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You can save A LOT of time using Expertflyer
Expertflyer is a wonderful resource for a variety of different reasons, but using their flight alerts feature makes planning award travel a lot easier. Not only can you search for availability, but you can set an automated alert that will email when the award inventory you seek is ready to book. I’ve used this feature in the past, and recently received notice that a flight of mine in December released inventory. I’m flying from Chicago to London and wanted to see if I couldn’t upgrade to first forfor 20k Avios – it’s nice that it cleared more than a month in advance =) Here’s how you can do the same.
If you don’t have an ExpertFlyer membership – I’d recommend it if you fly very often.
Once you’ve logged in – enter your desired flight information. As an example, I’ve chosen British Airways from LAX to LHR
We can see the search results
On the far right, you can see an ! symbol. Click that symbol to set an alert.
Fill out the form as such.
When the space you’re looking for becomes available you’ll receive an email like this:
I was on the phone with BA and booking my 20k Avios upgrade into First Class within 5 minutes of receiving this email. BYAH!