The easiest and quickest way to find British Airways and Virgin Atlantic award seats just got even better

Apr 27, 2020

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If you’ve ever spent hours clicking through different dates on an airline’s website to try and find available award seats, you might think of the process as frustrating. But, for that, there’s a tool that can help you more easily search for dates for using your points and miles — enter Seatspy.

There’s arguably never been a better time to use points and miles than right now. With so many people cancelling or deferring advance travel during the coronavirus pandemic, availability using miles and points is generally excellent.

Of course, with uncertainty about the future, you want to ensure you have flexibility and options to change your plans. A big cash booking you choose to change will likely mean your money is tied up in a credit voucher or travel date change, as you may not be eligible for a refund. Using points and miles is different — you can, in most cases, refund your redemption booking for a very small fee and receive your points and miles back as well as the fees, taxes and surcharges paid.

But what is Seatspy and how does it make searching for award availability so much easier?

In This Post

What is Seatspy?

Seatspy allows users to search for airline award seats at a glance. Seatspy has developed an easy way for you to browse availability for months at a time, rather than just days. Want to know exactly which days this summer there are first-class Avios seats available to New York? Seatspy can show you quickly and easily.

We’ve covered Seatspy before, as it’s been a great way to search for seats on flights operated by British Airways and by Virgin Atlantic. However, the platform has just gotten better with the addition of flights operated by Air France and KLM.

How it works

You can choose to search for seats on flights operated by British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Air France or KLM — noting, too, that you can now use your Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles on flights operated by Air France and KLM. You can search for one particular class of service, for one seat up to nine seats and whether you want one-way or return.

The really neat thing about Seatspy is that it will show all seats available for an entire year. No more clicking through day-by-day to see what’s available.

For example, here’s a British Airways search from London (LHR) to Dubai (DXB) between October and March for two seats:

A quick explanation of what you’re seeing here:

  • Hollow circles (or parts thereof) around the dates mean they are off-peak dates that require fewer Avios; solid circles (or parts thereof) mean they are peak dates.
  • The different colours represent the different fare classes available — grey is World Traveller economy, blue is World Traveller Plus premium economy, green is Club World/Suite business class and red is First.
  • A date with no colours around it means there is no availability, such as 24 October; a date with a full circle around it means all classes have at least two redemption seats available, such as 30 November.

Related: Suite escape: A review of British Airways’ Club Suite on the A350 from London to Dubai

If you then hover over your preferred date of travel, it will show you exactly how many seats are available in each class on that date. It will also show you the price, assuming you are using Executive Club Avios for British Airways flights and Flying Club miles for Virgin Atlantic, Air France or KLM flights.

Some things to remember:

  • Seatspy will show seats available per day, not per flight. Where an airline has multiple flights each day to the same destination (like British Airways to Dubai), it may mean the available seats are spread across multiple flights, which is important to remember if you are trying to get the whole family on the same flight.
  • You can choose whichever mileage currency allows you to book seats on that airline. For example, if there are Virgin Atlantic seats available, you could book them with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles, Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles, Delta SkyMiles or any other partner currency. The miles needed would differ from programme to programme — you are just using Seatspy to easily find the seats. Then, you head to the website where the miles you want to use are held (for example, is you’re using your Avios, log in to your Executive Club account) and then search for the seats you want and book there. The availability should match up exactly to that found on Seatspy.
  • Flights can only be searched for sector, so if you are looking at Air France from Manchester (MAN) to Rio De de Janeiro (GIG) via Paris (CDG), you would need to first search MAN to CDG and then CDG to GIG.

Redemption inspiration

Haven’t even decided where you want to go but want some inspiration? Seatspy can give you inspiration, too. Say you want to fly somewhere with British Airways first class for New Year’s Eve. You’re not sure where — you just want some suggestions with availability.

Here are your options on 30 December:

Alerts

Say you still can’t find seats to the destination you are looking at on the dates you want. You can set alerts for exactly what you’re looking for, and if those seats become available, Seatspy will email you to tell you this. This saves you from having to go back and constantly check to see if exactly what you want is available.

A good idea with this (using the Dubai example above) is if you wanted Club World Avios seats but only World Traveller Plus is available right now, then you could book WTP to lock it in and set a Seatspy alert to notify you when and if Club World becomes available. You could then change your redemption to upgrade to the class you ideally wanted.

What’s the catch?

Right now, Seatspy is free in beta mode. With the great addition of adding flights operated by Air France and KLM, Seatspy is moving to a subscription model from 20 May 2020. You can still search British Airways availability and receive daily alerts without a paid subscription, but for other airlines, the very useful “Where can I go?” inspiration and instant alerts (so you can snap up those valuable award seats before anyone else does) will now cost a small monthly fee as per the tiers below.

Note Seatspy is offering heavily discounted Founder Member discounts for life for those travellers who sign up before 27 May 2020:

Bottom line

If you’re serious about maximising your travel on the most popular premium airlines in the U.K., Seatspy is an enormously valuable tool. If you’ve ever thought “I can never use my points and miles”, the ability to check availability on a route across an entire year, or check availability across an entire airline’s route map with the click of a button is invaluable.

You can lock in a low monthly subscription before 20 May 2020 for life as Seatspy continues to build out this excellent resource.

All images courtesy of Seatspy.

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