Five Tips for Booking Airline Award Tickets

12/02/2010 12:58 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I spend several hours a day searching for award tickets on behalf of other people, and have been doing so for several years now. I actually offer an award travel consulting service, in which I help people utilize their miles as efficiently as possible, often after they've thrown in the towel and are convinced there are no reasonable options. Naturally, I've picked up a few tricks over the years, which I'll share here. Now, there are lots of obvious suggestions, which I won't detail here, like trying to book as far in advance as possible, to be as flexible as possible, etc. These tricks are a bit more advanced. Keep in mind that some of them are quite complicated, so I can't cover them in full detail in just a few paragraphs. Anyway, here are my top five tips for booking award tickets:

Anyway, those are some of my best tips. There's no doubt that it can be frustrating to use miles, but it really doesn't have to be. With enough work, you should be able to travel where you want, when you want, at the price you want, in the cabin you want.

Ben Schlappig writes on frequent flyer and business travel topics for TravelSort. Read more of his and other recent business travel posts.

Cross posted at TravelSort.