Redeeming your hard-earned frequent flyer points for reward seats – particularly in premium cabins – often provides the best value for your points. But it’s not always easy to find availability for your desired route, dates or airline. Instead of jumping across multiple airline sites and crossing your fingers for reward seat availability, SeatSpy takes the guesswork out of your search. This handy tool covers airlines like British Airways, Etihad Airways, American Airlines and KLM, giving you an overview of available reward seats, plus the ability to set alerts for future availability.
We dive into the benefits of SeatSpy and how you can use this tool to effectively search for reward seats.
What is SeatSpy?
SeatSpy is an online tool that helps you find award seat availability across a selection of airlines. It’s also an easy way to view the number of points required to make a reward booking. And with flexibility being crucial for booking reward seats, the tool allows you to view up to a full year of award seat availability.
SeatSpy is free to use if you’re only searching for Economy Class rewards. But to unlock the tool’s full capabilities – including the ability to search for reward seats in premium cabins and set alerts – you’ll need to purchase a subscription.
The tool itself isn’t a booking system. You’ll still need to head to the airline’s website (or a partner airline), log into your account, and make the reward booking using your points. But SeatSpy is a great tool to save you time – and frustration – when searching for those elusive reward seats.
How does SeatSpy work?
To get started, select your airline from the dropdown list (we’ve included a list of available airlines below.) Next, select your departure and arrival points, and whether your journey is one-way or return. Other options, like the number of passengers and cabin class (the latter is only available if you’ve got a paid subscription) are available on the next screen. You can only search for reward seats on one airline and across one route at a time. But the search results will show up to a full year of availability.
When searching for return fares, the results appear side by side. The left column shows your outbound flight, while the right shows inbound. This makes it easy to compare dates and piece together an itinerary using points.
SeatSpy only shows the number of points required using the airline’s own points currency. For example, when searching for British Airways flights, you’ll only see results using British Airways Executive Club Avios. Though if you want to book these flights using another points currency (for instance, you can book British Airways flights using Qantas Points) this tool provides a good indication of reward seat availability. You can then go ahead and search for the same flights on the Qantas website. But keep in mind that the number of Qantas Points required, and the fees and taxes, may differ.
Similarly, you can view reward seat availability on American Airlines using AAdvantage miles, then use Qantas Points to book American Airlines flights. Or, search for availability on Lufthansa, then use Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles to secure your seat. Note that availability isn’t always accurate, and you may not always be able to find the same reward seat available to book through a partner airline.
Can’t find availability for your preferred cabin class, dates or route? SeatSpy subscribers have the option of setting alerts for when reward seats become available. As a guide, here’s when frequent flyer programs release reward seats for booking.
What airlines can I view on SeatSpy?
Not airlines are currently available on SeatSpy, but you can view reward seat availability on routes from the following airlines:
- Air France
- American Airlines
- Austrian Airlines
- British Airways
- Brussels Airlines
- Croatia Airlines
- Etihad Airways
- LOT Polish Airlines
- United Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
How much does it cost to use SeatSpy?
Some features of SeatSpy can be used without a paid subscription. For instance, you can search for routes, but results are limited to Economy Class only. To unlock more features – and premium cabin availability – you’ll need to pay for a monthly or yearly subscription. Or, you can give SeatSpy a whirl with a 14-day free trial.
SeatSpy is based in the UK and subscription fees are shown in Great British Pounds and US Dollars (careful with the latter if you’re based in Australia!)
A Premium subscription costs £2.99/month (approximately AU$5.65) and grants you access to Premium Economy, Business Class and First Class availability, unlimited airline searches and hourly alerts via WhatsApp and Telegram, among other perks.
A First Class subscription costs £7.99/month (approximately AU$15) and unlocks the maximum features of SeatSpy, including unlimited instant alerts and the ability to receive SMSs.
With both subscription options, signing up for an annual subscription works out cheaper overall as you’ll receive two months free.
For most travellers hoping to make the most of their airline points, a Premium subscription is sufficient.
You can view all the inclusions of each SeatSpy subscription tier here.
Limitations of SeatSpy
SeatSpy can be an excellent tool for finding award seat availability. But, as with all tools, there are some limitations.
- As highlighted above, SeatSpy only covers a selection of airlines.
- You can only search for reward seats on one route and one airline at a time.
- The free version only allows a limited number of searches.
- The free version doesn’t allow you to set alerts for when reward seats become available on your preferred route (the Premium version allows up to four alerts, while First Class subscribers enjoy unlimited alerts.)
- The availability is not always up-to-date.
Depending on your destination and the type of points you’re trying to redeem, you may find benefit in using similar tools like AwardLogic, ExpertFlyer or Award Nexus. But keep in mind that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to websites that help you find reward seats. You may need to test a few different tools to find the one that meets your travel needs.
SeatSpy is just one of the many tools in the market that can help you find reward seat availability. The selection of airlines isn’t extensive, but enough to aid in your search for reward seats on popular routes, including to and from Australia.
For those hoping to fly up the pointy end, SeatSpy can save you time when searching for those elusive reward seats, and make it easier to view dates that do have premium cabin availability. The downside is that you’ll need a paid subscription, otherwise, your search results are limited to Economy Class.
The tool is easy to use, and all you need is an idea of which airline and route you hope to fly, plus some frequent flyer points up your sleeve.
Featured image: Agence Olloweb, Unsplash
Some features of SeatSpy are free to use. However, free results are limited to Economy Class only, and you won’t be able to set alerts for reward availability. To unlock the full features of SeatSpy, including unlimited alerts and premium cabin availability, you’ll need to pay for a monthly or yearly subscription.
SeatSpy’s Premium subscription costs £2.99/month (around AU$5.65) when paid monthly, or £2.49/month (AU$7.72) when you sign up for an annual plan. A First Class subscription costs £7.99/month (around AU$15) when paid monthly, or £6.66/month (AU$12.65) when you sign up for an annual plan.
Tools like SeatSpy make it easy to view reward seat availability across multiple airlines. You can view the number of points required and the available seats in a cabin and even set alerts for when future reward seat availability comes up.