Expert Flyer Found a Better Award Flight for Us – Hurray!

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While getting ready to head to Disneyland yesterday, I got an email from Expert Flyer that seats were available on a reward flight I had been “watching” for months.  We were booked on a 7AM flight for a trip coming up this June.  We would have made it work since that was the only reward flight available on the day we needed when we booked the flight, but that means we would have been getting our kiddo up by about 4:30AM, and that is not an ideal way to start a trip.  So, I had Expert Flyer watching several other later flights that morning.  In the event that three award seats opened up on any of the other flights we had it watching that day, we would be notified and have the opportunity to change flights.

Since we booked this reward trip on United, we can change flights up to 21 days before departure without a penalty, provided that the origin and destination remained the same.  I was able to log on to United about an hour after I got the email from Expert Flyer, and by that point one of the options was not showing as available, but the other one was still available.  So, we were able to change our flight for free, and preserve a few hours of sleep before the trip for our kiddo.  That is worth its weight in gold….or it’s at least worth the $9.99 per month that Expert Flyer charges.  😉  You can also try Expert Flyer out for free for five days to see what you think before spending any money.

I still have a lot to learn about Expert Flyer, but having the site watch award flights for you is super easy.  Once you log in, select “Create Flight Alert”.

You then input the details for the award flight you want.  You can have up to 30 “free” alerts at once (and by free they mean, included in your $9.99 per month).  If Expert Flyer finds availability on the flight alerts you have set, they will notify you and then you can quickly follow-up directly with the airline to hopefully snag the flight you really wanted.

I am quite relieved to not have our next planned trip with my kiddo start at 4:30AM.  Without Expert Flyer there is no way I would have been checking award availability while I was getting ready to head to Disneyland, but with their help I was able to get the available seats anyway.

Do you use Expert Flyer to watch award flight seat availability for you and your family?

Comments

  1. Yes I have started using it. Im still learning about all the fare rules to find cheap tickets, and what flights I am most likely to get bumped on….etc….etc….Im still have to try KVS tool also I know that doesnt have flight alerts though

  2. Love your blog, i now call all my friends with kids mommypoints and they look at me with a strange expression!! Do you know if anyone holds a training session on expertflyer? I would love to be able to use it, but would feel more comfortable being trained.

  3. I use a similar feature on AwardNexus. I prefer Nexus as it gives me access to all 3 alliances, where EF is really, really weak for finding OW rewards.

  4. Funny thing. My kids, from a very young age, have LOVED so-early-in-the-morning-it’s-still-dark departures. To this day (they’re 12 and 10 now) they’re disappointed if a trip doesn’t start with getting up at 3am to flag down a cab on the deserted street. I guess it turns the whole thing into a bigger adventure. Every time we did it, they always came through in terms of behavior.

  5. I always use ExpertFlyer for booking but haven’t used it for flight alerts yet — now I’ll start! Thanks mommypoints!

  6. Hello mommypoints, I want to clarify again what i just read on your blog. If we book a ticket using united award miles, are you stating that the actual flight can be changed without charge as long as we change it atleast 21 days before the departure date? does this apply to international flights as well? Asking this since i just booked an international flight for my MIL.

    • @Pria, as long as the origin and the destination remain the same, the rest can change for free until 21 days before on United award tickets.

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