Find American Airlines and United award availability quickly with SeatSpy
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Editor’s note: SeatSpy is a TPG partner.
As more airlines shift to dynamic award pricing, it’s becoming increasingly tedious to scan for the cheapest travel date. Redemption rates can vary wildly by the class of service and date of travel, and the calendar view on airlines’ websites can sometimes be wonky.
Enter SeatSpy. This site allows you to browse a year’s worth of award availability for a given route on one page. It originally launched in the UK in 2019 with functionality only for British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Air France and KLM, but just launched in the U.S., supporting American Airlines and United, with more airlines to follow soon. It’s a great complement to Expert Flyer (which is owned by TPG’s parent company, Red Ventures), as it shows you real-time prices instead of just whether a flight is available.
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Searching for award availability with SeatSpy
You can currently use SeatSpy to search for award availability on American Airlines, United, Air France, British Airways, KLM and Virgin Atlantic. SeatSpy says that more airlines will be available soon.
You can filter your search by cabin or search all cabins at once. The only major restriction, for now, is that you can currently only search for direct routes with most airlines. This can be an issue for those that don’t live near airline hub cities. Also, AA’s best award deals often require layovers.
Based on our tests, the results on SeatSpy perfectly matched the availability shown on American and United’s sites. While AA searches can be filtered, there’s currently no option to filter United searches to only show saver-level awards, so you’ll need to use a tool like Expert Flyer for that.
Much like Expert Flyer, SeatSpy allows you to set alerts for when reward seats open for a particular route. You can set alerts over a range of dates and select multiple cabin classes at once. Depending on your membership, you can get alerts via email, Whatsapp and SMS.
Another unique feature of SeatSpy is its “Where Can I Go?” tool. Exactly as it sounds, this feature allows you to set your departure airport, travel dates and preferred cabin — and then explore possible destinations with award availability. This feature is currently only available for British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. However, American Airlines offers its own similar award-map tool. Also, keep in mind that British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are still useful for U.S.-based travelers due to their partnerships with most major transferable points programs.
Anyone can sign up for SeatSpy and make a limited number of searches for free. However, if you plan on using the tool often and want features like unlimited searches and alerts, you’ll need a paid membership.
“Premium” memberships usually cost $3.99 per month and include unlimited airline searches, four active alerts on an hourly frequency. Meanwhile, “First Class” memberships cost $9.99 per month and include unlimited alerts sent instantly, SMS alerts and will soon offer experience alerts. However, if you join by Feb. 22, 2021 at this link, you can lock in “founders for life” pricing for Premium and First Class memberships at $2.99 per month and $4.99 per month, respectively.
You can knock those prices down to as low as $2.49 or $4.16 per month by committing to an annual membership.
While there’s no telling when, travel will eventually return to normal. When it does, I look forward to using tools like SeatSpy to help me with my award searches. Searching for availability day-by-day can be a slow process, so it’s great to have another tool that allows you to search a range of dates and cabins at once.
Screenshots courtesy of SeatSpy.
Featured image by hatawut Chaemchamras/EyeEm/Getty Images
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