web Musings of The Global Traveller

Friday, April 20, 2007

Looking up awards flying on Qantas (and other airlines)

Reader Winnie asks if there is an easier way to find award seats on Qantas than calling AAdvantage every few days to check.

The good news is there is a way to check for yourself online. I previously blogged about this, but it was hidden with a non-helpful blog title. So here is the advice again for Winnie and everyone else.

Here is a selection of tools that can help the savvy flyer pick up award and paid availability (note an understanding of what booking codes mean and how they work is needed - watch for a later post on this).

  • for One World FFPs, sign up to Qantas Frequent Flyer and use the online award search - no mileage is needed in your account (warning less than half of all one world destinations are included in the search engine, although the most common ones are all there)
  • for Star Alliance (*A) FFPs, sign up to Air Canada Aeroplan or ANA Mileage Club and use the online award search - no mileage is needed in your account (warning United Mileage Plus in particular has much reduced availability compared with other *A FFPs)
  • I am not sure if Sky Team FFPs have a similar lookup - if a reader knows please contact me using the link
  • for paid bookings check out Expert Flyer (can also find awards on Qantas and fare listings plus rules), or Seat Counter (can also find awards on United and Northwest - expect more to be added), or T & T (set up a profile with expert mode switched on or use login "flyertalk" and password "tandt"), or Availability Public Backup.

No one system is perfect however with practice in interpreting these tools do give a good guide as to whether that award or paid fare you are looking for is available.

I'll post some explanation of booking codes soon.

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