TPG reader Mike writes:
“I have a question on behalf of my coworker. She’s taking her family to Europe this summer and has a ton of AA and Avios miles and is having trouble using her miles to get her family over there using her miles and on business class. I’ve seen or heard of people like yourself who help plan travel for her for a fee. Do you have any recommendations of people who can help her book her trip using her miles (or miles and $) to help her get the best deals?”
I originally started TPG to advertise my award booking business, where I used to charge people $50 a ticket to help them use their miles and points to book their dream trips. This business was awesome because it allowed me to use years of knowledge of the frequent flyer world to help people book trips that they never would be possible.
However, award booking is extremely time intensive and after word started to spread, the business became unmanageable. I quickly learned that building an audience and teaching everyone tips and tricks would be a better use of my time than trying to crank out as many award bookings I could do without falling asleep at the computer. So in April 2011 I closed my award booking business and instead have focused on bringing quality content to the site every day. It’s a difficult task since I post 2-5 times a day, 365 days a year. However, it has paid off since readership has quadrupled since I shifted to full-time blogging.
That being said, who can you hire to help you book an award if you need a little help maximizing your miles?
I can personally vouch for three services because I know the owners and know they do quality work. However, if you run an award booking service and want to advertise it, please feel free to provide a link in the comments section.
1) Matthew at upgrd.com. I actually enlisted his help last year to assist me with this site’s overflow award booking requests. Matthew always follows through and is very client-focused. Price: $150 per person for one way or round-trip award redemptions. In addition you are responsible for paying any taxes or other fees due to the airline.
2) Pointspros.com. Ben, the voice behind the popular One Mile at a Time blog also runs this boutique award booking business. Pricing: $150 for the first passenger on any type of award. $100 for each additional passenger on the same general trip.