AA charging passengers $35 for seat bookings if they are on a BA ticket

American Airlines 737

So, BA and AA revenue share on transatlantic routes. Their flights earn miles in each others schemes (it was not always so), but recently a little wrinkle has crept in to the love fest.

If you book a ticket via the BA web site, you are easily able to pick American’s flights as a codeshare, just what you would expect:

BA AA fares

A list of flights, agnostic as to AA or BA. BUT – and it’s a big ‘but’, if you buy that AA codeshare because they usually offer free seat selection, know that this has changed. AA treats BA as a third party booking site and charges $35 for a seat selection. Of course, if you book the BA flight and aren’t BA Silver or Gold you’ll have to pay them too. AA says that oneworld Emeralds are exempt from the fee when I asked via their Twitter team this morning:

AA Twitter

If you buy the AA flight via the AA web site then seat selection remain free on AA, but you’ll likely pay if you book the BA flights without status.

So now you have to think where you book, balancing upgrades vs. fees.




  1. Last week I booked an award flight using AAdvantage miles – BA First Class from Rio (GIG) to LHR and then onwards (or backwards) to Lisbon in Business (Club, whatever as is really an Economy seat separated from the other cabin seat by an empty “seat”). While I was able to select the First Class seat for free (as expected) it costs U$31 to select the seat on the LHR-LIS leg. Ridiculous!

  2. ALSO
    When booking AA award tickets to fly on Qantas, you are also hit with advance seat reservation charges, unless you want to wait till airport check-in, and be given a middle seat at no charge.

  3. This is also the case for OpenSkies … I recently booked JFK-ORY-MAD-JFK on Openskies and Iberia metal but ticketed by AA and I could only pick seats for free in advance for the ORY-MAD and MAD-JFK segments.

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