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 Airways Ethiopian Airlines
Aegean Airlines EVA Air
Air Canada LOT Polish Airlines
Air China Lufthansa
Air India Scandanavian 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 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:
Aeroflot Delta Air Lines
Aerolineas Argentinas Garuda Indonesia
Aeromexico Kenya Airways
Air Calin KLM
Air Europa Korean Air
Air France Middle East Airlines
Alitalia Saudia (Saudi Arabian Airlines)
China Airlines TAROM
China Eastern Vietnam Airlines
China Southern Xiamen 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 Airline How To Find Award Space
Alaska Airlines American Airlines
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:

Call Air France to Book
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.

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 France Japan Airlines
Alaska Airlines KLM
American Airlines Korean Air
British Airways LATAM
Condor PenAir
Emriates Qantas
Fiji Airways Ravn Alaska
Hainan Airlines Virgin 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 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 have added this capability, we’ll confirm the best way to search for award space and add 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 courtesy of ana.co.jp

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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 Berlin Hawaiian Airlines (within Hawaii)
Alaska Airlines Iberia
American Airlines Qantas
British Airways Royal 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 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 or the use of ExpertFlyer.

Partner Airline How to Find Award Space
Air Tahiti Nui ExpertFlyer
Cape Air Call American Airlines
Etihad Airways Etihad Airways
Gulf Air ExpertFlyer
Jet Airways Jet Airways
Seaborne Airlines Call 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:
Airberlin LATAM
American Airlines Qatar Airways
British Airways Malaysia Airlines
Cathay Pacific Meridiana
Comair Qantas
Finnair Royal Jordanian Airlines
Iberia S7 Airlines
Japan Airlines SriLankan 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 Airlines How to Find Award Space
Aer Lingus United Airlines
Alaska Airlines American 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.

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.

Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program isn’t commonly used by people in the United States, but there are some great ways to utilize. Just be aware that it isn’t the easiest program to use. Don’t let that deter you though.

Only eight airlines, including Cathay Pacific itself, can be booked online with Asia miles:

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

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. On the other hand, this can be very useful if you have Amex Membership Rewards, SPG Starpoints, or Citi ThankYou Points.

If you want to book award tickets with any of Cathay Pacific’s other partners, you will need to call Cathay Pacific. Here’s how you find the space for each partner:

Partner Airline How to Find Award Space
Aer Lingus United
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 partner require you to search on other sites or even call to find award space.

A couple final points to keep in mind with Cathay Pacific Asia Miles are that they utilize a distance-based award chart and one-way awards require more than half has 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.

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:
Aeroflot GOL Airlines
Aerolineas Argentinas Hawaiian Airlines (within Hawaii only)
Aeromexico Kenya Airways
Air Europa KLM
Air France Korean Air
Alaska Airlines Middle East Airlines
Alitalia Saudia
China Airlines TAROM
China Eastern Vietnam Airlines
China Southern Virgin Atlantic
Garuda Indonesia Virgin Australia

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

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

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 for them.

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:

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
Alitalia Air France
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. Here are the airlines that will require a call:

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

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

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

Find Award Space on Japan Airlines For:
Air France Cathay Pacific
American Airlines Japan Airlines
British Airways Qantas
Cathay Dragon

While award space on these six partner airlines can be found online, keep in mind that they still fall under a different award chart than flights on Japan Airlines. Partner award bookings fall under 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 these two sites will be the most commonly used when you want to book with Japan Airlines miles. Once you have found the award space you need, you will need to call Japan Airlines to complete the booking.

Partner Airlines How To Find Award Space
Alaska Airlines American Airlines
Bangkok Airways Call Japan Airlines
China Eastern Air France
Emirates Qantas
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 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:
Aeroflot Delta Air Lines
Aerolineas Argentinas Garuda Indonesia
AeroMexico Kenya Airways
Air Europa KLM
Air France Korean Air
Alitalia Middle East Airlines
China Airlines Saudia
China Eastern TAROM
China Southern Vietnam Airlines
Czech 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.

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 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 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 Airways Egyptair
Aegean Airlines Ethiopian Airlines
Air Canada EVA Airways
Air China LOT Polish Airlines
Air India Lufthansa
Air New Zealand Scandanavian 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 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 Airways Edelweiss Air
Aegean Airlines Egyptair
Aer Lingus 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 Scandanavian 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 two other partners so you’ll need to use alternative websites:

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.

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 Airlines 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 Delta

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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Here are 9 best ways to use 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (including round-trip to Hawaii for 2 people!)

And – discover 10 of the most valuable benefits you’ll get access to as a cardholder