This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Finding Award Availability

As promised, I worked through the weekend and now have a ~30 minute video on the step-by-step process that I follow to find award availability.

This video, while long, will get you very quickly up to speed on how to find and book your award availability.

When I watched the video again, there were a couple of things that I neglected to mention:

    • In the video I mentioned that there were no direct flights from New York’s JFK Airport to Montreal (YUL) and that is true, however, there are flights from the two other airports servicing New York; Newark (EWR) and LaGuardia (LGA).  This would not have made a difference in the search because I don’t know anyone that would like to transfer from JFK to either one of those airports but I thought it was important to mention to be completely transparent.


  • Lisa mentioned in her comment that she could fly from either Ottawa (YOW) or Montreal (YUL).  She did not make mention of which one she preferred. In this example, we found that the availability was out of Montreal but if Lisa needed to add the Ottawa (YOW) to Montreal (YUL) leg, all she would pay for is the difference in taxes (minimal) and any fuel surcharge levied by Air Canada (could be expensive).  There would be no increase to the number of points needed and because there’s no shortage of daily flights from YOW-YUL, Lisa should have no problem finding a connecting flight.  For this particular example and video, the YOW-YUL and YUL-YOW legs were not taken into consideration.

I also reference a few tools that I use in the search and they include:

You may also want to reference the rest of this series in case you haven’t followed along last week.

Finding Award Availability Series

So without further adieu, here is the video:

Series Navigation<< Finding Award Availability – Part 4 – Value of Your Award and Tips and Tricks
Jayce is the founder of PointsNerd, and avid traveller and a teacher by nature. He prides himself on flattening the learning curve through step-by-step guides because everyone needs to start somewhere.


  1. Hi PointsNerd,

    First off, thanks a lot for making the video – very helpful and makes me feel like I’m in the right direction to book my mini rtw.

    Is there any issues with booking multiple carriers when calling in to Aeroplan? For example, some routes I’ve been looking at would include Air Canada, Asiana, Air New Zealand, and United. A rough idea of what I’m thinking is YYZ-NRT on AC (stopover in Tokyo), NRT – ICN (layover) – SYD on Asiana/OZ (destination), SYD – AKL on Air New Zealand (stopover), then AKL – SFO – YYZ (United/AC). We plan to fly on J and are OK with short stints in economy which is likely the SFO – YYZ. Dates currently unavailable but looking at late 2017.


    • Hey Tyler,

      No issues at all with multiple airlines as long as they are a part of the Star Alliance. The only thing you should watch out for is funding availability to Oceana. It’s consistently difficult to find so you may need to find that segment first and build your itinerary around it. Cheers


      • We’re pretty flexible with dates, and I correct me if I’m wrong, but we won’t be able to book for 356 days before we return home right? IE Say we travel mid December 2017 to mid January 2018, I would have to wait until near the end of January 2017 to book the whole trip?

  2. Hi there,

    Thanks for the video. I used the FlightAward search toll but cant click the NH under carriers – how do i set that up?


    • Hi Dave,

      You should see blue link to the right of the NH checkbox. Click on it and plug in your NH credentials. Alternatively, you can click on the gear logo in the top right of the tool to get to the same place. Cheers


  3. Thanks so much for this video, is now quite useful! Have you ever seen any Air Canada flights that haven’t had ridiculous surcharges? I’m flying to Europe out of Winnipeg and there are very few AC alternatives without having to be extremely flexible.

    • Hi Erik,

      Unfortunately if you are flying Air Canada to any country that doesn’t outlaw fuel surcharge like Japan and Brazil, you are stuck paying it. I would recommend that you look to fly to Toronto or Montreal and then catch a Turkish Airlines (no YQ) flight to Istanbul or from Montreal you can try to Zurich (no YQ). Hope that helps. Cheers



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