Yay: American Now Displaying Partner Airline Record Locators

Filed Under: American

American Airlines has just made a minor but useful change to how it displays reservations through its website and mobile app.

You can now see partner record locators on aa.com

If you book a ticket through American Airlines (whether paying cash or redeeming miles) and it includes travel on partner airlines, you historically haven’t been able to see the partner airline record locator. Rather you’d have to call American to ask for it.

Well, that has finally changed — American Airlines’ website and mobile app now show partner airline record locators. If you have a reservation and it includes travel on a partner airline, you should see a “Reservation Code” listed underneath that partner airline flight segment, which would be the locator used by that airline.

Airlines use different record locators for the same ticket numbers, depending on what system they use. Suffice to say that being able to pull up this information online, rather than having to call, is quite useful.

American’s website now displays partner airline record locators

Why do airline record locators matter?

Why would you even need a partner airline record locator, though? Well, it can come in handy in quite a few circumstances, including:

  • You typically can’t select seats on a partner airline through aa.com or the mobile app, so you typically have to go through a partner airline’s website, and that often requires having that carrier’s confirmation code
  • If the first segment of an itinerary is on a partner airline, you can use that partner record locator in order to start the online check-in process

Nowadays you can redeem AAdvantage miles for a vast majority of partner airlines directly through aa.com, which didn’t used to be the case. Back when you had to book by phone I’d typically also ask the phone agent at the same time what the partner locator was. Fortunately that’s no longer needed due to this change.

This change makes it easier to select seats on partner airlines

Bottom line

American Airlines now displays partner airline record locators directly through its website and mobile app. This is a minor but awesome change that I know will save me (and especially my colleagues at PointsPros) a lot of time in the long run.

With a partner airline locator you can typically select seats and check-in online when travel on a partner airline is involved.

Are you as happy about this change as I am?

  1. While United has it’s (many, many) issues, whenever you post about changes AA is making to their customer-facing IT I’m always shocked at how bad AA (and often DL) is relative to United on many fronts from a tech perspective.

    United has had this for a very long time – can’t imagine having to call to get these things every time. Welcome to 2006 AA?

  2. YES!!!!! So glad! I love redeeming AAdvantage miles for JAL and always had to call AA to get the JAL record locators in the past.

  3. @Jetset this is true, but where United drives me insane is when you need the actual ticket number, you have to click alllll the way into the damn receipt (correct me if this has changed).

  4. It’s about time!!! This was always such an annoying thing that seemed like it should have been super easy to fix, glad they finally did it!

  5. Baby steps. Call me when we finally don’t have to do the “Finnair hack” to get BA/partner award tickets on AA metal to show up in the app.

  6. Brodie is correct, I too always use Twitter and DM AA to get my record locators, and they respond back quickly, but it’s still an annoying extra step to have to take.

  7. I don’t mind calling in for the record locator. Has anyone seen any first award availability on the BA a380 ? I see it’s still scheduled on the SFO and LAX routes .

  8. If nothing else you need to request a seat assignment from the partner directly (with few a exceptions like AA/Cathay.

    It is also helpful to have a copy of the partner’s e-ticket with you when you travel.

  9. Huge huge improvement. Now if we can just get AA to stop sending QR the wrong AAdvantage numbers

  10. For those of us who primarily use OW carriers, it has long been a massive pain in the arse to call to get, for example, the Amadeus reloc for QF segments etc. Now any travel on AA, QF, AS (or even EY) should be a lot easier and quicker to manage, particularly for those of us down under.

  11. As a BA FF I’d never even thought about this. If I book through BA I can see AA’s ref for the flight and obviously it’s not an issue if I book direct with AA.

    NOT that I’m singing any praise of BAs IT here. The only plus side to it being so abysmal is that you can invariably get the phone booking fee waived by simply saying “well I think you already know why im on the phone & not doing this online”

  12. Strangely enough, user-unfriendly Avianca LifeMiles has the partner PNR on the Electronic Ticket for flights. You will need to look pretty hard to find it.
    You will frequently need to email (don’t ring, to preserve your sanity!) to ask for the Electronic Ticket to be sent to you. They will do that within 24-48 hrs normally.
    As has been pointed out here in the past, until you have this there is no certainty the booking has been made by LifeMiles with the partner airline.
    As an extra layer of certainty I always use the PNR to log into the partner airline to choose my seat, or just review the booking.

  13. UA ticketed reservations always has this information. I use it to go to the partner’s system ( Thai Austrian, Lufthansa Singapore… for seating assignment.
    Keep it up UA. Your reservation system rocks.

  14. @Doug – functionality seems to be gone. I had record locators for CX and JAL flights showing yesterday; this morning they are gone. The functionality was great while it lasted. It will be back – either AA was testing it, or something glitched so AA IT disabled it. But it’s not like they created it and then won’t use it.

    But @Lucky should update the post.

  15. @Seat21d – I believe Alaska Airlines are also in Sabre, which means the record locator should be the same as the AA one anyway.

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