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Searching for award space?
So, it is clear that to check for award space, you need to do it one leg of the trip at a time..
But – with so many options near any large metro area, and so many airlines, how does a person who has (say) many points on (say) Chase Sapphire – search for award space?
Is there a single search engine, or do you need to log into both AAdvantage, British Airways, and so on?
Hi [USER=842]@Uri[/USER], welcome!
It’s a bit of a shell game. I generally first think where someone wants to go, and then what points they have. Then I basically work through a priority list.
So, let’s say you’re in South Florida and want to go to Nice (like approximately 60% of our clients, no joke). The best option is obviously Swiss MIA-ZRH-NCE using Aeroplan points, so I’d start there. If they don’t have points that transfer to Aeroplan, then that’s not as great of an option. Maybe MIA-FRA-NCE makes more sense if they’re going to use United miles transferred from Ultimate Rewards. If they only have AA miles, none of that matters, so we’re going to look at MIA-MAD-NCE, or even RSW-DUS-NCE to save on fuel surcharges.
You’re spot on that it gets complicated, and this is actually a really interesting idea for a longer post. But the short answer is that yes, you need to search space in each alliance separately. See this post for details: [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2014/12/18/where-to-find-award-space/[/URL]
But if you don’t know where to start, you can just ask us, and the friendly folks here will get you started in the right direction 🙂
A high level list of steps I follow:
1. Start with alliance
2. From departing airport, – get route map, destinations, non stop
3. Do #2 for arriving airport.
If you have a common hub that you can transit through great, if not find a short hop (like an intra europe hop like FRA-ZRH, FRA-IST, FRA-MUC etc)
Now that you have a route in mind, start building segments.
Rinse and repeat till you find space for all segments.
Sounds complicated which it is. But if you like it, it is lot of fun. The minute you see award space on all flights, OMG that happiness is all like ice-cream eating for me. Hahaha.
While a very good question, I don’t think anyone can give straight up response. If you can put in the dates, airports etc you get more help.
Tiffany had a post on this topic today: