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AwardHacker: a tool we build to tell you how to travel with the least miles

AwardHacker: a tool we build to tell you how to travel with the least miles

Old May 24, 16, 10:34 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 24
AwardHacker: a tool we build to tell you how to travel with the least miles

v1.2:
  • 2016.07.14 updated.
    • We added support to the following frequent flyer programs:
    • Southwest Airlines (WN) Rapid Rewards (U.S. domestic only)
    • Virgin America (VX) Elevate (Partners only)
  • Note that Southwest Airlines (WN) uses price-based award chart. The number of miles we show here is a lower limit (sale offers are not included). If you want to redeem for a award ticket close to the date of departure, or you want an award ticket on peak seasons, then more miles are required because of the increase of the ticket price.

v1.1:
  • 2016.6.16 updated.
  • We changed the way to select Frequent Flyer Programs. Now UR/MR/TYP/SPG points options are combined with Frequent Flyer Programs options, so their relationship has become OR. Now you can easily make this kind of selection: "show UR/MR/TYP partners and AA mile, but don’t show other SPG partners".
  • We added support to the following miles:
    • Air France (AF) Flying Blue (First class not included since it is only available to elite Flying Blue members)
    • Asiana Airlines (OZ) Asiana Club
    • Avianca (AV) LifeMiles (Partners only)

v1.0
  • 2016.05.24 officially launched!
  • We support the following frequent flyer programs:
    • Air Canada (AC) Aeroplan
    • Alaska Airlines (AS) Mileage Plan
    • All Nippon Airways (NH) ANA Mileage Club
    • American Airlines (AA) AAdvantange
    • British Airways (BA) Executive Club
    • Cathay Pacific (CX) Asia Miles
    • Delta Air Lines (DL) SkyMiles (Saver only, may contain inaccurate data)
    • EVA Air (BR) Infinity MileageLands
    • Japan Airlines (JL) Mileage Bank
    • Korean Air (KE) SkyPass
    • Lufthansa (LH) Miles & More
    • Malaysia Airlines (MH) Enrich
    • Qantas (QF) Frequent Flyer
    • Singapore Airlines (SQ) KrisFlyer
    • United Airlines (UA) MileagePlus

------

As the saying goes, it is easy to earn points but very difficult to burn points. I believe many friends here have already accumulated millions of points and miles. However, it is really not straight forward to burn all these points with decent value. Although there are a lot of airline miles guides in travel blogs, unless you learned all these knowledge of miles in heart, the following key problems still remain to be solved: I want to fly from A to B, which airline mile costs me the least amount of miles? What’s the best redemption if I only have one specific kind of bank points?

Now here comes the solution, http://www.AwardHacker.com!

AwardHacker, a free product from our team "US Credit Card Guide", is made to help everyone find the best award flights without being an expert in every airline program. It is built with the goal that searching and redeeming for award flights should be as easy as booking airline tickets.

Features
  • Cover most valuable frequent flyer programs
  • Support distance based award charts
  • Route information
  • Show miles need for each route
  • Filter routes based on allowed operate airlines and cabins
  • Availability search information and recommendation
  • Transfer ratio of rewards programs
  • Redeem information
  • Calculate the value of airline miles

Coming Soon…
  • Fuel charge and tax information
  • Routing rules
  • More frequent flyer programs support, including fixed value programs

If you find something unsatisfying, don’t hesitate to click the feedback button — we are always trying to make it better!

Last edited by physixfan; Jul 14, 16 at 3:17 pm
physixfan is offline  
Old May 24, 16, 11:13 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Programs: AA, SPG, HERTZ, BA, UA, CO, JB
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I think the site is not ready for prime time yet. It just won't load.
flyerwanabe1 is offline  
Old May 24, 16, 11:58 am
  #3  
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The traffic killed it for several minites... Now it's alive!

Originally Posted by flyerwanabe1 View Post
I think the site is not ready for prime time yet. It just won't load.
physixfan is offline  
Old May 24, 16, 1:49 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Northport, NY
Posts: 1,672
Looks promising. Fuel charges and fees are essential information IMHO.
Schutzee is offline  
Old May 24, 16, 4:52 pm
  #5  
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What does "MR" mean? Well, I know it means Membership Rewards, but Membership Rewards in which country? MembershipRewards have different partners in different countries.

I think this needs to be clarified, at the very least in the drop down where you current spell out that it means Amex Membership Rewards.

Also, is it really true that CX multi-partner awards are less than single-partner awards? It shows the opposite on MH. A search I tried LAX to JNB round-trip in Business showed CX wanting only 160k+ for multi-partner but 175k for single-partner, while it showed MH wanting 174k for single-partner and 190K+ for multi-partner. I want to make sure this correct and not a mis-labeling.

Another thing: I searched LAX to CDG, and AA came up showing nonstop as well as 1-stop, and "oneworld and more". That's presumably because of Air Tahiti Nui flies it nonstop. But there's no guidance on how to search for Air Tahiti Nui availability; it just says first try aa.com (which doesn't show it), and then it says where to look for oneworld availability (but Air Tahiti Nui isn't oneworld or any alliance). At the very least, if you don't know a better answer, I suggest you add "you may have to call AA for availability on some non-oneworld partners".

And thanks for creating it! ^
sdsearch is offline  
Old May 24, 16, 11:06 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 13
CX award chart can be found here, and yes, it is true that for LAX-JNB-LAX, single-partner requires 175k while multi-partner award requires 160k if the actually round-trip flying distance is less than 25,000 miles, or 190k if the flying distance is between 25,000 and 35,000 miles.

Another counter-intuitive results I found when I was debugging AwardHacker is that for BA Avios, 1 stop flight could occasionally use less miles than nonstop flight. An example is that BOS-HKG needs 50k, while BOS-NRT-HKG needs only 45k.

As for the non alliance availability, I think it's a good idea to add a special tip.

Thanks for your suggestion!


Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
What does "MR" mean? Well, I know it means Membership Rewards, but Membership Rewards in which country? MembershipRewards have different partners in different countries.

I think this needs to be clarified, at the very least in the drop down where you current spell out that it means Amex Membership Rewards.

Also, is it really true that CX multi-partner awards are less than single-partner awards? It shows the opposite on MH. A search I tried LAX to JNB round-trip in Business showed CX wanting only 160k+ for multi-partner but 175k for single-partner, while it showed MH wanting 174k for single-partner and 190K+ for multi-partner. I want to make sure this correct and not a mis-labeling.

Another thing: I searched LAX to CDG, and AA came up showing nonstop as well as 1-stop, and "oneworld and more". That's presumably because of Air Tahiti Nui flies it nonstop. But there's no guidance on how to search for Air Tahiti Nui availability; it just says first try aa.com (which doesn't show it), and then it says where to look for oneworld availability (but Air Tahiti Nui isn't oneworld or any alliance). At the very least, if you don't know a better answer, I suggest you add "you may have to call AA for availability on some non-oneworld partners".

And thanks for creating it! ^
skysniper is offline  
Old May 25, 16, 7:41 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: SMF
Posts: 1,245
Great job creating this! Like others have said, if there was some way to show which carriers/programs have fuel surcharges that would be great, but even without, it provides a great way to get started in planning trips.
Big4Flyer is offline  
Old May 26, 16, 9:06 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
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I think you should add a submit button that does an ajax call to load the info, you're wasting a lot of traffic having it reload every time you change one of the filters, especially when you're initially entering the info.
elliott44k is offline  
Old May 26, 16, 9:22 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Looks very promising. Well done!
SingaporeDon is offline  
Old May 26, 16, 9:59 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 37
Good info. How do you put in the dates you want to travel?
jerryc436 is offline  
Old May 26, 16, 12:25 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Originally Posted by jerryc436 View Post
Good info. How do you put in the dates you want to travel?
I don't think the goal is award availability.

It's award pricing.
josephstern is offline  
Old May 26, 16, 2:16 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: North Sentinel Island
Programs: AA Gold, BONVOY TIT
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Good tool. One suggestion is to put in eligible partners for Marriott Travel Packages (not sure if other hotel chains other than SPG have something similar) as that's a method frequently used to gain miles.
rdurlabhji is offline  
Old May 26, 16, 8:22 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by jerryc436 View Post
Good info. How do you put in the dates you want to travel?
There's another site if you want to do that (but missing a lot of other features this new site will have):

www.awardnexus.com

Click the "more signup options" under the green Purchase button to sign up for free (and free for a limited number of searches every 90 days) as a FlyerTalk member. You can search by one (or both) of two airlines for each alliance. Be aware that some airlines (such as QR in the OW alliance) may give "phantom" (false) availability results if you search for routings that involve connections; in those cases you should specify each flight leg on a separate line (after finding out what the connection airport would be).

But AwardNexus just searches for availability. It doesn't tell you what the fees are, it doesn't tell you how miles it will cost in the different programs in that alliance, it doesn't tell you which credit card programs you can transfer to what airline program to book those flights at the best rate, etc. All it tells you is which flights in that alliance appear to be available for redemption. (It basically does searches at up to 6 different airline sites and returns the availability results in a single consistent formt.)

So it's not a substitute for this new AwardHacker, but IMHO a complement to it.
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Old May 27, 16, 3:35 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 13
Originally Posted by Schutzee View Post
Looks promising. Fuel charges and fees are essential information IMHO.
Absolutely! We will add it in the next major update!
skysniper is offline  
Old May 27, 16, 3:42 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 13
Originally Posted by elliott44k View Post
I think you should add a submit button that does an ajax call to load the info, you're wasting a lot of traffic having it reload every time you change one of the filters, especially when you're initially entering the info.
I've considered this seriously. Adding the submit button will not accelerate loading speed (since we have idle servers for most of the times), though it will definitely save a lot of traffic and money. But the downside is one more click for each search. Currently it's acceptable for us to pay a few dollars more per month to save users a click per search
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