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Most people with points and miles know that the award booking process can vary from a simple domestic flight to an overly complicated and time consuming international partner award in a premium cabin. When you stack on top things like open-jaws, stop-overs code-share partners, and free one-ways, it can get almost impossible for the average person to get the most value out of an award ticket.
It can take hours if you don’t know what you are doing. But some people like to figure it out themselves instead of getting raked over the coals for an 80,000 domestic segment (think Atlanta to Los Angeles in First) when the international portion of the itinerary is widely available at the low level.
One-time I spent nights and weekends looking for availability on each of the segments I used to get us to the Seychelles.
The most difficult to book segment was the Paris to Seychelles flight because it was a codeshare partner of Air France and not Delta. Since I was using Delta miles I could book the little known flight on Air Seychelles through Air France because Air Seychelles was a codeshare partner of Air France. It was time consuming but well worth the effort.
On the other hand, there are award booking services. There is a whole business that has sprung up around helping people book award tickets.
How Does An Award Booking Service Work
Here’s generally how they work:
- Customer sends in their desired itinerary with date preferences, preferred cabins, and most importantly point balances (i.e. I have 500,000 Delta Sky Miles)
- Service provider uses their experience and intimate knowledge of award booking to find the best itinerary for the customer
- Service provider presents the itinerary back to the customer
- Customer agrees to itinerary and moves forward with booking
- Service provider books the award ticket and charges a small fee
It is a win win. The customer gets a low level award ticket and the service provider gets a fee for their time.
We ran an award booking service for a short period of time but quickly became inundated with requests that we could not handle. So we cut over the service and starting referring requests over to one a team that really knows what they are doing. We handled a few requests for repeat customers until we fully transitioned them to our preferred Award Booking Service.
Preferred Award Booking Service – Juicy Miles
I’ve known Adam for a long time and have trusted him with all of my referrals. He has assembled and runs an amazing team at Juicy Miles.
Adam is the proud founder of Juicy Miles LLC and loves helping others travel for free. His obsession with points and miles began during his freshman year at college. After browsing Flyertalk and Mileage Workshop, Adam pulled the trigger and signed up for his first Citibank AAdvantage credit card and MCI phone line (25,000 mileage offer). Back then, both deals were churnable and in no time at all, the college freshman had enough miles to travel to Europe and Asia in First Class for free, multiple times. Needless to say, he was hooked! Fast forward a few years and Adam of course ended up in a job with a travel requirement…which meant extra miles for awards! He continued educating himself on the mileage game and took some pretty incredible trips each year, including a family vacation every December…all with miles. As his colleagues and friends started to hear about and see pictures from his trips, they wanted in and Adam began to assist them with their bookings, Juicy Miles was born. Adam is also the author of the Point Me to the Plane blog on BoardingArea. Adam’s favorite award trips from 2013 include his Singapore / Cathay Pacific First Class trip to Bali, Thailand, and Hong Kong as well as his First Class Emirates Shower Suite A380 experience to the Maldives. Adam covers AA / oneworld, UA / Star Alliance, and Delta / SkyTeam bookings.
I’ve referred people to him that have had over 4,000,000 American Express miles (some of the easiest customers to work with) all the way down to folks with 40-80,000 miles spread across multiple programs. In every case, I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback on professional, easy they are to work with and most importantly, the ability to find an award that will work with the customer.
It’s funny, the requests he ends up getting because he’s so good with customer requests and taking the personal care to another level. He isn’t a personal concierge, but they are so good and trusted with their customers, he ends up getting requests to do other things like book hotels, book revenue tickets, and just make the process seamless. But they stick to award booking and that is what they are good at.
How To Use Juicy Miles
One of the best parts about using Juicy Miles is they make it so easy to work with them.
Step 1: Complete Your Request Online
All you have to do is fill out your request online by answering 11 questions and then click submit. They’ll reach out quickly with the details on next steps.
Please be sure to let them know Points Miles & Martinis sent you in question #11 by entering something like:
- Points, Miles & Martinis
- Points Miles And Martinis sent me!
- Etc…appreciate the mention we sent you
They will charge a flat $125 per person for the first two travelers and then $100 per person for each additional traveler. Well worth the price to let someone else do the work finding low level awards if you don’t have the experience, time or prefer to let someone else just handle it for you.
They will find the best itinerary at the lowest possible mileage rate. Flights will not be booked until you accept and are completely satisfied with the award booking.
There are a lot of good award bookings services out there. But for our friends, families and readers, we suggest Juicy Miles. They have assembled a great team to help you book your next aspirational award ticket. Please let them know Points, Miles & Martinis team sent you over there if you use them. Thanks!
Have you ever used an Award Booking business to book an award ticket? What trip did you end up taking and how many miles did you use?
Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This post was accurate at the time of posting, offer may be unavailable on this site at a later time. For details on current offers visit the card issuer’s site.