Does Booking An Avios Award to Hawaii Grant Free Priority AAccess

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Today I am flying from Honolulu to Los Angeles on a flight operated by American Airlines. I bought my ticket with 12,500 British Airways Avios and $11 as described in this Anatomy of an Award. I listed 12,500 Avios and $11 as one of the cheapest ways to get to Hawaii recently.

Yesterday at 2:50 PM, when I got the email to check in, I did so. My mobile boarding pass showed Priority AAccess, which means I can use the priority security line at the airport and board before general boarding.

I was surprised because I have no status with British Airways or American Airlines.

When I got to the airport, I printed a boarding pass, and it also said Priority AAccess. When I went to an agent to drop off my golf bag, I got another piece of good news.

“There’s an aisle seat available in an exit row. Would you like that?”

I sure would like a free upgrade to an exit row. She printed me out a new boarding pass with my extra-legroom seat and Priority AAccess:

Priority AAccess means I can use the security Gold Lane at HNL. Also pictured: the Priority Pass Select Membership (free with Amex Platinum) that gets me into two lounges at HNL.

So I’ll be enjoying my 12,500 Avios flight even more than I thought I would. Has anyone else redeemed Avios for an AA flight and been given Priority AAccess? I think this has to be a mistake, so I’m asking around.

It was a huge time saver at security–several flights to Asia leave at the same time as this flight to LAX–and I have my normal carry on plus a tennis bag, so I’ll be happy to snag bin space for everything with my priority boarding.

Did I just get lucky or has this happened to you?


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21 COMMENTS

  1. Got the same when I went to YYZ from DFW in early July. Found it strange but was not going to say anything. I was not able to select exit aisle during online check in/seat selection though.

    • I wasn’t able to select an exit row during check in or at the airport either. I think that was just a bonus because the agent had nothing to do, while the other agent tagged my bag. Perhaps she offered it because she see the Priority AAcess and thought I was elite, or maybe she was bored.

  2. Had it happen to my wife last month on a flight to Chicago,she called to thank me for it and I had no idea why she got it. Did some snooping around and I had forgotten it was part of the new perks on the AAdvantage Citi Card.

  3. Yep, I got it two years in a row LAX-LIH/OGG. The lines are always so short at LAX it barely saves time IME. No exit row for us because of our 2yo. Nothing to do with Citi, unless you have the Executive card.

  4. Ditto – have booked 4-5 AA award tickets with Avios for my girlfriend and me and each time I get Priority AAccess. A great unadvertised (I think?) perk.

  5. Yes every flight I’ve taken by redeeming Avios has been priority access. However, no free checked bag on domestic flights.

    • At check in, they offered to check a carry on for free? Who offered? I almost tried to ask if I could get my golf bag checked free but chickened out.

  6. ATL to DFW.

    Booked (AA metal) using Avios on BA.com for party of 4
    Paid fees using Chase BA visa
    Got Priority access and aisle seats
    Also have Citi AA visa and Citi AA AMEX.

    Wasn’t sure if trigger was booking with Avios alone, paying fees using Chase BA visa, or being a CITI AA cardholder. Great perk to Hawaii, aren’t these unsuspected benefits awesome

  7. […] Another “hidden” perk of using Avios to fly American is that you get to enjoy Priority AAccess on your American flights.  This means that you get to use the Priority/Elite security screening lane and you get early boarding.  The elite security line can save you a massive amount of time at some airports and early boarding can help ensure you find a spot to place your carry-on bag.  It may also help you wiggle your way to a better seat at the airport, as it did for Milevalue. […]

  8. […] Another “hidden” perk of using Avios to fly American is that you get to enjoy Priority AAccess on your American flights.  This means that you get to use the Priority/Elite security screening lane and you get early boarding.  The elite security line can save you a massive amount of time at some airports and early boarding can help ensure you find a spot to place your carry-on bag.  It may also help you wiggle your way to a better seat at the airport, as it did for Milevalue. […]

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