Come to think of it, it will actually it'll be my first award booking on any airline with my own miles. I'm an AA flyer primarily and have become familiar with their award idiosyncrasies, but I know much less and UA/CO's. However, availability appears much better with Star Alliance for the trip I'm planning. Anyway, I'm thinking about visiting a friend in Sofia, Bulgaria, (SOF), traveling in business class and making a stopover somewhere in Europe (say, for this example, Madrid). 1. Does it matter whether I use UA or CO miles, other than, of course, UA's StarNet blocking? 2. The big question. There's decent availability right now IAD-VS-LHR-LH-Germany-LH-SOF and from SOF-LH-Germany-LH-MAD. However, I can't get CO.com to show availability from MAD-WAS. I have found, though, that there is award inventory for something like MAD-SN-BRU-SN-LHR-VS-IAD. Would CO's routing rules allow this? I assume I'd have to do this over the phone. If this is indeed possible, does this seem like a good routing (especially in terms of business class experience)? Anything I can take advantage of that I'm not? 3. Business class is better on VS than on LH, right? 4. I could not get the KVS tool to show the CO codeshare flights on VS. Is this possible? If not for the CO booking engine, I wouldn't have even thought of this. 5. Can you change an award booking after travel begins? I'm sure I have more questions, but I'll hold back. I'm kind of excited to start using these miles I've been hoarding for over a year. Thanks in advance!