Last week, I offered advice on how to use an award booking service. Now it’s time to tell you which award booking service I recommend and WHY! Over the past seven years or so, I’ve tried at least 6 different award booking services and have established a great relationship with JuicyMiles, run by Adam from PointMeToThePlane.com
I call it a relationship because I see it as a partnership, a braintrust of sorts. You see, I believe in hiring professionals to fill in the gap in the areas of travel, or any area of life really, where I don’t seem to have the best skill set. I like to get better at what I do well and let others help with my weaknesses. I’m really great at accumulating miles and points, really great at picking accommodations and planning travel adventures, and really really great at having a wonderfully memorable time when I get somewhere. But the actual booking of the award trips… that’s not one of my strengths.
Like you, I want to get the best possible value for my miles and points. I also, perhaps like you, have some particulars in terms of how I like to travel (business class, fully lie flat seats, etc). So let’s look at some of the tips I mentioned in working with these services and you’ll see why JuicyMiles excels!
- Sometimes I do a bit of research ahead of time and sometimes I don’t. I figure JuicyMiles award bookers know the alliances, airlines, and miles needed way better than I do. After all, they’re doing this all the time and have seen and heard it all. They never mind my follow-up questions once they present me with my options. Rather than being in a rush, they seem to care more about my satisfaction with my award trip routing.
- Turn-around-time from when I put in my request to when I hear from them with some options is always quick. This is essential because once I’ve contacted them I’m ready to book and as we all know, award availability not only comes and goes but sometimes the competition is rough so I don’t want to dawdle.
- Tip #5 from my “7 Tips” previous post, which I called Who’s In Charge, is definitely one of the most frustrating aspects of dealing with an award booking service. It’s easy in any business to hire service people to keep up with the growth, or even the anticipation of growth, but that doesn’t ensure quality service. In the case of JuicyMiles, while they definitely have a large team of award bookers, I’m here to tell you that no matter which one I’ve had work with me on my requests, the quality has been excellent. There have been times I’ve needed to ask Adam a question and he’s always been responsive and concerned that I feel a high level of customer satisfaction. I’ve spoken with Adam and talked about who he hires and his hiring and training process, and let’s just say, I would flunk out of the JuicyMiles training program big time! Adam is definitely in charge and runs JuicyMiles with a professionalism and philosophy that, as a small business owner myself, I admire.
- I have my preferences and I appreciate that the JuicyMiles award team keeps them in mind. For instance, they know I want business class travel, fully flat seats, especially for long-haul flights, that there are planes and airlines I prefer, and that I don’t like to get into a new city too late at night.
More often than not, I have to get positioning flights since, unlike Grant, I don’t live in an international hub! One other thing that they’ll point out to me, which I often forget to consider, is how available and easy positioning flights will be. For instance, on a trip back to San Diego from Europe, my award booker suggested I come back through Las Vegas because flights on Southwest to San Diego are plentiful and cheap. Now why didn’t I think of that? Makes total sense and let’s me know that the JuicyMiles team is watching my back :))
As I mentioned before, I’ve worked with at least 5 different award booker from JuicyMiles and have had great experiences with them all. I’ve stopped counting how many trips my family members and I have booked with the help of the JuicyMiles team. That’s why here at Travel with Grant, we’re recommending them and giving them my personal endorsement.
Maybe you’re great at booking all your awards yourself. I’m jealous! If you’re like me and it’s not your best skill, have you thought about giving an award booking service a try? If not, why not? Let me know!
Full disclosure: Travel with Grant does have an affiliate relationship with JuicyMiles and receives a commission *only if* JuicyMiles books the perfect award trip for you. For your next award redemption, give JuicyMiles the opportunity to find and book the perfect award trip for you.