Knowing where and how to search for award space is one of the most important, and most complicated aspects to using your frequent flyer miles effectively.
Unfortunately, the airlines do not make this an easy task. Some airlines only show awards for some partners, other airlines won’t show you all of the valid connections you can make – just to name some of the challenges you are likely going to run into. Oftentimes, you won’t even know that these things are problems.
This article is going to look at where the best places to search for award space for Star Alliance members. Star Alliance is currently the world’s largest alliance with 27 full members.
Below is a table outlining the best places to search for each Star Alliance member. Following the table I will share some tips for search on individual tools.
|Airline||Where to Search|
|Adria Airways||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|Aegean Airlines||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|Air Canada||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|Air China||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|Air India||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|Air New Zealand||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|All Nippon Airways||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|Asiana Airlines||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|Austrian Airlines||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|Avianca||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|Brussels Airlines||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|Copa Airlines||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|Croatia Airlines||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|EgyptAir||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|Ethiopian Airlines||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|EVA Air||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|LOT Polish Airlines||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|Lufthansa||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|Scandinavian Airlines||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|Shenzhen Airlines||Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|Singapore Airlines||Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|South African Airways||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|Swiss International Air Lines||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|TAP Portugal||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|Thai Airways||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|Turkish Airlines||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
|United Airlines||United.com, Aeroplan.com, ANA.co.jp|
You can also search for space on American Airlines, British Airways, and Qantas with non-oneworld member Alaska Airlines.
Tips By Search Tool
In addition to the ability to search specific airlines at all, each airline’s search tool has it’s own other positives and negatives.
United Airlines has the overall easiest search tool to use for a couple of different reasons. First off, it searches nearly all Star Alliance partners. The most notable partner that doesn’t show up on United.com is Singapore Airlines.
United does an okay job of showing connections available, and if you are planning to book with United miles you should only consider flight options shown by their search engine because other flight options will cost more miles. If you’re using United to search but plan on booking with different miles, it may be beneficial to search for your award segment-by-segment so you can see more options that might be available.
United also gives you a nice two month calendar to get a bird’s eye view of award availability, but know that the calendar might not be 100% accurate. If you click on individual days, there may be availability at the low level even if the calendar indicates that there isn’t.
An added bonus is that you don’t need to login to your United account, nor do you even need to have one in order to use their award search engine!
Air Canada Aeroplan
Air Canada is another great Star Alliance award flight search option. Like United, it also does a great job of searching for almost all Star Alliance members, but it does a slightly better job of searching for awards with connections so you shouldn’t need to search segment-by-segment unless your intended itinerary has more than three segments.
In order to use Aeroplan’s award search, you will need to have an Aeroplan account and be logged in.
If you are traveling to Asia and are missing Singapore Airlines award space after searching on United.com, you’ll be happy to know that Aeroplan’s search engine will show you Singapore’s award space.
ANA’s award search engine probably won’t be necessary if you feel comfortable using United and Aeroplan, but it does still have a couple of strengths that are worth noting. ANA’s award search engine, like Air Canada’s, is able to search award availability on all Star Alliance members. It also has a useful week-by-week search view and can search by classes of service individually.
You will need to create an account and login in order to search.
You might notice that Singapore Airlines isn’t listed in the table above, and that’s because the three options listed above are all generally better options for your award search. Searching for space on Singapore’s site becomes beneficially mainly when you are planning to book Singapore Airlines flights with Singapore Airlines miles.
This is because Singapore releases more award space to their own members than to partner airlines. If you only search on Aeroplan or ANA, you won’t have a full picture of the Singapore Airlines award availability for Singapore Airlines members. Note that the does not make a difference when using Singapore Airlines miles to book flights on other Star Alliance members.
You will need to have an account with Singapore Airlines in order to search for award space.