One of the most valuable tools that I have in my award search arsenal is AwardFlights. AwardFlights is a Chrome App that automates your search for award tickets after you plug in your search parameters.
The app simply uses your login information for different award programs and searches as if you are doing the search … just much faster.
You can use this program to search using the following programs:
- Air Canada
- British Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Japan Airlines (JAL)
- KLM/Air France
The setup is super simple. All you do is click on the gear icon in the top right of the application and enter in your reward program login. All these programs are free so go ahead and start making accounts so you can use the site’s search functionality.
Finding Award Flights
Finding award seats is very simple and intuitive using this tool.
All you need to do is plug in your origin and destination airports (yes, you have to use the IATA code) and your date of travel along with the number of days ahead you want to search and the number of passengers.
For example, if I were to look for a flight from Calgary to Tokyo for 3 people within the next 2 weeks using my Aeroplan points, I would plug in the following:
As you can see, you also need to check off the class of service you want but in actuality, the program will search all classes at the same time.
Here, you will be provided with the flight number (important to have when you are calling in to make a booking), your flight times, aircraft (important if you care about the hard product) and the class of service.
The class of service is indicated by the following:
Y = Economy Class
W = Premium Economy Class
J = Business Class
F = First Class
You should learn these designations because they are used all the time in the Travel Hacking community.
If you look closely, you have the option to filter:
If you click on that button, you will be presented with an even more powerful feature. Here you can sort by nonstop flights, airlines and connection points.
Obviously if you want a non-stop flight, click on that filter. This feature is probably my most used feature, with the second being the filtering by airline. This is important because as I discussed in The Comprehensive List of All Star Alliance Partners and Their Fuel/Carrier Surcharges, you can save a lot of money by avoiding airlines that charge fuel surcharge. This is where this filter comes in handy. The final filter that I use is the Connections filter. This is useful if you prefer to connect in an easy airport such as Seattle (SEA) vs a nightmare like Los Angeles (LAX).
If you choose the Filter Option as Inclusive, that means that your results will include you other filter options. If you choose Restrictive, your results will only feature your choices. The comes in handy when you are search for only seats on United and you don’t want results that have Air Canada as flying one of the legs.
The developer of this tool seems to be continually improving the tool’s features so I highly recommend using it. It is a free tool and like I said, it is one of the tools I heavily lean on to find my reward flights.