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Where are all the incredible award values that I am reading about?

Where are all the incredible award values that I am reading about?

Old May 11, 19, 7:33 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: US
Programs: United
Posts: 42
Where are all the incredible award values that I am reading about?

Keep reading about all kinds of incredible award deals but I never find them.
Recently planned an award travel form the west coast to EU and the lowest I've found in business one way was 80k miles/points.

Where do you look when you search for the better value award business travel?
What tools do you use?
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Old May 11, 19, 9:33 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
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Without knowing which program(s) miles you are talking about I doubt anyone can even try to help you... If its United miles as per your profile you might want to go to the United forum..
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Old May 12, 19, 7:49 am
  #3  
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Join Date: Apr 2017
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United and Amex.
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Old May 12, 19, 8:28 am
  #4  
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How for out are you looking? To some destinations, awards may become available 10 or 11 months out and disappear a few months after that. And in other situations, they may only appear a few days out.

So you can't look for "saver" awards at random times out and expect them to be available.
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Old May 12, 19, 9:14 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
How for out are you looking? To some destinations, awards may become available 10 or 11 months out and disappear a few months after that. And in other situations, they may only appear a few days out.

So you can't look for "saver" awards at random times out and expect them to be available.
No fixed dates or plans other than the desire to find great value. Open to any term, short/med/long. No matter what I search for, I just don't see value anywhere / anytime, and if you have a method for searching that works - I'd be happy to learn.
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Old May 12, 19, 9:34 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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United the value is pretty much what's bookable.

For AMEX there is significant value in Virgin Atlantic, ANA, to a lesser extent Aeroplan.

Lots of blogs out there that walk through the AMEX sweet spots.

I just used VS to book roundtrip F tickets for my wife and I on ANA for ORD - NRT // HND - ORD for 120k/person roundtrip (even less because AMEX is offering a transfer bonus to VS at the moment).

Hard to beat that value if you want to go to Japan
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Old May 12, 19, 9:55 am
  #7  
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Join Date: Apr 2017
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Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
United the value is pretty much what's bookable.

For AMEX there is significant value in Virgin Atlantic, ANA, to a lesser extent Aeroplan.

Lots of blogs out there that walk through the AMEX sweet spots.

I just used VS to book roundtrip F tickets for my wife and I on ANA for ORD - NRT // HND - ORD for 120k/person roundtrip (even less because AMEX is offering a transfer bonus to VS at the moment).

Hard to beat that value if you want to go to Japan
Thank you. i tried searching Virgin Atlantic web site, and it is not very intuitive. Looking for RT business LAX/SFO - HND/NRT ... none in 2019.

Last edited by uela; May 12, 19 at 10:23 am
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Old May 13, 19, 6:23 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2009
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A good starting point to build a background "picture" of the better FFP options is AwardHacker where you can see the mileage amounts required for different FFPs on a given route, and also notes on which transferable points (e.g., Membership Rewards, Ultimate Reqards, etc) can be transferred into the FFP.

Next I'd spend some time with https://awardnexus.com/user/login?url=%2F to see what's available - you can utilize it for free with your FT login. Though not perfect - nothing is - it's a great tool.

As you've seen, not all FFP websites are user-friendly. Some are also unreliable, returning phantom availability that can't actually be booked and/or not showing availability that ought to be there (as confirmed through another source). And with a number of FFPs, not all partner redemptions can be searched on their website. In which case you have to end up calling in order to redeem for an award seat. And even then, some FFPs tend to have better phone agents than others, in general. In cases where the desired FFP doesn't show the desired partner online, usually it's best to have searched for partner availability through another source to get an idea of what ought to be available before calling (e.g., AA.com won't show CX awards, so you can search BA or QF for award seats released by CX to partners and have those results ready when you call AA to redeem).

For FFPs that you might want to use, but are not familiar with, I'd recommend spending a bit of time on that program's forum here and reading threads on award searches and redemptions, to see what roadblocks and nuances you'll encounter in redemptions with that FFP.

Good luck!
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Old May 13, 19, 1:39 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Unfortunately, you are learning the hard way that the "fantastic awards" you are often reading about are in sponsored blog content, where the authors have an incentive to get you to sign up for a credit card - making >$100 per card sign-up - while downplaying how hard it can be to actually use the miles they are teasing you with.
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Old May 13, 19, 11:53 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by uela View Post
Thank you. i tried searching Virgin Atlantic web site, and it is not very intuitive. Looking for RT business LAX/SFO - HND/NRT ... none in 2019.
It's not that simple unfortunately. You have to use the United website to find the space on ANA and then call Virgin Atlantic and have them search the space and put it on hold and then you transfer in your miles.

If it was easy and straightforward the sweet spots would be dead (and many of the old honey holes have dried up for that exact reason) -- you have to put some work into and read the blogs and various FT threads that go into detail on some of these better values.

For this deal in particular: ANA (NH) Redemptions using VS Flying Club points
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