I run the MileValue Award Booking Service. We use your miles and your goals to book your dream trip. How does it work? And how can you use an award booking service properly?
- Choose one award booking service when you know the who, where, and when
- Fill out the submission form thoroughly
- Be responsive to email
- Enjoy your trip
1. Choose one award booking service when you know the who, where, and when
2. Fill out the submission form thoroughly
There are several award booking services of varying quality. I recommend the MileValue Award Booking Service 😉 because we have been in business for four years, know the ins and outs of every program, are highly responsive and motivated, and we only get paid when we find your dream trip.
While we are happy to give advice about which Business or First Class cabin is the nicest, we don’t like to give destination advice because everyone’s travel tastes are different. Figure out where and when to go on your own. When you know that, fill out our new client form, found here.
The most important question on the form is “What flexibility do you have with your cities, dates, and cabins?” Since award seats are not available on every flight, the more flexibility you have, the more likely we can book you something. I think some people are afraid to give flexibility because they want to make sure that their top choices are searched first. That’s why I added the next line: “We will start with your desired cities, dates, and cabins and only use your flexibility if necessary.”
It’s the absolute truth. Tell us in advance your perfect trip and any flexibility you have. We will start with perfection and work out from there through your flexibility.
There are two important caveats about filling in the form:
- Don’t fill in the form until 11 months before your desired trip. That’s as far out as most miles can book an award.
- Don’t contact more than one award booking service at the same time. It is unfair to make many people work when only will be paid. If some other booking service failed you, feel free to contact us, but we want to be the only ones working on the award at a given time.
3. Be responsive to email
After we get your submission, we follow up with an email to get on the same page with you. That emails sets conditions for a successful award search, so that we are all on the same page. We base the conditions on what you said when you submitted the form. Typical conditions might look like this, with my comments for this blog post in parentheses:
+ 2 passengers (we read this off the form)
+ business class for all legs over 3 hours (you said Business Class, and we write it like this because we don’t want a short hop on a one-cabin plane to derail the whole award)
+ St. Louis to Santiago, Chile roundtrip (we read this off the form)
+ Departing October 19 to 21 (October 20 preferred), returning October 31 or November 1 (see, we really do start with the date you indicated as the ideal–October 20–and work our from there)
+ Maximum of 2 layovers in each direction (we aren’t going to send you a six-stop award and call it a success)
+ Maximum layover of 4 hours (If it is an award to a major city with lots of frequencies, this is a common term. If you want to go to a secondary African city, maybe the maximum possible layover is higher.)
+ Government taxes only, no fuel surcharges (This term is almost always present. If you ask for something that absolutely always has fuel surcharges like Singapore Suites, we will let you know here.)
+ Saver award seats (This term is always present. You came to us to find Saver awards.)
Once we agree on the terms, payment is due when we find an award that meets the terms. We typically won’t collect payment until after the award is booked, but the payment is payable upon finding a bookable award that meets the terms.
The obvious takeaway is that you should not contact us unless you really want to book. If you just want to see what’s out there, but aren’t sure you want to book, we are not the right service.
Once the client agrees to the terms of the search, we search and present the client options that meet the terms until the client selects one that he likes. Since award space changes all the time, the faster you answer our emails the better.
Finally we place the award on hold (typically and ideally), describe step-by-step how to book the award, or book it for the client and have him reimburse us the taxes. If we put the award on hold, we provide the confirmation number and telephone number to call to book the award.
4. Enjoy your trip
You’ve redeemed for the highest value award possible to maximize your miles and minimize your out of pocket expenses like taxes and fuel surcharges. You’re probably flying Business Class in a flat bed to a place you’ve always wanted to go.
Relax and pat yourself on the back for contacting the MileValue Award Booking Service.
When you want to book an award, and it is less than 11 months before your preferred dates, fill out the submission form to become a client of the MileValue Award Booking Service.
(I know a lot of people are just subscribed to email to receive posts and never visit the actual website. You too should click the link above and fill out the form on the site. Do not just reply to the email full of daily posts.)