Beginner’s guide: how and why to search by flexible dates

GUIDE: Using Points
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
TIME TO READ: 2 minutes
POSTED: December 7, 2017
UPDATED: December 10, 2017
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Qantas Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Etihad Guest
STATUS: We recently mentioned that flexible search on Qantas seems to have been disabled, but some of our readers pointed out that it's just been hidden—read on to see how you can find it

In this beginner’s guide, we look at five of the most frequent flyer programs for travellers in Australia, and how to save time by searching for award seats across multiple dates at the same time.

For more information on which website to use for specific airlines and frequent flyer programs, check out our comprehensive guide on how to search for frequent flyer award space.

Why to search by flexible dates

It’s pretty obvious, right?

Given you have flexibility in the date you can fly on—which, admittedly, is not always the case—and the fact that the availability of award seats fluctuates according to the time and day of the flight, you can save time by choosing the right website for your search and clicking the right buttons.

Qantas Frequent Flyer

When searching for a flight on Qantas, first you must login to your account, then select Use points – Classic Flight Awards only:

Click on the date selector and tick Flexible with dates:

You should be able to see results in monthly view:

Alternatives: use British Airways Executive Club, Asia Miles, AAdvantage or Japan Airlines Mileage Bank for oneworld partners; use Emirates Skywards to search for Emirates flights.

Velocity Frequent Flyer

When you search for a flight, you do not have the option of flexible date search:

However, although the results will not show for the surrounding dates, you can easily toggle between days:

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

KrisFlyer does not provide a flexible date search option:

However, you can scroll down to the bottom of the results to navigate to the day before and after:

Alternatives: use United MileagePlus or ANA Mileage Club for Star Alliance flights (note that KrisFlyer also now displays Star Alliance availability but it is day-by-day)

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Asia Miles provides the best overview of search results of the five programs in this guide. You can opt for fixed or flexible dates:

with results showing for three days each side of your selected date:

and it is easy to jump forward by week using the Change dates button:

Etihad Guest

This program has the second-best flexible dates interface of the programs listed here. Again, you do not need to/cannot click a flexible date search option:

but the handy weekly tabs will show you if availability is open, denoted by the miles required:

Alternatives: as Etihad Guest only shows availability for Etihad-operated flights, use Velocity for Virgin Australia flights and AAdvantage for American Airlines flights

Other tools

Independent aggregators like Award Nexus and ExpertFlyer offer a more complete overview of search results by month or week, respectively, but do charge a price for their services. If you tend to travel frequently and/or are time-poor, investing in a membership may be worth it to you.

Beginner’s guide: how and why to search by flexible dates was last modified: December 10th, 2017 by Matt Moffitt