As someone who plans vacations around award space, I’ve often yearned for a “just show me what’s available” solution that would save hours of guessing and checking on slow and unresponsive airline websites. That’s all the more so with long-haul awards out of Singapore virtually drying up for the next few months.
Now I’ve found an amazing new website that does all that and more.
Awards PNR tool
FlyerTalk user dlflyer00 has created a tool which, for lack of a better name, I’ll call Awards PNR.
This searches the LifeMiles website for Star Alliance award availability on selected routes over the next 1-2 months, with results refreshed every few hours. Once you find something you like, you can proceed to book the award on your preferred frequent flyer programme’s website.
For example, the listing shows that FRA to GRU has one award seat in Lufthansa First Class on 21 August 2022 (mouse over the “available” to see the details)…
…and indeed, I can find it on the Singapore Airlines website (don’t get confused by the difference in miles between the two screenshots; above is in LifeMiles, below is in KrisFlyer miles).
Likewise, the listing shows that SFO to NRT has one award seat in ANA First Class on 1 September 2022…
…which is confirmed by the Singapore Airlines website.
Awards PNR also lets you set alerts for specific routes and dates, or specific departure or arrival airports.
For example, you might want to fly from SIN to ZRH on 31 August 2022. You could set up a seat alert as follows.
It would be nice if the alert let you set a range of dates, or multiple airports, but that feature is not yet supported. You’ll need to create a separate alert for each date and airport permutation (though you can select multiple cabins in a single alert).
Alternatively, you may be route agnostic- you just care about flying out of a specific airport. A good example is someone wanting to try the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt.
In that case, you could create a cabin alert for any First Class award seats out of FRA, which would look something like this.
Alerts will notify you once, and then be deleted (so as not to spam your inbox).
I love the idea behind Awards PNR, but it does have some limitations you should take note of.
First, while Awards PNR shows more than 20,000 results, it does not check every possible combination of routes. You can find a listing of supported routes here.
As at the time of writing, the routes to/from Singapore are:
Second, Awards PNR only searches for awards within 60 or 75 days, depending on route. Award space tends to become available closer to departure though, so there’s no sense loading the system with unnecessary queries.
Third, the search filter on the home page doesn’t work properly for someone searching for awards out of Singapore, because it looks in all columns instead of just the Origin/Destination column. Because “Business” has “SIN” in it, it still shows you results involving unrelated city pairs.
A simple workaround is to follow this link, which will show you all options departing from SIN. If you’re looking for options arriving in SIN, follow this link. You can edit the airport code in the URL as necessary.
Fourth, it’s currently not possible to filter results by number of seats or connections. You can only see how many seats are available by mousing over the “available” icon. For quick reference, a green icon means a direct flight, a blue icon means connections.
Fifth, because this tool polls the LifeMiles search engine, you won’t find Singapore Airlines long-haul First or Business Class space. Remember, Singapore Airlines only makes such seats available to KrisFlyer members (with occasional exceptions for Alaska Mileage Plan and Lufthansa Miles & More), so if LifeMiles doesn’t see it, neither will Awards PNR.
Understanding SQ’s restrictions on Business and First Class award seats for partners
Despite these limitations (some of which I’m sure will be addressed in future versions), I’m very excited about the possibilities that Awards PNR creates.
I like that it presents me with a menu of options, so I don’t have to waste time manually checking all kinds of permutations. This also makes it super easy to look for award space on particular cabin products.
For example, suppose I wanted to fly on ANA’s amazing The Room Business Class (again).
I know it features on the LAX, SFO, JFK and IAH routes, so all I need to do is type one such combination in the search column, and there you go.
It also helps me think about alternatives. For instance, suppose I want to fly to Paris. There’s no award space available out of Singapore, but I see that BKK-TPE-CDG is a possibility on EVA Air.
There’s a million ways I can get to Bangkok, and I’m not too fussy about comfort on a 2 hour flight. So all I need to do is position myself to BKK, then connect onwards to CDG via TPE.
In general, I’d say Awards PNR is best used for those looking for last-minute travel on non-Singapore Airlines Star Alliance flights. Do keep in mind that booking Star Alliance partner flights through KrisFlyer will incur fuel surcharges, however, and they can be substantial. Booking through a programme like Aeroplan, LifeMiles or United MileagePlus allows you to avoid fuel surcharges.
While Awards PNR is very much a beta product, it’s already solved one of the biggest headaches in the award search process. I’d much rather browse things here than endure slow, individual searches on airline websites.
It’s exciting to see the creator plans to expand functionality to cover other frequent flyer programmes (oneworld, please), and hats off to him/her for offering this for free.
Any other use cases you’ve found?