Members of American's AAdvantage program can now book award travel on British Airways and Hawaiian Airlines directly on American's website, AA.com.
Alaska Airlines award flights were already bookable on American's website, so there are now three AAdvantage partner airlines accessible online.
The most immediate effect of the change is a cost savings. It's no longer necessary to phone American's call center to make award reservations on these airlines—a call that incurs a $25 service charge.
But more significantly, making other airlines' award flights available via AA.com makes AAdvantage a more transparent program. Members can quickly and easily see which airlines have award seats available on a particular route. And they can readily compare the fees imposed by the various carriers.
In the best of all possible worlds, award flights on all 20-plus AAdvantage partner airlines would be available for booking on American's website. Awards on all Delta SkyMiles partner airlines would be bookable on Delta's site. Same with United and its MileagePlus partners. And so on.
For now, this is at least a step in the right direction.
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.
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