How to Use AAdvantage Miles to book Qatar / Etihad Business & First Class 2019

How to Use AAdvantage Miles to Book Qatar / Etihad Business & First Class Flights 2019

Today, we look at How to use American airlines AAdvantage Miles to book Partner airline flights like Qatar / Etihad Business & First Class using the minimal amount of points & taxes. In this article we research in detail the process of booking Premium class routes using AAdvantage miles,  Tips & Tricks and the Pitfalls of the AA Search availability tool. 

airways-A380 business class



Book Qatar & Etihad Business / First Class using AAdvantage Points

Firstly, if you’ve found this page and not started collecting American airlines AAdvantage  miles yet, we have written another post on how to collect large amounts of AAdvantage Miles fast by clicking here – Collect AA Miles 

American airlines AAdvantage frequent flyer miles scheme is open to anyone to join, even if you never fly AA.

American airlines is part of the largest alliance in the world called the OneWorld alliance which includes airlines such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines & SriLankan Airlines. 

Being part of such a large alliance certainly has its benefits, especially when it comes to collecting & spending loyalty miles on other alliance airlines.

Today we will centre our attention on redeeming AA miles on Qatar & Etihad airlines. If your not already aware, Qatar & Etihad have some of the best Business or First Class products out there.

Qatar have recently launched the amazing Q-Suite Business product below.

Qatar Q Suite Business Class
Qatar Q-Suite Business Class

Or the outstanding Etihad First Class apartment below…

Etihad A380 First Class Apartment
Etihad A380 First Class Apartment

Both these amazing products sell for anything between £4000 – £8000 return. However, these same seats can be booked in the business class product for as little as 85k AA points return depending on your departure & destination points or 125k in First Class return per person. 

Below, we have attached the AAdvantage miles redemption chart.

AAdvantage Miles chart

We have just booked Qatar in Business Class from London to the Maldives for 42.5k AA miles each, one way. The cash ticket price for this one way fare was £6228.04 for a total of 85k AA miles plus £452.00 in taxes.

The taxes are higher flying from the U.K due to the APD charges but are compensated by considerably lower taxes on a return journey. 

Unfortunately the Qatar A350 flight with Q-Suites installed from London was not available on our chosen dates so we booked Business Class on the A380 instead, seat pictures below.

Did we forget to mention the bar area with the “help yourself to £100 a bottle of Champagne”….

Qatar a380 bar area

Just a little bit better than British airways Club World…



We managed to accumulate 85k AA miles through the Amex SPG Credit Card bonuses for the both of us and other routes as covered in our previous article.

How to Book Qatar / Etihad using AAdvantage Points

Once you have signed into your AAdvantage account, simply use the search flights facility on the home page making sure you check the Redeem Miles box.

AA home page redeem miles

 

You will then be served on the following page the option to select which flight class you require, Economy / Business or First Class. 

This page also displays the amount of AAdvantage Miles required in each class of seat. 

 

 

As you can see above, one way from London to Doha is 42.5k AA miles per person in Business Class, this is the same amount of miles to fly on two legs from London to the Maldives stopping to change planes in Doha. 

Now you click on Continue to be served on the following page a list of results of flights on your chosen date and class of cabin as below.

 

AA redemption results

 

We used this process and successfully booked our flight from London Heathrow to Male airport in the Maldives in Business Class on the A380 / A330.

When you book your flights on partner airlines using your AAdvantage account, you do receive an email confirmation of your booking but it’s not guaranteed at that point.

AA reserve your booking issuing what they call a “Certificate” but have to wait for the partner airline to confirm the booking. This process can take up to 24 hours to be confirmed by the partner airline, your AA account will display your booking as “On request” at this stage.

AA redemption on request

When your flights have been confirmed by the partner airline, the status in your account automatically changes to “Ticketed” and you will receive an updated email confirmation.

Only when you see that your flights are Ticketed is when your flights are booked and confirmed.

After 24 hours our booking was still not “Ticketed” and still stating “On Request” in our account and no confirmation booking email received. If you find yourself in this situation you need to do call AA Customer Services.

In reality anything that goes wrong in connection with your booking can make it not process correctly to Ticketed. In our case, something went wrong with our payment for the taxes by credit card even though no restrictions were placed on our card and all the correct details were entered at the payment screen.

These errors are not common and another IT issue for customers to deal with. In theory this could ultimately result in your flight not being booked. If you have any concerns just simply pick up the phone Customer Services like we did, the payment was taken again over the phone and within 10 minutes our flights were Ticketed and confirmed.

Now for our Return Journey (The Pitfalls of AA Redemptions)

With over 20 x results displayed in front of us for our requested Return Flights from the Maldives Male airport to London Heathrow, we thought this was going to be a Breeze with so many flight results.

What we didn’t know at the time of searching availability using the AA site were that the results displayed, isn’t all it seems…

It appears there maybe an IT issue connected to the displayed results, this is what has been named as the AA award availability “Phantom Listings“. Phantom listings on the AA site are flights displayed as available, when in fact they are not.

Even if you wait until 12.00am on the earliest available date, 330 days out from your preferred dates of flying, seat awards may still not be available as we discovered. When we clicked on the displayed results, each one came back as not available.

Now we were getting a bit nervous, will we be able to get a return flight?

How to find availability on AA using other airline search facilities

There are various ways of checking the real availability of flights using American airlines AAdvantage miles.

British airways Executive Club

These include using the British airways Executive Club account and searching availability through that account instead. The British airways results displayed for your chosen dates are actually available and can be booked.

If you come across availability on the BA account site but not showing as available through your AAdvantage account, you will need to call the AA reservations line quoting the Qatar flight numbers and times. AA Customer Services will be able to book your flights over the phone for you. 

Qantas Site Search Facility

Using exactly the same process as the British airways executive club account search, you can use the Qantas site to search availability as both airlines are in the OneWorld alliance and serve up the same availability.

You will need to be members of both accounts before you can search availability, both airline accounts are free to join.

Unfortunately, even after using the AAdvantage site search, British airways executive club and the Qantas site search facilities, our return flights required were not available on Qatar airlines unless we choose a flight consisting of 30 x hours with a day stop over in Doha.



How did we book our return flights using AAdvantage miles?

This is when other airlines within one alliance like Oneworld can save the day.

Our initial plan included using Qatar for our return flights as it was easy to just click a few buttons in our AAdvantage account and all our flights would be booked.

This wasn’t to be, so now onto “Plan B”…

We searched for our flights again but this time using a generic flight search tool like Google flights. Making a mental note of other alliance partner airlines, we discovered that Etihad also flew from MLE to LHR up to three times per day.

Plugging in our flight requirements into the Etihad Guest site, we were looking for availability using Etihad points. You need to navigate to the main Etihad site but look for the link to Etihad Guest. You do not need to be logged in to view availability of Etihad flights.

We were looking for availability on our chosen dates under “Guest Business“. Guest Business is the terminology for Business award flights availability using Etihad points. Availability was wide open on our preferred date with the first flight of the day being 5 hours less in flight duration.

Unfortunately, you cannot book Etihad award flights within your AAdvantage online account so you need to call the American airlines Reservation line to book using Etihad award availability flights.

I have read many comments online that you need to call the Reservations lines outside of your country to book AA award flights on Etihad airlines. We found just calling the U.K American airlines reservation line, details found here –  to absolutely work fine, our agent knew how to book all partner airline flights.

You need to have all the flight details, dates & times and the Etihad flight numbers to hand when calling the reservations line. After about 5 minutes, our return flights on Etihad were all booked.

One point to note if you book Etihad flights over the phone with AA, ensure you receive the Etihad Reservation reference from the booking agent. You will need this reservation reference to locate your bookings in the Etihad site enabling you to select your seats. 

Just another slight issue we faced..

When we logged into the Etihad site and entered our reservation number, we were only able to select seats for the person who booked the fare. After numerous attempts to select my wife’s seats I decided to call the Etihad Customer services line, they quickly reserved our seats on all flights so we were seated together on both legs.

Etihad a380 business suite seats
Etihad A380 Business Suite Seats

 

The result was booked flights on the Etihad A388 / A380 in Business Class which would have cost £5492 all for 85k AA miles plus £113.80 in taxes.

Total cash price for all flights for 2 x persons – £11,702.04 

Our Verdict / Recommendations

Update: You can now book Etihad Business & First flights through the AAdvantage website instead of needing to call up an AA agent to book.

Apart from the few issues we experienced along the way, the final result was a series of amazing business class flights on some of the best airlines in the world. 

The total price for our outgoing and incoming flights would have cost us in cash £11,720.04 which in reality cost us only 170k AAdvantage Miles + £565.80 in taxes.

All this for 170k AAdvantage miles which can easily be achieved by taking out two SPG Amex Credit cards and utilising other routes to collect AA miles we have highlighted in our previous article.

If you fancy Business / First class flights on some of the world’s most luxurious flights using minimal amount of points and small amount of taxes, simply follow our step by step guide in this article.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment and we will always reply.



How to collect AAdvantage Miles to Book Partner Airline Flights 2019

How to collect AAdvantage Miles to Book Partner Airline Flights 2019

If your planning to use American airlines AAdvantage miles to book flights on various Oneworld alliance partners such as Qatar / Etihad, then this article will highlight for you the Tips needed to collect enough miles to book Business / First Class Flights using only miles and minimal taxes. We look at all the current ways available to collect large amounts of AA miles in the U.K.

Qatar Q Suite Business Class
Qatar Q-Suite Business Class



How to collect AAdvantage Miles in the U.K.

For most based in the U.K, there are a few limited routes to collect AA miles in comparison to residents in the U.S.

However, with a few Tips here you can collect enough miles to redeem on various American airline partners in the OneWorld alliance. These partners include Qatar, British airways & Qantas & Etihad amongst many others.

So how do you collect enough AAdvantage miles to redeem on Partner airlines in Business or even First Class?

The quickest & easiest route we found to collect large amounts of points which can be transferred to AAdvantage are through the American Express SPG Starwood credit card.

Spg amex referral bonus

As an introductory bonus, the Amex SPG card in the U.K offers all new applicants a very generous 30,000 points bonus when you spend £1,000 in the first three months of Cardmembership. 30,000 SPG points can be transferred to American airlines AAdvantage loyalty scheme at a rate of 1:1. 

SPG (Starwood) have now merged with Marriott but the SPG Amex card still exists in the U.K for time being but could be withdrawn at any time.

We can go one better and provide you an increased rate of SPG points when you take out the American Express credit card by CONTACTING US using the link in our Menu first & we will send you by email all the details required. This increased bonus rate offers all new applicants 10% extra bonus points – 33,000 SPG points instead.

You could also take out the American Express Gold Credit Card, Our Review found by clicking here – American Express Gold Credit Card. If you’re a new applicant to the Gold Card you will receive 22,000 MR Points transferable to Marriott Bonvoy which can be transferred onto AAdvantage by “Contacting Us” also.

You only need 42,500 SPG points converted to AAdvantage to enable you to fly with a partner one way in Business Class to locations such as the Maldives. That would only leave you to collect another 9500 SPG points to bag those Qatar / Etihad Business Class flights to an exotic location by simply taking out a credit card & spending £1000 in three months.

Once your referred by us to the SPG American express card, you can take out another SPG Amex card for your partner doubling your SPG points to 66,000 points. That is enough points to fly Business Class one way & have enough points left over by nearly 50% needed for the return flights. 

Crediting OneWorld Flight Miles to AAdvantage

oneworld alliance partner airlines

When you fly on most airlines, you will earn loyalty points / miles which can usually be transferred to or used against another airline within the same alliance.

If you fly on any airline within the OneWorld alliance, you can credit your miles earnt by flying on a cash paid ticket to American Airlines.

Other airlines within the OneWorld alliance include British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines & SriLankan Airlines. 

Most of the Oneworld alliance airlines make it easy to credit your miles during the booking process to another partner airline. All you need to do is look for the partner section within your booking account & enter your chosen alliance members account number and you will earn the miles credited to your chosen alliance partner.

Unfortunately, on some rare occasions the miles may not automatically credit to your chosen alliance member so its best practice to double-check your reservation a few days after you have completed your flight. This will ensure your miles have credited to the correct alliance partner. 

On some occasions,  if you do not see your miles credit to the other alliance member all you will need to do is contact your airlines Customer Service department who should be able to resolve any issues.

Transferring Hotel Points to AAdvantage

American airlines allow various Hotel Points to be credited to your AAdvantage account. If you do not have any plans for your hotel points then crediting these to your AAdvantage account can help build your miles balance faster towards those Business / First class flights.

aadvantage

Best Western Hotels & Resorts

5,000 Best Western Rewards® points = 1,000 AAdvantage miles

Choice Hotels

5,000 Choice Privileges® points = 1,000 AAdvantage miles

Hilton Honors

10,000 Hilton Honors points = 1,500 AAdvantage miles

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts

5,000 World of Hyatt points = 2,000 AAdvantage miles

InterContinental Hotels Group

10,000 IHG Rewards Club points = 2,000 AAdvantage miles

Marriott Bonvoy

30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 10,000 AAdvantage miles

60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 20,000 AAdvantage miles

90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 30,000 AAdvantage miles

For every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points converted within the same transaction, you’ll earn 5,000 bonus AAdvantage Miles.

Radisson Hotel Group

2,000 Radisson Rewards Points = 200 AAdvantage miles

10,000 Radisson Rewards Points = 1,000 AAdvantage miles

50,000 Radisson Rewards Points = 5,000 AAdvantage miles

100,000 Radisson Rewards Points = 10,000 AAdvantage miles

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

6,000 Wyndham Rewards points = 1,200 AAdvantage miles

16,000 Wyndham Rewards points = 3,200 AAdvantage miles

30,000 Wyndham Rewards points = 6,000 AAdvantage miles



Purchasing AA Miles

American airlines allow all account holders to purchase Miles with no restrictions on what those Mile’s can be used for.

To purchase AA Miles, click on this link provided – https://buymiles.americanairlines.com/en/buygift?c=AAC_AADVEARN_EN,US_BUY

Credit Points from Car Rentals to AA

American airlines allow all account holders to credit car rental points earnt from the companies below:

Avis , Budget, Payless, Alamo, National, Dollar ,Hertz, Thrifty, Carmel, Europcar, Sixt, GroundLink, SuperShuttle.

E-Rewards Survey Company

Erewards aa milesE-Rewards are a survey company who work for major corporations to conduct market research on behalf of their clients. 

You will need to sign up via an email invitation received from one of the many airline / Hotel Partners of E-Rewards. 

Once your signed up, You will receive regular surveys to complete which can be redeemed for AA miles at a maximum of 2000 AAdvantage miles per month. 

To ensure you receive a better chance of receiving an invitation to join E-Rewards, we would strongly recommend joining most of the airline / Hotel corporations out there and ensuring your accounts are set to receive Marketing communications.

Award Wallet Daily Blog Comments

Awardwallet aa miles Award Wallet is a fantastic product which keeps all your Airline / Hotel loyalty accounts in one place.

The benefits of joining Award Wallet means at the touch of a button you can view all your account balances in one place and monitor increases / decreases in your current balances. 

You can join Award Wallet for Free which will provide you access via desktop or download their app available for either Apple or Android products. 

Once your signed up to Award Wallet you can comment on their daily blog which covers a multitude of various hotel or airline award schemes or current credit card offers. 

You will receive 5 x AAdvantage Miles For free everyday just for leaving your comment on that days Blog article. 

American airlines AAdvantage eShopping Portal

American airlines AAdvantage scheme also host a shopping portal called the eshopping site. The eshopping portal works on the same basis as a cashback site but instead of earning money back on your purchases you will earn AA miles instead.

The eShopping portal regularly run bonus point offers for various companies. These bonus point offers can work in your favour if you trying to collect large amounts of AA Miles. Bookmark the link below to ensure you can view all the latest bonus point offers from the eShopping portal.

https://www.aadvantageeshopping.com

Verdict / Recommendations

Through the various routes highlighted above in this article, you can easily collect enough AAdvantage miles to be redeemed against Business or even First Class flights on one of their partner airlines.

The easiest & quickest way to collect large amounts of AA miles would be through taking out the SPG Amex or Amex Gold Credit cards and taking advantage of their generous introductory bonuses. The Amex Gold Card also enables account holders to take out a supplementary card on their account earning an additional 3000 MR Points. This makes a total introductory bonus points total of 25000 MR Points if we refer you by Contacting Us first.

Using AAdvantage miles to redeem against partner airlines is amazing value and the taxes are minimal to pay saving you potentially thousands towards cash paid tickets.

To find out how to book Partner airlines like Etihad or Qatar airlines using AA miles, click here for our full Review by clicking here – Book using AA Miles.

If you know of any other routes in the U.K to collect AAdvantage miles, please feel free to leave your comments below or if you have any questions.