Tag Archives: expert flyer

How to Search for Award Tickets for Oneworld Airlines

In a previous post, I mentioned which search engines you could use to find award tickets on oneworld airlines.  I didn’t mention when you would want to use one search engine over another so I wanted to cover that today.

  • www.aa.com – This is the American Airlines web site.  It is free and you do not need a frequent flyer account to search on this site.  This site only shows availability for American Airlines.  It does not show partner airline availability.  If you can find a MileSAAver award on the American web site, you can book that flight using British Airways miles.
  • www.britishairways.com – This is the British Airways web site.  It is free but you do need a frequent flyer account to search on the site.  Creating a frequent flyer account is free and you do not need to have any miles in the account to search.  The down side to using the British Airways site for searching is that it always looks for British Airways flights flight and it tries to route you through London.  However, after that initial search, you can include partner airlines if BA flights are not found.  And unlike some other sites, this site does show Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific availability.
  • www.qantas.com – This is the Qantas web site.  It is free but you do need a frequent flyer account to search on the site.  Creating a frequent flyer account is free and you do not need to have any miles in the account to search.  This site is good for searching for European flights, since unlike British Airways, it does not try to force you on a British Airways flight.  However, this site is not good for Asia awards since it does not show availability for Japan Airlines and the Cathay Pacific results are sometimes unreliable.
  • www.expertflyer.com – This is a paid site.  It has a lot of flexibility in how you can search for awards and it will tell you have many award tickets are available.  However, it only shows information for the following oneworld partners: American, Alaska, Qantas, and economy Finn Air.
  • www.kvstool.com – This is a paid site.  It shows award availability for all airlines in the oneworld alliance.
  • www.awardnexus.com – You must be a member of Flyertalk to access this site.  It is not as advanced as Expert Flyer or the KVS Tool, but it does include all of the oneworld alliance airlines.

Feel free to comment on the post or email me at travelsavvyfamily@gmail.com with any questions.

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Expert Flyer and KVS

There are 2 web sites that most people in the cheap travel game use for finding flights – Expert Flyer and KVS Tool.  These sites allow you to search for airfares, frequent flyer tickets, and how many seats exist at each fare class for many airlines.  Let’s say you’re looking to redeem frequent flyer miles for a flight.  This tool will allow you to see which flights have frequent flyer tickets available and how many tickets they have.  From this information, you can determine which legs of the trip are preventing your desired trip from being available for frequent flyer redemption.  You can then look for alternate routes to get you to your desired destination.

Another great use of these tools is described in this week’s Travel Sort blog.  It describes how you can use married segments to find cheap flights.  As he alludes to in the article, this is what people use to string together mileage runs.  They are looking to find the cheapest dollar/mile trips to help them get status with an airline.  When you have status with an airline, you accumulate mileage faster and you often can upgrade to first class for free.

This article is fascinating.  If you are looking to book a trip which is long enough where you could have a connection, you should definitely check this out.  I ran a couple of tests based on the information in the article and saw hundreds of dollars difference for the exact same flights using his advice.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!  I hope you do something for yourself today.  My mom friends and I have a tradition of going out to dinner together for Mother’s Day.  That way you’re always guaranteed to have a little me time on your day.

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