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:
- Comprehensive List of Star Alliance Carriers and Their Fuel Surcharges
- Star Alliance Route Map
You may also want to reference the rest of this series in case you haven’t followed along last week.
So without further adieu, here is the video: