November 11th, 2013

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.

It’s been a rough few weeks for ExpertFlyer. While I still think it’s a very useful tool because it gives flyers access to upgrade and award availability on a number of airlines. This can be extremely useful when deciding which flights to book based on upgrade availability. Not only that, you can set alerts so that if hard to find award availability space opens up (like Lufthansa first class) you can be notified and book it before anyone else has the chance.

Set up Expert Flyer seat alerts.
ExpertFlyer is a useful award search tool – but not for Star Alliance at the moment!

However, in the month or so, both Delta and United have revoked its ability to search their upgrade inventory (elite upgrades for Delta), and now ExpertFlyer has also notified its subscribers that until further notice, they will not be able to search for award space or set award alerts for certain Star Alliance carriers. Here’s what the email ExpertFlyer sent out said:

“We are emailing you because you have an active Flight Alert for an Award class of one of the following airlines:

Adria Airways – JP
All Nippon Airways – NH
Asiana Airlines – OZ
Austrian – OS
Croatia Airlines – OU
Egyptair – MS
Ethiopian Airlines – ET
EVA Air – BR
LACSA – LR
Lufthansa – LH
SAS – SK
Singapore Airlines – SQ
South African Airways – SA
TACA – TA
TAM Linhas Aereas – JJ
TAM Paraguay – PZ
TAP-Air Portugal – TP
Thai Airways International – TG
United – UA
US Airways – US

Unfortunately, award searching for these airlines, along with the Star Alliance award search, is currently unavailable. We are working to try to restore the information however it will be unavailable until further notice. All other functionality and information for these airlines in ExpertFlyer remain unaffected. Flight Alerts for any other airline are also unaffected.

As a result, any active Flight Alerts or saved searches for this award information will no longer work as of now. The Active Flight Alerts affected have been set to Expired as to not count against your 30 Active alert limit and will be set to Active again should the award information become available in the future. We regret any inconvenience this causes you.

Thank you for your continued support of ExpertFlyer.
-The ExpertFlyer.com Team”

ExpertFlyer had actually just added all Star Alliance availability about a year ago in one fell swoop, which dramatically increased its value and usefulness, so this is pretty disappointing news and a bit of a surprise – it sounds like it was to the ExpertFlyer team as well since they offer little information about what happened and why

It’s not the end of the world, though. You can still search Star Alliance award availability and set alerts for the following carriers:

Air Canada
Air China
Air New Zealand
AVIANCA
Brussels Airlines
COPA
Shenzhen Airlines
SWISS
Turkish Airlines

And there are also some other great ways to search Star Alliance availability including both United.com and ANA, which is widely acknowledged as the best search engine for pulling in all Star Alliance award space even if it’s a bit clunky to use, as well as Aeroplan, which does a decent job. The one major downside is that you can’t set those seat alerts, which is an ultra-valuable tool to be able to call upon when trying to book hard-to-find awards in premium cabins that airlines might release at random times or one-by-one and timing is crucial. I sincerely hope that ExpertFlyer is able to bring Star Alliance award availability back online, though I’m not holding my breath. In the meantime, I’ll be looking at other search options and I suggest familiarizing yourself with them as well.

For more information, check out these posts:

Tips for Searching for Star Alliance Availability

How to Use the ANA Award Tool to Search for Star Alliance Availability

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
5.00%
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.