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A couple of weeks ago I outlined what sites and tools you can use to find frequent flyer award seats.
You almost always want to do the research to find award space yourself and then set up the award (online, if your mileage program offers all partners on its website, or over the phone).
One key tool I mentioned was Expert Flyer which I said had the most limited coverage of airlines but is indispensable for American flyers (because it has upgrade space) and because you can set it up to keep searching for space and email you when it opens up.
In fairness Expert Flyer’s coverage got really good a year ago with the addition of Star Alliance-wide award search. And Expert Flyer just got better.
ExpertFlyer is one of the best tools in travel. It’s a paid service that lets you:
- Search for awards and even get emails when space opens up on the flight you want.
- Set alerts for specific seats to open up on your flights, so if you’re not happy in the back of coach or prefer an aisle rather than the window you’ve got you’ll know when one becomes available so you can grab it.
- Find flights with confirmable upgrade space — and get emails when upgrades become available for your flight.
- Get alerted when first class is selling out on your flight, in case you want to use miles or an upgrade coupon to confirm an upgrade instead of waiting for a complimentary one.
There are many other uses for the tool, like checking airfare rules, pulling up seat maps, and seeing the availability of different fare classes on a given flight.
During irregular operations — weather delays, mechanicals — I often was to find out what flights have open seats, and ExpertFlyer is a great way to do that.
Expert Flyer now has 100% coverage of SkyTeam awards. Additions are:
- Korean Air (Now supports all routes)
- China Airlines
- Mandarin Airlines
- Vietnam Airlines
- MEA Middle East Airlines
- Aerolineas Argentinas
- Garuda Indonesia
- TAROM – Romanian Air
For instance, while there’s no business class award space Bangkok – Seoul on November 14, there’s first class award space and also space if you’re looking to buy coach and upgrade to business.