHR portion, however, BA does not have any award flights available from LHR-ARN. I have tried piecing different segments together, without results. I have tried Finnair LHR-HEL-ARN, DFW-FRA-ARN, and DFW-MAD-ARN. I know we are getting into the busy holiday season, but I have to think there has to be a way to get from Dallas to Stockholm using miles, right?? Any suggestions you have would be appreciated!

  52. Pingback: American Airlines Awards | Million Mile Secrets

  53. Hi Darius, I am looking at BNA to Dublin in March and there is a lot of availability on Qantas site. How do you see the fees without calling AA?

  54. @AP – If you’re not flying BA, they will be negligible, but I don’t know how much. You could try searching on ITA Software for the same revenue flight and see how much the fees cost.

  55. Was intersted in knowing if there is a conversion factor for AA to Iberia.

    How many AA miles will it take to get a Return award ticket from lets say Boston to Madrid ?

  56. @Rishi – It is the same amount to fly on a partner as it is to fly on AA – so 100K in business and 60K in coach.

  57. I have a couple of questions for a European trip I am planning for March 2014. What is the typical extra charge for an Iberia flight from DFW or ORD to Barcelona? (I know I don’t want to cross on BA.) Also one of the itineraries I’m looking at is flying to Sicily which leaves me with a 23 hour stopover in Zurich (extra sightseeing stop!) Can I get my checked bags in Zurich if I want to? Or do I have to get them? Sorry if these are dumb questions – most of my frequent travels are at low altitude. But thanks to some patience and help from your blog, I can afford to take my family to Europe for spring break on a dental-floss-shoestring budget. Thanks!

  58. @KennyB - I’d expect it to be ~$50 extra for the Iberia flight. Usually if you are at the airport overnight, you may get your checked bags, but I wouldn’t count on it and have supplies in your carry-on baggs instead. It is quite easy to take the train from the airport to Zurich and roam about. Safe travels!

  59. One more – I have been doing dummy searches on AA.com for flights, and availability for award tickets that use Air Berlin seem to lag about a week behind AA and BA. Does AB have a shorter window (~320 days) to book travel, or do I need to call AA?

  60. what time of day does American post it’s reward availability for Quantas flights. I am finding it almost impossible to score business or first class seats 330 days out no matter what time of day I check. Going JFK to either SYD or MEL. Not going to sit in coach for 22 hours.

  61. @anthony – Business or First to Australia is one of the toughest awards to get! I believe they may be released around 2:00 am CST.

  62. I am looking to fly first class on AA ORD>LHR in Sept. There is a non-stop AA flight in coach for 30k miles but I want to book the same flight first class for 50k. Right now the only first class availability for this flight is 100k miles. Thinking I would book the coach flight now and then watch the AA site in case they open up a 1st class 50k award. At that point I would pay the change fee. Is that how you’d do that?

  63. @Nick – You can set ExpertFlyer seat alerts for a low-level first class award as well. AA sometimes doesn’t charge the change fee if you pay more miles to upgrade to a higher class of service. 50K will get you a business class seat and first class is 62.5K miles at the low level.

  64. I see available business seats using Avios on an Iberia Airline flight from Madrid to Chicago through the Qantas website yet two different AA operators keep telling me there are none. ExpertFlyer does not show any “U” seats available on that Iberia flight # either!
    Any suggestions?

  65. @fdkmd – Qantas does show phantom availability for Iberia flights, so it likely doesn’t exist if ExpertFlyer doesn’t show it.

  66. Hi Darius

    thanks for sharing your knowledge. for clarification, if i’m traveling from SFO to MAD and want to book Iberia using AAdvantage miles for off peak, if I can find award flight from JFK to MAD on Iberia website and award flight from SFO to JFK on AA, then I call AA and feed both flight info to AA rep to book with 40K miles, is that right?

  67. Hi Darius

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge! I’m a first timer for all of this. For clarification, if I wanted to travel SFO to MAD flying on Iberia for JFK to MAD leg off peak, I would check Qantas for availability and feed that to AA rep along with AA flight from SFO to JFK and all of that will cost 40K AA miles plus Iberia fuel surcharge. Is that correct?

  68. @peter5 – Exactly! Keep in mind that Qantas doesn’t always show the same seats which AA can book, so using ExpertFlyer could be more accurate.

  69. Zach berkoff

    What is the best way to book AA flight Miami to Paris? I have 250k avios and 90k Amex points. Directly through Ba results in over $500 in fees.

  70. Also is it possible to book the American airlines flight with my Amex points or avios through another airlines such as Iberia fin air or Cathay pacific. Thanks

  71. Is it just me or has Qantas changed their award booking on the website? For the life of me, I can’t get it to show me availability from LAX or JFK to Madrid.

  72. I’ve got a real question for you.. AA website showing award travel from ORY-NYC on Iberia is grayed out. unavailable. However, if i go on Qantas i see availability. If i call AA with the airline numbers, will then honor? because on AA.com it’s showing unavailable.

  73. @Allan – AA website won’t show Iberia flights. The Orly flight looks like a BA flight, so you should be able to book it if it is available at the low level.

  74. Why not just search on Iberia?? Or is it you want Qantas because it shows AA/BA/Iberia in one so you don’t have to hit AA/BA and Iberia in two searches?

  75. I called AA regarding flying IB from ORY-JFK, gave them the flight numbers and everything. Worked like a charm.. then they hit me with the taxes. $237/pp. BA direct on AA taxes were $380/pp. I thought taxes were supposed to be under $100…

  76. Just booked our flights in business class from ORD to Italy through Madrid on IB. worked like a charm! As always, thanks for the sharing….Rhea.

  77. @Traveling Momma – Glad it worked out!

  78. I’m not sure if it’s because of the time of year that I’m searching (late April depart, return early May before peak season) but I’m getting a cost of 50k each way on Qantas LAX-MAD/LAX-DUS. Why does it cost so much?

  79. @Hilary – I don’t believe that Qantas flies from LAX to MAD or DUS. Where are you searching?

  80. Pingback: Cathay Pacific Redeem | Million Mile Secrets

  81. Hi, I’m having a hard time finding a flight from Miami to La Paz, Bolivia (LPB) in July/August using the Qantas website. I was looking at “Qantas & Partner Classic Award” and was flexible with the date. I figured it would show me some LAN flight options. But as soon as I put in the cities there was a box that said “This Itinerary can only be booked as a Classic Award. To continue click Search Flights.”

    Then, once I put in my dates it says “Qantas.com flight search error: We are unable to find recommendations from the airlines we search. Please change your search criteria and resubmit the search.”

    What am I doing wrong?? Thanks for any help you can provide!

  82. @Laura – I’d use the British Airways website to find LAN flights.

  83. I tried doing the QANTAS search, but it looks different than what your slides show. Have you tried doing the same search recently? It does not work as your instructions anymore, it seems.

  84. @Roberto – They’ve updated the website, so the screenshots are different. But it still works!

  85. Tammy Horvath

    I am looking to fly from US to Australia and Fiji or Tahiti. What airline is best for this and how do I know how much the taxes will be? I have AA and United miles or are they both part of One World Alliance or is United still Star Alliance?

    Also, do you have a suggestion on which hotel credit card to get to hopefully get an overwater bungalow on one of the islands? I do not have any hotel credit cards yet. I’m looking to travel in April or September 2015. Thanks to anyone with advice.

  86. @Tammy Horvath – American Airlines partners with Air Tahiti Nui to get to Tahiti (use the google search bar to find previous posts on this including taxes). United is Star Alliance and AA is Oneworld. We stayed in Bora Bora using IHG Rewards (then called Priority Club & Hilton points). I’d get the IHG Rewards card and you get 1 free night on your anniversary which you can use in Bora Bora. The base room at the InterContinental Thalasso books into an overwater bungalow (google for our review!)

  87. Tammy Horvath

    Thanks for the help. I have a few more questions since I am new to hotel credit cards. I will be staying 1 week in Bora Bora/vicinity & 1 week in Australia (hopefully using timeshare, if I can get a match). Can my husband and I both sign up for the IHG Rewards Card so we could each get a free night to use on the same trip? That way we would both have a sign up bonus to use and are the points transferable (I know most airlines aren’t) to each others account? When can you book the 1 night you get free? I’m assuming not until your 1 year anniversary date. I need to get moving on this because I want to go in April or September next year. I am guessing April is a bad idea as far as I need to have access to the free nights to book them so I can correspond the airfare. Thoughts anyone?

    I have started reading through all your blogs on your trip but it is taking me a while because I am taking detailed notes. Thanks.

  88. @Tammy Horvath – You can book rooms with points from your accounts and ask the hotel to combine the reservation so you don’t have to change rooms. You get the 1st free night after your 1st anniversary which is 1 year from when you are approved. So get the IHG card and points now and book rooms with those points. Then when you get the free night certificate, book the other nights!

  89. Called AA twice regarding a flight from Mia-mad-ven round trip. I was given two different taxes. One was $250 p/p and the other $150 p/p. I was asking about the same exact flight. Any idea why they gave me different prices? 20k depart/return p/p

  90. @Et – Could be different based on the airlines you were flying.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.