Swiss Award Availability Now Showing on

by on February 3, 2012 · 23 comments

in Continental, star alliance, Swiss, United

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page. 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 Options!

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 website going forward – that’s an improvement since 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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • u600213

    In general I agree that is a better site than but the back end ticketing is instant from United and is a periodic batch process at Continental so there is a delay between purchase d and ticketed.

  • Aaron

    If you book in business and then change to first, do you pay the difference in points or do you pay the upgrade price in points?

  • Anonymous

    Pay difference between biz and first award price in miles

  • Nick E

    If you find availability for Star Alliance awards on, can you book those awards with Dividend Miles?

  • Anonymous

    Yep- as long as its saverpass availability

  • Erik B

    Swiss also flies direct to SFO from Zurich.

  • Alex

    Regarding the UA Explorer card: I have a OnePass card right now, and I heard that it makes ineligible for the UA card promotion. Do you know if this is true?

  • Anonymous

    If you have the new onepass plus card- that’s true. If you have an old continental card, you should be able to get the explorer card bonus

  • Anonymous

    Forgot about that one! Will update, thx

  • Anonymous

    I currently have a reservation from ZRH to EWR in J on UA since there’s no seats on LX. If I were to change it last minute (hoping something opens up then) to LX from ZRH to JFK how much would I pay in change fees? I have no status on any airline and the flight isn’t till April.


  • Flyer Fun

    I have a OnePass MasterCard. I signed up for the 50,000 (plus another 10K after a lot of spending) bonus UA Explorer Card. It was approved. I have received my points.

  • double wide

    What’s going to happen when continental and unite merge their sites…CONTINENTAL site IS SO MUCH better then UAL when it comes to showing partner awards! I hope they dont do what delta did! Delta took down the NWA site and the NWA site had a MUCH better interface and showed WAY more partner awards then!

  • Anonymous

    Luckily they’ve already confirmed they will be keeping


  • RakSiam

    Following the instructions from your other post I did get taken to the 60K Explorer offer (I have carried a UA MP miles balance for a long time). I have a question about applying now though. Just the other day I applied for the Sapphire card. Was not immediately approved so called and told them I was considering canceling the CO MC since I have had a UA Signature Visa card for a long time and they would be redundant. So they closed the CO card and applied the credit line to my new Sapphire card which they then were able to approve. So, would I run into trouble if I tried to get the Explorer card now? I could see closing out the UA Visa card if I got the Explorer card since there’s no reason to have two UA cards. The UA card has a very long history but I understand that even closed it will stay on my credit report for a long time anyway.

  • Jay

    Yesterday, I called Chase customer service on the issue of the UA Explorer Visa and the United OnePass MC and was told they are separate products and that I could apply for both. I was skeptical, but went ahead. Calling reconsideration today, with a little credit line juggling I was approved for both. Now whether the miles will post with first purchase…I’ll keep you posted.

  • Alex

    My card says OnePass Plus MasterCard (cool-looking black color), I opened it in March or April 2011. Is this the new one? Thanks!

  • Imm2be

    May just well forget it because good luck finding any C or F seats on that flight.

  • Lantean

    you applied for 2 cards in one day and chase approved you? nice! did they make you close any cards?

  • Jay

    I had a nice, relaxed chat with the guy and he laughed about the two apps in one day: one approved instantly, the other was pending until I called. No closed cards, but I said, “I probably shouldn’t try for another very soon, should I.” And he goes, “Probably not.”

  • Lantean

    Hmmm… maybe I’ll try it. too. ;-)

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  • Deirdre

    Couldn’t find any award space ZRH-SFO in C or F, so I had to overnight in BOS.

  • Trevor00

    my wife and i recently got saver pass First for JFK-Zurich. This A330-300 has the newer first class cabin – it was amazing. highly recommended. on our way back we then flew First on their A340 from bangkok to zurich. Slightly older F class, but still really nice. it was the first time flying swiss and we were very very impressed at both the service and the cabin. Nice PJ’s and amenity kits too. (when i say we were impressed, this is in comparison to Thair first and business, Signapore business and Luft First. luftstansa is the worst in our opinions).

    all of the swiss seats opened up a day our 2 before our travels and we quickly changed our itineraries to grab em..

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