Where to Find Award Flight Space: A Complete Guide to an Easy Search

British Airways First Class

Booking your flights with miles and points is a great way to travel, but sometimes it can be tough to figure out where you are supposed to even search for award space.

To clear things up, we’ve put together a comprehensive resource that shows you where to search for award space when using some of the most popular frequent flyer programs.

A Complete Guide to Finding Award Space

Some of these programs will allow you to search for their own flights plus their partners’ flights and book online while others require a little more effort that might involve a second site and a phone call.

With this guide in hand, the answers you need are at your fingertips.

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 courtesy of Air Canada

Aeroplan is one of the best ways to search for Star Alliance award space whether you want to redeem Aeroplan miles 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.

Find Award Space on Aeroplan or United For:
Adria AirwaysEthiopian Airlines
Aegean AirlinesEVA Air
Air CanadaLOT Polish Airlines
Air ChinaLufthansa
Air IndiaScandanavian Airlines (SAS)
Air New ZealandShenzhen Airlines
All Nippon Airlines(ANA)Singapore Airlines
Asiana AirlinesSouth African Airways
Austrian AirlinesSwiss Air
AviancaTAP Portugal
Brussels AirlinesThai Airways
Copa AirlinesTurkish Airlines
Croatia AirlinesUnited 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 miles. In fact, you cannot book international business class awards on Singapore’s Boeing 777-300ER or Airbus A380 either. To do so requires you to redeem Singapore KrisFlyer miles.

Hot Tip: 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.

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:

Find Award Space on Air France/KLM For:
AeroflotDelta Air Lines
Aerolineas ArgentinasGaruda Indonesia
AeromexicoKenya Airways
Air CalinKLM
Air EuropaKorean Air
Air FranceMiddle East Airlines
AlitaliaSaudia (Saudi Arabian Airlines)
China AirlinesTAROM
China EasternVietnam Airlines
China SouthernXiamen Airlines
Czech 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 so, you can call Flying Blue to book the award ticket.

Partner AirlineHow To Find Award Space
Alaska AirlinesAmerican Airlines
ComairBritish Airways
Copa AirlinesUnited Airlines
GOL AirlinesDelta Air Lines
Japan AirlinesBritish Airways
Malaysia AirlinesBritish Airways

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

Call Air France to Book
Air CorsicaJet Airways
Air MauritiusTwin Jet
Bangkok AirwaysUkraine 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.

Alaska Airlines is not part of a traditional airline alliance, but they have 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.

Find Award Space on Alaska Airlines for:
Air FranceJapan Airlines
Alaska AirlinesKLM
American AirlinesKorean Air
British AirwaysLATAM
CondorPenAir
EmriatesQantas
Fiji AirwaysRavn Alaska
Hainan AirlinesVirgin America
Icelandair

The search results will display all of your options but you can filter the results by airline if you are 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 in which the United States is 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 two other partner airlines but you won’t be able to search for award space on Alaska’s site. To find award space on Cathay Pacific and LATAM, you will need to use British Airways’ online search tool then call Alaska Airlines and provide the flight information to a customer service representative.

Find Award Space on British Airways for:
Cathay PacificLATAM (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 have added this capability, we’ll confirm the best way to search for award space and add that information.

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.

American Airlines online award search capability is not as strong as some of its Oneworld partners. You can find award space on American’s own flights plus eight of its partners.

Find Award Space on American Airlines For:
Air BerlinHawaiian Airlines (within Hawaii)
Alaska AirlinesIberia
American AirlinesQantas
British AirwaysRoyal Jordanian
Finnair

American Airlines’ online search has been known to show phantom award space on Finnair so don’t transfer SPG Starpoints until you have confirmed the award space actually exists and you have put 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 online for award space before calling American Airlines to complete the booking.

Find Award Space on British Airways or Qantas For:
Cathay PacificMalaysia Airlines
Fiji Airways (on Qantas only)S7 Airlines
Japan Airlines (on British Airways only)Sri Lankan Airlines
LATAM AirlinesQatar 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 or the use of ExpertFlyer.

Partner AirlineHow to Find Award Space
Air Tahiti NuiExpertFlyer
Cape AirCall American Airlines
Etihad AirwaysEtihad Airways
Gulf AirExpertFlyer
Jet AirwaysJet Airways
Seaborne AirlinesCall American Airlines

If you want to 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 but it is 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 call the Australia call center.

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 courtesy of 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.

Find Award Space on British Airways for:
AirberlinLATAM
American AirlinesQatar Airways
British AirwaysMalaysia Airlines
Cathay PacificMeridiana
ComairQantas
FinnairRoyal Jordanian Airlines
IberiaS7 Airlines
Japan AirlinesSriLankan Airlines

If you want to book a flight on Aer Lingus or Alaska Airlines, you won’t be able to search for award space on British Airways. You will need to run your search elsewhere and call British Airways to complete the booking.

Partner AirlinesHow to Find Award Space
Aer LingusUnited Airlines
Alaska AirlinesAmerican 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.

It also means award bookings that are a good deal from one part of the United States might not be from another part of the U.S. For example, booking a round-trip economy class 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 redemption rate will be much higher.

Remember, 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.

As a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, and SPG Starpoints, it’s easy to accumulate enough Avios for award bookings.

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

Delta Air Lines SkyMiles

Delta SkyTeam
You can find award space and book directly from Delta’s site.

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.

Find Award Space on Delta For:
AeroflotGOL Airlines
Aerolineas ArgentinasHawaiian Airlines (within Hawaii only)
AeromexicoKenya Airways
Air EuropaKLM
Air FranceKorean Air
Alaska AirlinesMiddle East Airlines
AlitaliaSaudia
China AirlinesTAROM
China EasternVietnam Airlines
China SouthernVirgin Atlantic
Garuda IndonesiaVirgin Australia

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

Partner AirlineHow to Find Award Space
Air Tahiti NuiExpertFlyer
Czech AirlinesAir France/KLM
Xiamen AirlinesAir France/KLM

If you are thinking about earning some SkyMiles to book an award flight, you’ll need to keep a few 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 such as Virgin Atlantic Upper Class which now costs 85,000 miles one-way to London. Previously, it required the same number of miles as flying Delta One which costs 70,000 miles one-way for the same trip.

Korean Air SkyPass

Korean Air 747
The Korean Air SkyPass program now lets you search for award space online. – Image courtesy 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.

Find Award Space on Korean Air for:
AeroflotDelta Air Lines
Aerolineas ArgentinasGaruda Indonesia
AeroMexicoKenya Airways
Air EuropaKLM
Air FranceKorean Air
AlitaliaMiddle East Airlines
China AirlinesSaudia
China EasternTAROM
China SouthernVietnam Airlines
Czech AirlinesXiamen 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.

One important piece to searching for SkyTeam partner award space is that 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.

Partner AirlineHow to Find Award Space
Alaska AirlinesAmerican Airlines
EmiratesAlaska Airlines or Qantas
EtihadEtihad
GOLAir France/KLM
Hawaiian AirlinesAmerican Airlines
Jet AirwaysCall Korean Air

Once you find the required award space, you can call Korean Air SkyPass and provide them with the flight information and complete your booking.

An 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 or 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. You will then have to send it to engskypass@koreanair.com 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 courtesy of Singapore Airlines

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

If you want 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 United or Air Canada Aeroplan’s websites.

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

Find Award Space on United or Aeroplan For:
Adria AirwaysEgyptair
Aegean AirlinesEthiopian Airlines
Air CanadaEVA Airways
Air ChinaLOT Polish Airlines
Air IndiaLufthansa
Air New ZealandScandanavian Airlines (SAS)
All Nippon Airways (ANA)Shenzhen Airlines
Asiana AirlinesSouth African Airways
Austrian AirlinesSwiss Air
AviancaTAP Portugal
Brussels AirlinesThai Airways
Copa AirlinesTurkish Airlines
Croatia AirlinesUnited 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 Air’s website.

United Airlines MileagePlus

United Airlines
United Airlines MileagePlus has a very good online search platform. – Image courtesy of 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.

Find Award Space on United For:
Adria AirwaysEdelweiss Air
Aegean AirlinesEgyptair
Aer LingusEthiopian Airlines
AeromarEVA Air
Air CanadaGermanwings
Air ChinaGreat Lakes Airlines
Air DolomitiHawaiian Airlines (within Hawaii only)
Air IndiaIsland Air
Air New ZealandLOT Polish Airlines
All Nippon Airways (ANA)Lufthansa
Asiana AirlinesScandanavian Airlines (SAS)
Austrian AirlinesShenzhen Airlines
AviancaSilver Airways
Azul BrazilSouth African Airways
Brussels AirlinesSwiss Air
Cape AirTAP Portugal
Copa AirlinesThai Airways
Croatia AirlinesTurkish Airlines

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

Partner AirlineHow To Find Award Space
Jet AirwaysJet Airways
Singapore AirlinesAeroplan

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.

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.

There are some clever ways to redeem Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles 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 then call Virgin Atlantic to complete your booking. Their U.S. call center number is 1-800-365-9500.

Partner AirlinesHow To Find Award Space
Air New ZealandUnited
All Nippon Airways (ANA)United
Delta Air LinesAir France
Hawaiian AirlinesCall Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Jet AirwaysCall Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Malaysia AirlinesBritish Airways
Singapore AirlinesAeroplan
South African AirwaysUnited
Virgin AtlanticVirgin Atlantic
Virgin AustraliaDelta

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.

More to come…

We are quickly working to compile guides for each frequent flyer program to make your award flight search just a little bit easier.

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