As many folks know, I probably book more award tickets than anyone else in the world. And I develop a really good sense for the value and ease of using different sorts of mileage and what routes offer the best availability.
So for those looking to do it themselves, or just thinking about what’s possible and wanting to set expectations accordingly, I thought I’d offer a bit of stream of consciousness on award availability.
It occurred to me yesterday that the conventional wisdom changes frequently, at least in terms of available routes. That’s because I noticed first class award seats available on Thai almost every day during the summer from Zurich to Bangkok and back. I assume this will tighten up quickly, but it really struck me because the Zurich route was perhaps the most difficult one to secure just three or four months ago. Meanwhile, London Heathrow and Paris used to be available almost daily, but those have tightened considerably.
And routing from the US to Asia via Zurich has become much easier now that the ANA award search website displays Swiss inventory, so piecing together flights in and out of Zurich is a breeze. Previously one might check Swiss availability as offered to Miles & More members and hope it was also available to partners. Now one has a much better sense before calling whether a given set of flights will be open as partner awards.
I could keep riffing on this stuff for days, the difficulty finding availability on Singapore and how to accomplish it, tips on fiding space to Africa, let me know what y’all are interested in and I’m happy to expand…