With the American Airlines devaluation yesterday, it was time to remove a large set of outdated award levels from the award chart comparison tool. I’m also taking the opportunity to greatly expand the project.
When I started, it was just a simple search program that looked up the award levels for a given route across several different loyalty schemes. I had some links to other useful information, but it wasn’t much more than clarification. What I want to do is make this tool much more of a hand-holding experience. It should walk you through the process of finding award space, searching for that award space, understanding program routing rules, and understanding program fees and taxes.
You’ll now see buttons that link to some of this information under each program. In some cases I don’t have all of this written in one place, so I’m writing a lot of new guides and just published two this morning on searching the American Airlines and British Airways websites. It might be basic for some of you, but that’s the point. There are a lot of people who don’t know this stuff and need something at the beginner level. I’m trying to explain everything I know about how these sites work, their quirks, and in which circumstances they work best.
If you think I’ve left stuff out on fees and hold policies, that’s because it’s a different area I haven’t quite gotten to yet. I have a half dozen other posts in various states of completion and will be posting many of them this week. All the grey disabled buttons on the results page should start to light up.
One other change I’m pretty excited about is adding icons to indicate which programs have transfer partners. In fact, you can hover your mouse over those icons to see what the transfer ratio is. Eventually I’ll be adding walkthroughs on how to go about transferring the points and earning more.
So as I said, it’s a bit basic for some readers but I think it will be very helpful for the vast majority of people who don’t really know what to do with their miles — even after they’ve been convinced that they have some value. As I manage to incorporate more of these features into what I call “basic” mode, the expert mode will eventually be deprecated. For now, both of them continue to operate, and I will also continue to add new award charts as time permits.