Looking for space to upgrade or cash in those miles? Breaking news flash, so is everyone else. With so much competition, it’s safe to assume that you often feel like giving up, wasting hours clicking away, just trying to find one (damn) seat. Well, you can stop searching, grab a glass of wine and sit back, because there are some really handy (really awesome) apps which will do all the work for you. All you need is the miles!

a bed with a tray of rose petals

Expert Flyer

SO many terms, so little time. Whether you’re looking for free flights with your miles, an elite confirmable upgrade, an upgrade with miles, availability for an upgrade certificate, or any of the other Bubba Gump Shrimp sounding ways to describe a better seat, you’ll find it on here. In fact, they’ll just email you when and if it’s ready for more than 50 airlines. You search once, with the ability to search more than a month at a time and you’ll hear back if availability pops up. For something this powerful you’ll pay a modest monthly fee, but if you’re serious about getting value from your miles and saving time, this is worth it, if only for a month.

a glass of wine in a glass next to a couch

Award Nexus

Very similar to ExpertFlyer, AwardNexus offers a very straight forward way to run some serious power searches, in fact, they call them “quality” searches, because their advanced system finds 20% more availability for your miles than even your airline’s own site. You can search complex routings and even show availability for multiple airlines at once, helping you to decide which miles to part ways with. Yep, you can also create an email alert for when space pops up! You’ll pay a fee, but for the added power, subtracted headache and the quick notifications, which give you a leg up on competition, it’s worth it. Again, if just for a month…

a close-up of a ticket

Why doesn’t everyone do this? Because 99% of travelers don’t think about upgrades until they’re at the airport or on the plane looking at those sweet looking beds. The ability to set alerts and be notified when and if seats or upgrades become available is a huge strategic advantage and the best chance to feel impressed with your miles, rather than overwhelmed and endlessly frustrated. Enjoy.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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