Award Booking Services

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Using An Award Booking Service

Earning miles and points is really easy.

But using the miles and points to book trips can be time consuming and tricky!

Not all airlines make it as easy as Southwest to redeem miles or points for award seats.  Most airlines have different types of award seats which cost different amounts of miles, different award routing rules, and different alliance and non-alliance partners with whom you can book award seats.

There are ways to search for airline availability on partner airlines by using tools such as ExpertFlyer, AwardNexus, the ANA website, the KVS tool, or my guide to booking awards with American Airlines miles.  But it takes time to figure out how to use them.   And then you have to actually call the airline and feed them the flights segment by segment and have them book the award for you.

Award Booking Services

It Can Take Hours to Research and Book This!

All this can take hours to complete.

I love the thrill of piecing together my awards, setting ExpertFlyer alerts and calling the airlines, but not everyone does!  And it can be frustrating when you can’t use the miles to get to the places you want to go.

USING Award Booking Services

But you don’t always have to book your own award tickets!

An award booking service usually charges ~$100 to $150 per ticket when they successfully book for you.  This fee includes presenting you with options and calling the airlines to book the flights.

And you DO NOT pay until you are satisfied with the flights which they find for you.  So it never hurts to ask an award booking service for help since there is usually no cost to asking!

Paying a $100 to $150 fee is often worthwhile because an experienced award booker can save you:

  • Time – Because they are familiar with the best routings and do the research for you
  • Miles – Award bookers usually suggest seats at the lowest mileage level so you should always consider using an award booking service before paying double the mileage cost to get an award seat
  • Money – If you’re frustrated using miles and willing to pay cash for a flight, an award booking service can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars.  Award bookers can also save you the taxes and fees on certain awards, by proposing alternative flights.

Check out these 6 tips to get the most of your award booking service experience.

Award Booking Services

Readers often ask me if I will book award tickets for them for a fee, but I’ve never had the time to offer award booking services.  I’d rather forgo the money than have an award booking service where quality suffers because I don’t have the time to devote to it.

I usually tell readers that since there is usually no cost to emailing an award booking service to ask for help, it doesn’t hurt to send them ALL an email with your request and choose the service which has the best customer service.

Always double check and confirm prices before choosing a service.

  • The Award Magic booking service charge $139 per person for one-way and domestic awards and $249 per person for complicated awards (3 or more destinations, RTW, or Explorer Awards)
  • Justin from We Fly Free charges $149 for the first passenger
  • Travis from Extra Pack of Peanuts charges $150 for the first passenger and $50 for each additional person.
  • Award Advocate charges $75 per person for domestic awards, $100 for international award tickets including multiple stop and open jaws, and $125 for complex itineraries including 3 or more destinations.

Here’s a link to a FlyerTalk & MilePoint thread discussing award booking services and candid experiences using the services.

I’ll post a reader’s experience in a few days, but there is a lot of variability in the service provided (even from the same service), likely because of time and other commitments.

Bottom Line

Award booking services can save you time, miles, money, and frustration when it comes time to book your award tickets.

You usually don’t pay anything for asking an award booking service for a suggestion, so it doesn’t hurt to see if an award booking service can make it easier to book an award.  If you do use an award booking service, check out these 6 tips from an anonymous reader to get the most value from your award booking service.

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101 responses to “Award Booking Services

  1. I approached Scott and his crew on MILEVALUE.COM back on November 8th. Came up with some crazy itineary where I wanted to fly from my small hometown of Wilmington NC for a few weeks trying different airlines for a 2 week period. I had told them I wanted to fly first class product of Qatar Airbus 380, Etihad Airbus 380, Qantas 747 or 380, and Cathay Pacific . Well after almost a month of hard work, he somehow was able to cover every airline using the airline saver for each leg. Was even able to get a night in Paris withouth being penalized for a stopover because I was only there for less than 24 hours to fly Qatar. I think I only had to pay for one leg and that was doha to Dubai and the rest was covered with points. So for 265000 points, I was able to fly from Wilmington to London First class on AA777, London to Paris on BA business class, Paris to Doha on Qatar 380 first class, and Doha to Dubai on Qatar coach. That was my first leg for 90000 points. After staying in Dunbai for 4 nights, I flew Etihad Apartment from Abu Dhabi to Melbourne and Qantas business to Sydney. 36 hours later, I flew Qantas 747 upper deck to Hong Kong for 60000 points. Finally the last leg 4 days later was on Cathay Pacific 777 first class to LAX and then back to reality of flying outdated AA first class to charlotte and then to Wilminton.
    Truely a dream come true for a airplane geek and a trip of a life time. Looking forward to using their service again very soon for another memorable trip.
    Can’t thank you guys enough.

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