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Award booking services - a list and some reviews

Award booking services - a list and some reviews

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Old Aug 15, 18, 12:52 am   -   Wikipost
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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.


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
  • AwardBird - Economy: $39 for the 1st passenger and $19 for each additional; Business/First: $69 for the 1st passenger and $39 for each additional
  • 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
  • Awarding Canada - Specializing in awards for Canadians, especially with Aeroplan, but with expertise available for anyone, worldwide. $150CAD for first passenger, $100CAD per passenger thereafter. Infants charged $25 instead. 2% discount if paid by Interace-Transfer.
  • Award Guru - $100 flat fee. Unlimited number of passengers. Website down as of 23-June-2018
  • 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
  • Awards & Travel - (iqbalt from FT) $100 for the first person; $50 for additional personnel. Explorer and RTW awards will be $200/ per person. Website down as of 23-June-2018
  • Book Your Award - (Gary Leff/View From The Wing): Booking: $185 per person; changes: $75 per person, each way
  • Boundless Miles - (Dominik Żmuda/Travelling the World): Booking: $50 USD per passenger, $25 change/cancellation fee per passenger
  • CabinChief - Bookings are $49 per pax
  • 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)
  • iflywithmiles.com - (Mike/Melissa): 150 USD first person, 85 for additional person on same itin. Change fees vary.
  • JJ Award Travel - $175 for the first person/$75 each additional. Complex awards more. Currently giving 10% discount when you mention FT. 20% off per referral.
  • Juicy Miles - (Adam/Point Me to the Plane): $125 per person for the first two travelers. $100 per each additional traveler. For Round-the-World (RTW) awards, pricing will vary
  • 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
  • MilesConcierge - (callmedtop on FT) "High-touch" award bookings, emphasizing personalized engagement for every customer. $125 for first passenger, $100 for each additional. Not accepting new bookings as of 23-June-2018
  • MilesElite - $99 for award search and $149 for award search and booking. No such domain as of 23-June-2018
  • 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.
  • PointsPros - (Ben Schlappig/One Mile At A Time): Booking: $300 first passenger, changes: $100
  • Reward Flyer - Domestic: $50 first person; $25 each additional person. International: $100 first person; $50 each additional person
  • Shrewd Travel - (skyvanman on FT) Booking: $250 per person; changes: varies; Available via phone or e-mail or even FT PM. Website down as of 23-June-2018
  • SFO777.com - (SFO777 on FT) Booking: $200 first passenger, $100 each additional passenger; change fees vary
  • The Flying Mustache - $100 per ticket; additional fees for more than eight segments. Change fees vary
  • The Points Jet Setter - $150 for the first passenger and $75 per each additional passenger. Website down as of 23-June-2018
  • Upgrd Awards - (MatthewLAX on FT, Live and Let's Fly blog) $150 first passenger, $100 each additional passenger; $250 per person for RTW; changes $75 but can vary. $50/ticket booking fee
  • 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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Old Nov 3, 12, 1:57 pm
  #106  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: DFW
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum, Hilton HHonors Gold
Posts: 2,806
I would pay anyone who can help me find avaialbility on SQ F/J using US Air Dividend Miles 200-300 usd gladly
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Old Nov 3, 12, 2:48 pm
  #107  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Programs: AA EXP, AS MVP 75K, LH SEN
Posts: 487
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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Old Nov 3, 12, 2:56 pm
  #108  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: ATL, but want to Expatriate to SE Asia ASAP
Programs: AS MVP Gold, Choice Plat & Hilton+SPG Gold, UA, BA...Etc
Posts: 797
Well put milevalue! PS: it was great to meet you in Chicago!

I am fairly certain I am the only award booking service that does not run a "real" blog.

I do have a blog on my site but I just post interesting tips and offers as I find them. I DO NOT have any affiliate or credit card links on it. I don't want to become a marketing/sales slave for American Express or Chase.

I have booked a lot of awards for myself and others over the years and I want to help others. I am not going to get rich off of it but its a hobby that I can make a little extra travel money doing.

To echo others it really comes down to time value. You can spend 5 hours learning the airline program rules and fighting with phone agents if you like. Same as you can spend 5 hours learning about plumbing and replace your own toilet in your house.

I have many satisfied customers who say I charge too little. There is exactly where I want to be. I only plan to raise prices if I get overwhelmed (which is what any business does!).

I am happy to answer any questions via private message--whether you decide to use my service or not!

Foo
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Old Nov 3, 12, 3:29 pm
  #109  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: DEN
Programs: UA 1K, once-upon-a-time NW Gold, BMI Gold, Hyatt Diamond, SPG Gold
Posts: 6,230
Originally Posted by milevalue View Post
As the proprietor of one of the largest Award Booking Services
Altruistic reason: the main purpose of milevalue.com is not profit.
I'm curious as to which of these claims is more likely to be true?

And congrats on FlyerTalk post #100! You are now 1% of the way to becoming an Evangelist!
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Old Nov 3, 12, 5:28 pm
  #110  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: SNA
Programs: hilton gold,hyatt
Posts: 205
maybe next year i will try to use booking service if i do a multi city ,multi continents.
this year i just booked my first award ticket bos-iad-hyd-iad -bos business and hopefully get to see whats all about business class ,so far its always economy for me.
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Old Nov 3, 12, 10:24 pm
  #111  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 5,729
Originally Posted by milevalue View Post
As the proprietor of one of the largest Award Booking Services, I wanted to say a few things. First, to OP's concerns:

For most awards, I need the following info: full legal names, gender, birthdays, account info and pin/pw. For AA awards, I don't even need account info, gender, or birthday.

Then I put an award on hold, and you book it with your own credit card. In some situations, it is not possible to put an award on hold. In those cases, you can choose between giving me the credit card info by phone, which I shred afterwards, or calling in to book the award yourself with step-by-step written instructions.

Now, to the value proposition:

At $149 for two passengers on one award, my price, almost everyone gets incredible value from a good award booking service.

First, it will save you tons of time. Any time you have to get into a phone call with the awfully-trained agents of a few airlines, you are staring at an hour. What do you value your time at?

Second, it will save you taxes and fees. My personal record is saving two people almost $2,000. In many cases, I will save $50 in phone fees by using phone-ticketing tricks.

Third, you can add free oneways and extra legs. You may know the rules for all airlines in this regard. We do.

Four, you will not have to think about which of your 5 types of miles/points is best for the job.

If you just want a domestic oneway on United, an award booking service would be a waste of your money. But if you want anything with any complexity, and you aren't a complete expert yourself, you will get good value.

Finally OP made another interesting point: "And, also considering most services operate blogs, isn't their service the exact opposite of what their blogs attempt to provide?"

The short answer is yes, which is very interesting for me to ponder. If you read and understood every post on my blog, you would basically have the same award-booking acumen I do. I am giving away for free what I charge for. I can't think of other businesses that do that.

Altruistic reason: the main purpose of milevalue.com is not profit.

Selfish reason: It turns out to be a successful strategy because it advertises my acumen and draws in more potential customers.
Haha, very well said, touche.
It is weird coming from someone who didn't know LAN partnered with AS - but I'm not complaining.

Originally Posted by oneworld82 View Post
I would pay anyone who can help me find avaialbility on SQ F/J using US Air Dividend Miles 200-300 usd gladly
I'd pay 300 bucks to use US to book LH F.

Originally Posted by foofiter View Post
Well put milevalue! PS: it was great to meet you in Chicago!

I am fairly certain I am the only award booking service that does not run a "real" blog.

I do have a blog on my site but I just post interesting tips and offers as I find them. I DO NOT have any affiliate or credit card links on it. I don't want to become a marketing/sales slave for American Express or Chase.

I have booked a lot of awards for myself and others over the years and I want to help others. I am not going to get rich off of it but its a hobby that I can make a little extra travel money doing.

To echo others it really comes down to time value. You can spend 5 hours learning the airline program rules and fighting with phone agents if you like. Same as you can spend 5 hours learning about plumbing and replace your own toilet in your house.

I have many satisfied customers who say I charge too little. There is exactly where I want to be. I only plan to raise prices if I get overwhelmed (which is what any business does!).

I am happy to answer any questions via private message--whether you decide to use my service or not!

Foo
As I've spent a lot of time learning about points and miles, it's the concern of whether I'm missing anything. Like I know about AA gateway city, but then I forgot it's the first point of entry into NA. Found my segments, and then ... oops And then I swear CX J space fluctuated at least 4 times today. Like I didn't know that when I was booking, so it flusters me a lot. Ok that was very embarrassing.
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Old Nov 4, 12, 6:35 am
  #112  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: DRW
Posts: 5,270
I run an award booking service- the way I do it is mostly over the phone- I take the person's details including credit card but not account password and do everything with the call centre agent.

In terms of whether or not it's worth the value, I generally let my customers decide that for themselves.
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Old Nov 5, 12, 9:36 am
  #113  
b8b
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: SXSW
Programs: DL Plat; HH Diamond; SPG & Hyatt Plat
Posts: 963
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.
Originally Posted by glenny84 View Post
Seconded on this.
Unfortunately, I must concur: great blog, booking service isn't a professional service. Perhaps they prioritize the easy ones. I will look to one of the others recommended here. Thanks for the reviews.
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Old Nov 6, 12, 5:38 pm
  #114  
b8b
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: SXSW
Programs: DL Plat; HH Diamond; SPG & Hyatt Plat
Posts: 963
Contacted www.milevalue.com - >24 hours ago (after submitting form, it said I response in <24 hours), still no response.
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Old Nov 6, 12, 10:12 pm
  #115  
Senior Moderator/Moderator: United MileagePlus
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: UA Plat/2MM [23-yr. 1K, now emeritus] WN-A List; MR LT Plat. Prem. if MR would only do the sweep!
Posts: 11,959
FlyerTalk has recently created a Travel Tools forum which would be ideal for this thread and I'll move it there. Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator, TravelBuzz.
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Old Nov 9, 12, 1:22 pm
  #116  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 5,729
Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
I guess my point is that a travel agent doesn't add any value to me for airlines and hotels - except perhaps if we're talking about boutiques or B&B's that the agent knows very well. In fact, I've had cases where I used a 3rd party agent and then had problems changing, canceling, viewing, or otherwise managing a reservation directly with an airline or hotel. The involvement of the TA actually injected problems into the situation.

My other point was that I would pay for something that a human travel agent can still bring to the table in 2011: ridiculously good local knowledge that can effectively "curate" the gigabytes of review information on the Internet and in guidebooks. So yes, I would let them handle all of those bookings and make commissions on that...

Later this year, I'll have a few days in each of Mumbai, Delhi, and Kathmandu. I know little about any of those cities or regions. I will probably sniff around, do some of my own research, but may end up finding a travel agent who really knows how to plan activities in each one. My hunch is that I'll book some things through the agent - drivers, guides, etc. - and they'll make commission that way.
Virtuoso, maybe?
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Old Dec 2, 12, 2:31 pm
  #117  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1
I have used http://www.worldclassperks.com/ 3 times in the past month for 2 future vacation trips and one trip for my friends - total of 9 tickets and their service was fantastic. I'm not a big miles junkie but understand the value. We were provided multiple options, cabin layouts, difference between first and business pricing and how first class for our Asia trip was better (have a boat load of United mies). Our 2 trips were booked within 24 hours and our friends within a few days as they were exploring additional destinations.
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Old Jan 7, 13, 3:50 pm
  #118  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 300
Same thing here

Originally Posted by b8b View Post
Contacted www.milevalue.com - >24 hours ago (after submitting form, it said I response in <24 hours), still no response.
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Old Jan 7, 13, 3:55 pm
  #119  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Bay Area
Programs: DL SM, UA MP.
Posts: 8,408
Originally Posted by KiranSatish View Post
I have used http://www.worldclassperks.com/ 3 times in the past month for 2 future vacation trips and one trip for my friends - total of 9 tickets and their service was fantastic. I'm not a big miles junkie but understand the value. We were provided multiple options, cabin layouts, difference between first and business pricing and how first class for our Asia trip was better (have a boat load of United mies). Our 2 trips were booked within 24 hours and our friends within a few days as they were exploring additional destinations.
What were their fees?
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Old Jan 15, 13, 6:40 pm
  #120  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 6
World Class Perks

WCP charges a minimum $200 award booking fee per ticket and the rate could be higher based on the type of complexity of the redemption.

visit worldclassperks.com for more details
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