PointsPros (Ben Schlappig/One Mile At A Time): Booking: $200 first passenger, $100 each additional passenger; changes: "a nominal fee"
Reward Flyer: Free service as long as you apply for credit cards through their site.
Shrewd Travel: (Sylvania on FT) Booking: $250 per person; changes: unknown
SFO777.com (SFO777 on FT) Booking: $200 first passenger, $100 each additional passenger; change fees vary
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 zainman, FT member since 2009, offers his consultant services for $ as well
Note: This list is not an endorsement of any particular award booking service; please do your research and read this thread. See the FT Disclaimers for disclaimer of responsibility for use of these services, etc. 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.
Regarding Awardtravelingconsultant, I already know what my itinerary is and approximately what days I want. Would this cost me the $100 per person plus the additional $50 for having them call the Airline to book?
I need help to book for December 2012 to January 2013: LAX to SGN, PNH to LAX , first class and if nothing available, biz class
I have 190k U.S. Airways and 150k Delta . I have miles in United but need it for other trips.
Who is the best award booking services for this? And do I only pay if the booking is confirmed or do I pay for them trying?
What kind of information would any award booking services require from me? (eg- mileage number ....)
It is not the itinerary of O/D that you have in mind would cost the service fee - most everyone who wants to travel has that in mind already. It is the matter of HOW do you get from LAX to SGN, on what airline(s) and the routing to get there, plus finding the award seats on those routing - it is THAT time-consuming work these services charge.
Do you know HOW you would get from LAX to SGN using the resources you have?
Do you have the time and tools to look for award seats on ALL possible routings to get from LAX to SGN?
Are you patient enough and not get frustrated easily when trying only a couple options and none working?
Same questions on the return PNH - LAX.
If you have definitive Yes to the above, then you can do this all by yourself. It is a very time-consuming task to find award seats on not-so-common destination.
If you are iffy enough and dont have time to muddle through all the possibilities, then the $100 is well worth to pay to have someone do this for you - it is hours of work if you dont have all the tools available to you, mind you.
Hint: Try a dummy booking on CO and see what comes up because Star A availability should "normally" be available to all member airlines.
Neither US nor DL offers one-way award, so you are stuck to book r/t with them on an open-jaw return. VN flies your route naturally but you have to call DL to book - that is on top of that VN's own website is not functional even for revenue tickets. Mainland China airlines may also can get the job done especially on the return leg though it all requires you to connect somewhere in China. OZ and TG are 2 other alternatives with connections.
You most likely have to search a route segment by segment in order to piece a route that has award seat available on all the segments. Note that I do not say "itinerary" but "route" - because there are many different routes that can get you to achieve the LAX-SGN, PNH-LAX "itinerary" in the sense you have in mind. Understand the difference between what you mean by "itinerary" and the actual "route" to fly for that itinerary, you are half-way there in the DIY department.
The above info is more than enough for you to get started on your own and if you still are not able to do it on your own, then in my opinion, the $100 charge is a worthwhile expense.
One more thing, because your trip is so far out, be prepared that there would be numerous schedule changes between booking and traveling. Therefore, the less segments involved, the better off down the road should the inevitable schedule changes happen.
Last edited by Happy; Jan 9, 12 at 3:43 pm..
Reason: add more details.
No award booking service for me...I checked the Continental Website a week ago, found the itinerary I wanted and called U.S. Airways CSR . I gave airlines and flight numbers, date and time for each segment and all was booked.
LAX to SFO
SFO to ICN
ICN to HAN (destination)
PNH to BKK
BKK to NRT
NRT to LAX
Over Xmas holidays , all on BIZ except for first leg (lax to sfo), 2 long international legs with refurbished seat so they are flat beds, all for 90k
Call all airlines involved (Asiana, Thai, United and All Nippon) to confirm and reserve seats. All done!
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Originally Posted by ademarco
I've used travelconcierge before (twice now) and Roland has been very good at finding what I want and from different alliances. I think he is Australian based, but is very knowledgable in finding routings for me that work.
I used up *A miles for my first trip and this time I am using up my *A miles one way and BA/Avios miles on the way back. Being able to fly the A380 on Air France was nice.
This would be quite a trick to use *A miles or possibly BA miles to get an award ticket on the AF A380. AF is and AFAIK always has been in SkyTeam. Even using AA miles through its partner Alaska, I don't think you can book an AF flight using a DL codeshare to achieve this.
I have slowly been looking at a mini RTW using the tools available (KVS, etc). The big problem is that I need three award tics, in business. I know, not an easy thing especially since we do not want to fly separately.
I don't want to go into detail of our route but was wondering if any of these consulting firms have success with the 3+ seat senerios. I would certainly think it could be money well spent if they had the expertise to carry it out.
I contacted Gleff on March 27th. He said he'd put me in contact with his 'associate', Steve Belkin. Either one of us has herpes and they are avoiding contact, or they don't want/need the biz - no further communications.
__________________ We are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different. ~ Kurt Vonnegut.
Does anyone know of a "pay for" service for assistance in routing and booking award tickets... Lucky Ben used to be the BEST at it but I don't think he is doing it anymore. Unfortunately, I just don't have the time to scour the sites to determine best routes and values. Thanks for the recs, FT!!!