Continental.com is one of my favorite airline websites when it comes to searching for award seats. They’ve continuously been adding more and more Star Alliance partners and while I was searching for Virgin Atlantic award availability (since they will no longer be a partner after February 13) I noticed that Swiss airlines availability was also showing, which is a first.
Swiss availability is always tricky, because the ExpertFlyer award availability is only for what they release to their own frequent flyer programs – which is a lot more than what they release to Star Alliance partners.
Swiss is pretty stingy with first class award space, except out of Montreal for some reason. However, they do release a ton of last minute award space, so you can book into business and then call up switch to first in the days leading up to your flight. For example, JFK to Geneva shows availability in all three classes for this Saturday.
FYI Swiss flies non-stop to Zurich from Montreal, Boston, New York, Chicago. Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami. They fly non-stop from Geneva to New York.
I’m glad that United will be using the Continental.com website going forward – that’s an improvement since United.com is basic at best. If you need to top up your United/Continental accounts, you can get a 60,000 mile United Explorer card offer by simply transferring miles into your United account as outlined in this post. For those with no United/Continental points, you can transfer Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bold points 1:1 to United.