This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Finding Award Availability

Today we begin the step-by-step journey on how to book award flights.  Thanks to the commenters from Friday’s thread, we have some real world award request in which to try to find availability.

WestJet Dollars
Redeem for Any Available Seat
Partial Redemption Available
Ability to Use Points Towards Taxes and Fees Possible but Very Poor Redemption Value
Better International Redemption Possibilities
Ease of Use

The random number picker on picked Lisa as the winner.


Requested Award Booking

Lisa is looking for help in booking an award flight for two passengers from Ottawa or Montreal to Milan with a return from Geneva.  She is looking for a business class reward flight with the dates of travel being April 13, with a return on April 23, 2017.  Lisa currently has 220,000 Aeroplan points.

Just as I’m writing this, I’m taken back to the days of long form math questions … always like those …

Anywhooo.  let’s move forward but let’s keep in mind how we approach those long form math questions – by dissecting each portion on its own.

Number of Points Required

We know that Lisa has 220,000 Aeroplan points but how many points are required for two people in business class to Europe 1 (of which Italy is a part of).


As we can see, Business Class flights to Europe 1 will cost 110,000 Aeroplan points per ticket.  Multiply that by 2 and we know that we will require 220,000 Aeroplan points.  As we can see, Lisa has enough points for the redemption.

With the easy part out of the way, we move on to the more difficult part.  Finding the routes that make sense and then finding availability, topics I will cover in the next few days.

Schedule of Posts

Part 1 – Winner of the contest and required points
Part 2 – Finding the available routes and choosing the best one (including avoiding Fuel Surcharge)
Part 3 – The tools I use to find availability
Part 4 – Next steps and things to keep in mind
Part 5 – A screencast walkthrough of the process

Through this series, you will be able to see how I book reward flights and learn how to approach award booking.  If at anytime throughout this series you find that I don’t cover a topic in enough depth, please leave a comment and I’ll do my best to address the concern.


Series NavigationFinding Award Availability – Part 2 – Finding Your Route >>
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.


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