Travelhacking Tools and Tips
Book the Trip You Want With Miles You Got
searching for availability
- ExpertFlyer (my affiliate link) - many airlines, expert functionality, paid subscription (free 5 day trial)
- Star Alliance flights - search on United
- For flights on United Airlines, make sure to log in if you have status or credit card for expanded availability
- Do not trust the calendar, look at every day even if calendar does not show availability
- Beware of some ghost availability - go through booking process to make sure it doesn't error out
- oneWorld flights - search on British Airways or Qantas (both require you to create a free account, don't need to have miles)
- On British Airways, search segment by segment (ATL-MIA, MIA-MAD instead of ATL-MAD)
- On Qantas, check "Use points - classic flight rewards only"
- Install Award Finder Chrome app for automatic multi day search
- British Airways search is finicky (BA fault, not AF) so Qantas is recommended
- If using American Airlines website, make sure to use Advanced Search to properly search partners
award booking services
Let someone else do the searching for you. FlyerTalk thread has some reviews. I have not used any, nor do I personally know any of these folks to make recommendation.
other useful services
AwardWallet (my affiliate link) - one-stop tracking of all frequent flier miles, hotel points and credit cards points, similar to what mint.com does for your financial accounts. Some people use it to log into their accounts from one interface. Paid version also sends expiration notifications.
wheretocredit - for paid tickets, helps decide what program you should credit your miles to. The differences in amounts of points you earn for the same flight can be pretty big so always check this!