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.
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:
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:
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: this tool makes it easier or you can 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)
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:
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:
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.