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Old Jul 21, 14, 10:03 am   -   Wikipost
FlyerTalk Forums Thread Wiki: Award booking services - a list and some reviews
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Award booking services (alphabetical):

  • Award Advocate: Domestic $75 p/p International $100 p/p, no additional charge for last minute
  • Award Booking Service: $100/person
  • 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
  • Easy Award Booking (Canadian award booking service): Booking: $99 CAD per person
  • Flightfox Consultative flight searching; fees start at $99
  • 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.
  • Miles Momma Booking Services Airline Booking: $150 up to 2 passengers. $25 additional passengers. Hotel Booking: $100 for up to 3 hotels.
  • 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"
  • 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.

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Old Oct 1, 12, 7:56 pm   #61
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: HNL
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The following thread has a list:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...ices-list.html

Moving this over to the Travel Tools forum for further discussion.
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Old Oct 2, 12, 7:49 am   #62
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Body in BDA and RDU, heart in YYZ
Programs: US Gold
Posts: 2,234
I wanted to share a thought. 9 months ago when I decided to ramp up my mileage collection, I thought I'd have to use one of these services because yes, the search process was daunting. However, since then I've learned an awful lot, and now feel competent to do it myself. You need to read FT and know the nuances, you need a search tool like Expert Flyer or KVS, and you need some patience.

I'm not at all putting down the use of paid help, if you don't care to go through the learning process it can definitely be worthwhile, and if you only book tickets occasionally and/or have miles on multiple alliances such that you'd have to learn the search-and-destroy, er sorry, search-and-book procedure for multiple alliances, it's likewise a better decision to pay than to learn yourself. I found the learning process informative.

Another thing is, I don't know how the paid services work, but I assume they limit you in terms of tradeoffs of time and routing. I just booked a trip for my wife. I assume you can tell an award service "I have miles on Skyteam and Star Alliance, I want to go on these dates, I have this much flexibility, and I want this class of service." When I booked the trip for my wife I had a huge number of tradeoffs. Book now on a decent routing or wait for an ideal one. Book with Star Alliance miles, which are the easiest to use, or Skyteam, which are the hardest, and save the *A miles for later. How much better is business class on the A380 than on the 777? Leave at 7AM and connect once, or leave at 11AM and connect twice? Not to mention that I didn't have enough USAir points to book a certain trip I had my eye on, but was expecting some to post shortly, and then just saw a promotion that allowed me to buy the last points I needed. If you can do it yourself, you will have a lot more flexibility.

Again, I am no way criticizing the decision to use a paid booking service.
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Old Oct 3, 12, 3:25 pm   #63
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Scott at milevalue.com just did a great job booking two business seats to Morocco for me. Within 24 hours he came up with several options that met my criteria. Then he booked the ones I selected, and re-booked when I changed my mind. There were many details that he brought to my attention, and he answered all my questions. He was friendly, professional and knowledgeable. I am so happy -- I could never have found these flights myself. His price was very reasonable and well worth it - $149 for two tickets on the same itinerary.
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Old Oct 4, 12, 4:06 am   #64
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoGreen View Post
Scott at milevalue.com just did a great job booking two business seats to Morocco for me. Within 24 hours he came up with several options that met my criteria. Then he booked the ones I selected, and re-booked when I changed my mind. There were many details that he brought to my attention, and he answered all my questions. He was friendly, professional and knowledgeable. I am so happy -- I could never have found these flights myself. His price was very reasonable and well worth it - $149 for two tickets on the same itinerary.
Added
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Old Oct 4, 12, 8:20 am   #65
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Body in BDA and RDU, heart in YYZ
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Posts: 2,234
Booking Help Available

I hope I'm not violating any rules by posting this...

As noted above, I've learned quite a bit about bookings in the past few months.

I'm offering, free of charge, to help one or two people book award trips. Strongly prefer domestic or Europe, because those are what I'm most familiar with. Why would I do this? I just booked my wife's summer trip and she said "I'd like to learn what you do." So rather than pick a phony trip and pretend to look for it, I'd rather have a real case to work on.

Of course if you don't like what I come up with, you don't have to book it.

Offer only good for weekends she's here (she lives in another city) and for the next 7 weeks (until my KVS subscription runs out). But this weekend would be good.
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Old Oct 4, 12, 9:26 am   #66
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redtop43 View Post
I hope I'm not violating any rules by posting this...

As noted above, I've learned quite a bit about bookings in the past few months.

I'm offering, free of charge, to help one or two people book award trips. Strongly prefer domestic or Europe, because those are what I'm most familiar with. Why would I do this? I just booked my wife's summer trip and she said "I'd like to learn what you do." So rather than pick a phony trip and pretend to look for it, I'd rather have a real case to work on.

Of course if you don't like what I come up with, you don't have to book it.

Offer only good for weekends she's here (she lives in another city) and for the next 7 weeks (until my KVS subscription runs out). But this weekend would be good.
Good spirit
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Old Oct 10, 12, 10:19 am   #67
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: SF Bay Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoGreen View Post
Scott at milevalue.com just did a great job booking two business seats to Morocco for me. Within 24 hours he came up with several options that met my criteria. Then he booked the ones I selected, and re-booked when I changed my mind. There were many details that he brought to my attention, and he answered all my questions. He was friendly, professional and knowledgeable. I am so happy -- I could never have found these flights myself. His price was very reasonable and well worth it - $149 for two tickets on the same itinerary.
Based on this above review, I gave Scott a try. I was looking for 2 tickets to Paris business class and he was able to nab them. He responded to my initial e-mail on the same day I sent the e-mail and, within a day, provided me with some good choices. I am a newbie so others may not need this service but the $149 for the 2 tickets, for me, was well worth the value. He basically walked my wife and me through the entire process and it was done fairly quickly and painlessly.
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Old Oct 19, 12, 3:01 pm   #68
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: LAT/LONG
Programs: UA 1k; Hyatt Plat; SPG Gold; Avis PC Preferred; Priority Pass Select; AMEX Platinum
Posts: 441
PremierAwardBookings

www.premierawardbookings.com

Hello

I recently found these guys and they helped me book a one way LH biz (747-8i and A380) to SIN. Somehow they were able to get me a one night >24 hours stopover in SIN on my way to Rangoon on SQ. I want a First class ticket and i know LH does not release F until a week or so before, so they are still monitoring availability for me.

Great guys, responded back within 24 hours like promised and was given a friends and family discount (if anyone would like it PM me and i will share)

Last edited by sidestep; Oct 19, 12 at 3:16 pm..
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Old Oct 19, 12, 3:31 pm   #69
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidestep View Post
www.premierawardbookings.com

Hello

I recently found these guys and they helped me book a one way LH biz (747-8i and A380) to SIN. Somehow they were able to get me a one night >24 hours stopover in SIN on my way to Rangoon on SQ. I want a First class ticket and i know LH does not release F until a week or so before, so they are still monitoring availability for me.

Great guys, responded back within 24 hours like promised and was given a friends and family discount (if anyone would like it PM me and i will share)
OP updated
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Old Oct 22, 12, 8:27 am   #70
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Programs: DL PM, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold, SPG
Posts: 726
Well, I think for the first time I may need some expertise but it's confusing as to which service to choose to contact.

I have only Delta miles but plenty of them since they're so hard to use.

I've booked other tickets using miles for a first class award for my husband, while purchasing an upgradeable fare for myself, using one of my SWUs. And I'm not complaining about finding a low level award; I guess I no longer expect that with Delta.

Our Ideal Goal - Outbound: CMH - LIH on 2/8/13 in first and I don't care what cities we go through. It just needs to be in first because my husband is large, doesn't like to fly, so I need to get him in first. Return: 2/23/13 KOA - CMH and here I'd like to get in first on DL 836 (HNL-ATL) with the lie flat BE seats for the overnight return. He's never experienced the lie flat seats and I'd like for him to be able to do so on the return. If need be, we could come home a day or so later. I'm beginning to think I may have to give up on my return goal.

I am a Expert Flyer premium member but must admit that I've rarely used it because i've not found it to be very useful for Delta flights since it can't do awards any better than the Delta site.
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Old Oct 30, 12, 7:26 am   #71
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: LAT/LONG
Programs: UA 1k; Hyatt Plat; SPG Gold; Avis PC Preferred; Priority Pass Select; AMEX Platinum
Posts: 441
Points Pros

Points Pros is not taking service requests at this time.
No mention of when they will accept new clients.

"Hi there:

Thanks for the request. However, we are quite busy and unable to take on requests. My apologies for any inconvenience this might cause you.


Regards,
Alex and The PointsPros Team"
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Old Oct 30, 12, 7:34 am   #72
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidestep View Post
Points Pros

Points Pros is not taking service requests at this time.
No mention of when they will accept new clients.

"Hi there:

Thanks for the request. However, we are quite busy and unable to take on requests. My apologies for any inconvenience this might cause you.


Regards,
Alex and The PointsPros Team"
I will update with such issues when reported, however if they become to frequent Id rather recommend you send your request to a few services.
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Last edited by travelkid; Oct 30, 12 at 8:05 am..
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Old Oct 30, 12, 7:40 am   #73
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: LAT/LONG
Programs: UA 1k; Hyatt Plat; SPG Gold; Avis PC Preferred; Priority Pass Select; AMEX Platinum
Posts: 441
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelkid View Post
I will update with such issues when reported, however if they become to frequent Id rather recommendyou send your request to a few services.
Understood, thought i would let the community know so they dont waste time waiting to hear from a response back that they cant help.
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Old Nov 3, 12, 9:42 am   #74
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: MSP
Programs: DL Silver, UA Silver, AMX Plat, Carlson Gold, SPG Gold
Posts: 167
I tried using Ben's service earlier this year. Very poor customer contact experience from an associate of his. No reply to my emails after the initial inquiry. I canceled my request and still received no reply or contact.

I like his blog, but the award booking service needs attention.



Quote:
Originally Posted by richinaz View Post

I tried contacting Ben but got someone who was working with him (Ben was on the road) and unfortunately he wasn't too helpful and could only find me business class seats so I tried awardtravelconsulting and he was much more capable of finding the seats I wanted.

In the past I used Cranky Concierge who found the seats but I did the booking myself. Now I'm fairly knowledgeable to do this myself but sometimes you just don't have the time to do so and it is nice to have a resource willing and able to do it for you. awardtravelconsulting.com did a nice job for me in finding seats others said weren't available and I would definitely use them again.
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Old Nov 3, 12, 1:48 pm   #75
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Programs: AA EXP, LH Hon
Posts: 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSPpete View Post
I tried using Ben's service earlier this year. Very poor customer contact experience from an associate of his. No reply to my emails after the initial inquiry. I canceled my request and still received no reply or contact.

I like his blog, but the award booking service needs attention.
Seconded on this. Ben's associate was great initially on booking an itinerary that I found, but I've done most of the work since then myself (such as finding LH F availability exactly 14 days before departure and rebooking it myself over the phone with UA). At one point, I didn't receive any response to my emails (requesting a change in my itinerary) for over a month. . I'm still not 100% confident that they'll be able to get me the TATL sector, so I've set up EF alerts myself and am using the ANA tool. I would not recommend.
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