IdeaWorks Award Survey

IdeaWorks Award Survey

IdeaWorks and Switchfly (previously known as EzRez Software) have published their third annual award seat availability study and Southwest ranked at the top for yet another year. When searching for awards, Switchfly was able to find award seats 100 percent of the time with both Southwest Rapid Rewards and airberlin topbonus. GOL Smiles took third place with a 97.1 percent total availability, followed by Lufthansa Miles & More at 92.1 percent and Singapore KrisFlyer at 90.7 percent. United MileagePlus tied with AirTran A+ Rewards for seventh place with 87.1 percent. We were surprised to see American AAdvantage ranked 19th with a success rate of only 45.7 percent and Delta SkyMiles at the bottom with a mere 27.1 percent. US Airways Dividend Miles didn’t do much better than Delta at 33.6 percent. You can read the full report at

Bottom line: If a seat is available for booking on Southwest, Rapid Rewards members can pay with points so it’s not unusual that Southwest had a success rate of 100 percent. What the study did not look at, however, is how many points were required for those flights and whether it was more than the 25,000-mile saver awards searched for on other airlines.

Another problem with the study is that Switchfly searched for award tickets for two people at the airline’s websites, but did not call the airlines. US Airways Dividend Miles, for example, does not include partner airlines online but you can call the airline to book flights on United or other partners.

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