Finding British Airways and Virgin Atlantic award-seat availability just got a whole lot easier

Nov 14, 2019

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Spending air miles is often perceived to be harder than earning them in the first place.

One method you can currently use to search for available award seats is Expert Flyer, which is owned by TPG’s parent company, Red Ventures. The site makes it possible to set alerts for when seats open up, as well as search for award availability. Here’s a full guide to award searches on ExpertFlyer to learn more.

Enter Seat Spy, the latest award-seat finding site to join the market. Its initial focus is to make finding British Airways and Virgin Atlantic availability easier than ever.

Turning Left for Less reports that the site is currently in beta mode for testing, but its creators are allowing users to sign up for the complete service for free. Signing up is speedy and easy, and only requires an email address and password.

Signing up enables you to search for seats and set up hourly seat-availability alerts. To start with, email alerts will be sent, but the site has plans for text message alerts in the future.

British Airways

For the first time ever, it is now possible to search for availability on the full journey from London (LHR) to Sydney (SYD) via Singapore (SIN). The most availability, including quite wide-open availability in First, is showing for May next year.

Hovering over the dates shows how many seats are available in each class.

Once you’ve found availability that suits you, head to British Airways‘ website to verify and book.

Virgin Atlantic

In the site’s current beta state, the availability for Virgin is unfortunately 48 hours out of date. Turning Left for Less reports that Seat Spy is working to fix this.

Rather than checking specific dates, the site displays all availability as far in advance as 12 months. For example, Virgin’s seasonal Manchester (MAN) to Los Angeles (LAX) route restarts in May and is already showing limited availability.

The same as for BA, hovering over individual dates shows exactly how many seats are available in each cabin.

Once you’ve found availability that suits you, head to Virgin Atlantic‘s website to verify and book.

Creating alerts

Creating alerts couldn’t be easier. Simply scroll to the bottom of the page after searching for availability and fill out the easy-to-use form. You can choose a range of dates rather than just set days as well as multiple cabin classes at once.

Bottom line

This is certainly an improvement on current award-seat availability tools. The fact that it’s free (for now) is an added bonus that every traveler should make the most of while it lasts. In the meantime, you can keep up to date with the latest points and miles news, deals and reviews by signing up for TPG’s daily newsletter.

Featured photo by Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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