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Award booking services - a list and some reviews

Old Feb 3, 2014, 1:11 pm
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This list is not an endorsement of any particular award booking service.
Please do your research and read this thread.

Please refer to the FT Disclaimers for disclaimer of responsibility for use of these services, etc.

Please feel free add other services and options you are aware of to this wiki.

Also, please post any personal experiences you may have with any of these services in this thread.

Reviews which appear to have been solicited by the service providers based upon content and posting history will be deleted. If you are a brand new or a member with a low post count and wish that your post not be deleted, please be sure to include the following details in your review: program(s), number of miles or points and the desired destinations and hotels. Please also include the itinerary booked by the service including the airlines, routing and hotels, the number of points needed to book that trip and the fee charged.

Award booking services (alphabetical):
  • Award Advocate - Domestic $100 p/p International $125 p/p, no additional charge for last minute. Changes $50. Also 10% discount for families traveling with children and active military
  • Award Booking Service - $25 up front search fee plus $150/ticket & $49 per 30-minute skype consultations (ask anything!)
  • Award Butler - Award Search: $79 for up to two passengers; flight info provided but does not include booking. Booking starting at $149 for first two passengers.
  • Award Chaser - Search fee starting at $79. Itinerary only - no booking provided
  • Award Expert - (MatthewLAX on FT, Live and Let's Fly blog) $150 first passenger, $100 each additional passenger; $250 per person for RTW; $50/ticket booking fee.
  • Award Flight Assist - Specialising in Australian frequent flyer programs; from AU$199 for the first passenger, additional charges for complex itineraries and more passengers
  • Award Planners - One way $129, additional person $99; Round trip $199, additional person $99; Multi City $249 additional person $149
  • Award Travel Consulting - Award Search: $125/person; Booking ticket: $75/itinerary; changes: new trip
  • Awardmagic - $179 per person OW/RT plus one stop or $279 per person for three or more destinations
  • BoundlessMiles - (Dominik Żmuda/Travelling the World): Booking: starting at $50 per passenger; Changes: half of award flight service fee paid
  • CabinChief - Bookings are $49 per pax
  • CatchUsFlying - $125 CAD/person for round-trip, $225 CAD/person for complex round-the-world. Consulting available at $75CAD/hour. (loganre17) on FT
  • Chatflights - Use app to chat in real time with real travel hackers to book travel for points or cash. Booking fee $295 pp coach and business, $395 pp first class.
  • Cranky Concierge - $75 per person each way domestic; $95 per person each way international
  • First Class and Beyond - "Concierge-style" bookings. Fee is based on the value of the retail ticket, $250/person minimum.
  • Flightfox - Consultative flight searching; fees start at $100 (requires credit card authorization up front)
  • Flyermiles - (Graham / YOWgary) $150 + 50 per additional person, $250 for RTW awards. Offers detailed information on how to book your own award.
  • iflywithmiles.com - (Mike/Melissa): 150 USD first person, 85 for additional person on same itin. Change fees vary.
  • JJ Award Travel - FT Member since 2012 - No upfront fees. Basic one-way or round-trip air award travel consisting of a total of 8 legs or less for the entire itinerary: $250 for the first person and $125 for each additional person. Complex one-way or round-trip air award travel consisting of a total of 9 or more legs per direction is additional. FT members get a 10% discount.
  • Loophole Travel - Award Travel Coaching $150 for first passenger and $100 for each additional passenger. Points Earning and MS Coaching also available.
  • Luxury Travel Consulting - (Jasper2009 on Flyertalk): $150 per person per ticket
  • Miles Help - Domestic: $100 OW; $140 RT/complex. International: $150 OW; $200 RT/complex. $50 each additional person
  • Miles Momma Booking Services - Airline Booking: $200 up to 2 passengers. $75 additional passengers. $50 non-refundable up front. Changes $50
  • MileValue Award Booking Service - (Scott Grimmer): Booking: $125 per person per award; $15 up front. Full payment required for successful search even if not booked. Change fee not currently listed; previously $79
  • PMM Travel Consulting - (Miguel R. Quinones/AwardWallet Blog): Booking: $125 per passenger for the first two, $99 for each additional. Additional charges for complex itineraries. Credit card advice and travel planning services.
  • Point.me - merger of services formerly provided by PointsPro (Ben Schlappig/One Mile At a Time) and Juice Miles
  • Reward Flyer - Domestic: $50 first person; $25 each additional person. International: $100 first person; $50 each additional person
  • SFO777.com - (SFO777 on FT) Booking: $200 first passenger, $100 each additional passenger; change fees vary
  • Travel Codex - Per person pricing: $50 for North America award / $100 for International award.
  • The Flying Mustache - $100 per ticket; additional fees for more than eight segments. Change fees vary
  • The Short Final - $100 per person. $100 upfront deposit that is fully refundable if no itinerary found.
  • Travel Is The Point - USA, Canada/Mexico & the Caribbean – starting at $50 per person. All Other International Destinations – starting at $100 per person.
  • zainman - FT member since 2009. Booking: $200 first passenger, $100 each additional passenger; change fees vary, consultant services for $ as well
  • Zero Hassle Rewards - $100 per person. Discounts for domestic and one-way
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Award booking services - a list and some reviews

Old Sep 29, 2019, 6:25 am
  #706  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 30
Thanks for the referral. I'll be in touch.
krawfo is offline  
Old Oct 10, 2019, 7:12 pm
  #707  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 9
GeezerCouple - we had Jasper2009 help us with that same itinerary - US to NZ back from Australia. He was great to work with, even though I suspect I might have driven him a bit crazy with my routing requests. Enjoy your trip! We're certainly looking forward to ours.
grdnldy is offline  
Old Dec 4, 2019, 7:20 am
  #708  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2
GeezerCouple - do you have a direct contact for Jasper2009 you might be able to PM? I used the website you linked to but haven’t heard anything after an initial reply despite a couple of follow up emails (my response to their clarifying email was a couple weeks ago). Looking for help flying biz to Africa in late Aug/early Sept. Thanks!
ryguyrulez is offline  
Old Dec 4, 2019, 4:18 pm
  #709  
Community Director Emerita
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Anywhere warm
Posts: 33,907
Originally Posted by ryguyrulez
GeezerCouple - do you have a direct contact for Jasper2009 you might be able to PM?
You could PM him on FlyerTalk as that is his handle. And I'll do this so it shows up in his feed: Jasper2009
SanDiego1K is offline  
Old Dec 5, 2019, 7:45 am
  #710  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2009
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Posts: 11,874
Originally Posted by ryguyrulez
GeezerCouple - do you have a direct contact for Jasper2009 you might be able to PM? I used the website you linked to but haven’t heard anything after an initial reply despite a couple of follow up emails (my response to their clarifying email was a couple weeks ago). Looking for help flying biz to Africa in late Aug/early Sept. Thanks!
My sincere apologies - for some odd reason your message got directed to the spam folder.

I have just replied to you via e-mail and sent you the award itinerary.
Jasper2009 is offline  
Old Dec 9, 2019, 1:07 pm
  #711  
Moderator: Travel Safety/Security, Travel Tools, California, Los Angeles; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: LAX
Programs: oneword Emerald
Posts: 21,126
Exclamation Moderator's Note - Solicited Reviews

Folks,

It is time for the periodic reminder.

Award booking services reviews which, based upon content and posting history, appear to have been solicited by the service providers will be deleted.

Additional posts(s) have been deleted.

If you are a brand new or a member with a low post count and wish that your post not be deleted, please be sure to include the following details in your review: program(s), number of miles or points and the desired destinations and hotels. Please also include the itinerary booked by the service including the airlines, routing and hotels, the number of points needed to book that trip and the fee charged.

Thank you for understanding.

TWA884
Moderator
TWA884 is offline  
Old Jan 10, 2020, 9:53 am
  #712  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 88
Does anyone know what happened to Award Advocate? I submitted an online request a couple days ago but never heard back. Now reached out to Jasper2009 and hoping we hear back soon.
cjdesmond is offline  
Old Jan 10, 2020, 8:23 pm
  #713  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Programs: AA Lifetime Platinum; Amex Plat; Four Seasons; Fairmont; HH; etc.; "Retirees-In-Training"
Posts: 658
Originally Posted by cjdesmond
Does anyone know what happened to Award Advocate? I submitted an online request a couple days ago but never heard back. Now reached out to Jasper2009 and hoping we hear back soon.
No idea about Award Advocate, but we've been using Jasper2009 for several years now (and many trips) since we found him here on FT.
He tends to respond very promptly, and especially if there is something pending with some time urgency.
I don't remember how long it took for a reply from the first inquiry, but I have no recollection of starting to "wonder", etc.

We recently returned from a NZ-Australia cruise. Getting there and back was really tricky. I've heard that's one of the most difficult for Business or First. And... this was an almost last minute decision, especially compared with the usual 1 year.
But he found some wonderful flights for us, and on airlines we preferred, and especially, not on airlines we did *not* prefer. That was wonderful on relatively short notice.

He's also a regular travel agent. So now we also have him book our cruises and most of our hotels. (He can get perks that are very similar to Amex Plat, but not identical. He's part of a different luxury network, etc.)

Enjoy your travels!

GC
GeezerCouple is offline  
Old Jan 14, 2020, 5:32 am
  #714  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 88
Thanks GC. Unfortunately I seem to be having the same issue with Jasper: an initial reply and then radio silence. If anyone has any other recommendations for an award booking service, it would be greatly appreciated; I haven't had much luck so far for some reason.
cjdesmond is offline  
Old Jan 14, 2020, 10:18 am
  #715  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 88
Oddly enough, just got a call from Cam at Award Advocate, who was very polite and helpful, though ultimately unable to find cheaper point redemption options than what I already had. We're flying to South Africa in a few months and Amex can get us there and back in BA Club World for 730k MR points; Cam's best option was to have me pay cash now at $7100, and then buy my points off me at 1.1˘ per three months after I added him as a permitted user on my points account, which would ultimately save about 100k points all-in (factoring in the 5x point bonus for buying tickets through American Express). I appreciate the out-of-the-box thinking, but it was ultimately more hassle than I'm willing to go through explaining to my wife why I added someone we've never met as an authorized user on our Amex.
cjdesmond is offline  
Old Jan 14, 2020, 10:42 am
  #716  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Programs: AA Lifetime Platinum; Amex Plat; Four Seasons; Fairmont; HH; etc.; "Retirees-In-Training"
Posts: 658
Originally Posted by cjdesmond
Oddly enough, just got a call from Cam at Award Advocate, who was very polite and helpful, though ultimately unable to find cheaper point redemption options than what I already had. We're flying to South Africa in a few months and Amex can get us there and back in BA Club World for 730k MR points; Cam's best option was to have me pay cash now at $7100, and then buy my points off me at 1.1˘ per three months after I added him as a permitted user on my points account, which would ultimately save about 100k points all-in (factoring in the 5x point bonus for buying tickets through American Express). I appreciate the out-of-the-box thinking, but it was ultimately more hassle than I'm willing to go through explaining to my wife why I added someone we've never met as an authorized user on our Amex.
Huh?

So Award Advocates is trafficking in points?

By getting themselves "added as a permitted user"?
I suppose that's fine if your spouse works there - and isn't already a "permitted user".
(Except why would a spouse PAY for the points, rather than just be given the tickets purchased using the points?)



GC
GeezerCouple is offline  
Old Jan 14, 2020, 12:00 pm
  #717  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 88
Originally Posted by GeezerCouple
Huh?

So Award Advocates is trafficking in points?

By getting themselves "added as a permitted user"?
I suppose that's fine if your spouse works there - and isn't already a "permitted user".
(Except why would a spouse PAY for the points, rather than just be given the tickets purchased using the points?)



GC
The logic was that the options to South Africa are unusually expensive in points, and so by paying with cash and then selling the points, you'd effectively sell the points for a more efficient alternate use. The permitted user thing would be necessary to allow the point transfer. I get the logic, but without having a long-time course of dealing with the person it was more complicated and risky than I was willing to go for given the relatively small cost savings.
747FC likes this.
cjdesmond is offline  
Old Jan 20, 2020, 9:31 am
  #718  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 88
To update my post, I ended up emailing back and forth with Jasper a few times, and he was able to find a few itineraries that cost a lot less in miles but unfortunately added a good deal of cost in cash, and so stuck with my original itinerary and just paid in Amex points. Next time I'll have to remember to try this earlier in the process when I have more flexibility in my dates.
cjdesmond is offline  
Old Jan 21, 2020, 10:53 pm
  #719  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Springfield, MA
Programs: HH Diamond, IHG Diamond, Marriott Platinum, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 434
Book your award

I used this service twice, once several years ago and once last year. The first time after I clarified specifically what I wanted, I got it-flying in suites from JFK to Hong Kong (and back) on Cathay Pacific, business class from Hong Kong to Singapore (and back) and suites from Singapore to Auckland ( and back) - all on Singapore with stopovers in Singapore, Auckland, and Hong Kong. My miles could have been used more efficiently, but I got exactly what I wanted and the days I wanted. The second time was a complete disaster. I needed to fly from JFK to Cairo business class, and then Casablanca to JFK business class. My scheduled telephone call, which I waited for at my office until 8:30pm, was cancelled, and I never got one. I was very specific that I really wanted to use Royal Air Maroc one of the ways as I could add in a flight from Cairo to Casablanca business class for free. That was never attempted. I was told they needed to book my flights separately. I was sent instructions to book a flight using Avianca miles, and to do it right away as the space would be gone. I couldn't get the Avianca site to allow me to join, I gave up after 2 hours and booked my own flight on Turkish Air as I could not reach anyone at the booking service and they had never told me to join Avianca earlier. Then they sent me an Air France flight, but no instructions of what points to transfer over, and sent it so late no one responded to my email about the points to use. I figured it out and booked it. Had I waited for their response, the flight would have been gone. When I asked about Royal Air Maroc, they said it was difficult to get those flights from Etihad (but they never tried.) After I emailed a supervisor, I ended up not paying for the service the second time. I will never use them again. They didn't listen to me, had extremely poor customer service, didn't tell me to sign up for Avianca, and didn't tell me which points to send for Air France. I felt like all they wanted to do was get my flights to Africa done, but not listen to what I wanted at all in the process.
Runner123 is offline  
Old Jan 28, 2020, 12:54 pm
  #720  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Silver, AA Platinum, Alaska MVP, Hyatt Discoverist, National Executive
Posts: 117
Originally Posted by Runner123
I used this service twice, once several years ago and once last year. The first time after I clarified specifically what I wanted, I got it-flying in suites from JFK to Hong Kong (and back) on Cathay Pacific, business class from Hong Kong to Singapore (and back) and suites from Singapore to Auckland ( and back) - all on Singapore with stopovers in Singapore, Auckland, and Hong Kong. My miles could have been used more efficiently, but I got exactly what I wanted and the days I wanted. The second time was a complete disaster. I needed to fly from JFK to Cairo business class, and then Casablanca to JFK business class. My scheduled telephone call, which I waited for at my office until 8:30pm, was cancelled, and I never got one. I was very specific that I really wanted to use Royal Air Maroc one of the ways as I could add in a flight from Cairo to Casablanca business class for free. That was never attempted. I was told they needed to book my flights separately. I was sent instructions to book a flight using Avianca miles, and to do it right away as the space would be gone. I couldn't get the Avianca site to allow me to join, I gave up after 2 hours and booked my own flight on Turkish Air as I could not reach anyone at the booking service and they had never told me to join Avianca earlier. Then they sent me an Air France flight, but no instructions of what points to transfer over, and sent it so late no one responded to my email about the points to use. I figured it out and booked it. Had I waited for their response, the flight would have been gone. When I asked about Royal Air Maroc, they said it was difficult to get those flights from Etihad (but they never tried.) After I emailed a supervisor, I ended up not paying for the service the second time. I will never use them again. They didn't listen to me, had extremely poor customer service, didn't tell me to sign up for Avianca, and didn't tell me which points to send for Air France. I felt like all they wanted to do was get my flights to Africa done, but not listen to what I wanted at all in the process.
Since it wasn't mentioned the post body, assuming you are referring to the service called "Book Your Award" as per the title? If yes, I've had similar bad experiences with this entity. It's Gary Leff's firm but the actual work is done by others which could be the cause.
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