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There are a few cities that have multiple airports, so this tip could work for:
- New York (JFK, LGA, EWR) – NYC
- Washington, DC (IAD, DCA, BWI) – WAS
- Chicago (ORD, MDW) – CHI
- London (LHR, LGW, LCY) – LON
- Paris (ORY, CDG) – PAR
- Tokyo (NRT, HND) – TYO
I encountered this when searching BA.com for space to get to Boston from New York.
When I search for award space, I usually just type in “NYC” – because I’m open to JFK or LGA. So I rarely specify an airport.
But BA.com will not give you the complete picture of award space if you don’t specify an airport.
In This Post
Make sure you search city code and airport code
Here’s what comes up when I simply search “NYC-BOS” for award space next week.
OK, so not dismal. Like, I’d probably be fine to choose 1 of these flights from the list.
BA.com isn’t showing you the full picture of award space.
If you go click the “Change” button at the top and specify “LGA” as your departure airport, you get many more options.
A couple of other notes
This utility is useful in a couple of ways.
- First, if you are open to multiple airports, putting in a city code can sometimes show you space that you maybe didn’t think of. Like if you’re willing to fly out of JFK, LGA, or EWR
- If you want to fly New York-Paris, for example, start with “NYC.” Especially if you’re OK to fly out of EWR. Then you can switch between JFK and EWR easily to see all of the available space
- If I’d started out the example search above with LGA, I wouldn’t have known that I had two JFK flights to choose from, too
- Being able to switch between airports gives you a better picture of space at each airport – and sometimes more options
- This tip works with any city with multiple airports whose Oneworld space shows up on the British Airways website (That was a long sentence with a lot of prepositional phrases.)
5/25: Update regarding award space availability – and further proof that this works
A couple of people noted that NO econ award space is available is my example screen shots above. My fault, really. I picked a date a few days into the future in the original 5/24 post.
I ran another search today and selected a date about 2 weeks away – June 10th – and found award availability was great on nearly every flight – with over a dozen flights to choose from.
When I switched the search to “LGA”, I got many more flights to show up all throughout the day – with good availability in econ on nearly all of them.
I even got BA.com to show me an extra award flight from JFK.
Award space is usually great on this route AND it costs around ~$250.
So you’re getting ~5 cents of value per point. An excellent award redemption that more than doubles my 2 cents per point minimum.
Basic stuff, but good to be reminded sometimes. I actually booked a flight to BOS after searching “NYC” and then remembered I had to search LGA separately… and had to cancel and rebook. But also a good tip for those just starting out.
Avios are amazing for short, expensive flights all over the world. Check out my article about cool BA 5th Freedom flights – most of which are just 4,500 Avios to book!
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