New Award Search Tool With Email Alerts — and Hotel Awards, Too!


New Award Search Tool With Email Alerts — and Hotel Awards, Too!

Pex+ is a new site coming out of Beta that allows you to search for award space across a number of different airlines and data sources all at once, quickly. It offers hotel searches (points and revenue prices, so you can compare). And it even offers to email you when award prices drop (saver space opens).

It doesn’t just tell you whether saver awards are available — it shows you the mileage cost of each award so you can compare up front and it includes taxes and fuel surcharges.

You can narrow the results by number of stops, fare class, and mileage price.

With flexible date search they’ll even pull in award calendar information.

This functionality is free though there’s a premium service as well (for instance that searches for price drops more than once a day).

The more I dig into it, the more there is to like, including updating your frequent flyer account balances. They don’t have a lot of accounts yet, and I haven’t tried this feature, but they tell me they support United and Delta which most systems don’t. The goal here is to display your available miles in line with the awards you search so you can see what you can book.

The site is still in development, so there are a few things they don’t have yet that I’d like to see, but it’s definitely worth checking out.

For instance one very small beef I have is that I can’t just quickly type an airport code in the search box and move on. I need to wait a couple of seconds for the code to populate the name of the airport before searching. I may be the only one that gets annoyed by this.

They use a limited number of data sources as well. Here’s the list:

What does this mean?

  • Since they’re pulling Star Alliance availability primarily from United, that excludes seeing Singapore Airlines seats (that are available to partners) in results since United removed the ability to see Singapore award space online.
  • They’re pulling oneworld availability primariy from American’s website [as well as the S7 site] so you aren’t going to see availability for airlines like Iberia, LAN, Japan Airlines, or Qatar.
  • SkyTeam comes primarily from Delta (but also Aeroflot) which means you’ll see awards that would show you — which isn’t every carrier. You won’t see Kenya Airways, Czech, or TAROM. And you won’t see available award space on SkyTeam airlines that Delta doesn’t offer (so using another SkyTeam account like Korean Air SKYPASS or Air France KLM Flying Blue may give you access to awards not shown).
  • You’re not going to see the extra award space that Lufthansa makes available to their own members or award space on some non-aligned airlines like Emirates.

Pex+ tells me though that they’re currently working to add more data sources. But they’ve already taught me something I didn’t know. Virgin Australia’s website shows award availability on Singapore Airlines now — and they have access to space that’s normally reserved for Singapore’s members. For instance, searching using Virgin Australia miles you’ll find business class awards Los Angeles – Tokyo … something you cannot book with United, Aeroplan, or Avianca miles.

That’s of limited use to most American’s, since Virgin Australia account membership is available to residents of specific countries only, but they are a Starwood transfer partner.

For searching hotels they show you properties on a map, let you filter by star rating, price (revenue and points), hotel chain, amenities, and… whether there’s reported Pokemon Go activity. You can see results in a list of hotels (though they don’t show points and room rates side by side for each property) or lowest price by chain.

The email feature seems super-useful not just for airline award inventory but for hotels, too, because you’ll usually be booking fully cancellable rooms (especially with points) so you can always rebook if a great deal becomes available later.

Since I love new tools for frequent flyers, I think it’s a great idea to check out Pex+. Their award search doesn’t even require you to register, but registration will give you access to things like e-mail alerts so is well worth it.

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