British Airways – Seat Reservations for AA Elites

Back in May I took advantage of a fare war that had flights to Europe from around $500s – $600s. When I started getting into traveling I figured out that I needed to gain an elite status with AA so my travel experience could be a bit more enjoyable and comfortable.

After some calculation I found that I was going to reach Gold status around mid-september, something I was surprised about as I did not expect to reach this level until year-end.

So with this fare war going I began to calculate what it would take to reach Platinum, and to my surprise all I would need was a few short trips within the US and a long flight.

I was able to get a good deal to fly from DFW-SFO-LHR and back BCN-MIA-DFW. This trips was interesting to me because I would be able to gain enough EQMs by flying backwards (DFW-SFO) a bit and the forward to London, but also because I was able to get seats in BAs A380, a plane I have wanted to fly in for a long time.

Fast forward to a week before the trip, and by now I have Gold status with AA; according to British Airways website I am allowed to get seats 7 day in advance as One World Ruby (or AA Gold Status). However the system was not allowing me to do so when I tried.

I reached out to them in twitter and after a bit of back and forth communication, they were able to fix the problem. I even got a phone call from them, which is rather interesting to me as I have heard that getting hold of a phone agent can be quite complicated sometimes.

I did learn that if I have a reservation that includes a flight with BA and I get status with a One World airline after it has been booked, I have to get in touch with them so they can “refresh” the reservation so my new elite status shows, otherwise none of the perks will kick-in on their own.

About 6 days ahead of departure I was able to select seats on the upper floor of the massive A380, the only seats I was not allowed to reserve were exit rows.

By the time I return home in mid December I will have Platinum Status with AA, which according to BA’s website should allow me to reserve seats on any BA operated flight at the time of booking.

At this time I have two BA flights next year so I will try to get my seats as soon as my Elite status updates with AA.