Best Ways To Search For One World Availability

Best Ways To Search For One World Availability

The One World alliance is a popular source of terrific award flights like JAL First Class, Qatar QSuites, Cathay Pacific First Class etc. However, with such popularity comes a lot of competition when booking these coveted award seats. The best way to get a leg up on the competition is to search for award seat availability efficiently with a calendar view. Let’s dive into which programs offer calendar views and the best ways to find One World awards.

Searching via American Airlines


Overall, the best way to search for One World award availability is through American Airlines. This is because American Airlines offers an easy to use calendar view with a variety of filters. If we are trying to fly first class from Sydney (SYD) to Los Angeles (LAX) on Qantas, using AA’s search engine makes it a lot easier to find this flight. We can first input a random date to trigger the initial search results and then click “Calendar” to pull up the calendar view.

We want to click calendar view on American Airlines website to search for One World flight availability easier
Navigate to Calendar View For Easier Searching

Note how in the calendar view we can use a number of stops filter and a cabin filter. In this example, we set the number of stops to “Nonstop only” and the cabin to “First”.

Calendar view on American Airlines website allows us to filter flights by number of stops and cabin
Calendar View Offers Filters to Find Specific Flights Easier

One nice feature AA has is that they will highlight the dates with the lowest price with a green bubble. We can see that a few days in July offer First Class for 90k! However, this is where award chart knowledge comes in. I know that AA charges 110k one way for first class awards on partner airlines like Qantas so immediately July 15 and July 16 stand out to me. Clicking on July 15 yields availability in Qantas first class!

Calendar view helps us find One World flight awards quickly
Availability Found In Qantas First Class!

However, the tricky case is when there are multiple carriers operating direct flights on the route you’re interested in. This case is a good example of that. Both Qantas and American Airlines offer non stop first class flights on this SYD <> LAX route and AA flights occasionally cost fewer miles. This means that in the calendar view, if there is availability in both AA first and Qantas first, the calendar will show AA since it is cheaper. July 8th is the perfect example of this. In the calendar view, it shows 90k on July 8 but if we click into that day, we see that there is availability in both AA first (90k) and Qantas first (110k)!

Calendar view won't show the more expensive option when there are multiple airlines with availability that day
AA and Qantas Availability

When dealing with routes that may have this dilemma, it’s best to just click through the dates listing prices lower than what you expect and see if there are any dates that may actually have availability for your desired flight.

Searching via Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan


Alaska Airlines is another airline offering a calendar view that is good for searching One World availability. Like AA, Alaska Airlines also provides a cabin filter.

Alaska Airlines also offers a calendar with filters good for finding One World availability
Alaska Airlines also offers a calendar view with cabin filter

However, the downside of Alaska’s calendar search is that it doesn’t let you filter on the number of stops. So if you’re looking for a nonstop flight, the prices shown in the search may be for a route that includes a layover somewhere. For example, if we are looking for a business class flight from SYD->LAX, we can set the filter to business and see decent availability for 55k. 55k is how much Qantas and Fiji charge for a one way ticket in business on this route so we know that those days may potentially include Qantas flights.

We see decent Qantas business class availability when using the calendar view on Alaska Airlines
Decent Business Class Availability

But if we click into one of those days charging 55k, we see that the price is actually for a Qantas flight with a layover in Brisbane (BNE).

With calendar view on alaska airlines, we do not know if the pricing is for a nonstop or layover flight.
Pricing may be for layover routes instead of nonstop

This is one of the downsides of searching via Alaska Airlines. So even if your goal is to book via Alaska, it’s still better to use American Airline’s calendar search to find availability, then come back to Alaska and input the desired date to find your flight.

Alaska airlines also has a weird bug where the cabin filter may be greyed out even though availability does exist. For example, we see that the first class filter is not available to be selected in the picture below.

Alaska Airlines calendar view occasionally has a weird bug where First Class filter is not selectable but first class availability exists
Alaska showing no JAL first class availability

But if we click into an individual day, we see that there is first class availability.

Alaska Airlines calendar view occasionally has a weird bug where First Class filter is not selectable but first class availability exists
JAL first class availability found

For this case, I would recommend searching via other partners like AA or BA to see if there is really no award space available. You could also just do the brute force method of clicking each individual day but that’s a very slow and painful process.

Searching via British Airways


Lastly, there’s British Airways. British Airways does not offer a calendar view but the reason I put BA on here is because of phantom award space. Phantom award space is award space that is shown to be bookable but does not actually exist. This is commonly seen when trying to book partner awards through another loyalty program.

For example, a few months ago there were a lot of phantom business class seats showing when trying to book Cathay Pacific via Alaska Airlines. This was confirmed phantom space when checking via British Airways because on BA’s website, there was no award availability on the dates Alaska said there was. British Airways often has the most accurate inventory of available partner award space for One World alliance airlines. This is why it’s generally recommended to check BA to see if the flight you’re looking at is available before trying to book via Alaska or American.

Conclusion


Calendar views are award travelers’ best friend because they provide a fast and efficient way of finding availability. Thankfully, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines provide great ways of searching for One World award availability. Just make sure to look out for any weird bugs or phantom award space. Hope that you can find some great awards with these tips!

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