Like many other writers, I run a business on the side helping people use their points and miles more effectively. People consistently come to my business expecting me to be able to pull of miracles for saver level award seats, when in reality what they want just isn’t possible under the parameters they have set. Most recently, I had a client who was looking to book business class travel to Israel and only wanted to travel on Friday. Additionally, they only wanted a one stop option or less from Florida and the only connection point they would allow had to be in North America. I can count how many flights fit those requirements on one hand, there’s five. Three from New York City, one from San Francisco, and one from Toronto. Unsurprising, I couldn’t get them on one of the five options affordably. It may have been possible if they had asked me to book this for them right as the bookable schedule was released but they took their time in making decisions. Eventually I was able to assist them with flights due to some luck and one secret that I have learned. If you are having trouble finding award availability, book saver award flights on new routes right as are announced.
United recently announced a new route from Washington (IAD) to Tel Aviv (TLV) The new route starts operating on May 22, 2019. It was announced 293 days in advance of the first scheduled flight. Typically the bookable schedule for United is set to 11 months out which is about 330 days. This led to a rare opportunity where you could book seats at a saver level cost without having to make plans nearly a year in advance. The award chart on the day of the announcement looked like this:
75,000 miles for a business class flight direct to Israel is a great deal. In some instances it was possible to book upwards of 2-4 seats. While I was able to secure the long leg for my clients, the domestic flight wasn’t available, which wasn’t surprising.
This isn’t the first time that we have seen great award availability on newly announced flights. We have seen large number of saver award seats available on Singapore to Newark and Hong Kong to Washington D.C at the announcement of those routes as well. Just note that after the announcement you will have to act quickly as the space to Tel Aviv was nearly all grabbed up by the end of the day.