Note: I do this regularly, so I am looking for a faster option than calling the airline on the phone - I'd like something I can do online.

I have booked a reservation with American Airlines on aa.com. It is ticketed and paid for, and contains an American Airlines flight and a BA flight. I am American Airlines Platinum (Sapphire) and the number is against the reservation. I would like to view the reservation on the BA website to change the seating, which I can't do on aa.com.

I know from past experience that such reservations tend to have two reservation codes, one for the AA portion (Sabre?) and one for the BA portion (Amadeus?). But I don't know how to find the BA code, or to display the reservation on the BA website. Entering the AA code simply gives an error that the reservation cannot be found.

How can I find the BA reservation code for this reservation, or change the seat?

  • 2
    The other way around (booking a flight with AA on ba.com), I remember that this was fairly easy to find out. I don't have such a booking at the moment to check though, so I can't give you more details... Maybe just book the next time with BA? Apr 20 '15 at 12:13
  • @traindriver, thanks. Wasn't an option as I used miles to pay for it. Good thought though. Apr 20 '15 at 12:25
  • 3
    Did you try to use AA booking number to login to your booking from this page? Apr 20 '15 at 15:03
  • IkeelYou, yes. It is not recognised. Apr 20 '15 at 18:24
  • Have you added your BAEC frequent flier details to the booking on the AA website? At least sometimes, doing that causes the booking to show up in my BAEC upcoming flights list, from which I can then manage the BA legs
    – Gagravarr
    Apr 20 '15 at 20:11

There are two ways, depending on the kind of BA flight you booked with AA.

If you booked the BA flight under the AA flight number, eg American Airlines flight 6543, Operated by British Airways, then all you need to do is add your British Airways Executive Club number to the booking. After a few minutes, log into your BAEC account, and look at your upcoming bookings. You'll find in there your BA booking reference for the BA legs, and will be able to select your seat, see avios to be earnt etc.

if you booked the BA flight under the BA flight number, eg British Airways flight BA 345, then for some reason your BAEC details won't get passed over. What you need to do is, bizarrely, go to the Qantas "Manage My Booking" page, and enter your American Airlines reference. Scroll down to the Seats section of the page, and you'll see something like:

Seat selection is only available for flights operated by Qantas. To select seats and manage your booking, visit British Airways site with your booking reference #12ABCD

Then take that booking reference shown there, go to the BA website, use that with Manage My Booking, then enter your BAEC details + pick seats + see avios details + etc

In summary:

  • BA flight with AA flight number - enter BAEC details, wait, see on BAEC account
  • BA flight with BA flight number - give Qantas AA reference, Qantas will tell you the BA reference
  • 6
    As I mentioned before, I'm not a BA frequent flyer - although that tip could be useful for others. The Qantas one sounds intriguing though - great tip. I'll try that next time. Apr 25 '15 at 0:40
  • I've just booked a ticket with both BA and AA numbered flights operated by BA (it's complicated...), the above is how I got my two different BA references. You might almost want to join the BAEC just for this bit, then change the details back to AAdvantage after you have the details!
    – Gagravarr
    Apr 25 '15 at 0:42
  • Hmm, I have a feeling that will make things more complicated not less (I can see my miles ending up in the wrong account)! But good thought. Apr 25 '15 at 0:44
  • 6
    Gagravarr, just tried this technique (using the Qantas) for another booking (AA mileage booking, entirely flown by BA), and it worked perfectly. Thanks for the great tip. Jun 19 '15 at 10:54
  • 4
    How on earth did you figure out the Qantas trick? Dec 2 '15 at 12:10

i found a way that seems very reliable and is entirely online, for bookings made by AA:

First, have tripcase (owned by Sabre) link to the AA-created itinerary:

  1. Go to tripcase.com (you might need to create an account and log in)
  2. Click Create New Trip
  3. Enter a name for the trip in the pop-up box and click Create
  4. Click Link a Booking (on the upper right)
  5. Enter your last name and the AA-issued PNR in the form and click Link

Now, for this or any trip:

  1. View the trip in Tripcase (click the trip name under "My Trips")
  2. Click Documents on the top center
  3. Click Arranger Itinerary

The PNRs for the operating carriers should appear at the top, right after the AA PNR.

  • I tried this with an American Airlines Record Locator as the PNR and got a "You cannot link this booking because this airline does not have a TripCase partnership agreement." error...
    – neubert
    Aug 2 '17 at 6:35
  • 1
    Yes, unfortunately, sometime in the past few months, AA revoked whatever agreement had been in place with Sabre that provided for Tripcase access to AA-created PNRs. It still works if the PNR was created by a travel agency or other entity, even if ticketed by AA, but it no longer works for AA-created PNRs.
    – jetset
    Aug 9 '17 at 18:17

I cannot guarantee it will be work in every scenario, but at least in this case, I found an answer.

It appears sometime after ticketing, the American Airlines number will work in the BA MMB page, as suggested by IKeelYou - somewhat. I tried it again this morning and it gave me an error, stating that it couldn't find the reservation, but pre-populated the reservation number box on the error page with a different reservation code. I tried this reservation code from the MMB page, and lo and behold - my reservation!

Seems like BA's website needs some bug-fixing, but I do at least have access now.


This is an addition to the thread after a long interval, and so may be anachronistic in multiple ways.

At least as of this moment, entering one's AA Record Locator into the "Booking Reference" field of www.britishairways.com --> Manage Booking --> Find Booking (along with the passenger's last name) returns the BA Record Locator in the "Booking Reference" field. Hope this helps someone.


This is strange that through the BA Manage My Booking tool you cannot access your reservation. According to multiple resources you should be able to access it.

These sources suggest different ways to pick a seat. BA uses Amadeus for its bookings so if this does not work on BA tools you can try Amadeus' CheckMyTrip, the tool made to consult an Amadeus booking to obtain your BA PNR (to be identified on its website). Another possibility is to read your e-ticket and search for a reference to an Amadeus PNR (it has 6 alphanumeric characters). Finally there is a suggestion that BA may let only oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members pick a seat. And apparently BA bookings include AA PNR when you log on BA.com so maybe it works also the other way around, when logging on AA.com you might find the BA PNR.

  • 2
    Thanks. CheckMyTrip would probably help in the opposite scenario, but it's the Amadeus number I don't have. Apr 20 '15 at 19:24
  • 2
    I have the eTicket number from the confirmation email, but it only has the American (Sabre) record locator and the (long) eTicket number. Apr 20 '15 at 19:26
  • 2
    Oh, and I am Sapphire. Hence the frustration :) Apr 20 '15 at 19:26
  • @AndrewFerrier OK then apparently all possible ways are explored. The last chance is to have a friend travel agent that knows Sabre and Amadeus commands and can find it...
    – Vince
    Apr 21 '15 at 7:34

It's sadly true that it can be quite difficult to obtain the partner PNRs for tickets issued by AA. Here are a few ways:

  • In the itinerary email sent by AA on request, the BA locator should appear somewhere within the information for each BA flight, but you may have to hunt for it (see screen shot below)
  • You can call AA, give the agent the AA locator, and ask for your BA locator
  • You can call BA, give the agent your first BA flight date and number, and the agent can look you up by name on that flight and tell you your BA locator

In addition, as noted in other answers, often the BA site will accept your AA locator, but I didn't include it above because it can't be relied on to always work.

Here's a screen shot of an AA email that contains the BA locator: AA_itinerary_email

  • 1
    Thanks. AA do not include a BA confirmation code in the email. In the question I mentioned I was looking for a quicker and easier way than calling. Dec 2 '15 at 10:51
  • I added a screen shot to the answer, to show where it was on one of my recent bookings.
    – jetset
    Dec 3 '15 at 2:50
  • 1
    Are you booking on AA.com? That doesn't look anything like the emails I get. Point taken though... Dec 3 '15 at 9:54
  • 1
    It's really pathetic that it's so hard to obtain the PNR for partner airlines. The information is there; the booking airline (AA in this case) really should be sure it's always included in email and prominent places on line.
    – jetset
    Dec 3 '15 at 17:27

I just came to this site and this worked for me:

I checked in to aa.com and re-saved my contact email and phone. This updated the reservation and I then got an email from BA 1 minute later showing the 6-digit BA locator and I was able to add it to my BA iphone app using that locator. Unexpected but it worked.


tl;dr: No way.

What you need to realize is the GDS systems used by the airlines/hotels/car rentals are beyond ancient and are about as user unfriendly as it can get. When these were designed in the sixties, noone cared about usability and it stuck. So, these days many companies scramble to add some sort of usable interface on top, usually accessible via a web browser (although as the KVS tool shows, this is not always the case). However, there are gigantic elephants in the room, most importantly security and cost so the scope of these systems are extremely limited. What you are looking for is not exposed to the public.

  • That is all true. Yet, I know when I book a similar reservation through my corporate travel agent, I get two reservation numbers - so the information is there and sometimes IS exposed to the public. I'm looking for a way to get to it - through AA or elsewhere. I haven't given up hope... Apr 20 '15 at 19:07
  • That's the thing: if AA didn't expose it, you can't get it. You can surely try viewtrip, virtuallythere and similar but if AA doesn't show, noone else will. Yes, corp travel will sometimes show but otherwise, you can't.
    – chx
    Apr 20 '15 at 19:13
  • I have tried virtuallythere.com, but unfortunately I get the error "THIS RESERVATION DOESN'T HAVE EMAIL, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR TRAVEL ARRANGER". Goodness knows what that means. Apr 20 '15 at 19:29
  • 2
    @chx this is true, Amadeus Altea built a super ugly GUI on top of the ancient cryptic system, it is so ugly and user-unfriendly to the point that almost all agents are still using the commands (it still supports commands). Many of my colleagues who work on the "new" reservations system that has GUIs says that they'll never reach the target using that. Apr 20 '15 at 19:46

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.