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The Best Ways to Search for Oneworld Award Availability [Step-by-Step]

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Stephen Au

Stephen Au

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If you’ve ever booked an award reservation, you probably know about the different ways to search for award availability. We wrote the ultimate guide to searching for award space, but we often get tons of requests to break it down by different alliances.

When planning a trip, you may already have an idea of which flights you want to take. Once you know which airlines you’re taking, you can quickly find out via a Google search whether or not the airline belongs to an alliance.

For the Oneworld Alliance, there are several ways to search via various airlines to find the award availability you need. Here, we’ll talk about how to use each search engine, followed by the pros and cons of each method.

Let’s get started exploring the best ways to search for Oneworld award availability.

What Is the Oneworld Alliance?

Oneworld is the second-largest airline alliance in the world, and it belongs to the “Big Three” along with Star Alliance and SkyTeam.

Oneworld’s member airlines are:

Oneworld Partners
Alaska AirlinesMalaysia Airlines
American Airlines
Oman Air (joining in 2024)
British AirwaysQantas
Cathay PacificQatar Airways
Fiji Airways (Oneworld Connect Partner)Royal Air Maroc
FinnairRoyal Jordanian
IberiaS7 Airlines (temporarily suspended)
Japan AirlinesSriLankan Airlines

Though these are the main members, there are affiliate members too, which are typically regional airlines that are subsidiaries of the main airlines above.

Each of these airlines has different information systems used for award searches. Some are better, and some are worse. Ideally, you want a place that serves as a one-stop shop for all Oneworld award flights. Let’s look at some options that get pretty close to the ideal situation.

British Airways Executive Club

On the whole, British Airways has the most robust award search engine for Oneworld airlines — it’s the most user-friendly and is one of the most reliable.

British Airways award search. Image Credit:

Here are the steps to search BA for your award flights:

  1. Visit
  2. Log in with your British Airways Executive Club number and password
  3. On the top of the landing page, put your mouse over the button that says Book
  4. Under Flights, click Book a flight with Avios
  5. Type in your origin city, destination city, departure date, return date, class of service, and number of passengers
    • If you’re booking a one-way flight, check the box to the right of the departure date that says One way only
  6. Click Get flights
  7. You will be asked to break your journey with stopovers. This functionality is only available for British Airways-operated flights. Most of us will choose No, I want to continue without stopovers
  8. Click Continue
  9. Browse for your desired flights in the appropriate class of service
  10. Write down the flight numbers, travel dates, and any other flight information
  11. Book the award flight using your preferred frequent flyer program

After British Airways executes their search, your results will look something like this. Image Credit:

Pros of using BA for award searches:

  • Straightforward interface and intuitive website
  • One of the most accurate search engines for award flights
  • When flying on straightforward routes, BA shows pretty much all your options.

Cons of using BA for award searches:

  • Connecting flights can show phantom award availability
    • To overcome this, search each segment individually
  • Site only shows 3 cabins, not all 4 cabin classes (economy, premium economy, business, first)
    • To overcome this, double-check the class of service you’re looking for.

Bottom Line: Overall, British Airways Executive Club provides one of the most reliable methods to search for award availability. It’s one of the most accurate and shows a nearly 100% complete picture of actual availability for Oneworld flights. Just be sure to confirm any phantom award availability with one of the next search engines. 

Qantas Frequent Flyer

Qantas, the Australian flag carrier, is one of the most iconic airlines in the world. As a Oneworld partner, Qantas is an incredibly underrated way to search for award availability.

In addition to Oneworld partners, you can leverage the Qantas search engine to look for their non-alliance partners, such as China Eastern.

The Qantas homepage can search flights directly; simply click in the search boxes to begin. Image Credit:

Here’s how to search for award availability on Qantas:

  1. Go to the Qantas website
  2. Click inside the flight cities search box as shown above; an expanded search will appear
  3. Choose Use points – Classic Flight Rewards only
  4. Click either Return, One way, Multi-City, or Round the World
  5. Type in your city pairs, return and departure dates, and number of passengers
  6. Type in your Qantas Frequent Flyer Membership number, last name, and PIN
  7. Click Log in and search flights
  8. You’ll see that your booking will be subject to US Dollars; click Continue
  9. In the area that says Search Travel Class, select one or multiple travel classes; click Go
  10. A calendar view will show up — click on the dates where there are ribbon icons shown for your desired flight classes
  11. Click Continue
  12. Select the flights you want to take — write down the flight numbers, dates, and times
  13. Use your preferred award currency to book

Pros of using Qantas to search for award availability:

  • Calendar view shows award availability for all cabins
  • Generally accurate award availability

Cons of using Qantas to search for award availability:

  • Does not show all Oneworld award availability
    • Double-check with another search engine, such as British Airways
  • Availability view can be misleading due to mixed cabins being categorized the same (e.g. first class availability shown from DFW – SYD, but the flight is actually 2 legs: DFW – LAX in first class and LAX – SYD in economy)
    • Play around with dates to find an itinerary that is not a mixed cabin award
  • Can’t search some cities/airport codes
    • Use another search engine such as British Airways

Bottom Line: The main draw of Qantas is the calendar view. This can save some time when doing flexible date searches, but the concerns are the false positives of mixed cabins, the inability to search certain cities, and the fact that not all Oneworld airlines are always displayed. 

American Airlines AAdvantage

American Airlines AAdvantage miles are some of the most valuable in the industry and certainly one of the most valuable in Oneworld.

There are a ton of best ways to redeem American Airlines miles for maximum value, and American Airlines is continuing to add more airline search functionality to their website.

Using this search engine is most advantageous for booking American Airlines flights, especially if you’re looking for premium cabin award space on AA.

Here’s the process you’ll have to follow to search for award availability with AA:

  1. Go to the American Airlines website
  2. Select either Round trip or One way
  3. Click on the checkbox that says Redeem miles
  4. Type in your origin and destination cities; select the number of passengers and choose your departure and return dates
  5. Click Search
  6. You can utilize their flexible search, which allows you to view availability on different dates with the click of a button
    • AA recently updated their interface, and calendar view is a functionality that will be restored soon
  7. American Airlines flights will probably be displayed first if there are AA flights on the routes and dates searched
  8. Write down the flight numbers, dates, and times
  9. Book using your preferred method for Oneworld redemptions

At the moment, these are the partners you can search for when using American Airlines:

  • SriLankan Airlines
  • S7 Airlines
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines
  • Qatar Airways
  • Qantas Airways
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Iberia
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Finnair
  • Fiji Airways
  • Cape Air
  • British Airways
  • Alaska Airways
  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • Cathay Pacific (partially)

Unfortunately, the list of airlines that currently can’t be searched online is quite large:

  • WestJet
  • Seaborne Airlines
  • Jet Airways
  • Interjet
  • Gulf Air
  • Japan Airlines
  • China Southern Airlines

Furthermore, this list includes quite popular/aspirational airlines such as Japan Airlines, which we’ve reviewed extensively.

Hot Tip: Want to learn more about Japan Airlines? Check out our reviews of their first class and business class.

Pros of using American Airlines AAdvantage to search for Oneworld award space:

  • Best award availability for American Airlines flights
  • Increasing number of partners bookable online
  • Award search functionality using the AA app

Cons of using AA to search for award space:

  • AA is known for purposely hiding competitor award flights
  • Does not search all airlines for award space

Overall, we would recommend using American Airlines to search for their own flights. Because AA is reputed to have some shady practices regarding partner availability, we would not use AA as our first choice to find flights on other airlines. Still, this is gradually improving, so it may be a viable option in the future.


ExpertFlyer is the last method we’ll be talking about. While this isn’t a complete guide and tutorial for ExpertFlyer, it will demonstrate how useful this tool can be for planning award travel on Oneworld partners.

With this web-based search platform, you can find award availability for almost all major airlines. It’s a paid subscription service with 2 tiers of membership: Basic ($4.99/month) and Premium ($9.99/month or $99.99/year).

With ExpertFlyer Premium, you can get alerts for award availability when it arises, so you don’t need to search for an award on a daily basis. Here are the other differences between Basic and Premium:

ExpertFlyer comparison of services. Image Credit:

The most useful aspects of the Premium tier are the unlimited queries, flight availability alerts, flexible searching of +/- 3 days, and mobile functionality.

After you’ve purchased a subscription, here’s how to use ExpertFlyer:

  1. Visit ExpertFlyer
  2. Log in with your ExpertFlyer e-mail and password
    • If you created an account with Facebook, click Log-in with Facebook
  3. On the left side, click the blue button that says Awards & Upgrades
  4. Type in your departing and arriving airports, and departure/return dates
    • If your dates are flexible, change the dropdown box choice from Exact Date to +/- 3 Days
  5. Choose your airline
    • Depending on what airline you choose, you may be prompted to select the number of passengers
  6. Choose one or multiple fare classes to search, such as first awards or economy awards
  7. If you want to search nonstop flights only, switch the Connection Preference to Direct/Non-Stop Only
  8. Click Search

A completed search query on ExpertFlyer for flight awards and upgrades might look like this. Image Credit:

Here’s what a populated search might look like:

An ExpertFlyer completed search may look like this. Image Credit:

In addition to searching for flight awards and upgrades, you can create flight alerts for any flights that don’t currently have award space in the cabin you want. That way, you’ll immediately get notified as soon as award space opens up on your desired flight.

You can also view the open/reserved/blocked seats by clicking the Seat Map icon.

Here are the Oneworld airlines you cannot search award availability for using ExpertFlyer:

  1. British Airways
  2. Cathay Pacific
  3. Japan Airlines
  4. Qatar Airways

That said, there are some major pros of using ExpertFlyer to plan your award travel with Oneworld airlines:

  • Extremely powerful search engine that can serve as a one-stop shop for award searches
  • Can search flexible dates with premium subscriptions
  • Can set up flight alerts so you don’t need to obsessively search for award space
  • Can search both upgrade and award space
  • Can view seat map and cross-reference with optimal seat choices (which you can find out about in our definitive guide to Singapore Airlines U.S. routes to Singapore, for example)

But there are some cons associated with using ExpertFlyer:

  • Too many results. If you don’t narrow down your results by selecting a time of day, you can get too many results and not show all the possible choices.
  • Not free. This one is pretty self-explanatory — the service isn’t free, though you can trial Premium for 5 days.
  • Can’t search all airlines, including some major options like British Airways and Cathay Pacific.

Bottom Line: Although it’s a paid service, ExpertFlyer can save you a ton of time when searching for award availability. You can set up alerts to get notified when award space opens up on the flight you want, and you can also see available seats on specific flights and dates.

Final Thoughts

All in all, Oneworld is an extremely useful airline alliance. Its members offer a generous amount of award space in premium cabins, ranging from Japan Airlines to Cathay Pacific to Qantas. American Airlines is the most familiar Oneworld partner for most of us, but there are many other ways to search for award travel with the alliance.

Remember that these methods for searching award availability are just that: for searching. The point is to find award space, and then to use the most advantageous airline program to book your flights (such as American Airlines AAdvantage, for example).

Keep in mind that searching for award flights using the airline’s own search engine will provide additional availability. For example, if you are using Qantas to search for Qantas flights, you’ll see extra award availability since Qantas releases more seats for redemption using their own miles. To check if these seats are available to partners for redemptions, use an alternate site (like British Airways to confirm Qantas availability).

When booking, remember that the mileage price you pay will depend on the frequent flyer program you use, not the award search engine you use. For example, if you find Cathay Pacific space on British Airways’ site and are using American Airlines miles to book the flight, you’ll pay the price that American Airlines charges.

Now, you know the best ways to search for Oneworld award flights, as well as the pros and cons of each method. None of these are perfect, but some are certainly better than others.

Happy searching!

Frequently Asked Questions

Our favorite website for finding Oneworld availability is British Airways. British Airways has the most robust award search engine for Oneworld airlines — it’s the most user-friendly and is one of the most reliable.

About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.


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First Class Traveller

July 04, 2019

I spotted a bunch of first class availability on Qanta’s own website for late March/early April from LAX-SYD but they are not appearing on Alaska, AA, or BA’s websites. Any thoughts?

Stephen Au

July 07, 2019

Hi First Class Traveler, the availability on Qantas is different than on their partners. Understandably, they release much more availability to members of its own frequent flyer program than their partners. The only way you can book this is by using Qantas points, which is not a good idea due to the exorbitant prices. Thanks for reading.


July 11, 2019

Stephen, I would like to ask for some advice. I have a Chase UR points, Amex MR, and Capital One Miles. I wanted to take advantage of Cathay’s free stopover to visit Hong Kong on our way to Bali. Or any other airline that may serve that purpose. What would you recommend doing to make the most out of rewards? Can I transfer points to Cathay to book on OneWorld? How can I become a OneWorld member? Is it necessary to take advantage of Cathay’s free stopover? Thank you for your help. Great articles, very informative!!!

Stephen Au

July 16, 2019

One of the best ways to take advantage of the stopover policy is using Alaska miles. Unfortunately, they’re not transfer partners with any currency except Marriott. One other way is to use Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. For this, you can simply transfer your Amex points to Cathay Pacific and book online. Thanks for reading.

Kevin Cuenca

October 31, 2019

Hello Stephen, thanks for the wonderful article. Was a lot of help when I booked my CP RTW award a few months ago! I’m running into a problem now, where I see an AA flight available on Qantas and on AA, but not with Asia Miles or Avios. Any idea why?

Stephen Au

October 31, 2019

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for reading. AA and Qantas have a joint venture agreement. They’re perhaps the closest partners in the entire alliance, which is why extra space for AA flights is available on both AA and Qantas.

Maria R.

October 04, 2022

It appears Qantas has started charging for even a basic frequent flyer membership does this seem correct? I’ve tried using the British Airways method about 20 times but it shows no availability for any types of flights outside British Airways flights no matter what I do.

Jarrod West

November 09, 2022

Hi Maria,

Yes, it does appear that Qantas does now charge one-time fee to join its membership program. The American Airlines website is also good for locating Oneworld award flights.


February 15, 2023

Is it even possible to find domestic American Airlines award flights with BA avios anymore? I seem to always come up against a brick wall. BA site never seems to show any. Is there a good way to find these?

Chris Hassan

February 15, 2023

Yes, your best bet is to find a MileSAAver award flight on first, and then try to find that same flight on BA using the same dates.

Sharon Z

July 13, 2023

Is it true that Cathay Pacific award flights from NYC are extremely hard to find these days?

Jarrod West

July 13, 2023

Hi Sharon,

Yes, those seats tend to get booked very quickly, so it is best to be as flexible as possible. We recommend using a tool like to locate award space.

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