The Ultimate Guide to Searching for Flight Award Space

Online Flight Search

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AirlinesAllianceWhere to Search
for Award Availability
Requirements
Aegean AirlinesStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
Aer LingusStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
AeroflotSkyTeamAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Aerolineas ArgentinasSkyTeamAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
AeromexicoSkyTeamAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Air CanadaStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
Air ChinaStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
Air EuropaSkyTeamAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Air FranceSkyTeamAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Air IndiaStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
Air ItalyNoneBritish AirwaysLog in with your British Airways account
Air New ZealandStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
Air SerbiaNoneCall Air SerbiaCall Air Serbia at +1-718-725-8642
Air Tahiti NuiNoneBritish AirwaysLog in with your British Airways account
Alaska AirlinesNoneAlaska AirlinesLog in with your Alaska Air account
AlitaliaSkyTeamAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
AllegiantNoneAllegiantLog in with your Allegiant Air account
American AirlinesOneworldBritish Airways or AALog in with your British Airways account
ANAStar AllianceAeroplan, ANA, or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan, ANA, or United account
Asiana AirlinesStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
Austrian AirlinesStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
AviancaStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
Bangkok AirwaysNoneCall Etihad, Air France, or Cathay PacificCall Etihad at +1-877-690-0767, call Air France at +1-800-375-8723, or fill out Cathay Pacific’s Flight Award Request Form
British AirwaysOneworldBritish AirwaysLog in with your British Airways account
Brussels AirlinesStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
Cathay PacificOneworldBritish AirwaysLog in with your British Airways account
China AirlinesSkyTeamAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
China EasternSkyTeamAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
China SouthernSkyTeamAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
CondorNoneAlaska AirlinesLog in with your Alaska Air account
Copa AirlinesStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
Croatia AirlinesStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
Czech AirlinesSkyTeamAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Delta Air LinesSkyTeamAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Cathay DragonOneworldBritish AirwaysLog in with your British Airways account
easyJetNoneEmiratesLog in with your Emirates Skywards Account
EgyptairStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
EL ALStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
EmiratesNoneAlaska Airlines or Japan AirlinesLog in with your Alaska Air account or Japan Airlines account
Ethiopian AirlinesStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
EtihadNoneEtihadLog in with your Etihad Guest account
EurowingsNoneLufthansaLog in with your Lufthansa Miles & More Account. Note: You need a minimum of 7,000 miles to search award availability on Lufthansa.
EVA AirStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
Fiji AirwaysOneworldBritish AirwaysLog in with your British Airways account
FinnairOneworldBritish AirwaysLog in with your British Airways account
FlyBENoneAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
flydubaiNoneEmiratesLog in with your Emirates Skywards Account
Frontier AirlinesNoneFrontierLog in with your Frontier Airlines account
Garuda IndonesiaSkyTeamAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
GermanwingsNoneAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
GolNoneAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Gulf AirNoneGulf AirLog in with your Gulf Air account
Hainan AirlinesNoneAlaska AirlinesLog in with your Alaska Air account
Hawaiian AirlinesNoneHawaiian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, or Korean AirLog in with your Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, or Korean Air account
Hong Kong AirlinesNoneVirgin AustraliaLog in with your Virgin Australia account
IberiaOneworldBritish AirwaysLog in with your British Airways account
IcelandairNoneAlaska AirlinesLog in with your Alaska Air account
InterJetNoneBritish Airways or AALog in with your British Airways account or American Airlines account
Japan AirlinesOneworldBritish AirwaysLog in with your British Airways account
Jet AirwaysNoneVirgin AtlanticLog in with your Virgin Atlantic account
JetBlueNoneJetBlueLog in with your JetBlue account
JetstarNoneQantas, British Airways, or AALog in with your Qantas, British Airways, or American Airlines account
Kenya AirwaysSkyTeamAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
KLMSkyTeamAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Korean AirSkyTeamAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
LATAMOneworldBritish AirwaysLog in with your British Airways account
LOT Polish AirlinesStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
LufthansaStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
Malaysia AirlinesOneworldBritish AirwaysLog in with your British Airways account
Middle East AirlinesSkyTeamAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Oman AirNoneEtihadLog in with your Etihad Guest account
Philippine AirlinesNoneCall EtihadCall Etihad at +1-877-690-0767
QantasOneworldQantasLog in with your Qantas account
Qatar AirwaysOneworldBritish AirwaysLog in with your British Airways account
Royal Air MarocNoneEtihadLog in with your Etihad Guest account
Royal JordanianOneworldBritish AirwaysLog in with your British Airways account
S7 AirlinesOneworldBritish AirwaysLog in with your British Airways account
SASStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
SaudiaSkyTeamAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Shenzhen AirlinesStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
SilkairNoneSingapore AirlinesLog in with your Singapore KrisFlyer account
Singapore AirlinesStar AllianceSingapore AirlinesLog in with your Singapore KrisFlyer account
South African AirwaysStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
Southwest AirlinesNoneSouthwestLog in with your Southwest Rapid Rewards account
Spirit AirlinesNoneSpiritLog in with your Spirit account
SriLankan AirlinesOneworldBritish AirwaysLog in with your British Airways account
Swiss InternationalStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
TAP PortugalStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
TAROMSkyTeamAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Thai AirwaysStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
Turkish AirlinesStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
United AirlinesStar AllianceAeroplan or UnitedLog in with your Aeroplan or United account
Vietnam AirlinesSkyTeamAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account
Virgin AtlanticNoneVirgin Atlantic or DeltaLog in with your Virgin Atlantic or Delta account
Virgin AustraliaNoneVirgin Australia or DeltaLog in with your Virgin Australia or Delta account
VistaraNoneVistara Air or Singapore AirlinesLog in with your Vistara Air or Singapore Airlines account
Xiamen AirlinesSkyTeamAir France/KLM or DeltaLog in with your Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta account

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

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

Air Canada Aeroplan

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

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

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

Air France/KLM Flying Blue

Air France A380
Air France/KLM Flying Blue is the best way to search for SkyTeam award space. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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

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

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

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 this, you can call Flying Blue to book the award ticket.

Partner AirlineHow to Find Award Space
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 (1-800-237-2747)
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. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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:
Alaska AirlinesIcelandair
American AirlinesJapan Airlines
British AirwaysKorean Air
CondorLATAM
EmiratesPenAir
FinnairQantas
Fiji AirwaysRavn Alaska
Hainan Airlines

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

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

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

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

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 add this capability, we’ll confirm the best way to search for award space and update with that information.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club

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

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

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

Find Award Space on ANA for:
Adria AirwaysEgyptair
Aegean AirlinesEthiopian Airlines
Air CanadaLOT Polish Airlines
Air ChinaLufthansa
Air IndiaScandinavian Airlines (SAS)
Air New ZealandShenzhen Airlines
All Nippon Airways (ANA)Singapore Airlines
Asiana AirlinesSouth African Airways
Austrian AirlinesSwiss Air
AviancaTAP Air Portugal
Brussels AirlinesThai Airways
Copa AirlinesTurkish Airlines
Croatia AirlinesUnited Airlines

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

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

Partner AirlineHow to Find Award Space
Air DolomitiMiles & More
Air MacauCall ANA
Etihad AirwaysEtihad Airways
EurowingsMiles & More
Garuda IndonesiaAir France or KLM
Hawaiian AirlinesHawaiian Airlines
Jet AirwaysCall ANA
Philippine AirlinesCall ANA
Virgin AmericaCall ANA
Virgin AtlanticDelta

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

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

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

American Airlines AAdvantage

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

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

Find Award Space on American Airlines for:
Alaska AirlinesHawaiian Airlines (within Hawaii)
American AirlinesIberia
British AirwaysQantas
FinnairRoyal Jordanian

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

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

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 (1-800-433-7300) or the use of ExpertFlyer.

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

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

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

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

British Airways Executive Club

British Airways Boeing 747-400
The online search function of the British Airways Executive Club is probably the best way to search for Oneworld award space. Image 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:
American AirlinesLATAM
British AirwaysQatar Airways
Cathay PacificMalaysia Airlines
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 AirlineHow 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.

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

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

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

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

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

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

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

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

Find Award Space on Cathay Pacific Asia Miles for:
Alaska AirlinesFinnair
British AirwaysIberia
Cathay DragonQantas
Cathay PacificQatar 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, which can be very useful if you have Amex Membership Rewards, Marriott Points, or Citi ThankYou Points as they all transfer directly to Cathay Pacific. See our article for more information on earning Cathay Pacific Asia miles.

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

Partner AirlineHow to Find Award Space
Aer LingusUnited
Air ChinaAeroplan or United
Air New ZealandAeroplan or United
American AirlinesBritish Airways or Qantas
Bangkok AirwaysCall Cathay Pacific
Gulf AirCall Cathay Pacific
Japan AirlinesBritish Airways or Qantas
Jet AirwaysCall Cathay Pacific
LATAMBritish Airways or Qantas
Malaysia AirlinesBritish Airways or Qantas
Royal Brunei AirlinesCall Cathay Pacific
Royal JordanianBritish Airways or Qantas
S7 AirlinesBritish Airways or Qantas
Sri Lankan AirlinesBritish Airways or Qantas
TAM AirlinesBritish Airways or Qantas

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

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

Delta Air Lines SkyMiles

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

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

Find Award Space on Delta for:
AeroflotHawaiian Airlines (within Hawaii only)
Aerolineas ArgentinasKenya Airways
AeromexicoKLM
Air EuropaKorean Air
Air FranceMiddle East Airlines
AlitaliaSaudia
China AirlinesTAROM
China EasternVietnam Airlines
China SouthernVirgin Atlantic
Garuda IndonesiaVirgin Australia
GOL AirlinesXiamen Airlines

Two 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

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

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

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

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

Partner AirlineHow to Find Award Space
Air New ZealandAeroplan or United
ANAAeroplan or United
AsianaAeroplan or United
Brussels AirlinesAeroplan or United
South African AirwaysAeroplan or United
AlitaliaAir France
Czech AirlinesAir France
Garuda IndonesiaAir France
Korean AirAir France
Hainan AirlinesAlaska Airlines
American AirlinesBritish Airways
Malaysia AirlinesBritish Airways
Sri Lankan AirlinesBritish Airways

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

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

Here are the airlines that will require a call:

Call Etihad to Check Award Space
Air SerbiaJet Airways
Air SeychellesOman Air
Bangkok AirwaysPhilippine Airlines
Etihad RegionalRoyal Air Maroc
FlybeUkraine International Airlines
GOLVirgin Australia

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

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

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank

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

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

Find Award Space on Japan Airlines for:
Air FranceCathay Pacific
American AirlinesJapan Airlines
British AirwaysQantas
Cathay DragonEmirates

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

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

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

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

Partner AirlinesHow to Find Award Space
Alaska AirlinesAmerican Airlines
Bangkok AirwaysCall Japan Airlines
China EasternAir France
FinnairBritish Airways or Qantas
IberiaBritish Airways or Qantas
Jetstar JapanCall Japan Airlines
Korean AirAir France
LATAMBritish Airways or Qantas
Malaysia AirlinesBritish Airways or Qantas
Qatar AirwaysBritish Airways or Qantas
Royal JordanianBritish Airways or Qantas
S7 AirlinesBritish 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 of 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.

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

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

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

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 on 1-800-438-5000 and provide them with the flight information to complete your booking.

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

Finally, when you consider redeeming Korean Air SkyPass miles, keep in mind that you can only book flights for yourself or family members. To book for family members, you will have to complete the SkyPass Family Registration Application and send it to 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 the online search function on their site to book awards that only include flights on Singapore Airlines.

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

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

Find Award Space on United or Aeroplan For:
Adria AirwaysEgyptair
Aegean AirlinesEthiopian Airlines
Air CanadaEVA Airways
Air ChinaLOT Polish Airlines
Air IndiaLufthansa
Air New ZealandScandinavian 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’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 AirlinesScandinavian 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 2 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. However, there are many other ways to use United miles for maximum value.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club doesn’t allow you to search for partner awards online, so you’ll have to rely on other options. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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, and then call Virgin Atlantic to complete your booking. Their U.S. call center number is 1-800-365-9500.

Partner AirlineHow 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

A couple notes for one-way awards:

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

Final Thoughts

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

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

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


*Featured Image Credit: shutterstock.com

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