It's fun being a soundboard for airline issues. Maybe one day an airline will have the brilliant idea to overpay me to address the issues which people regularly struggle with or complain to me about. There's a thought! Anyway, bar none, the most common complaint is finding availability to use miles and how to search for flights. For most issues I was recently very pleasantly impressed with the British Airways app itself...

Searching For Award Seats Using Avios (Miles)

By pressing "Reward Flights" you'll be taken to the screen below, with an excellent visual representation of what's out there, albeit, just on British Airways metal for direct flights. For partners you'll need to navigate to their desktop website, login and search...

Next you'll find the option to search specific dates, or use flexible dates. I highly recommend the latter, as you'll see when, if ever, there's good space and it will be presented in a nice visual way. 

The app is good for finding inspiration. You can search by region and see all the direct flights British Airways offers. I'll check out Central and South America...

From there we'll find a list of possible countries. Let's check Brazil...

For each city, you'll be presented with the amount of calendar year dates available for your selected travel class.

After touching on Rio, we arrive at this page. Which shows available dates. You can scroll by dragging your finger left or right. It's very intuitive.

Once you've found dates, you'll be directed to a more familiar booking page to complete your purchase. Hopefully you can take it from there....

Finding Cheap Flights

Again, you'll start at your home screen, only this time you'll press "cheapest fares", which makes good sense considering we're looking for cheap fares. Unfortunately, you're almost exclusively restricted to searches from London.

You'll have the option to change cabin class or departure city, and you'll be again presented with all the best deals British Airways has to offer on their own direct flights. They'll start you off with a few suggestions below. Let's go for New York...

Once you've selected a city, you can see an entire calendar year's lowest fares by month just by scrolling with your finger. We'll go for March, where fares are at a low.

The app pre populates a seven day return. You can press change at any time to make it longer or shorter and see new pricing. You'll be shown all the date combos in which you can lock in these great fares. Yes, you can search business and first class too...

Once clicking on a date range, you'll choose the specific flight for each day. The first three or so options were priced higher, but after scrolling I landed on £172, the correct fare.

See! There it is... Just scroll down to find the best fare if it's not presented to you.

Now we're moving, confirm the number of passengers and continue forward.

At this stage you are ready to go. Simply enter your details, if the app doesn't fill them out for you, and book your flight. Easy AND cheap...

The biggest tip out there is that you must know value to experience it. Comparing a years worth of fares to see monthly possible lows gives an excellent sense of value when you go to book. You know if you're getting a good deal. When it comes to award flights, this is a great visual representation and gauge of how many days are available, where they are and all that good stuff. Take advantage, even if just as a planning tool....