How You Can Be Better at Award Searching than United.com

United.com has one glaring flaw in the way that it was programmed that you can correct to become a better award searcher than united.com.

This is the ultimate trick when united.com tells you there is no Saver Award Availability on the route you want on the date you want.

How can you be better at award searching than united.com?

United.com's award searching program is just that, a computer program.

How You Can Be Better at Award Searching than United.com

United.com has one glaring flaw in the way that it was programmed that you can correct to become a better award searcher than united.com.

This is the ultimate trick when united.com tells you there is no Saver Award Availability on the route you want on the date you want.

How can you be better at award searching than united.com?

United.com's award searching program is just that, a computer program.

Free Oneways on United Awards within the USA

Reader Christopher emailed me an exciting tip the other day: free oneways are possible on United awards within the continental USA and Canada. I already knew free oneways were possible on international United awards and awards to Hawaii, but this was news.

He sent me some screenshots, and I was able to replicate his findings and add some more of my own. I learned four things:

Christopher's tip: You can get a free oneway on roundtrip Standard economy awards within the US and Canada. That means three oneway Standard awards for 50k United miles.

Save 15,000 Miles with the Hidden City Trick on Your Next Award

United, US Airways, American, and Delta among others rely on award charts to determine the price of your award.

The Trick If You Don’t Live at an International Gateway City

With my recent posts about flying to Europe all year round for 20,000 American Airlines miles or flying to South American for negative 7,500 miles, there's one problem for a lot of people.

Using both tricks requires taking a stopover on an American Airlines award.

Confessions of a Hotel Insider Article is a Treasure Trove of Hotel Advice

Right before Christmas, The Week published an article odd in tone and subject matter. The story "Confessions of a hotel insider" and subtitled "If you want the best room, sparkling service, and free booze, just follow these rules" was an excerpt of a new book "Heads in Beds" by Jacob Tomsky, a career hotel employee.

The first few tips fall under the general idea of being polite to the person checking you in because they have a ton of control over whether you end up in a good room or a bad room.

Twenty Dollar Trick: An Ethical Way to Get a Hotel Upgrade?

Last month, I used 145,000 Hilton points to book a four night stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. (This was a 55,000 point discount because I booked an AXON award.)

When I booked, the only room available was one king bed. My traveling party wanted two beds, but I wasn't worried because I knew that would be an easy change at check in.

Tricking United.com’s Award Calendar

I generally love united.com's award calendar, the calendar that shows up at the top of your award search results that lets you know what other days have award availability.

But there are two things I hate about united.com's award calendar. The first is that it is color coded to show economy space, business/first space, or both.

American Airlines Domestic Availability Trick

In February from Nairobi, Kenya, I booked an American Airlines award 331 days out from Melbourne, Australia to Los Angeles in Qantas business class (with a later free oneway to Tampa.) See my Anatomy of an Award post on that booking.

On that booking, I noticed something odd about the way that American Airlines releases its domestic award space on some routes.