Pro Tool: Seats.aero for Airline Award Availability
As award availability has become harder and harder to find, there is an app to present the data you need without creating 100+ searches with each airline. A former Robinhood Security Engineer, started Seats.aero as a side project. I’ve been using it since March 2023 and have found value in their Pro (paid) offering which is $9.99 per month. It’s awesome to able to see award availability many months out to help find award availability with ease. They have a handy mobile app for Android, iOS & iPadOS if you need to search while on the go.
The flexibility of search criteria makes this app super powerful. Let’s take for example one of the most popular destinations at the moment, Japan. There are many nonstop routes from US cities, but searching them all at once helps you find your award ticket faster! I searched for flights from LAX, SFO, SEA, SAN, YVR, DFW, ORD, SJC to NRT, HND, KIX which covers most of the international airports between Japan and West Coast USA/Midwest USA. In the results, we find 1 seat on JAL from LAX to KIX on 2/22/2024 which is available for 60,000 Alaska Airlines miles. You can also see that United is ripping people off by charging 170,000 miles for a ticket from ORD to HND. Japan Airlines has much better service than United so it’s a no brainer to take the LAX to KIX flight as long as you have Alaska Airlines miles.
Another example is to show all Business Class availability on a single route for the next 365 days. Let’s take SAN to NRT on JAL, we can see JAL releases more seats within 14 days of the flight and there is only 1 day in 2024 (August 21, 2024) with a seat available.
They also offer speciality tools such as the Lufthansa First Class Finder: https://seats.aero/firstclass
If you don’t want to pay for the Pro subscription, you can use their API for free to access the same content for now. It seems this might be changing soon due to suspected abuse.
Conclusion: Seats.aero helped me find award availability in January 2024 for JAL First Class using Alaska Airlines miles so I call it a win. It’s not a perfect tool as availability can disappear since they last scraped the data from their sources, but it’s much easier to use than searching with an airline website. The exception would be Singapore Airlines which you need to use their website to see award availability. I hope the lawsuit from Air Canada is resolved and Seats.aero can continue helping the Miles & Points community. Even though there is some overlap, I still maintain a ExpertFlyer Premium subscription as ExpertFlyer helps with other data such as seat maps and fare class availability.