Finding Award Flights - The Easier Way

Use This Tip to Find OneWorld Award Flights

Author: The Traveling Professor/Wednesday, December 23, 2015/Categories: Travel Tips

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The Traveling Professor's  first tip for booking an award flight, especially an international award flight, is to book the outbound and return flights as separte one-way trips instead of round trips.  The first reason is that more flexibility is built into a search.  Secondly if you need to cancel one way of a R/T ticket, the entire reservation may need to be cancelled.  Then, your flight on the segment you did not want to change might become unavailable.   Therefore if just one direction is changed, and each direction is separately booked, one ticket does not affect the other.

The tool I use to quickly find availability for award flights is American Airlines (remember, it may apply to other OneWorld carriers) Award Map at

The first advantage of using the Award Map is that it provides a visual snapshot, according to criteria set by the user, of award availability.

In the visual example below, the following options have been set:

  • From:  JFK (New York)
  • To:  Europe
  • Departure Date:  3/15/2016
  • Passengers: 1
  • Miles to Use: 40,000 (will show awards at 40K miles or less)

Optional Options also set:

  • One Way Trip
  • Main Cabin
  • No Preference on # of Stops
  • Include Partner Airlines (allows selection of other, but not all, OneWorld partners)

Upon clicking "Search" all of my available award destinations, restricted by the set criteria, are displayed.  It's easy to change criteria to get a quick look where award miles can be used.

To book a flight, select the desired destination from the cities listed on the left side of the Award Map.

Award Miles Chart American Airlines

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