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FlyerTalk Forums Thread Wiki: Award booking services - a list and some reviews
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Award booking services (alphabetical):

  • Award Travel Consulting: Award Search: $100/person | Booking ticket: $50/itinerary; changes: new trip
  • Awardmagic $139 per person or $249 per person for RTW trips
  • Book Your Award (Gary Leff/View From The Wing): Booking: $150 per person; changes: $75 per one-way
  • Juicy Miles (Adam/Point Me to the Plane): Booking: $125 per person; changes: included within reason
  • MilesElite: $99 for award search and $149 for award search and booking.
  • MileValue Award Booking Service (Scott Grimmer): Booking: $125 per person; changes: $79 per; Explorer Award/RTW Award: $250 per person
  • PointsPros (Ben Schlappig/One Mile At A Time): Booking: $200 first passenger, $100 each additional passenger; changes: "a nominal fee"
  • Shrewd Travel: (Sylvania on FT) Booking: $250 per person; changes: unknown
  • UpgradeGuru (chanp on FT) $150 first passenger, $75 each additional passenger; changes small fee
  • Upgrd Awards (MatthewLAX on FT, Live and Let's Fly blog) $150 first passenger, $100 each additional passenger; changes $75 but can vary

Other services:
  • Flightfox Crowdsourced flight searching; fees start at $99

Please add other services and options you know about to this wiki. Also, please post any personal experiences you may have with any of these services in this thread.


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Old Dec 30, 11, 9:49 pm   #16
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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I agree on the knowledge thing....and they have a wealth of experience working with awards, thinking outside the box and making things work. They know not just alliance partners but non-alliance partners, etc.

Granted with a bit of work anyone can figure this stuff out...with the right tools. I would certainly consider using a consultant like this though if I had special needs beyond a simple, straight-forward ticket.
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Old Jan 1, 12, 3:01 pm   #17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philemer View Post
You really think your friends & family will pay for this service when they know that you will help them if they bug you enough?
Fair point

Quote:
Originally Posted by World-Wide View Post
What is even more interesting is instead of helping "friends & family" he will rather have them pay. (wow)
Ridiculous

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Originally Posted by mike2200 View Post
Agree with why wouldn't you help family/friends???


Quote:
Originally Posted by amolkold View Post
I would, but OP clearly says "at times its quicker to pay for the help as Im on travel etc"

Award booking is time sensitive
Ive spent more than 300 hours on phone with US, burning millions of miles. There is no way I can help all friends and family with the time consuming ANA searches and phone calls with various US agents. However most I have done have been for family and friends. I have never charged any fees for helping anyone spend their miles. I even pay for it my self when urgent due to timing, travel etc. Will update with my experiences.
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Old Jan 1, 12, 7:53 pm   #18
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Which award service would you recommend and how much would it cost?

Need to book with U.S. Airways dividend miles for Biz or 1st class from LAX to SGN, PHN to YVR and YVR to LAX for late December 2012 to January 2013, approximately 3 weeks total for trip.
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Old Jan 1, 12, 10:28 pm   #19
 
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My service is in my signature line.
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Old Jan 3, 12, 11:42 pm   #20
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
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I would also like to recommend Award Travel Consulting and they only charge $100 per booking: http://www.awardtravelconsulting.com/ I am new to the game and ATC helped book two F class award tickets using US Airways DM. They take consulting to a new level because we experienced a bump on one of our segment back home and could not get in touch with US Airways but luckily I was able to get access to a computer before boarding and emailed ATC with the predicament. They gave US Airways a call and had the problem resolved when we arrived for our next connection flight.
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Old Jan 4, 12, 9:16 am   #21
 
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Originally Posted by somempire1 View Post
I would also like to recommend Award Travel Consulting and they only charge $100 per booking: http://www.awardtravelconsulting.com/ I am new to the game and ATC helped book two F class award tickets using US Airways DM. They take consulting to a new level because we experienced a bump on one of our segment back home and could not get in touch with US Airways but luckily I was able to get access to a computer before boarding and emailed ATC with the predicament. They gave US Airways a call and had the problem resolved when we arrived for our next connection flight.
I'm glad you enjoyed your trip...hopefully we'll get to see some pictures of you in the BKK Thai Airways First Class lounge soon! To clarify, we charge $100/person to put together an itinerary and $50/itinerary to call in and book. We have a full explanation (along with a picture taken in TK first class suites with wine and canapes ) available--see link below.

Last edited by philemer; Jan 9, 12 at 8:16 am.. Reason: removed commercial link
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Old Jan 4, 12, 3:02 pm   #22
 
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Since people asked, I'll throw in a shameless plug for my service:
see link below
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Maximizing Miles

Last edited by philemer; Jan 9, 12 at 8:17 am.. Reason: removed comm. link
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Old Jan 4, 12, 4:06 pm   #23
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: NY, NY
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Back in November I was looking for help in getting some award travel booked. I got in touch with both Ben (aka lucky) and Gleffp (aka bookyouraward.com). Gleffp never bothered responding to me. Ben responded to me within a couple of days (the delay being due to his being on the road). Thus of the two ben gets my vote. However, in the end I decided to plump down for KVSTool, do some research and booked my travel by myself.
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Old Jan 4, 12, 4:16 pm   #24
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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First Class and Beyond

Don't forget about the First Class and Beyond award booking service (see link below)!! It's been around for about 16 months and has serviced clients around the world. With the exception of being out of town - and even then, only sometimes does the following not happen - you will always get a response within 30 hours!

Thanks for your consideratoin!
__________________
For a high-end, concierge-style booking service, visit First Class and Beyond. Don't need that extra attention and just want to save time? Visit Award Magic !

Last edited by philemer; Jan 9, 12 at 8:18 am.. Reason: removed comm. link
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Old Jan 4, 12, 4:26 pm   #25
 
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My website now has a new URL- see link below

Last edited by philemer; Jan 9, 12 at 8:19 am.. Reason: removed comm. link
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Old Jan 5, 12, 10:30 am   #26
 
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I have contacted all consultants mentioned to date in OP with a challenge. Will report progress.

Worth noting is that several dont publish their contact mail, and you have to use a form. This to me is inconvenient.
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Old Jan 5, 12, 11:26 am   #27
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelkid View Post
I have contacted all consultants mentioned to date in OP with a challenge. Will report progress.

Worth noting is that several dont publish their contact mail, and you have to use a form. This to me is inconvenient.
Please do report back.

I have always wonder what goes on when an consultant engages with a client to help with an award trip. Do they talk on the phone? Do they email back-and-forth? Do they finish within a day or two (successful or not), or do they work with the client longer-term to secure and optimize the redemption?
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Old Jan 5, 12, 11:50 am   #28
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctor15 View Post
Since people asked, I'll throw in a shameless plug for my service:
i like your site, but the blog hasn't been active in months

Quote:
Originally Posted by ukinny2000 View Post
Back in November I was looking for help in getting some award travel booked. I got in touch with both Ben (aka lucky) and Gleffp (aka bookyouraward.com). Gleffp never bothered responding to me. Ben responded to me within a couple of days (the delay being due to his being on the road). Thus of the two ben gets my vote. However, in the end I decided to plump down for KVSTool, do some research and booked my travel by myself.
+1 (or ExpertFlyer)

Last edited by philemer; Jan 9, 12 at 8:19 am.. Reason: removed quoted link now deleted
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Old Jan 5, 12, 12:42 pm   #29
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I used a service (none of the ones listed here) about 10 years ago that I thought was responsive, treated me well, and would be perfect for someone who is "new to the game"...but...they ended up finding only the same routing I had already found on my own, which made me think they were using the same tools I was. It was a semi-complicated oneworld itin nested inside a more straightforward Star Alliance itin, but nothing overly crazy. Couple hotel awards in there too...

It was cheaper then - something like $49 per trip. I paid it thinking they'd magically find some partner or routing I didn't know existed, but I was wrong. Not really their fault...it's just that if you know how to use a lot of the tools listed here on FT (whether for mileage runs or for award searches), you're likely fairly high up on the proficiency scale already and therefore less likely to overlook a nugget that a true "pro" will find. At the end of the day, the $49 bought me assurance that I had indeed found the optimal route and not missed something.

Where I can see using a professional would be on an RTW, simply because of how long it would take to put that one together. Anything that gets into long phone calls to airlines starts to sound worth it to me. Plus some good local knowledge of hotels in places where I'm not using points would be worthwhile.
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Old Jan 5, 12, 1:41 pm   #30
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
I used a service (none of the ones listed here) about 10 years ago that I thought was responsive, treated me well, and would be perfect for someone who is "new to the game"...but...they ended up finding only the same routing I had already found on my own, which made me think they were using the same tools I was. It was a semi-complicated oneworld itin nested inside a more straightforward Star Alliance itin, but nothing overly crazy. Couple hotel awards in there too...

It was cheaper then - something like $49 per trip. I paid it thinking they'd magically find some partner or routing I didn't know existed, but I was wrong. Not really their fault...it's just that if you know how to use a lot of the tools listed here on FT (whether for mileage runs or for award searches), you're likely fairly high up on the proficiency scale already and therefore less likely to overlook a nugget that a true "pro" will find. At the end of the day, the $49 bought me assurance that I had indeed found the optimal route and not missed something.

Where I can see using a professional would be on an RTW, simply because of how long it would take to put that one together. Anything that gets into long phone calls to airlines starts to sound worth it to me. Plus some good local knowledge of hotels in places where I'm not using points would be worthwhile.
Out of curiosity, was it a prepaid type of consultation, or was it contingent on acceptable itinerary found? Did you talk to the consultant about what you already found, or did you wait to hear from them?

Also, before you engaged them, how much time do you estimate yourself having spent to find the same routing that they did?

I imagine that's part of the pricing situation with these kinds of consultations. The consultant has to average his work complexity - if everyone booked the easy trips themselves and only come to the consultant for the extremely complex trips, the cost (and price) will have to be well north of $200 - $400, instead of just $49.
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