Or BA Redemption Finder as it was originally called.
British Airways has one of the best loyalty schemes in the world, however, it isn’t all rosy. They deliberately make it difficult to find availability to use up your hard-earned Avios points. With crafty measures in place like having to search for a specific date to use your points, sometimes it will say no flights found, yet other times it will bring up a 7-day window which you have to go manually through to find availability.
Reward Flight Finder cuts through most of the hassle without wanting anything in return. Choose a departure airport, a destination, select the cabin and how many seats you require, then hit “view all availability”.
A full years worth of availability all in one long list. There’s a clear indication of peak (The most expensive) and off-peak dates. At the top, you are informed of how many Avios are required for either peak or off-peak. If you wait for a moment or 2, there is also an indicator of how much you’ll be looking to pay for what BA charge you to redeem your Avios through the way of Carrier Surcharges. The taxes indicator I’ve found to be unreliable, insert meme of Salt Bae.
Avios has a monatary value, make no mistake. Heres some figures from 2019:
- 120Bn Avios issued
- 93Bn Avios redeemed
- £400,000,000 generated from Avios
British Airways have a vested interest in you not spending those Avios. There’s not a cat in hells chance they would ever let you set an alert up to notify you as soon as the flight you wanted, became available.
Reward flight finder gives you the option to sign up with your email address to receive notifications about the flights you want. First of all, I wouldn’t worry about your data being sold, I think Tim runs it because he’s big into aviation and I’m guessing loves his job as a programmer so this was probably a hobby piece that blew up massively. As a free member you’ll be able to select which cabin you’d like to be notified about; be it economy, premium economy, business class and first class. You then have the option of which dates you’d like to fly. That’s it, the website will check once a day and send you an email if and when you’re flights become available.
As you can see, it’s a simple email notification that comes through. You’re chosen route, cabin and amount of passengers are displayed along with the date range you set. Below will give you the info on whether it’s an outbound or inbound flight and the date of which it is available.
If you know what you’re looking at you can get a massive head start on everyone else. Take the above for example, 12 flights becoming available all at the same time from Lonon to the Maldives. This was caused by an aircraft swap, going from a 3 class (business, premium economy and economy) 777 to a 4 class 777, which, as you have probably guessed has first class. After a quick look, there were ample seats available to the Maldives in first class.
A word of wisdom, try and be specific or have your email address set up to automatically move email updates into a folder. I kid you not, since the start of the year, I’ve probably had 200+ emails with notifications of availability.
Some day’s, I’ll wake up and think “I’ve been at home for a while now, where to next”. The “I dont know where i want to go feature” is for people like me. Sometimes you don’t know where you want to go but are easily persuaded to fly off to somewhere.
Enter your departure airport (I’d recomend London to keep it simple), the dates you want to travel, how many seats you want to book and which cabin, then hit “Show me where i can go”
A visual representation of where in the world you can go. JACKPOT!!!
When you click or hover over the pin it tells you where it is and how many Avios would be required for your cabin selection and the number of passengers.
For £3 a month it’s practically nothing. As a premium member, you get to use the “I don’t know where I want to go” feature. Also, the website will check every hour instead of daily for availability. That comes in handy when you’re wanting difficult tickets to get. Places like Seychelles in First Class or the Maldives in Business for 2 people, where you want to get the maximum value out of your AmEx 2 for 1 Voucher.
I’m cancelling my membership…
If RFF was the only game in town I’d pay the £3 a month membership and not bat an eyelid. There’s 1 key flaw with it, scratch that, there’s two.
- You can’t search for all cabin types (first, business, eco) at once, you have to do one at a time.
- SeatSpy (for the foreseeable future) is free to use for all features.
Even though the website has saved me, probably tens of thousands, I can’t justify paying for a product when there is a better one for free. This is a doff of the cap from me. He was the first to come along into this space and do a hell of a job, so for that, I want to say thank you.