Plan Now, Travel Later

Updated March 27, 2020 to include data points on United's refund practices.

There’s nothing normal about travel during the COVID-19 outbreak. As with any travel decision, always do what you feel most comfortable with. It is our personal opinion that there are many good reasons to take this time to plan ahead for future travels and more.

Let’s move about the cabin and discuss.

Eventually We’ll Be Cleared For Takeoff

There will come a time when the virus is over.

Will You Find Last Minute Award Space? Here’s How to Estimate Your Chances.

I received the following email from a reader.

Dawn writes:
I wanted to ask a question that I didn't see an answer for on your site or clearly on the interwebs.
I am hoping to do a trip this winter to India.

The Beginning Section of a Manual I Created for Award Booking

A few years ago, I created a manual for award booking. I thought the best way to organize it was to explain the key concepts of all awards in the beginning, and then explain each major program in detail afterwards. Here is the first section of the manual--nine key concepts of all award bookings. I've edited it slightly today to make sure it is up to date.

Are there any other key concepts you would add to a manual of award booking?
Key Concept 1
Each type of miles has its own rules.

Delta Eliminates Phone Booking Fee

Delta will no longer charge a $25 per passenger fee to book tickets by phone. That's excellent news since some Delta partners like Air Tahiti Nui can't be booked on

In February 2015, American Airlines eliminated phone ticketing fees for awards flying airlines that can't be booked on

United still has phone ticketing fees for awards--$25 per passenger.

Award Space for Eight People Per Flight in Flat Beds to Europe This Summer

Turkish Business Class award space is widely available from this summer through the beginning of next year to Europe.

Master Thread: United Three One Ways Awards

On roundtrip United awards, you get one free stopover in addition to your destination and up to two open jaws.

What I Told My Friend to Do to Become a Miles Expert in a Day

I was having lunch with my friend the other day, and we started talking about miles and points. She has some credit cards and has even made a few redemptions, but from the conversation it was clear that there was a lot about our world she didn't know.

I gave her one homework assignment that I thought would greatly improve her grasp on miles.

How to Use the ANA Search Tool for Awards with United and other Star Alliance Miles

I use for most of my award searches when redeeming Star Alliance miles because it shows most Star Alliance partners' award availability, but it does have some drawbacks. Namely, it doesn't show all partners and it sometimes displays phantom award space--award space will show as available but in reality, it doesn't exist.

Star Alliance Airlines Whose Award Space I Want to Search

The best way to confirm Star Alliance award space is using the All Nippon Airways (ANA) search tool. ANA's tool is trickier to use, but it's the most reliable.

9+ United Business Class Seats to Europe for Summer 2016 for 40,000 Miles Each Way

United is releasing an unusual amount of award space to Europe for Summer 2016. A lot of flights have 9+ award seats in Business Class on the same flight. Book now before it disappears!

United award space can be searched on, and the Saver award space can be booked with any Star Alliance miles.

How to Book an Open Jaw Award on

Open jaw awards are valuable because they allow you to see two cities for the price of one. You can always book American Airlines awards to include one or even two open jaws, right on

So, what is an open jaw anyway?

An open jaw happens when the origin of one direction of an award does not match up with the destination of the other.