One of the annoying things about the Air Miles website is that you cannot see flight availability when you do not have enough miles in your account to make the booking. This has been the case since online booking became possible with Air Miles. It’s especially frustrating when you don’t have the base level of miles for the flight, but you do have the miles required if you factor in a promotional discount. Those 15% or 25% discounts appear quite frequently on the “Travel Specials” page. Strangely, there appears to be a way around this.
A few months ago I happened to notice that if I did a search, reached the “you do not have enough miles page” and then clicked the back button on the browser, it would show me the options. It lets you select flights, including those requiring more miles than you have in your account. I assume if you tried to complete the transaction it would result in an error. I suppose it’s possible the miles balance could go into the negative but I certainly wouldn’t risk my flight booking to try.
However, like I mentioned above, if you don’t have enough for a regular redemption but you do for a discounted one, you should be able to book it. For example, the base level to fly from a Maritime airport to New York in the low season is 1500 miles. A 25% discount brings it down to 1125. If you have 1200 the website will still tell you that you don’t have enough miles. But, hopefully, if you use this little trick you can see your options and make your booking provided the lowest discounted rate appears. Often there is no availability at the base rate so a flight will show as 25% off but the discount is taken from a higher miles rate. This can still be a good deal depending on the actual airfare you’d otherwise have to pay. But it’s nice to get the lowest possible rate even if it means frequent searching. In my experience, Air Miles flight availability changes quite often, even multiple times per day.
If you’re building up an Air Miles balance with a flight in mind it’s nice to be able to monitor availability. I know there are lots of folks waiting for their MegaMiles bonus to post. If anyone reading this finds it doesn’t work on their browser, my apologies for the false hope. It worked on Safari and Internet Explorer for me but I assume it’s a glitch that could be gone at any moment. Hopefully Air Miles will change the website to allow collectors to easily monitor flight availability no matter their current balance.