We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
By adding your American Airlines frequent flyer number to a British Airways Avios booking you can get free checked bags and better seats, if you have American Airlines elite status, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® or the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®.
Use British Airways Avios Points for Short Flights
Because British Airways Avios points has a distance based award chart, using British Airways Avios points on short distance flights is a good deal. American Airlines is a partner of British Airways so you can use British Airways Avios points on American Airlines!
For example, it costs 4,500 British Airways Avios points for a 1-way flight up to 649 miles and 7,500 British Airways Avios points 1-way for a flight up to 1,149 miles.
If you wanted to fly round-trip in coach from Chicago to Kansas City, you would only pay 9,000 British Airways Avios points.
You would pay 25,000 American Airlines miles to fly round-trip in coach from Chicago to Kansas City.
So using British Airways Avios points from Chicago to Kansas City is a better value than using American Airlines miles!
3 Reasons to Add Your American Airlines Number
When you use your British Airways Avios points to book a flight on American Airlines, your British Airways number is automatically added to the reservation.
But there are times when you may want to add your American Airlines number to the reservation.
1. Free Checked Bags
A. Your Citi credit card gives you a free checked bag
You get a free checked bag if you have the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard or Citi AAdvantage Executive World Mastercard.
B. American Airlines elite status gets you up to 3 free checked bags
And if you have elite status with American Airlines, you can check up to 3 bags free.
2. TSA Pre-Check
Adding your American Airlines frequent flyer number will get you through security faster, if you’ve added your TSA Pre-Check number to your American Airlines profile.
3. Extra Leg Room
If you have elite status with American Airlines, you can get Main Cabin Extra seats. Main Cabin Extra seats are the first few rows of coach and have ~ 6 inches of extra legroom.
How to Add Your American Airlines Frequent Flyer Number
British Airways uses a different booking number than American Airlines. And you can’t enter the British Airways booking number on the American Airlines website.
So you have to find the American Airlines booking number. You can call British Airways or change it yourself on the Finnair website (as I’ll explain in Step 6 below). I prefer to add it on the Finnair website because it’s faster than calling their support center!
Here’s how you can add your American Airlines frequent flyer number to a British Airways Avios points booking.
Step 1 – Find Your Flight in Your British Airways Account
Log in to your British Airways Executive Club account. Click on “My bookings” in the left column.
Find your flight from the list of your bookings and click on “Manage My Booking.”
You will also see your booking number in the emailed receipt from British Airways.
Step 2 – Confirm Your British Airways Booking Number
Confirm and write down your British Airways booking number.
Step 3 – Click “Manage Booking”
You CANNOT change your British Airways frequent flyer number to your American Airlines frequent flyer number on the British Airways website. But you can get around this by using the Finnair website.
From the Finnair homepage, click on “Manage Booking.”
Step 4 – Enter Your Booking Details in Finnair Website
Enter your British Airways booking number of “7VA5O6” (from Step 2) in the drop down box and click on “Continue.”
Step 5 – Click on “Update Your Details”
Your flight information including frequent flyer number and E-ticket number will be shown.
Click on “Update your details.”
Step 6 – Find Your American Airlines Booking Number
Your American Airlines booking number (UKHHBZ) will be shown under “Booking Reference.” Write this number down.
You will use your American Airlines booking number of “UKHHBZ” instead of your British Airways booking number of “7VA5O6”.
Step 7 – Enter Your American Airlines Frequent Flyer Information
Your British Airways frequent flyer information is shown so you have to edit your frequent flyer information to change it to American Airlines.
Select American Airlines from the drop down box to change your frequent flyer information from British Airways to American Airlines.
Step 8 – Pull Up Your Flight From the American Airlines Website
From the American Airlines website click on “My Trips.”
Step 9 – Enter Your American Airlines Record Locator
You can find your trip by entering your full name and American Airlines booking number (from Step 6).
Step 10 – Confirm That Your Flight Is Ticketed
Check that the status of your flight shows as “Ticketed.” Ticketed means your award seat has been issued and you have a confirmed reservation.
If your booking doesn’t show as “Ticketed,” you should call British Airways at 800-247-9297. If you have elite status, you should use the respective elite status phone numbers.
If you want to select or change seats, click on “Change Seats.”
Step 11 – Change Your Seats
You can select different seats, like seats away from toilets or closer to the front. And if you have elite status with American Airlines, you can choose Main Cabin Extra or Preferred seats.
You can easily add your American Airlines frequent flyer number to a British Airways Avios points booking.
Your American Airlines frequent flyer number allows you to pick your seats.
If you have elite status with American Airlines, you can check up to 3 bags for free and get Main Cabin Extra seats.
You can change your British Airways frequent flyer information to your American Airlines frequent flyer information on the Finnair website. And you can get your American Airlines booking number on the Finnair website.
If you’re flying short distances in the US, you’ll pay less British Airways Avios points than you would pay American Airlines miles. So using British Airways Avios points in the US can be a good deal.