Booking Last Minute Awards: Spreadsheet of Fees and Policies

This comprehensive spreadsheet details commonly used loyalty programs and their policies towards booking an award close to the travel date.

To see how much you might have to pay for booking a last minute award, look up the loyalty program whose miles you will use on the chart (which might not necessarily be the airline you fly).

Parents: Save Tons Redeeming Etihad Miles on American Airlines Flights

I noticed something very interesting about the Etihad Guest award policies when redeeming on American Airlines flights that could be very helpful to all you parents out there trying to navigate international award travel with babies.

Now, I'm not claiming to be an expert on infant lap travel.

Buy Avios for 1.44 Cents Each Until Tomorrow with This Simple Trick

Through tomorrow (May 26, 2015), British Airways is offering a 40% bonus on the purchase of Avios. The biggest bonus ever offered on the purchase of Avios was 50% in February 2015, so this is a big bonus.

The maximum Avios you can purchase in a year is normally 35,000, but is being raised to 100,000 during this promotion. With a 40% bonus, that means you can add 140,000 Avios to your account.

Don’t Pay the $75 Close In Fee on United (Trick!)

Update: I used this trick successfully. Here was my experience.

As I led a session at the Chicago Seminars this weekend on "Special Awards," someone chimed in with an intriguing tip:

There is a simple method to avoid the $75 "close in ticketing fee" on United awards that is triggered when you try to book a ticket within 21 days of departure.

I tested out the proposed method yesterday, and I have some input on how it works.

How to Get a List of Your Previous American Express Cards

You can only get the bonus on American Express credit and charge cards once per lifetime.

Star Alliance Business Class Award Space to Europe is Wide Open for Four People

Award space is wide open in Turkish Airlines Business Class between the United States and Europe for four people per flight over the heart of the Summer.

This is amazing news because normally award space over the summer is the toughest to find, finding four seats on the same flight in Business Class is almost unheard of, Turkish flies to more countries than any other airline, and you can book the space for as cheap as 40,000 miles one way with no fuel surcharges.
Turkish Routes
These are Turkish's routes to the United States.

From Istanbul, there are great

TRICK: Put Your British Airways Account in France for Big Savings

British Airways is happy to handle a number of transactions in dollars, pounds, or euros.

Trick: How to Load the Old United.com (Better for Award Searching)

Update 2/12/16: United brought back the nonstop calendar. The single column for Saver and Standard economy space remains.

I covered two months ago why the new united.com stinks for award searching. My biggest complaint is that even if you specify a "nonstop only" search, the search calendar does not show you nonstop only results.

I used to be able to see space on a route for two months at a time on united.com, now I can see it one day a time.

TRICK: How to Still Get Free Chauffeur Service on Your Emirates First or Business Class Award

Emirates offers First and Business Class passengers free chauffeur service to and from the airport. I took advantage with rides to Auckland's airport and from Sydney's airport in 2013.

Starting in January 2015, Emirates restricted chauffeur service to First and Business Class passengers whose tickets were issued by Emirates or Qantas.

The best way for travel hackers to book Emirates First and Business Class ticket is with Alaska Airlines miles, meaning Alaska issues the ticket. That means, by the rules, no chauffeur service.

TRICK: How to Still Get Free Chauffeur Service on Your Emirates First or Business Class Award

Emirates offers First and Business Class passengers free chauffeur service to and from the airport. I took advantage with rides to Auckland's airport and from Sydney's airport in 2013.

Starting in January 2015, Emirates restricted chauffeur service to First and Business Class passengers whose tickets were issued by Emirates or Qantas.

The best way for travel hackers to book Emirates First and Business Class ticket is with Alaska Airlines miles, meaning Alaska issues the ticket. That means, by the rules, no chauffeur service.