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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103 responses to “Award Booking Services

  1. Learn to do it yourself. Its not hard.
    Teach a man how to fish…….. Blah blah blah. 🙂

  2. Charging per passenger seems a bit excessive, no? I have a family of five, which basically excludes me from using one of these services given the price.

    What is the added cost/effort to booking for 5 vs. 1?

  3. Where was thay picture taken?

  4. You did a post on how to keep your airline miles from expiring and said that a post about keeping your hotel points from expiring would be coming soon. Has that been posted yet?

  5. @Fred: The booking part may not be five times harder, but finding availability is probably much more than five times harder. In all seriousness, try finding premium cabin availability for a party of 5 some time.

  6. I recently used Points Pros, and I was very pleased with the service. It wasn’t a very complicated award, but I’m new to this and things are hectic at work right now. I thought the fee was well worth it for the time and hassle it saved me.

  7. I feel like booking your award is the best part of this hobby. It may be time consuming but it is rewarding.

    • @Mike @Scott – A lot of folks don’t have the time to research the tools and book the flights, so award booking services could be a better choice than giving up in frustration!

      @Fred Mertz – As Ed points out, it is a lot harder to find awards for 4 or 5 folks on the same flight than 1 or 2. Also, $100 to $150 per ticket isn’t that high a price a to pay, when an international coach ticket could be $800 or more!

      @Sara – British Airways First Class, which is quite easy to book!

      @scott – Not yet. I’m still researching that post.

      @Scott C – Thanks for the feedback!

  8. What a terrific idea to email each service , would not have thought of it,thanks.Looking forward to reading the review of the service!

  9. My experience, for what it’s worth:

    Scott at MileValue never responded to several inquiries. Tahsir takes days to respond and says he can do a lot, but he’s really young and doesn’t appear to be able to come through consistently. Experience is something that takes time to accumulate.

    Ben might respond, but it’ll take a while, and will likely be outsourced to his partner. I am 0/3 with Ben’s service.

    I haven’t tried Gary’s yet, it’s a more complicated process to engage his service, but he’s probably undoubtedly the best in the business.

  10. Thank you for posting this … Gary did 3 passenger award booking service for $350 about a year ago, did he increase his fees?

  11. If you’ve spent so much time and effort saving hundreds of thousands of miles/points for the dream vacation, why not invest $500~ish to maximize what those miles can do for your family? These guys know the ins & outs of each program and are more fluent in the rules that I have time for. A family friend is saving 750k+ UR points for an amazing family vacation, and I’ll ( and have ) encourage him to use an award booking service to ensure he receives maximum value in terms of routes, newer planes, best seats, stop-overs, open-jaws, etc etc. I don’t feel these services are a waste for multi-person, complicated In’tl travels.

  12. @Fred, booking a complicated trip for a family feels a little like doing taxes or putting together a complicated real estate transaction. While I generally agree with you that several hundred dollars seems to defeat the purpose of using miles, and I probably wouldn’t hire a planner myself since I relish the hunt, I can see the benefit of using a service. I don’t provide this service but if I did, I would probably charge more per person as the number of people increases. It gets really complicated if you are trying to find award seats during specific periods, such as kids’ school vacations. Personal experience:

    I recently booked a flight for my family from San Francisco to New York on United . Then booked another group of trips: Boston to San Francisco in March, and on to Tokyo in October , then Osaka back to San Francisco, and finally to Phoenix in November. These all used AA saver offpeak miles for economy flights for 4 people, and coordinating to use Hyatt points for hotels in Japan.

    I felt very proud of myself for finagling all of this travel for a per-person total of 62,500 miles + $130 in taxes and fees (not including the Hyatt hotels), but it was EXTREMELY difficult and took me the better part of a week (intermittently), with at least 10 different phone calls to AA, separate web research on the JAL web site, and being on hold for a total of several hours. In two instances, we are splitting up, with one parent and one child each on different flights an hour apart, since there was no flight with 4 economy mile saver seats. This was my third attempt to get everything to fit together.

    I’ll be blogging about the details of this someday soon, but it’s going to take so long just to describe the experience, I haven’t gotten around to it yet. The point is that if you value your time more highly than I do, and if the trip you want is complicated you may want to consider outsourcing the job.

  13. pp.s. If your trip is simple and seats are available, you probably don’t need help. The SFO-New York segment was a single nonstop flight and took about 5 minutes to book.

  14. Hi Guys,

    Even though I was not mentioned here I will chime in.

    I book award for people all the time. I can echo what others have said here and getting more than 2 seats on the same flight(s) is a very tall order. These days airlines simply are not opening up that many seats at one time.

    The key to booking any award is to be flexible. Simply being able to leave or return a day earlier or later really opens up options for you. Especially during the peak travel periods.

    The second most important part of booking award through a service is timely responses by both parties. I have gotten several clients who contacted other services to be ignored or too slow. Award space can vanish at any time so you have to be ready to monitor your emails and also ready to book once space is found. I have literally had several great seats I found for clients disappear within hours!

    Award booking is a long and slow process. I charge a flat rate of $99 per ticket. I aim to help people who have struggled with their own attempts and see the value in my service. No one pays me a single penny until they are booked and confirmed. There is no risk in that!

    Feel free to ask me any questions you may have!

  15. I’m new to this blog. I am assuming that when you talk about using a booking award service you’re talking about International flights? How do you find “offpeak” miles? My traveling so far has been in the US, and not complicated, but I am planning a trip to Alaska next summer to see a new grandbaby:). I have 25K in Delta Skymiles built up and hope to get the Alaska Airlines card (thanks mms!) Any suggestions?

  16. I was referring to the AA offpeak international economy fares between the US and Japan for flying during the winter. There is no offpeak rate for domestic travel.
    Oneworld award chart:
    AA award chart:

    Traveling domestically (which includes Alaska on AA, but I have never booked Delta) is usually less complicated and it is worth trying that yourself.

  17. @Doug I agree most domestic bookings are not worth paying an award service for as they are pretty straight forward. I have yet to do any!

    One more award booking tip: Book FAR in advance if at all possible. You have a LOT more choices if you look at least 6 months head. I do this for my own awards. I pretty much have my travel plans for the year set by mid-January (now).

  18. We just used the award booking service at Crankyconcierge and are very happy with the results.
    David, the specialist, found us round trip mostly business class seats ORD to China and back with a stopover in SEA to visit our kids. In order to get us into ORD earlier on the Sunday we return, he found flights the other way through Milan and Dusseldorf and got us back at 3pm instead of 11pm.
    I started looking myself and there were so many choices and so many questions I didn’t know – for example, how much time does it take to change planes in Tokyo vs Seoul?
    The $240 fee seemed worth it to me for tickets around the world with the longer segments in business class seats – at least $6000 per ticket I think but it’s hard to duplicate the actual itinerary, and then that price includes their flight monitoring service.

  19. Of course we also paid $94 fees each but that’s pretty minor.

  20. So you have your next post. Do an award booking comparison. Give each service the same info and see what they come up with. Obviously you will need to do it anonymously.

  21. I had a similar experience as Bob with Milevalue: lags in communication and I had to ask what the alternatives were. But I did learn from it and figured out how to book the next trip myself. Felt much more in control once I did – especially since different family members have different needs (elderly, toddlers).

  22. @Faye & @Bob

    I am sorry to hear you got such lagged service!

    One of my guarantees is that I respond to all emails within 24 hours. Usually a lot less than that!

    It comes back to my point on speed. Moving fast means better chances of getting the best flights.

  23. I agree with many of the posts here. For my request, I got some response over email from MileValue which was useful since it gave me some ideas. I did not hear back from Tashir since I believe he teamed up with Milevalue to become a paid service so he probably had no incentive to respond. Fair enough. I did get some insight from replies to my posting on FT. In the end, I was able to do this myself for family of 4. I am sure I was not efficient but I sure got confidence and immense joy/pride out of the booking I made myself for June/July. Now if Doug and/or Bobby extend a free offer to critique my exploits by email, I would really appreciate it 🙂

  24. @ HSinAz – Send it on over! I would love to see what you came up with!

    You can use the website form by clicking on my name above (“Submit Booking Request”) and send me your info. That will email it directly to me. I don’t want to publish the email address here for fear of spam.

  25. I had a frustrating experience with Tashnir at Milevalue. I felt like he “wasn’t listening” to what I was requesting despite it all being written out in email. He was perfectly nice and responded fairly quickly but after going around in circles, I finally gave up. Maybe they are too busy?

  26. Tashir is an idiot.

  27. We have used [email protected] for at least four award bookings (one BC, three FC) since March 2011. Ben knocked it out the park each time–homerun bookings (4/4). This past December, we were in Kuala Lumpur hoping to get our last of three flights (Bali to BKK, BKK to FRA, FRA to ATL) upgraded. Ben emailed me about three days from our journey home–FC on Lufthansa available for wife/I. He made (BC to FC) changes effortlessly. In other words, once you use [email protected], Ben is with you not only before you go wheels up–he works any award changes (no extra cost) before your wheels down.

  28. Thanks to Daraius for the mention. I think an award booking service has a lot of value for anybody who has balances in multiple programs. Do you want to spend the time to learn the rules for all those programs–yes, they are all different–or do you want to pay $99 per person to save yourself that time plus time on the phone and searching.

    I really do not recommend contacting multiple services though. I consider having more than one person searching when you will only pay one person unethical. I know Gary’s service asks who else you have working on the award, and so do we. Feel free to contact multiple services preliminarily to learn what they can offer, but then pick one.

  29. I have traveled quite alot over the past few years and always booked all my own flights domestic and international. But , since getting into the miles and points game, I am very particular about getting the most for the points I`ve earned.
    My wife and I recently needed to use points to go from DFW to Paris , I used MileValue, Scott was pretty prompt with his responses, I`d use him again. We are flying business class Lufthansa , great seats and he was easy to work with.
    His fee was more than offset by tacking on a free one way First class fom DFW to Boston next fall, worth much more than what I had to pay him.

    It may have been a piece of cake for him but I am satisfied and the main thing he did was he saved me TIME and took care of us

    • @Bob @Faye @HSinAz @Linda @Wes @Jerry – Thanks for sharing your personal experience with the award booking services!

      @Kalboz – The website indicates that it is a flat fee of $150 per person now.

      @Bobby @ Award Booking Service – Thanks for the comment. I’ll add you to the list in the post!

      @Nancy – For flights to Alaska, you may be able to book them online, and not need an award booking service. American Airline partners with Alaska as well, so you could use American Airline miles as well.

      @DaveB – I’ll add Cranky to the post. Thanks for sharing.

      @Justin Martin
      – A reader already did that for me. See tomorrow’s post!

      – I agree that an award booking service can save you a lot of time. But I don’t see a preliminary evaluation of different award booking services to be any more unethical than approaching different car dealerships when you shop for a car, or different banks when you shop for a mortgage, or different colleges when you shop for a degree!

      @Gkrebs23 – I don’t believe MileWise does award bookings.

  30. What about MileWise?

  31. I tried booking an award through MileValue. Tahsir promised a lot, but ended up disappointing me. His response time was slow, and at some point he just forgot about my request. Nevertheless, I ended up struggling through it and booking the award myself. I haven’t tried any of the other services yet, but would not recommend MileValue.

  32. @MileValue @Daraius
    I have to agree with Daraius – it’s no different than visiting various businesses to purchase goods or services. It’s quite arrogant to expect customers to just pick one award booking business.

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  34. I’ve contacted three services. All of them were somewhat flakey at times but the two I ended up using, Ari at First Class and Beyond as well as Matthew at UPGRD delivered far more value than I could have gotten and as a very busy person I just didn’t have the time. I would use either again in a heartbeat. Gary at Book Your Award just never responded to my email.

    Examples: I wanted to fly SEA to Lisbon and Ari flipped that into an around-the -world trip in First. I could never have figured that one out. Matthew at UPGRD got me flights SEA to Venice with a London stopover on the exact dates I wanted, no flexibility needed.

    I still make the easy bookings myself. I also would never call more than one person. I could see how much time was going into the process and it feels wrong knowing that you are setting out to waste several people’s time.

  35. I recently used the UPGRD booking service and was very happy with the outcome. (Matthew, same as BrianJ above). I started collecting miles and points last year and while my total is impressive they were spread out over many airlines and many different kind of points. We wanted to go and visit my son who is living in New Zealand for Christmas. Our dates were fixed by work demands and there were three of us. I had never booked award tickets before and worked diligently putting in more than 40 hours before I gave up. Booking for 3 people, inflexible dates, over Christmas, and a destination of New Zealand seemed to create the perfect storm of impossible. I was about to abandon the trip altogether as the tickets would have cost over $10,000.00 to buy. My daughter found UPGRD on the internet and suggested I try it out. I gave him our dates and how many points I was willing to allocate to each ticket. He put together two itineraries for me to choose from. We had tons of communication while making it happen. I think that it helped that my expectations were realistic from having tried to book it myself. I knew at my price (miles) limitations direct flights weren’t going to happen. Our flights had hiccup or two but no more than to be expected with holiday travel and a complicated itinerary. We had the trip of a lifetime.

  36. I use MileValue on a consistent basis. Probably 10 tickets in the past 12 months. They are excellent. Very attentive and quick. They always completed ALL my requests which were quite difficult. And come on its only $100 bucks which is peanuts considering the time and headache it saves you. A perfect 10 out of 10 for their service. Bravo MileValue.

  37. @Brian(J) for the review! As you know, customer service is my top priority and I’m always striving to respond to emails more quickly (if that’s even possible) and deliver the best results possible.

    I noticed a comment above re: one of the services offering continued support from booking the trip all the way through landing back home. I can assure you that anyone choosing to use FC&B will receive similar service! Just a short story: I had a client booked on a Spannair flight – yes, that was mistake number one, haha – in business class, when all of a sudden (40 hours prior to departure) the company just shut down. In very short order, I called the client in Madrid (who hadn’t yet heard the news) and had them re-booked right away on a SWISS business class flight instead (via ZRH, obviously). Needless to say, this doesn’t happen often, but when it does – I’m there to smooth over the rough spots!

  38. I have used Tahsir’s award booking service for a complicated route. He was professional, courteous, thorough and best of all saved me hours of work. When I needed to change the flights, he helped me out free of cost. I would highly recommend him.

  39. One more thing: I didn’t have to pay Tahsir until the routing was to my satisfaction and I had completed the booking.

  40. Thank you BrianJ and AgSweep for your reviews of confidence. It was a pleasure working with you both of you and I trust we can work together in the future. has a team of experts who know exactly how to maximize the use of points/miles in nearly every U.S. and European frequent flyer program as well as with AMEX Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards.

    We also are willing to communicate however the clients is most comfortable–even if that means personal phone calls, text messages, or other more conventional means of communicating.

  41. I’m surprised that no one has mentioned TravelSort’s award booking service. Having read Hilary’s great trip reports from Hong Kong and Bali, my wife and I used TravelSort both for several luxury hotel bookings (better prices than the hotels themselves and Virtuoso, FHR etc.) and the award service to fly Cathay first class there and back. We even got seated in first class on the DPS-HKG segments, a nice plus since first isn’t sold on that flight. And since we booked hotels through her, we paid just $75 per person.

  42. We are in the process of booking a rtw trip with Ari of First Class and Beyond. Though we contacted several different services, Ari was the one who helped us plan the itinerary and map out our different options with infinite patience. A few of the booking services only wanted to help us once we knew our exact itinerary.

    Additionally, he has never failed to get back to us in a very timely and efficient manner, even spending quite a long time on the phone with us.

    We normally book all award travel ourselves, however, we felt with such a complicated itinerary, we needed an expert. Ari has proven to be that and more.

  43. @MileValue, Jason and Daraius: Even as an award-booker, I agree with shopping around. If I’m afraid of encouraging people to shop around it would say a lot about my confidence. On multiple occasions – the comment above by Joel and Ellen being one of them – I’ve had clients email me saying they’ll be using my service because of my quality, attentiveness and attention to detail. Sure, some make it clear from the get-go that they’ll be sending the same request to a few people, but for me, nothing changes. I stand by my performance and abilities – not only in award bookings, but in customer service as well; my clients know they’re goals are all, that matter!

    @Joel and Ellen Thanks for the great review – I can’t wait to see how this whirlwind journey of yours unfolds… Pictures please (and maybe a piña colada too)! 🙂

  44. Bobby your email doesnt work, can you post it here please

  45. For anyone who wants to know what is involved in booking a complicated itinerary for 4 people, hopefully this will provide some flavor:

  46. Am I allowed to shamelessly plug my service here? 😛

  47. I am in the process of watching for award availability from PHX to CUN for April 19, 2014. The dates when the economy awards are showing seem to vary and are not the usual 330 days in advance. US Airways lags for 24-28 hours. The saver awards from UAL also seem delayed. I am trying to secure those 2 of those 17,500 miles each way either on a non-stop US Air Partner flight or on the UAL PHX-HOU-CUN. I already have my lodging and my days are not flexible. Any advice on this? Maybe contact customer service for UAL and US Airways?? I have just over 112,000 miles. Thanks!!!

  48. My experience: Tried using MileValue and he took a few days to respond and responded with a one line can’t really help you. Really disappointed as i enjoyed (past tense) his blog. Its hard to tell with email but he came off as short and snarky. He’s young, he’ll learn.

    I then contacted Matthew at UPGRD and he got back to me with a few hours, put together a really nice itinerary with Business class both ways and utilizing miles from several different programs really nicely.

    I’d go with Matt based on my experience.

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  51. Quick update on my services:

    We no longer offer domestic bookings since no one used that service. The price is now $100 per ticket in order to make the math easier for both parties and I like round numbers!

    We have a team of great people ready to help you burn those miles!

    Now is the time to start planning for next summer’s award trips!

  52. Matthew at UPGRD is incredible. I’ve tried most of them. He’s the best. So far I’ve booked 8 flights with him, all flawless.

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  61. I was wondering what is the best way to spend my 30000 blue sky points and 55000 gold american express in flights?

  62. TledBe careful using more than one service. I contacted Bobby and Matt at UPGRD. After emailing back and forth with both, I settled on Bobby and booked with him. That was end of Oct. Just this morning I woke up to an email from Matt saying he was sending me an invoice. This was after a month of not contacting him and after I already paid for another service. So I guess be more upfront in initial,communication.

  63. Matthew from UPGRD just booked a summer trip for my family and found space that I could not find after hours of searching on my own. He was responsive, friendly, and highly efficient.

  64. Daraius –
    Do you have any updates for this list of award service companies?

  65. Do you have a suggestion between ExpertFlyer and KVS Availability Tool? I’m new to this and am going to be booking my first award ticket, using United miles.

  66. I think folks need to use an award booking service now more than ever. In the past, I booked awards myself and didn’t get the most out of them. For example, I didn’t use free oneways, open jaw opportunities, stopovers, etc. This wasn’t a big deal because obtaining miles and points was easy and plentiful via Vanilla Reloads and CC signups. This was also prior to award devaluation. However, in the past couple of weeks points and miles have become much harder to obtain and every entity seems to be devaluing. Thus, if you really want to get the most out of your points, then you really have to use an award booking service.

    Recently, I chose to use an award booking service after wasting an entire weekend trying to do it myself and failing miserably. I chose to use because I enjoy their website the most. I find their website contains original content (which is rare these days on the travel blogs) and also is very analytically written.

    I couldn’t have been more pleased with my experience. I worked with Jen and she was very helpful. Jen communicated with my often and always seemed positive and excited about helping me. Also, she tried really, really hard to get me the trip of a lifetime and overcame some obstacles to do so. Finally, Jen answered a lot of my questions that I had about my upcoming experience that I found very helpful. Milevalue also charged a fair price for their services.

    I plan on using a booking service for an upcoming trip in a year and I plan on using again.

  67. Brian Fletcher

    I just spent $510 with Cranky Concierge and it was money well spent. David was able to book five of us in coach from ABQ to LON to DUB and back to ABQ. Getting award flights out of Albuquerque is difficult and he was able to add an Aer Lingus flight from LON to DUB on the same award ticket! Before I booked, I was figuring I’d have to pay to get to DFW and pay to fly from LON to DUB. Spending $510 saved us up to $2500! That entire round trip itinerary on United cost us a total of $1200 (when you include the booking fee). Travel hacking is awesome!

  68. I just got done booking a trip for 2 people with Dan at for $200 and they somehow put together the miles I had together to get my exact flight days all in business class. They responded quickly and got the job done. Definitely will use them again for my Chinese New Year trip to Hong Kong. He also gave me a free credit card consultation of what cards to get based on the places I want to go, very nice.

  69. I used milevalue for a business class trip from NYC to Germany and I am thrilled. Here are some of the tricky parts of the booking.

    I wanted NYC to DUS in August.

    I booked the ticked 10 days before departure.

    They got me flat bed each way. The flights are at great times and it only cost me $230 in taxes. The booking was $125.

    Milevalue was so patient and dealt with my shenanigans. I recommend them to everyone who has ever heard of an airline mile.

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  71. I want to share my experience so others may benefit. My wife and I will celebrate our ten year anniversary next year and want to plan a big trip. We often take weekend flights and a few bigger vacations splurging in first class or a fancy hotel. All of the miles I had accumulated have been saved up for this very trip. I contacted a couple different services listed above. I specified the parameters (flexible with date, locations) but said I wanted something “special.” They responded with itineraries that were average. They found flights in first/business class but I was more than capable of doing this myself. I felt guilty wasting their time but I assumed they would do more for me. They did a good job, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. For my final attempt, I contacted Award Advocate, (figuring I should start with the bottom of the list above as a random strategy!)

    About 30 minutes after completing the form, I checked my phone and saw I had a missed call. Kam at had called me back promptly but I had my phone on silent. I called him and we discussed the trip in detail. This was the first sign that he offered a more personalized service and cared about our trip. He understood exactly what I was looking for and told me he had something very special in mind that he would prepare the following day.

    What did he find? Rome, Paris, and Frankfurt with the long haul fight in Singapore Airlines private suites, business class for the shorter 1-2 hour flights, building in savings on taxes and fees along the way to maximize my miles. He offered excellent advice on each city and hotels that he has visited or knew people that have visited.

    I could not have done this myself. The fee ($200 for two people) was worth it and I would certainly do it again. Kam was patient – we had changed our mind to shorten the trip a bit along the way. He was thorough, giving us all available options and recommendations. He was budget-friendly, accounting for miles as if they were currency and minimizing taxes/fees in lieu of using more miles.

    Thanks Kam. you are awesome.

  72. I ended up using Kam from award advocate to book a first class ticket from LAX to India. Kam was very responsive and after a phone call, he quickly understood my priorities such as my desire to have a stop over in a city and spend some time in a different country before going to India. I had already spent significant amount of time doing research online and if I had contacted Kam or someone like Kam with experience, probably I could have saved significant amount of time. I called American Airlines Elite desk to book my ticket but honestly, I did not find the agent very helpful or savvy about booking a first class seat using miles. She just kept asking me what route and what flight I wanted and did not make any suggestions and recommendations for a better alternative. Kam was able to look into availability with Cathay Pacific and Etihad airline and I am flying Cathay Pacific first class to India and flying back with Etihad on first class. I ended up being short a few thousand miles and since AA has a promotion on purchasing miles, I was able to buy the entire trip for a very low rate. Kam charged $100 on paypal. I know a lot more about booking an award ticket now and probably next time, I won’t need any help, but if it is your first time booking an award ticket, I highly recommend getting help from someone who knows about award booking.

  73. Just a quick post to recommend Alex from Having spent one month trying to find an award myself he was able to put my family in Business to fly to Europe next summer. Best $400 I have ever spent

  74. My experience regarding a new service at ( I have experienced quite a few booking websites and when I read about awardsandtravel on Flyertalk, I wanted to try it. Honestly, I was a bit skeptical but Tariq provided an excellent service. He was extremely patient when my plans changed in the middle of an award search. I sent him numerous emails about updates and changes and he incorporated them. He even recommended sites to visit to the cities he is already been to
    My search request was for two seats in First or Business from LAX/SFO to Singapore with a stopover in HongKong and return from Sydney to LAX. He found Singapore First Class Suites from LAX to Singapore and Business class from SIN to HKG. For the return, he was able to find Business from Sydney to Perth to Hong Kong and First Class on CX to LAX. My final price was $150 as compared to $300 or $250 from other services.
    If you are looking for a great service with a great price, I would definitely recommend it. You cannot beat $100 for the first person with $50 for additional passengers.

  75. Hi,
    I have just completed an award booking with Alex from I just wanted to make a comment on how smoothly the whole process went from A-Z. At first I was hesitant to use an award booking service. However after speaking to Alex over the phone he went through the whole process and helped me to book myself and my husband on a mini rtw using my Aeroplan points. I contacted another award booking service and was asked to pay $260 per person however Alex ensured me that he never charges his clients any more than $99 per person. Within a couple of days my flight was booked and seats chosen. I am excited to finally be travelling to Asia with my husband!

  76. Bobby at is amazing!! I have never used a service before on booking my awards, so I had a lot of questions. Bobby answered them all professionally and with patience. His response time was excellent, even on the weekend. He only charged $100 for I don’t know HOW many emails back and forth. Then he put up with my indecisiveness on how many miles I wanted to burn for which leg of the trip. The other great part is that he followed up with me when he hadn’t heard from me because I was swamped. If you’re a newbie or a busy professional, or both, don’t hesitate. His service and skill were impeccable. I’ll never use award points again without contacting him. What a blessing he was.

  77. I can only speak to my own experiences. I used and was really happy with how patient and clever they are. They were able to get me 4 business class tickets from LAX to 2 cities in India during the difficult December holiday time. Nothing was showing for me and I called AA and had no luck at all and after a conversation on the phone with them they had a great itinerary for me the next day. They used some clever tricks and managed to get tickets with really low taxes for me, they saved a great deal of time and money and I’m very grateful. I submitted request to a few other places before and I didn’t even received a email back let alone a phone call. If you think something isn’t possible just ask awardadvocate and they will probably make it work. Thanks again to them!!!

  78. I’d like to say that Nick is the man! I constantly travel for work and use my miles/points for hotels and flights. I used to take care of this myself; but things had gotten so hectic that I started using some award booking services — much to my dissatisfaction — that is, until I discovered Anyone that wants the biggest bang for their buck (or points) needs to be using Nick was 1) prompt, 2) courteous, 3) knowledgeable, 4) helpful, and ultimately the best rewards resource I’ve ever used. I managed to go to Europe, 4 countries in 12 days, stayed at some amazing hotels and flew business/first each time. Seriously, even if you have the time to figure out the best way to utilize your points, you probably won’t be able to do half the job that Nick does. He made things so easy and convenient for me, every step of the way. I will be going back to Award Advocate for all my traveling needs!

  79. I’d like to point out I contacted them after reading a review over here. Mike was extremely professional, knowledgeable, and courteous. I had tons of questions as I had a bad experience before and kudos to him, he never got frustrated. All my questions were answered thoroughly and promptly.
    My request was for 4 people from mid west to Europe in Business Class. I was not sure if my request would be fulfilled due to school holidays and stringent work/home balance but Mike was able to find a routing with 4 biz seats for the outbound and inbound. Our family trip was phenomenal and enjoyed it every minute.

  80. After reading this article I was moved to contact some booking services. I took your advice and contacted a number of them. Kam at AwardAdvocate was one of the first to get back to me. He called on the phone. I thought that was interesting since the other early responder, BookYourAward, had a web page where their response and our interactions were posted. Including the one where Steve Belkin expressed some concern when I informed him that I had contacted more than one service and had not chosen his fairly pedestrian itinerary to pursue. I didn’t say pedestrian, but it was one I had found on the United website. I agree with some of the previous posts that for some simple award bookings one should at least try yourself. But how much headache is saving $100 worth?
    Kam, on the other hand, listened to my responses to his questions about my answers to their standard online questionnaire then gave me some suggested itineraries to think about. My wife and I ended up with two business class tickets to Barcelona and back to Denver from Rome. I paid United 140,000 miles and $100 for each ticket and paid Kam $100 for each ticket. I am not a business traveler. I might be able to understand the inside out of these travel programs if I really studied, but why, when for $200 I can get my wife’s feet up as she flys over the Atlantic. And now I’ve found someone I can actually speak with. Kam also gave me some excellent credit card advice and I didn’t have to click on his link.

  81. I worked with Kam from He was professional, patient and gets the job done. The best deal I could secure for myself after many attempts was far less than what he did for me. Awesome service. Worth every penny!

  82. After following Millonmilesecrets for a few years and slowly collecting on the side I was ready to use my points. However even though I could find basic routes I wanted to really book one big trip before I settled down with my Husband. So we decided to go on a round the world trip in Business and First Class. Alex from helped me from A-Z with not just flights but hotels as well. Even though I was willing to spend time myself looking I know a profession would be able to get everything done faster and help me to book the flights and hotels. Even up until the day of departure he contacted me multiple times to make sure I understood how to maximize this trip. He was even contacting me in the lounge to make sure I was fully enjoying myself! Attention to detail was amazing and the trip went perfectly. Alex was a star and I cannot recommend him enough! Maggie

  83. Great tips! Love the information!! I used a new service recently which was less than those mentioned.
    Had a good result w/o hassle.

  84. I used Alex at Easy Award Booking to plan and book a number of flights using reward miles. He was super helpful and knowledgeable and I wouldn’t have gotten nearly the same value if I had tried to do it myself.

    When I approached him, I was interested in Star Alliance’s Round the World ticket. I told him where I was planning to go, and he recommended booking each flight leg separately which definitely turned out to be the best way to go. I was able to to all destinations and some flights were on business class, which I never even thought possible. Overall, he helped me get much more value out of what I had.

    He also provided me with routing details for each flight, which made booking through my rewards program super simple. I was able to easily log in or call and get exactly what I wanted.

    Alex was also very knowledgeable about how to maximize collection of rewards points through different offers and bonuses. He came up with a plan for this and kept me on track throughout to make sure that we did everything at the right time.

    I believe Alex to be a great resource for reward travel planning in North America, particularly Canada. Thanks Alex!

  85. I can’t recommend Easy Award Booking enough. Alex was really helpful in maximizing my points, and he found me a number of great flights. Booking my reward flights was very easy, and he was always available to help if I had any trouble. In fact, one time I called and the representative told me that the flight was no longer available. I contacted Alex about this, and he assured me that it still was and to try again. Low and behold, the next representative I talked to was able to find the flight and make the booking! He is very knowledgeable about specific airlines and flights, and tries to get you on the best ones possible. I am usually a DIY type when it comes to travel, but I am so glad that I decided to use this service to help me with the ins and outs of reward booking!

  86. how hard is it get tickets for economy for 5 or 6 people? I just want to go to TLS or NCE from PHX. I dont need first class, but I do have miles kinda spread out over 3 carriers.

    I wonder if I should hire a booking service or try to do it myself

  87. I ventured out to find an award booker for my family of 4 trip to Bangkok. I really wanted a great business class experience but had my miles all spread. I went online and read reviews of different award bookers and
    even went to their facebook page and decided to go with based on their facebook reviews. I made an online request and within 3 hours had a call from Kam. I explained what I was looking for and where I had flexibility and where I didn’t and soon enough I had my family booked in business class on Japan Air and ANA. It was a pleasant experience and my family is very grateful and anxious for our
    upcoming trip. I usually book my own domestic flights but rather hire someone experienced for a big international trip as I want a great experience for my family. I also want to thank Daraius and the team at
    millionmilesecrets as I would never have the miles/points to use for my family without their great articles and advice in building my stockpiles, thanks again!!!

  88. Hello,

    Just wanted to let you know we now charge $125 per person for bookings. Can you edit this line above?

    Bobby at Award Booking Service charges $100 per passenger for an international ticket. (should be $125 now)

    Thank you!

  89. @Bobby – Thanks for the heads-up! I’ve updated the post.

  90. Do these services essentially do what you can do yourself and therefore safe you time, aggravation OR do they actually have access to mileage seats, esp. business or 1st class that we would not ordinarily have access to.



  91. Stay away from Award Expert aka UPGRD unless you want a bunch of hassle and unprofessionalism.

  92. One more to add to the list – AwardBandit

    I pride myself in providing ultra-responsive help to my clients. Check me out! Would love the opportunity to work with you.


  93. I contacted 4 award booking services and Dominic Perilli from AWARD BANDIT was AWESOME. He was PROMPT and answered every questions right away no matter what time I sent my message. Got a great Business Class Award to Bali…Whooo-Hooo! Can’t wait. 1 service did not respond, 1 wanted an up front nonrefundable fee, and the other did not respond for 5 days. My trip was all taken care of in a matter of hours. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND AWARD BANDIT and I will definitely use Dominic Perilli’s service again!

  94. 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.

  95. I unfortunately used Alex Smith with EasyAwardBooking. While I was initially impressed with his knowledge, in the end the experience was a nightmare.
    He dropped the ball and failed to communicate in a timely manner. He left us stuck with flights which from the very first conversation we’d indicated we’d never accept, and only reserved because he said he’d be able to find us better flights. We would have preferred to fly on a non-stop coach flight instead of what he instructed us to book. He had stated that he fully understood our priorities, but he did not have the follow-through or professionalism to do what he said he’d do.
    His website has also been down for the last few months at least, leading me to think he’s gone out of business.

  96. Awarding Canada has had over 300 happy clients, and we’ve been in business for about two years. I’m also a Boardingarea blogger ( We specialize in Aeroplan, but are also very capable in almost any frequent flyer program. I believe we are the only remaining large Canadian award booking service. Would greatly appreciate being added to your list!