Now Get Email Alerts When Star Alliance Award Space Opens Up!

Expert Flyer is a pay site, though they offer free 5 day trials.

I find it invaluable. Historically it has been a must for any American AAdvantage member since it’s been one of the only sources for real-time availability of American Airlines flight inventory and because it also displays confirmable upgrade availability for American’s flights.

Another key feature of Expert Flyer is the site’s alerts. If the space you want isn’t available, you can tell it to email you when it does become available. It isn’t checking in real-time, but multiple times a day, and with increasing frequency as travel approaches so that I’ve generally found it to approximate real-time pretty well.

When I want an award on a flight I can’t get on, or I want a confirmed upgrade, I set an Expert Flyer alert and I get an email when the space I need opens up (or if I’m debating whether or not to confirm an upgrade, I may set an alert for when space is dwindling).

Expert Flyer has added support for much of the Star Alliance. Want to know when Lufthansa first class awards open up? Set an Expert Flyer alert!

Here’s the expanded list of airlines Expert Flyer supports for award search and award alerts:

Note that their data source for Swiss shows availability offered to Miles & More members, and not to partner airlines. Lufthansa and Singapore availability is partner availability (useful if you’re using miles with United, Aeroplan, Lifemiles, etc — but not as useful if you are using Miles & More or Singapore Airlines Krisflyer miles, respectively).

Also, Expert Flyer only supports some special classes for some airlines (outside Star Alliance). For instance, you can’t do Expert Flyer searches or set alerts for Etihad’s saver award space. They support upgrade searches only.

Here’s the upgrade and award classes Expert Flyer supports for each carrier.

This is going to make finding Star Alliance awards much easier. And for folks already subscribing to Expert Flyer, it’s more functionality without a higher price. For others it may just be enough to tip the value proposition into the win column.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but ExpertFlyer has supported Lufthansa for at least a month, I’ve used it that recently, but thought it was available even further back.

  2. @Gary – Guess I got lucky then! Here and I thought the true luck was when you find Lufthansa space and none of the unions are on strike on your day of flight! Thanks for the clarification.

  3. To anyone not in the aa executive plat group, this post is a response to a heated discussion yesterday due to extremely horrible customer service by expert flyer. I would highly recommend to not use expert flyer as my interaction with them was one of the worst (and there’s an email thread showing it that was posted in the fb group).

  4. Some of these airlines, eg Aegean, also offer waitlisted awards. So you can waitlist yourself, and the revenue department will decide if they open up more space. Nine out of ten times they will make your award available within 24h.

  5. No @Tyler this post is not a response to your discussion. This post is a result of a great new feature of Expert Flyer to search award availability on many more airlines than before.

    In that discussion, which I wouldn’t have referenced but you brought it up, you didn’t understand how Expert Flyer worked. You weren’t even a paying customer. You posted a snippet of an interaction with their customer service where they didn’t initially understand what you were asking, you took it as rude (as opposed to less than clear communication on your part), and then threatened to complain to an airline to get the airline to shut down Expert Flyer’s access to data. In other words, you wanted to take an important and valuable tool away from frequent flyers for spite.

  6. Gary I meant my post-my comment. And I find it laughable you say their response wasn’t rude. What about all of the people who said ‘that was horrible customer service’ in the thread? You clearly are fine ignoring that due to your personal relationship with the EF team, which is unethical at best. If I posted the entire EF exchange here I’d bet $1000 the majority of your readers would say it was extremely rude.

  7. @Tyler there was a misunderstanding, partly your fault, you decided it was rude and you threatened to burn down something valuable for all frequent flyers as a result.

    I’m not interested in pursuing your personal issues here, I’ve seen where that goes already in the thread you referenced.

    Lashing out – at Expert Flyer, the frequent flyer community, now me (throwing out unsubstantiated claims about my ethics) – doesn’t get you anywhere. Please give it a rest.

  8. Gary I’m simply sharing my bad experience with the group. Am I not allowed to do that? And how could I possibly be at fault? I responded to their survey why I didn’t extend my 5 day trial with polite and honest feedback and got a rude, condescending response. If they didn’t respond back with a rude response the issue wouldn’t have popped up. There’s zero lashing out, simply sharing information you and your business partners know did not put EF in the best light, hence the defensiveness. That’s all I’ll say (and knowing you, you’ll have one last rebuttal so you can get the last word :)).

  9. Gary, we are taking a trip to France and are flying over business, using miles, and home on coach, using miles. We have enough miles to upgrade to business if two seats become available. Is it the Premium service with Expert Flyer that lets you be notified when an award upgrade becomes available?

  10. In contrast to the EF lovers here, i found it not to be useful in that they wont accept queries in the future on flights too far in advance. I.e.>331 days in future. I would like to enter it and have them activated at mn the day flights open and look/email me asap when seats open, otherwise i have to get up early and manually enter the info. Didnt save me any time sorry

  11. Gary, sorry about the crap you gotta put up with sometimes. Thank you so much again for all you’ve shared with us.

  12. I’ve tried the paid version of expertflyer before, but my biggest problem was that if i want to search for award travel on multiple airlines, I had to enter multiple searches (as opposed to award nexus, where you just check the boxes of the airlines you want to search.
    Is there a workaround that lets you search many airlines in one search?

  13. David h – sounds like you want a custom feature, I bet for the right price they might set that up for you – but I doubt the regular $5/month will pay for their time to make custom changes to the software.

    Tyler – you aren’t even paying and you are already causing them grief… why would they want your business?

    These services (ExpertFlyer, KVS, these blogs, etc.) all take time and money and they are how these people make a living – if it isn’t a profitable living, they will just go do something else.

    If you don’t like what they offer, teach them a lesson- keep your $5/month and don’t use them… and let the rest of us continue to benefit from these tools and blogs.

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