With fuel prices higher and airlines cutting back service during the winter, a recent WSJ article shows that finding saver award seats for the customary 25,000 miles is becoming harder to find. I absolutely agree with this article. I’ve been trying to find an award seat for my annual Napa wine tasting weekend in early April, and I haven’t been able to find a single saver award seat on any airline for that weekend. It seems I can find availability on the Friday flight out to SFO, but not a single seat is open on United or American, not to mention Southwest is charging an absurdly high award price on that day. I was still able to get my saver award, so to say by using Citi Thank You points, for just 14,000 points round trip on Virgin America (a 30% discount because I have the Citi , but with fewer saver awards available, it’s becoming paramount that one get creative when trying to use miles for air travel.
As such, here is a quick primer on my method for finding cheap award seats.