July 16, 2024

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The Ultimate Guide to Searching for Airline Award Space [2023]

26 min read

If you’re like a lot of travelers, you might have a favorite airline you usually travel with. Or maybe you’ve collected plenty of points and miles to make a reward booking you’ve been waiting for, but aren’t sure where to start looking for that coveted seat!

So once you know which airline you want to fly on, or which fun product you want to try — what’s the best way to search for award availability?

Luckily, we’ve done all the hard work so you can book award travel as seamlessly as possible. In this guide, we’ll show you just where to search for award space on specific airlines.

We’ve broken down every major airline and summarized the best way to search for award space, and then put it all together in a concise table for your benefit.

Below the table, there are sections that describe each search engine itself. We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of using each frequent flyer program to search for availability.

This guide is perfect for travelers who know what airline they want to fly, but don’t really know where to start in the booking process. It’s truly the ultimate guide to searching for award availability.

A Complete Guide to Finding Award Availability on the Airlines You Want

Did you know that some airline websites are horrible for booking award availability, while other websites have amazing search capabilities?

To put it simply, each airline website is built differently and receives availability for different award seats. We did all the tough legwork up front, so now you know exactly which websites are best for booking particular flights!

For example, Emirates is on many travelers’ bucket lists. However, heading to the Emirates website is not the most ideal way to go about booking their flights. Strangely enough, using Alaska Airlines or Japan Airlines is the best way to search for Emirates availability.

Without further ado, here’s the holy grail of award availability searching:

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Airlines Alliance Where to Search
for Award Availability
Requirements
Aegean Airlines Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Aer Lingus None British Airways Log in with your British Airways account
Aeroflot SkyTeam Air France/KLM or Delta Log in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Aerolineas Argentinas SkyTeam Air France/KLM or Delta Log in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Aeromexico SkyTeam Air France/KLM or Delta Log in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Air Canada Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Air China Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Air Europa SkyTeam Air France/KLM or Delta Log in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Air France SkyTeam Air France/KLM or Delta Log in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Air India Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Air New Zealand Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Air Serbia None Call Air Serbia Call Air Serbia at +1-718-725-8642
Air Tahiti Nui None British Airways Log in with your British Airways account
Alaska Airlines Oneworld Alaska Airlines Log in with your Alaska Air account
Allegiant None Allegiant Log in with your Allegiant Air account
American Airlines Oneworld British Airways or AA Log in with your British Airways account
ANA Star Alliance Aeroplan, ANA, or United Log in with your Aeroplan, ANA, or United account
Asiana Airlines Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Austrian Airlines Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Avianca Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Bangkok Airways None Call Etihad, Air France, or Cathay Pacific Call Etihad at +1-877-690-0767, call Air France at +1-800-375-8723, or fill out Cathay Pacific’s Flight Award Request Form
British Airways Oneworld British Airways Log in with your British Airways account
Brussels Airlines Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Cathay Pacific Oneworld British Airways Log in with your British Airways account
China Airlines SkyTeam Air France/KLM or Delta Log in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
China Eastern SkyTeam Air France/KLM or Delta Log in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
China Southern SkyTeam Air France/KLM or Delta Log in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Condor None Alaska Airlines Log in with your Alaska Air account
Copa Airlines Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Croatia Airlines Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Czech Airlines SkyTeam Air France/KLM or Delta Log in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Delta Air Lines SkyTeam Air France/KLM or Delta Log in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
easyJet None Emirates Log in with your Emirates Skywards Account
Egyptair Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
EL AL Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Emirates None Alaska Airlines or Japan Airlines Log in with your Alaska Air account or Japan Airlines account
Ethiopian Airlines Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Etihad None Etihad Log in with your Etihad Guest account
Eurowings None Lufthansa Log in with your Lufthansa Miles & More Account. Note: You need a minimum of 7,000 miles to search award availability on Lufthansa.
EVA Air Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Fiji Airways Oneworld British Airways Log in with your British Airways account
Finnair Oneworld British Airways Log in with your British Airways account
flydubai None Emirates Log in with your Emirates Skywards Account
Frontier Airlines None Frontier Log in with your Frontier Airlines account
Garuda Indonesia SkyTeam Air France/KLM or Delta Log in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Germanwings None Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Gol None Air France/KLM or Delta Log in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Gulf Air None Gulf Air Log in with your Gulf Air account
Hainan Airlines None Alaska Airlines Log in with your Alaska Air account
Hawaiian Airlines None Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, or Korean Air Log in with your Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, or Korean Air account
Hong Kong Airlines None Virgin Australia Log in with your Virgin Australia account
Iberia Oneworld British Airways Log in with your British Airways account
Icelandair None Alaska Airlines Log in with your Alaska Air account
InterJet None British Airways or AA Log in with your British Airways account or American Airlines account
Japan Airlines Oneworld British Airways Log in with your British Airways account
Jet Airways None Virgin Atlantic Log in with your Virgin Atlantic account
JetBlue None JetBlue Log in with your JetBlue account
Jetstar None Qantas, British Airways, or AA Log in with your Qantas, British Airways, or American Airlines account
Kenya Airways SkyTeam Air France/KLM or Delta Log in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
KLM SkyTeam Air France/KLM or Delta Log in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Korean Air SkyTeam Air France/KLM or Delta Log in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
LATAM Oneworld British Airways Log in with your British Airways account
LOT Polish Airlines Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Lufthansa Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Malaysia Airlines Oneworld British Airways Log in with your British Airways account
Middle East Airlines SkyTeam Air France/KLM or Delta Log in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Oman Air None Etihad Log in with your Etihad Guest account
Philippine Airlines None Call Etihad Call Etihad at +1-877-690-0767
Qantas Oneworld Qantas Log in with your Qantas account
Qatar Airways Oneworld British Airways Log in with your British Airways account
Royal Air Maroc None Etihad Log in with your Etihad Guest account
Royal Jordanian Oneworld British Airways Log in with your British Airways account
S7 Airlines Oneworld British Airways Log in with your British Airways account
SAS Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Saudia SkyTeam Air France/KLM or Delta Log in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Shenzhen Airlines Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Singapore Airlines Star Alliance Singapore Airlines Log in with your Singapore KrisFlyer account
South African Airways Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Southwest Airlines None Southwest Log in with your Southwest Rapid Rewards account
Spirit Airlines None Spirit Log in with your Spirit account
SriLankan Airlines Oneworld British Airways Log in with your British Airways account
Swiss International Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
TAP Portugal Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
TAROM SkyTeam Air France/KLM or Delta Log in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Thai Airways Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Turkish Airlines Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
United Airlines Star Alliance Aeroplan or United Log in with your Aeroplan or United account
Vietnam Airlines SkyTeam Air France/KLM or Delta Log in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Virgin Atlantic None Virgin Atlantic or Delta Log in with your Virgin Atlantic or Delta account
Virgin Australia None Virgin Australia Log in with your Virgin Australia account
Vistara None Vistara Air or Singapore Airlines Log in with your Vistara Air or Singapore Airlines account
Xiamen Airlines SkyTeam Air France/KLM or Delta Log in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account

It’s important to notice that there are common “go-to” methods for booking certain awards. For example, British Airways is best for Oneworld partners, Aeroplan is best for Star Alliance partners, and Air France/KLM or Delta is best for SkyTeam partners.

It’s a basic oversimplification that usually holds true. In the next sections, we’ll focus on finding award availability with some of the most common search engines, like British Airways for Oneworld partners and Aeroplan for Star Alliance partners.

Air Canada Aeroplan

Air Canada Boeing 787-9
Aeroplan is an easy way to search for award space on Air Canada and all of its Star Alliance partners. Image Credit: Air Canada

Aeroplan is one of the best ways to search for Star Alliance award space, whether you want to redeem Aeroplan points or miles from other Star Alliance partners. Unlike United Airlines, they don’t have issues with showing phantom award space (seats that aren’t actually available to be booked as award tickets).

The one downside that can make searching with United easier is that Aeroplan struggles at times when connecting flights are involved.

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Find Award Space on Aeroplan or United For:
Adria Airways Ethiopian Airlines
Aegean Airlines EVA Air
Air Canada LOT Polish Airlines
Air China Lufthansa
Air India Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)
Air New Zealand Shenzhen Airlines
All Nippon Airlines(ANA) Singapore Airlines
Asiana Airlines South African Airways
Austrian Airlines Swiss Air
Avianca TAP Portugal
Brussels Airlines Thai Airways
Copa Airlines Turkish Airlines
Croatia Airlines United Airlines
Egyptair

If you are looking for Singapore Airlines award space, be aware that you cannot book Singapore Suites or first class awards with Aeroplan points.

You cannot book international business class awards on Singapore’s Boeing 777-300ER or Airbus A380 either. Doing so requires you to redeem Singapore KrisFlyer miles.

bottom Line: Aeroplan might be THE go-to program when searching for Star Alliance award space.

Air France/KLM Flying Blue

Air France A380
Air France/KLM Flying Blue is the best way to search for SkyTeam award space. Image Credit: roibu via Shutterstock

The Air France/KLM Flying Blue program has a great online search function when you want to redeem Flying Blue miles. In fact, it’s probably the best way to search for SkyTeam partners when using miles from another SkyTeam program.

However, Flying Blue does not show award space in their online search results for some of their partners. Let’s take a look at the best places to search for award space when you want to use your Flying Blue miles.

If you search for Flying Blue awards online, you will be able to see results for the following airlines:

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Find Award Space on Air France/KLM For:
Aeroflot Delta Air Lines
Aerolineas Argentinas Garuda Indonesia
Aeromexico Kenya Airways
Air Calin KLM
Air Europa Korean Air
Air France Middle East Airlines
China Airlines Saudia (Saudi Arabian Airlines)
China Eastern TAROM
China Southern Vietnam Airlines
Czech Airlines Xiamen Airlines

Award space for some of Air France/KLM’s partners can be found on other sites (see the following chart). Once you have done this, you can call Flying Blue to book the award ticket.

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Partner Airline How to Find Award Space
Comair British Airways
Copa Airlines United Airlines
GOL Airlines Delta Air Lines
Japan Airlines British Airways
Malaysia Airlines British Airways

Finally, to find award space with some of Air France/KLM’s partners, you will need to call Flying Blue. These airlines include:

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Call Air France to Book (1-800-237-2747)
Air Corsica Jet Airways
Air Mauritius Twin Jet
Bangkok Airways Ukraine International Airlines

Bangkok Airways doesn’t get talked about in the United States much, but they have a solid reputation in Southeast Asia.

Bottom Line: Air France/KLM Flying Blue is by far the best way to search for SkyTeam award space.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Alaska-Airlines-Virgin-America-Merger
Alaska Airlines has some great redemption options, and award space is easy to search online. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Alaska Airlines is part of the Oneworld alliance, but they have also put together tons of individual partnerships that provide some great award booking opportunities — and their online award search capability is strong.

You can find award space for almost all of Alaska’s partners directly on their website.

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Find Award Space on Alaska Airlines for:
Alaska Airlines Icelandair
American Airlines Japan Airlines
British Airways Korean Air
Condor LATAM
Emirates PenAir
Finnair Qantas
Fiji Airways Ravn Alaska
Hainan Airlines

The search results will display all of your options, but you can filter by airline if you’re trying to fly with a particular carrier.

You’ll also notice that Alaska Airlines has different redemption rates for each partner. As a result, you have to consider not only the route, but also which partner airline you want to fly.

Additionally, Alaska Airlines will only allow you to search for award tickets with the United States as your point of origin or destination. This means you can search for award flights from New York City (JFK) to Paris, but you would not be able to search for flights between Paris and Dubai.

Alaska Airlines has 2 other partner airlines, but you won’t be able to search for their award space on Alaska’s site. To find award space on Cathay Pacific and LATAM, use British Airways’ online search tool, then call Alaska Airlines (1-800-252-7522) and provide the flight information to a customer service representative.

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Find Award Space on British Airways for:
Cathay Pacific LATAM (only on LAN-operated flights)

The award space you find on British Airways for either Cathay Pacific or LATAM might not match what an Alaska Airlines representative will see. You can expect British Airways to see more award space than Alaska Airlines, so it’s a good idea to have a range of possible travel dates ready for the Alaska agent to search.

Alaska Airlines recently announced a partnership with Singapore Airlines, but at this time you cannot redeem Alaska miles for flights on Singapore Airlines. Once they add this capability, we’ll confirm the best way to search for award space and update with that information.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club

ANA 777-300ER
ANA Mileage Club allows you to search for award space on tons of partner airlines. Image Credit: ana.co.jp.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) is a member of the Star Alliance and has a strong online search tool that makes searching for award space easy. Keep in mind that ANA requires you to book round-trip awards.

You can find award space for these partners on ANA’s site:

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Find Award Space on ANA for:
Adria Airways Egyptair
Aegean Airlines Ethiopian Airlines
Air Canada LOT Polish Airlines
Air China Lufthansa
Air India Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)
Air New Zealand Shenzhen Airlines
All Nippon Airways (ANA) Singapore Airlines
Asiana Airlines South African Airways
Austrian Airlines Swiss Air
Avianca TAP Air Portugal
Brussels Airlines Thai Airways
Copa Airlines Turkish Airlines
Croatia Airlines United Airlines

Like all Star Alliance members, ANA will not be able to book long-haul business class and first class awards on Singapore Airlines (see more under Air Canada Aeroplan).

Several of ANA’s partner airlines will require you to search on different sites or call ANA on +1-310-782-3011:

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Partner Airline How to Find Award Space
Air Dolomiti Miles & More
Air Macau Call ANA
Etihad Airways Etihad Airways
Eurowings Miles & More
Garuda Indonesia Air France or KLM
Hawaiian Airlines Hawaiian Airlines
Jet Airways Call ANA
Philippine Airlines Call ANA
Virgin Atlantic Delta

One thing to remember when booking with ANA Mileage Club: you will be responsible for paying carrier-imposed surcharges on many partner bookings. However, ANA Mileage Club often has some of the best redemption rates out there.

If you need more miles in your ANA Mileage Club account, you can transfer either Amex Membership Rewards or Marriott Bonvoy points.

Whether booking a first class flight on ANA or booking a fun partner award, ANA Mileage Club is a great program to know about.

Hot Tip: Check out some of the best ways to redeem ANA Mileage Club miles for maximum value.

American Airlines AAdvantage

American Airlines Planes At Gate
American Airlines AAdvantage doesn’t have the best online search functionality, but you can put award bookings on hold. Image Credit: CaseyMartin via Shutterstock

American Airlines online award search capability is not as strong as some of its Oneworld partners; here, you can find award space on American’s own flights plus 8 of its partners.

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Find Award Space on American Airlines for:
Alaska Airlines Hawaiian Airlines (within Hawaii)
American Airlines Iberia
British Airways Qantas
Finnair Royal Jordanian

American Airlines’ online search has been known to show phantom award space on Finnair, so don’t transfer Marriott points until you have confirmed the award space actually exists and you have the award on hold.

Some of the most popular ways to redeem American AAdvantage miles will require you to visit British Airways or Qantas to search for award space before calling American Airlines to complete the booking.

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Find Award Space on British Airways or Qantas for:
Cathay Pacific Malaysia Airlines
Fiji Airways (on Qantas only) S7 Airlines
Japan Airlines (on British Airways only) Sri Lankan Airlines
LATAM Airlines Qatar Airways

American Airlines has several more partners that each require a specific method to find award space. Many require using a partner airline site, while some will require a call to American Airlines (1-800-433-7300) or the use of ExpertFlyer.

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Partner Airline How to Find Award Space
Air Tahiti Nui ExpertFlyer
Cape Air Call American Airlines
Etihad Airways Etihad Airways
Jet Airways Jet Airways
Seaborne Airlines Call American Airlines

If you want to book award flights on Air Tahiti Nui, your best bet is to use ExpertFlyer. This is a paid service that can show you if there is available award space — it’s much easier to use than calling American Airlines and asking them to search for you.

One of the most popular ways to use American miles is to book Etihad first class or business class. To find space on Etihad, you need to search Etihad’s own website for Guest Saver space.

American Airlines’ U.S. call center often does not see premium cabin Etihad award space, so you might have to contact the Australia call center on +61 02-9101-1948.

British Airways Executive Club

British Airways Boeing 747-400
The online search function of the British Airways Executive Club is probably the best way to search for Oneworld award space. Image Credit: British Airways

The British Airways Executive Club is probably the most popular way to search for award space within the Oneworld alliance.

While American Airlines does not show award space for a number of Oneworld partners when searching online, British Airways online search allows you to see award space from all Oneworld members.

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Find Award Space on British Airways for:
American Airlines Aer Lingus
British Airways Qatar Airways
Cathay Pacific Malaysia Airlines
Comair Qantas
Finnair Royal Jordanian Airlines
Iberia S7 Airlines
Japan Airlines SriLankan Airlines

British Airways uses a distance-based award chart, so the total flight miles will determine the number of Avios required to complete your booking. This means that bookings with multiple segments will require more miles, so it’s generally best to search for the most direct route.

Hot Tip: BA’s distance-based chart also means award bookings that are a good deal from one part of the U.S. might not be from somewhere else. For example, booking a round-trip economy ticket on Alaska Airlines from the West Coast to Hawaii is a great deal at 25,000 Avios. However, if you redeem British Airways Avios from further east in the U.S., the rate will be much higher.

Remember that British Airways passes on carrier-imposed surcharges on award tickets, and if you fly on British Airways into or out of London, you can expect high taxes and fees.

Since Avios is a Chase transfer partner, American Express transfer partner, Citi transfer partner, and Marriott transfer partner, it’s easy to accumulate enough Avios for award bookings.

Bottom Line: British Airways might not have the best redemption rates on a lot of routes, but they have some great sweet spots you should remember!

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Cathay Pacific A350
Using Cathay Pacific Asia Miles might not be the easiest, but there is a ton of value to be found in the program — so don’t overlook it. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program isn’t commonly used by people in the U.S., but there are some great ways to use their miles. You should be aware that it isn’t the easiest program to use, but don’t let that deter you!

Only 8 airlines (including Cathay Pacific itself) can be booked online with Asia miles:

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Find Award Space on Cathay Pacific Asia Miles for:
Alaska Airlines Iberia
British Airways Qantas
Cathay Pacific Qatar Airways
Finnair

Don’t use Asia Miles to search for award space on flights operated by Cathay Pacific if you are not using Asia Miles to book.

Cathay Pacific releases more award space to its own members, which can be very useful if you have Amex Membership Rewards, Marriott Points, or Citi ThankYou Points as they all transfer directly to Cathay Pacific. See our article for more information on earning Cathay Pacific Asia miles.

If you want to book award tickets with any of Cathay Pacific’s other partners, you’ll need to call Cathay Pacific on1 (800) 233-2742. Here’s how to find the space for each partner:

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Partner Airline How to Find Award Space
Air China Aeroplan or United
Air New Zealand Aeroplan or United
American Airlines British Airways or Qantas
Bangkok Airways Call Cathay Pacific
Gulf Air Call Cathay Pacific
Japan Airlines British Airways or Qantas
Jet Airways Call Cathay Pacific
LATAM British Airways or Qantas
Malaysia Airlines British Airways or Qantas
Royal Brunei Airlines Call Cathay Pacific
Royal Jordanian British Airways or Qantas
S7 Airlines British Airways or Qantas
Sri Lankan Airlines British Airways or Qantas
TAM Airlines British Airways or Qantas

As you can see, the vast majority of Cathay Pacific’s partners require you to search on other sites or even call to find award space.

A couple of final points to keep in mind with Cathay Pacific Asia Miles: they utilize a distance-based award chart, and one-way awards require more than half as many miles as a round-trip award ticket.

Delta Air Lines SkyMiles

Delta SkyTeam
You can find award space and book directly from Delta’s site. Image Credit: Shutterstock

You can search for and book award flights on Delta and many of its partner airlines on Delta’s website. However, Air France/KLM’s ability to search for SkyTeam partner award space is better, as Delta sometimes doesn’t show availability when it actually exists.

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Find Award Space on Delta for:
Aeroflot Hawaiian Airlines (within Hawaii only)
Aerolineas Argentinas Kenya Airways
Aeromexico KLM
Air Europa Korean Air
Air France Middle East Airlines
China Airlines Saudia
China Eastern TAROM
China Southern Vietnam Airlines
Garuda Indonesia Virgin Atlantic
GOL Airlines Xiamen Airlines

Two of Delta’s partners require other search methods plus a call to Delta to redeem SkyMiles for award flights.

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Partner Airline How to Find Award Space
Air Tahiti Nui ExpertFlyer
Czech Airlines Air France/KLM

If you are thinking about earning some SkyMiles to book an award flight, you’ll need to keep a couple things in mind about Delta:

  • They are notorious for devaluing their award chart, which they don’t publish publicly.
  • They have also started requiring significantly more miles to book partner awards.

Etihad Airways Guest

Etihad A380
Etihad Guest Miles are not the easiest program to use, but if you know how to find award space, you can get some great value from them. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Unless you’re searching for award space on Etihad’s own flights, their website isn’t going to get you anywhere. If you’re hoping to use Etihad Guest Miles, you had better be ready to utilize other search options or make some phone calls to Etihad.

Here’s how you can find award space for the following partners of Etihad:

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Partner Airline How to Find Award Space
Air New Zealand Aeroplan or United
ANA Aeroplan or United
Asiana Aeroplan or United
Brussels Airlines Aeroplan or United
South African Airways Aeroplan or United
Czech Airlines Air France
Garuda Indonesia Air France
Korean Air Air France
Hainan Airlines Alaska Airlines
American Airlines British Airways
Malaysia Airlines British Airways
Sri Lankan Airlines British Airways

Etihad is not part of a major airline alliance, and neither are some of its partners. As a result, you’ll have to use a mix of websites to find award space on their partners.

In fact, to find award space on some of Etihad’s partners, you will have to call Etihad at +1 877-690-0767.

Here are the airlines that will require a call:

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Call Etihad to Check Award Space
Air Serbia Oman Air
Bangkok Airways Philippine Airlines
Etihad Regional Royal Air Maroc
GOL Ukraine International Airlines
Jet Airways Virgin Australia

There are some great ways to use Etihad Guest Miles, but they aren’t the simplest. That being said, they have some interesting partnerships that can be very useful if you have patience.

Hot Tip: Need some ideas about how you can use Etihad’s program? Check out the best ways to redeem Etihad Guest Miles for some amazing travel.

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank

Redeem Japan Airlines Miles for Max Value
Japan Airlines doesn’t have the best award search capability, but it’s a program you shouldn’t overlook. Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank has limited search functionality with only 7 airlines that you can search for online. You can find award space for the following airlines on the Japan Airlines website:

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Find Award Space on Japan Airlines for:
Air France Japan Airlines
American Airlines Qantas
British Airways Emirates
Cathay Pacific

While award space with these partners can be found online, keep in mind that they still fall under a different award chart than flights on Japan Airlines.

Partner award bookings use a distance-based award chart, while award flights operated by Japan Airlines use a region-based award chart.

To find award space for most of their partners, you will have to visit British Airways or Qantas. There are a few exceptions to this, but these will be the 2 sites most commonly used when you want to book with Japan Airlines miles.

Once you have found the award space you need, call Japan Airlines at 1-800-525-3663 to complete the booking.

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Partner Airlines How to Find Award Space
Alaska Airlines American Airlines
Bangkok Airways Call Japan Airlines
China Eastern Air France
Finnair British Airways or Qantas
Iberia British Airways or Qantas
Jetstar Japan Call Japan Airlines
Korean Air Air France
LATAM British Airways or Qantas
Malaysia Airlines British Airways or Qantas
Qatar Airways British Airways or Qantas
Royal Jordanian British Airways or Qantas
S7 Airlines British Airways or Qantas

You’ll notice that Japan Airlines has an individual partnership with Emirates that is separate from their Oneworld partners. In fact, using Japan Airlines miles is often the best way to book Emirates first class.

Hot Tip: Want to see some more ways to utilize Japan Airlines’ Mileage Bank program? Check out the best ways to redeem Japan Airlines miles for some inspiration.

Korean Air SkyPass

Korean Air 747
The Korean Air SkyPass program now lets you search for award space online. Image Credit: Markus Schmal / Shutterstock, Inc.

The Korean Air SkyPass program has some fun sweet spots within its award chart and is the only program that can book Korean Air first class award tickets. Until recently, Korean Air did not provide a way to search online for award availability on any of its partner airlines.

Now, Korean Air allows you to search for award space on its SkyTeam partners.

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Find Award Space on Korean Air for:
Aeroflot Delta Air Lines
Aerolineas Argentinas Garuda Indonesia
Aeromexico Kenya Airways
Air Europa KLM
Air France Korean Air
China Airlines Middle East Airlines
China Eastern Saudia
China Southern TAROM
Czech Airlines Vietnam Airlines
Xiamen Airlines

Korean Air’s online award search struggles at times, but searching with Air France/KLM is a very useful backup option if you are concerned that Korean Air is not showing award availability on a particular route.

Korean Air SkyTeam Award Search
If your award booking will require a connection on a SkyTeam partner such as Delta, make sure you select “SkyTeam Award” before searching for award space. Image Credit: Skyscanner

When searching for SkyTeam partner award space, you must specify that you are searching for a SkyTeam award — otherwise your search results will only show Korean Air options.

If any part of your booking includes a partner airline, you have to search for a SkyTeam award. For example, if you want to fly from Columbus, Ohio to Seoul on Korean Air, you could connect on Delta to an airport out of which Korean Air operates, such as New York City (JFK) or Los Angeles (LAX).

To search for award space on Korean Air’s other airline partners, you’ll need to use a few other sites.

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Partner Airline How to Find Award Space
Alaska Airlines American Airlines
Emirates Alaska Airlines or Qantas
Etihad Etihad
GOL Air France/KLM
Hawaiian Airlines American Airlines
Jet Airways Call Korean Air

Once you find the required award space, you can call Korean Air SkyPass on 1-800-438-5000 and provide them with the flight information to complete your booking.

Hot Tip: One important aspect of the Korean Air SkyPass program is the ability to put award tickets on hold. This works for both flights on Korean Air and one of their partners.

Finally, when you consider redeeming Korean Air SkyPass miles, keep in mind that you can only book flights for yourself or family members. To book for family members, you will have to complete the SkyPass Family Registration Application and send it to [email protected] with proof of the relationship and your ID.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Singapore Airlines Airbus A380
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer only allows online searches for flights on Singapore Airlines. Image Credit: Singapore Airlines.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer provides some amazing award redemption opportunities. However, you can only use the online search function on their site to book awards that only include flights on Singapore Airlines.

To book an award that includes any of their partners, you will need to search elsewhere and then call Singapore Airlines. As a Star Alliance member, you can find award space for most of their partners by searching on the United Airlines or Air Canada Aeroplan websites.

Award space for the following Star Alliance partners can be found online at United or Aeroplan:

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Find Award Space on United or Aeroplan For:
Adria Airways Egyptair
Aegean Airlines Ethiopian Airlines
Air Canada EVA Airways
Air China LOT Polish Airlines
Air India Lufthansa
Air New Zealand Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)
All Nippon Airways (ANA) Shenzhen Airlines
Asiana Airlines South African Airways
Austrian Airlines Swiss Air
Avianca TAP Portugal
Brussels Airlines Thai Airways
Copa Airlines Turkish Airlines
Croatia Airlines United Airlines

If you want to search for Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Australia award space, you will need to use Delta’s website and then call Singapore Airlines.

Lastly, Singapore Airlines partners Scoot and Tigerair can be booked by cashing in KrisFlyer miles for vouchers on Singapore’s website.

United Airlines MileagePlus

United Airlines
United Airlines MileagePlus has a very good online search platform. Image Credit: United Airlines

There are tons of ways to redeem United miles thanks to over 35 partner airlines, many of which can be booked online via United’s site.

Occasionally, United will show phantom award space, so you’ll want to walk through the booking before you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to your United MileagePlus account.

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Find Award Space on United for:
Adria Airways Egyptair
Aegean Airlines Ethiopian Airlines
Aeromar EVA Air
Air Canada Germanwings
Air China Great Lakes Airlines
Air Dolomiti Hawaiian Airlines (within Hawaii only)
Air India Island Air
Air New Zealand LOT Polish Airlines
All Nippon Airways (ANA) Lufthansa
Asiana Airlines Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)
Austrian Airlines Shenzhen Airlines
Avianca Silver Airways
Azul Brazil South African Airways
Brussels Airlines Swiss Air
Cape Air TAP Portugal
Copa Airlines Thai Airways
Croatia Airlines Turkish Airlines

United’s website won’t show award space for 2 other partners, so you’ll need to use alternative websites:

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Partner Airline How to Find Award Space
Jet Airways Jet Airways
Singapore Airlines Aeroplan

Once you have found award space via Jet Airways or Aeroplan, you must call United to complete the booking.

As with all Singapore Airlines’ partners, you will not be able to book Singapore Suites, first class, or international business class with United miles. However, there are many other ways to use United miles for maximum value.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club doesn’t allow you to search for partner awards online, so you’ll have to rely on other options. Image Credit: 06photo via Shutterstock

There are some clever ways to redeem Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Virgin Points, but you’ll want to be aware of how to search for award space. While you can do an online search for Virgin Atlantic flights on their own site, searching partners for awards space isn’t so simple.

Use the sites indicated below to search for partner award space, and then call Virgin Atlantic to complete your booking. Their U.S. call center number is 1-800-365-9500.

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Partner Airline How to Find Award Space
Air New Zealand United
All Nippon Airways (ANA) United
Delta Air Lines Air France
Hawaiian Airlines Call Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Jet Airways Call Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Malaysia Airlines British Airways
Singapore Airlines Aeroplan
South African Airways United
Virgin Atlantic Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Australia Virgin Australia

A couple notes for one-way awards:

  • While Virgin Atlantic charges half of the miles required for a round-trip award on its own flights, the award rates will vary if you book a flight on one of their partners.
  • In fact, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club often requires more than half the miles of a round-trip booking.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line here is that there are many ways to book airline award tickets. Often, the best way to book award tickets is not on the same airline you want to fly!

For example, if you want to book Cathay Pacific, you’d be best served to search on British Airways to find award availability.

There are lots of examples as discussed above, but now if you always wanted to try a particular airline, you know exactly how to go about searching award availability.

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