British Airways Reward Flight Finder – The Avios Search I Didn’t Know Existed

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On Monday I discussed the excellent BA Redemption Finder tool that makes life very easy for anyone looking to see what Avios availability is like on a given route for the entire year. In one search you can see every date on which reward flights are available between any two cities that BA flys between…and it show you the availability in both directions.

In that post I criticised for its rather poor reward flight search facility and that’s because I didn’t know about a search tool that British Airways has buried deep within its website.

British Airways Reward Flight Finder – Where Is It?

For as long as I can remember I’ve been used to logging in to my Executive Club account and searching for awards/reward flights (call them what you will) by using the search facility on the left of my account’s home page:

a screenshot of a phone

I’ve been doing this primarily because I don’t book all that many British Airways awards and because I’ve never really sat down to explore the BA website properly – I had no need – but this search facility is is pretty weak if you’re searching for anything other than reward flights on specific dates.

If you’re looking for a more powerful (and useful) search facility on this is how you find it:

Once you’re logged in to your account place your mouse pointer over the “Executive Club” tab at the top of the homepage and then click on “spending Avios” that appears as an option in the middle column.

a screenshot of a website

On the next page focus in on the “Reward Flights” box and click on “find availability”:

a screenshot of a website

One page further in you’ll see this on your screen:

a screenshot of a website

In the past I’ve never noticed the tool I’m about to show you because my eyes have always been drawn to the “search and book” option on the right of the page (usually because what I wanted to do was to “search and/or “book”!) but that’s not where you should be looking.

If you click on “explore availability” in the Reward Flight Finder box you’ll finally be at the full-on Reward Flight Finder search tool:a screenshot of a computer

Why British Airways buries this tool 4 clicks away from the homepage I don’t know…but this is where it is.

I have no idea how long this tool has been here (possibly years) but it’s a lot better than the other option the airline offers. Here’s why:

British Airways Reward Flight Finder – What It Does

When I first landed on this page I nearly clicked away after just a split-second glance as it looks like just another basic search tool….but then I noticed that the input area included an option to add up to 3 destination cities.

That was new (for me).

a screenshot of a computer

Not only can you select up to 3 destination cities (not airports…cities) but, when you click in the date input box, you also get options that I haven’t seen on before (I’m sure thousands of others have!)

a screenshot of a computer

The Reward Flight Finder allows you to search in one of four ways:

  • By specific dates
  • Within a 90 day date range
  • By month
  • Over a full year.

The results from a 90 day date range search look something like this…..

a screenshot of a search engine

…where the dates highlighted in blue show where the reward flight availability is.

The results from a search by month look similar….

a screenshot of a calendar

….and it’s important to note that you can search different months for outbound and inbound flights – you’re not limited to searching the same month for both.

The search that interested me most was the search over a full year….and when I tried it out I tried it with a three city search.

The first results page looked like this:

a blue and white rectangular object

When I clicked through to see what the availability to London looked like this is the page I was presented with:

a screenshot of a website

When I clicked on “view” under February the Reward Flight Finder showed all the dates I could book a single Business Class reward flight between LA and London….

a screenshot of a search engine

…and clicking on one of the dates shows the individual flights which are available:

a screenshot of a flight scheduleLeaving aside my amazement at the fact that American Airlines saver awards were available (they’re rarer than a Dodo) I was impressed at the breadth of search that this tool allows…..but then I found an issue.

The Reward Flight Finder Flaw

When I went back to view what options were available to me to Paris and Rome this was the page I got:

a screenshot of a website

I assume the error message is generated because to get to Paris or Rome from LA you have to route through London and the search facility has already shown me availability on the LA to London…but what about the London to Paris or London to Rome route?

Apparently those routes have to be searched separately…and that’s not great.

Bottom Line

Leaving the one obvious flaw aside this is a much better way of searching for Avios reward availability than the BA tool I was using before.

I still prefer the BA Redemption Finder tool I discussed on Monday as it’s a lot quicker and simpler to use…but with that tool you still have to head on over to to book. With this tool you’re already there so booking follows on naturally.

I’d love to know how long the Redemption Finder Tool on has been around so I know just how many years I’ve been missing it whenever I logged in….it’s probably quite a few! I should probably be pretty embarrassed that it’s taken this long for me to notice it….but I’m blaming BA for burying it so deep in their website 🙂