How to Add Your AAdvantage Number to a British Airways Avios Booking in 2019 to Select Seats, Check-In, etc.

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How to Add AAdvantage Number to British Airways Avios Booking

Add AAdvantage Number to British Airways Avios Booking 2019

While certainly not as good as they used to be, British Airways Avios remain a very good value (especially with transfer bonuses) in many cases for direct flights, especially when booked at the last minute. For example, I often use British Airways Avios to book direct American Airlines flights in the U.S. for as little as 7,500 points one-way.

When booking flights with Avios you’ll receive a record locator number, but it won’t pull up the flight on the American Airlines website. You can get the American Airlines reservation number from British Airways by calling, however what if you want to add your AAdvantage number to the booking for elite status perks, etc? Thankfully it’s fairly easy to do this. Let’s take a look at how.

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Finnair to the Rescue

Both British Airways and American Airlines are members of the oneworld alliance along with several other carriers. One of these carriers is Finnair and it turns out their website offers the easiest way to add your AAdvantage Number to a British Airways Avios booking. The Royal Jordanian website also works, but Finnair is the cleanest and easiest to use.

To start, visit Finnair.com and click “Manage” towards the top.

 

Add AAdvantage Number to British Airways Avios Booking

 

Next, type in your last name (family name) and the booking reference number given to you by British Airways. This shows on your confirmation on both the British Airways website and in the booking confirmation email you receive.

 

Add AAdvantage Number to British Airways Avios Booking

 

The Finnair website is fast and should locate your booking with ease. Once you have access, simply click “Update Your Details” in order to add your AAdvantage number to your British Airways Avios booking.

 

Add AAdvantage Number to British Airways Avios Booking

 

On the update page you should be able to see your Frequent Flyer information for the ticket. Since you booked with British Airways, the booking will have your British Airways Executive Club number already entered as shown below.

 

Add AAdvantage Number to British Airways Avios Booking

To add your AAdvantage number to your British Airways Avios booking simply select American Airlines from the drop down and enter your AAdvantage number. Note that this will remove your British Airways number from the reservation since you cannot have two numbers active at once.

After you have successfully added your American Airlines AAdvantage number make sure to click “Confirm Changes” on the bottom right in order to lock the number into the reservation.

 

Add AAdvantage Number to British Airways Avios Booking

 

Finally, to select seats or otherwise manage your reservation on the American Airlines AAdvantage website, simply login to your AAdvantage account and navigate over to the “Your Trips” section as shown below. Your British Airways Avios booking will now show up and you can order meals, select seats or otherwise manage it.

 

AAdvantage website

Conclusion

While there are a few steps to this process, adding your AAdvantage number to a British Airways Avios booking takes only about 2 minutes. In the end this little trick saves a ton of time and allows you to take full AAdvantage of your American Airlines elite status! 🙂

Have you recently added your AAdvantage number to a British Airways Avios booking a different way? Share your experiences in the comments!

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28 COMMENTS

  1. This method used to work for me but stopped working a year or so ago. Also, AA agents have started to reject requests to do so as well (I would request through Twitter and that used to work as well). Seems to be a concerted effort by AA to eliminate this practice.

    Would be great if the Finnair capability is back.

    • I booked a BA-Avios award flight on American Airlines for this October, and successfully used the Finnair website last night to switch my reservation over to my AAdvantage account #, after which I logged into AA and changed my seat assignment. It was a surprisingly simple process which worked fine for me, thanks Shawn.

  2. I’d like to second what Matt said, on both the Finnair and agent comment. Not sure how this is a “new” post when it hasn’t been working right for over a year.

  3. @MattB, I agree this information is way out of date. It will work for a paid ticket but nor for an Avios ticket. The Finnair website will act as if you are making the change but it will not stick. American have specifically stated that the benefits of Advantage elite membership (extra bags, free seating etc) are not available on American flights booked with a partner reward. They are aggressively enforcing this.

    • I just went in and tried this and can confirm that it did work (at least temporarily). That’s a step in the right direction but time will tell if it holds or reverses back to BA. I will also mention that just because your AA number stays on the reservation, it does not mean you necessarily get the associated AA benefits. Rewind ~9 months ago, and on a reservation for my wife and kids that I had her AA # associated to the reservation via Twitter (after Finnair capability was shut down), she showed up to the airport and still had to pay bag fees. I tweeted them and they pointed to this language you mention. So it seems they have a way to overrule the benefits one would normally expect even if one’s AA# is tied to the booking. This may vary on a benefit by benefit basis. For example, it looks like you can change seats to those your elite status would make you eligible for. Whether you get day of travel benefits is to be seen – i.e. priority boarding, bag fees, standby/confirmed same day flight change, etc.

  4. On Monday I booked a BA award and removed my BA number while booking (not sure this matters). Then several minutes later I went to AA.com and searched for me reservation. I clicked on day of travel info and was able to add my AA number there. Now my BA award is showing up under my reservations on aa.com.

  5. Thanks for the reminder! I booked tickets with Avios last week and forgot to do this. Your steps worked like a charm!

  6. I just tried this to add my BA number this way to an AA reservation and it did not work. It says I must have a Finnair reference number

  7. Thanks for this reminder, I have a BA business class flight booked with Iberia miles. I am One World Saphire. Any way to choose seats on this flight without paying the fee?

  8. My experience with asking a phone agent to ADD my AA number to BA award reservation has never been refused. In fact, I did it yesterday. Asking to replace the BA number seems to be a problem but adding the number gives me the seat availability as an AA Plat.

  9. Afm-Dfw is correct. I have done this 3-4 times a year. Always works. The key is add aa# to reservation not replace. Seats plus all other benefits.

  10. This method works because BA and Finnair share the same booking reference numbers (record locators), as both airlines are hosted in the Amadeus reservation system. So is Royal Jordanian. But even after I’ve had AA res agents force my AAdvantage number in AA records for Avios reward tickets, on several recent occasions I’ve still had to pay for baggage at the counter, and later have the charges on my AA Citi Platinum Select card refunded by AA. One supervisor at DCA had a “fix” for it, but most AA airport agents don’t know how to override the system.

  11. […] When booking flights with Avios you’ll receive a record locator number, but it won’t pull up the flight on the American Airlines website. You can get the American Airlines reservation number from British Airways by calling, however what if you want to add your AAdvantage number to the booking for elite status perks, etc? Thankfully it’s fairly easy to do this. Read more here. […]

  12. I’ve always been able to remove the BA number from avios bookings and add AA. As a result, I have always received the benefits associated with my AA credit card (free baggage and priority boarding). However, for the past year or 2, it has taken some doing to get it to work. I’m actually not even sure which website, RJ or finnair, ultimately triggers the change, but after several attempts to replace the BA number with the AA number it would finally work. Weird things would happen sometimes: sometimes one of the carriers would show both my BA number and my AA number and when that happened it wouldn’t show up on the AA website. I assume this is a consequence of BA and AA using different systems. I think what ultimately worked was first putting in a blank entry for BA on the finnair website, letting it update, then going back in and adding the AA number.

    For whatever reason, now it made the change right away on the finnair website so something seems to have changed.

    Also, years ago AA was willing to make the switch from BA to AA number right away through twitter DM. When I tried to do that a year or so ago, they refused.

  13. I followed the steps yesterday in this article, and I was successful in changing our BA numbers to AA numbers in our reservation. Afterwards, the seat assignments were free with our AA Platinum status. We are very happy to have found these instructions.

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