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Where to find partner award flights that your airline’s website won’t show

by on Sun May 4, 2014 • 6 Comments

partner award availability

Airline websites are a great place to do your initial search for reward seats. However they don’t always show all partner options available, and worse, most airlines don’t prominently disclose that these options are missing when you search for a reward. That leads many people to  think their only option is what’s in front of them on their airline’s own website, causing them to overpay for awards.

So, if you don’t see what you like on your airline’s website, try these other alternatives to find partner options you can book with your miles. They represent the three big global airline mile programs in the U.S. (US Airways members can use the American AAdvantage guidelines as the programs merge).

Then give your airline a call to book and check them again. And if the phone doesn’t give you the answer you want, try again, as phone agents can be unreliable.

American AAdvantage does not display Iberia, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, LAN, TAM, Qatar, or Sri Lankan Airlines award availability., the site of British Airways, will display award availability, but you must sign up for a free British Airways Executive Club account to view. Once you do that you can access the search here.. also has similar availability, and also requires a free account to view.

Delta SkyMiles does not display China Southern, China Eastern, Aeroflot, China Airlines, Aerolineas Argentinas, or Saudia Airlines award availability. This post has details on where to search for availability.

United MileagePlus does not display LOT Polish or Singapore Airlines, both of which can be checked via when registered with a free account. Brussels Airlines is intermittently available on, but can be seen reliably via the ANA Japan website.

First / Business Class availability of partners shown on may be unreliable and ANA’s website, which requires a login, is often more reliable.

Here’s how to set up a search on ANA:

1. Once you have an account you can login here.

2. Choose ‘ANA International Flight Awards’ (you’ll see the ‘Star Alliance’ option is still greyed out).

ANA flight search

3. Do a search for an ANA flight (not a partner flight) – NRT-LAX is a good one to try. This will ‘prime’ the system to grant you access to partner searches.

ANA flight search

4. Once that is done, you’re granted access to the partner system and you can click to check ‘Star Alliance’ availability

star alliance search

5. Enter the routes you really want to check and you will be set.

ana award results


Once you see something available, you can call United directly to book the award.



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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived


Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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6 thoughts on Where to find partner award flights that your airline’s website won’t show

  1. Bud Henry

    In November, I learned from your Blog “How to read united expert mode fare codes illustrated” how to Check Expert in My Account Settings and used them for looking for Europe Business Class Saver Awards. I am again looking for the same type info, but the Fare Codes are no longer displayed (or I am doing something wrong).

    Can you advise? Has UA changed yhe format or am I struck with dumb!!



      @Bud – You’re not missing anything. There’s a problem with United’s system and they are aware of it but no word on when it will be fixed.

  2. Patrick

    Is there a way to see where I can go on United, using United miles, on a specific date? I want to see where I can go, round trip, for 35,000 miles. As far as I can tell, this requires searching each possible trip separately. It would be nice to just see where in the world I can fly for 17,500 miles on, say, December 25th.


  3. hr2lhr

    Wow! I wish I’d found this website before I booked my tickets. So, we leave on Tuesday to fly from Pdx to Lhr. We are going through SFO with a 4 hour lay-over and on United, in an older 747 – no backseat entertainment, etc. I am traveling with my kids so that last one is a big deal. (The upside is that I got 5 saver tickets.) Is there any way to switch to Air Canada flights (through Yvr or Yyc) or the United/Lufthansa codeshare flights through Ord? These flights have shorter travel times *and* better planes. I called and asked and they told me those flights are all sold out for mileage awards.
    Thanks very much for your great work.


      @hr2lhr – There are options open that day on other aircraft, for example through Houston, but you’ll get stuck with a change fee of $100 per person. The 747 does have streaming entertainment via wifi, so if they have tablets or spare phones just install the United app on them before you leave and they can watch.

      Otherwise, if your flight is delayed – use that as a chance to get rebooked for free on another United flight (or maybe partner flight).


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