ExpertFlyer is a paid subscription service ($99/year) that I find worthwhile. It’s a great place to look at fare class availability, fare rules, award space on some carriers, maximum permitted mileage between city pairs, minimum connection times, etc.

The single most valuable benefit for me, however, is the ability to set availability alerts for a flight. That means if space opens up (be it revenue or award space) on a flight you’re eying you’ll be notified by ExperFlyer by email and text. As a member you can set up to 30 alerts at no additional cost.

However, you can only set alerts for airlines they “support,” though as of this past weekend it looks like they’ve added British Airways. That means it’s now possible to use ExpertFlyer to search first (Z class), business (U class), and premium economy (P class) award space on British Airways. This is a fantastic option if you’re hoping to book a flight with your BA miles, or if you’re hoping to upgrade using Avios.

You should see the option in the drop down menu when you click on “Awards & Upgrades.”

ExpertFlyer-British-Airways1

You can use ExpertFlyer to search British Airways space, and they let you search for a week at a time. However, I still find American’s website best for searching British Airways award space, given that they let you search a month at a time.

When you’re on the results page for a flight, clicking the exclamation point at the top right will give you the option to set an alert.

ExpertFlyer-British-Airways2

You can name the alert whatever you’d like, and also select the fare class and number of seats you’d like to search for.

ExpertFlyer-British-Airways3

Once you set the alert you’ll receive a confirmation that you’ll be notified when space opens up.

ExpertFlyer-British-Airways4

And sure enough, you do get an email when the space opens up.

ExpertFlyer-British-Airways5

In the past British Airways would release a ton of first class award space, though they’ve gotten pretty stingy over the past year or so. Being able to set availability alerts for British Airways award space is a really valuable new benefit, in my opinion.

(Tip of the hat to Andrew)

  1. November 4th, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    janyyc said,

    Nice! Happy to see this. Perhaps it’s the reason they were having problems with UA method searches today for *A award travel?

  2. November 4th, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Pablo said,

    Hi Ben, if I use LAN kms to book BA F, I should be able to get out of the YQs, right?

  3. November 4th, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Pablo — To the best of my knowledge LAN still imposes fuel surcharges for British Airways redemptions.

  4. November 4th, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Carl said,

    Is IAH still a good F gateway for our next companion award? Worked great for us last time, by the way really enjoyed the Sheraton in EDI and the W in London, check em out.

  5. November 4th, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    SFOPhD said,

    Does this give us our first method of setting up EF alerts for JL award space redeemable with AA miles?

  6. November 4th, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Carl — Generally speaking still one of the better North American gateways. Space isn’t amazing out of there, but certainly better than American hubs, for example. Thanks for the hotel suggestions as well!

  7. November 4th, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    lucky said,

    @ SFOPhD — ExpertFlyer doesn’t support award availability alerts for JAL.

  8. November 5th, 2013 at 12:19 am

    Stan said,

    What airlines are on expert flyer ?

  9. November 5th, 2013 at 12:20 am

    lucky said,

    @ Stan — You can find a list here:
    http://www.expertflyer.com/sessionlessClassList.do

  10. November 5th, 2013 at 1:28 am

    SFOPhD said,

    @Lucky I didn’t mean to search for JL awards directly, but for BA codeshares of flights on JL metal. If BA has award availability, then AA is likely to also. Would that work?

  11. November 5th, 2013 at 1:54 am

    Stan said,

    Thanks — the one pain in the rear to search is not on it DELTA

  12. November 5th, 2013 at 2:55 am

    Wolfgang said,

    Just looked at the Expert flyer list of airlines supported….UA isn’t supported at all?

  13. November 5th, 2013 at 3:12 am

    Stan said,

    Wolfgang– your right —

    whatever delta does ,looks like united follows –is it a race to the bottom –though united is still better–for how long????

  14. November 5th, 2013 at 8:11 am

    lucky said,

    @ SFOPhD — Sorry, a bit confused by what you mean by codeshares in the context of award tickets (there are no “codeshares” with award tickets). Generally speaking all airlines in an alliance have access to the same award space.

    I think you’re talking about awards on Japan Airlines “metal,” in which case American and British Airways should have access to the same space.

  15. November 5th, 2013 at 8:13 am

    lucky said,

    @ Wolfgang — They do show first, business, and coach award space for United. They were just required to remove some information about United, so they took them off the list completely it seems.

  16. November 5th, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Jamie said,

    Awesome! Thanks for the heads up. Time to use that discount I got with the mile point premium membership.

  17. November 5th, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    British Airways Award Space Now Displays on ExpertFlyer | The Points Guy said,

    […] Hat tip: One Mile at a Time. […]

  18. November 8th, 2013 at 5:38 am

    Kieran said,

    The tip on using American Airlines website to look up BA reward flight availability has by far turned out to be the find of a lifetime. For 16 years as a BA Exec Club member and ex-pat Aussie, I have often looked for air mile flights home to Aus. But availability has always been so limited, and so difficult to find, that I have never found it.

    Now, using this tip, I have found return first Class flights from London to brisbane on a mixture of Cathay Pacific and QANTAS partner airlines, with just 2-weeks notice on the outbound leg. So now in 2-weeks I shall be heading home first class for a few weeks.

    All thanks to this simple tip that made it so easy to find the reward flights via AA.com instead of BA.com.

    Thanks so much!!!!!!

  19. November 21st, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    ExpertFlyer Pulls British Airways Award Space - One Mile at a Time - One Mile at a Time said,

    […] in the month I posted about how ExpertFlyer began displaying British Airways award space. While I don’t value the ability to search British Airways award space on ExpertFlyer all […]

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