SeatSpy ‘officially’ launches, adds premium tiers and availablility searches for Air France and KLM

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

Earlier this year SeatSpy launched as a new tool to search redemption flight availability on British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

It is by far the easiest way of seeing Avios and Virgin Atlantic reward seats across an entire year without having to search for dates individually.  It is the only service of its type with Virgin Atlantic availability since Reward Flight Finder lost access.

This HFP article looks at how SeatSpy works and what it can do for you.  Membership is free so you can sign up and try it out without any charge.

When we originally wrote about SeatSpy it was still in a public beta, with all its features free to use.  From today it is moving to a ‘freemium’ model with three tiers of benefits (click to enlarge):

Seatspy pricing tiers

What are the new SeatSpy tiers?

Economy tier:

Importantly, basic functionality will remain free via the ‘Economy’ tier.  This includes unlimited British Airways Avios searches and email alerts.

If BA data is all you want from SeatSpy, and you are happy with daily updates on availability, you can continue to pay nothing.

Access to Virgin Atlantic and other airlines is restricted, however.  You can search freely but cannot set alerts.  If your focus is on Virgin Atlantic availability, you will need to upgrade if you want email alerts.

You may also want to upgrade if you want faster notification of changes to British Airways Avios availability.

Premium tier:

The ‘Premium’ tier gets you THREE MONTHS FREE and is then £1.99 per month for life if you upgrade before 27th May.  From 27th May the cost will be £2.99 per month.

For BA flyers, Premium will notify you within an hour if the seats you want have become available.

For other airlines including Virgin Atlantic, you can have up to four email alerts saved and will receive updates within an hour if seats open up.

First Class tier:

At the top end, a ‘First Class’ subscription at £7.99/month is reduced to £2.99/month if you upgrade before 27th May.  The £2.99 monthly fee is guaranteed for life.

‘First Class’ members get IMMEDIATE notification of changes to reward availability on routes where they have set alerts.  This puts you ahead of ‘Premium’ members (hourly alerts) and free members (daily alerts).

You can also have unlimited alerts on other airlines and – coming soon – alerts when availability opens up for new events with Marriott Moments, Hilton Auctions etc.

As a Virgin Flying Club member may be searching for availability across Virgin Atlantic or Air France or KLM, a First Class subscription may make more sense as the four active alerts allowed as a Premium member will soon be used up.

You can see the tiers on the SeatSpy website here.

Air France and KLM availability added too!

As we aluded to above, in the last few weeks SeatSpy has also added the ability to search for reward availability on Air France and KLM.  There are future plans to further expand the number of airlines on offer.

Air France and KLM availability is especially useful now that you can use your Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles to book their redemptions.  To do so you must select Air France or KLM – not Virgin – as your search term.  You do not see Air France or KLM availability if you select a search for Virgin Atlantic.

It is worth noting that you may not be able to book all Air France and KLM redemptions using Virgin Atlantic miles.  Air France, for example, restricts redemption availability of its first class La Premiere product to its own frequent flyers.  Even other SkyTeam alliance members are not given the access, let alone partners such as Virgin Atlantic.

WhatsApp alerts coming soon

Another feature coming soon will be WhatsApp alerts.  Whilst SeatSpy has traditionally offered email alerts on saved searches, with text message alerts for top tier users, the option to switch to WhatsApp alerts should mean you get a headstart on finding and booking popular routes.

As I mentioned above, SeatSpy is implementing hourly and instant alerts for paid members.  These are particularly useful during sale periods such as when British Airways dumped a significant number of Avios seats in February.  We had a lot of comments from people who saw availability on SeatSpy via their daily email updates but found that the seats had already been snapped up by the time they got to booking.

Conclusion

The addition of Air France and KLM as well as other new features makes SeatSpy of interest to a broader group of people beyond just core BA flyers.  If you have reward balances across numerous airlines then the paid tiers will be attractive, although for many people the free British Airways search and alerts will be enough.

In some ways, it comes down to your personal travel patterns.  If you are tied to specific peak travel dates, such as school holidays or over Christmas and New Year, the benefit of early notifications via a premium tier membership will be valuable.  Similarly, any hard core Virgin Atlantic, Air France or KLM member will want to pay for the First Class tier in order to get beyond four active alerts.

On the other hand, if you don’t have kids and your searches tend to be more general – ‘alert me if any Cape Town seats appear during November’ – then the daily alerts on the free tier may be enough.

You can see more about the new pricing tiers on the SeatSpy website hereYou can still sign up for the free tier if that is all you’re interested in – and you have a month to decide if you want to lock in the special deal on the paid tiers.

'My Favourite Hotel' review - The Grand Hotel Lviv in Ukraine
Why you should get a FREE Curve Card to maximise your miles and points from credit cards

Click here to join the 15,000 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Amazon ad
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. SeatSpy seems slightly better than when it was having a complete wobble a few weeks ago but it’s still showing some odd results, like 1 seat available in WT over long periods when the BA website shows many more available.

    • +1. I have noticed a few instances over the last few weeks when the info just is not right.

      • Hi AndyW, could you let me have an example of data that is not for a route and a date and I will be able to check it.

    • I like the layout but I agree the seat availability just doesn’t work properly at the moment. Every date where availability exists has 1 economy seat showing on a route I am looking at which doesn’t match the BA website where more are available. I did feed this back but it’s still showing. Also not clear how it is supposed to work where more than 1 flight a day? If it shows cumulative availability you may be disappointed as this is not a seat total on one aircraft.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Or showing CW when there wasn’t any available!

    • Anna, which route are you seeing this on? If you give me a route I’ll be able to confirm the details. Thanks.

  2. Often shows inaccurate information.

    Seats are often not available on BA.

    Personally I would stick with manual searches on BA.

    Far more reliable.

    Free is fine however if you want some sort of alert, but don’t rely upon it.

    • Hi Tom, can you let me have an example of a route and dates that are not showing the correct info and I will investigate. Thanks.

  3. Why now? Cannot think of a worse, more inappropriate time to officially launch. Still, good to see it and with promise of more to come.

    • JP_MCO says:

      Why not? Lots of people at home with time on their hands to think about future travel. There will be a future beyond COVID-19. Sure, we might not be travelling immediately but 6-12 months down the line people are going to want to travel. Some a lot sooner than that I would imagine.

      • Because you can go online and find reward seats readily available in most markets most of the time. The second question is then how meaningful is that availability, it is now largely out of the hands of the airlines themselves. Despite that, I still have my RFF subscription in place as BKK is a problem at Xmas and I want to change my existing dates 🙂

    • Indeed.. especially, as they are trying to promote the premium tiers for an airline that may or may not be around in a few montsh time!

  4. Michael C says:

    Apart from potential availability, the other thing I find/found useful on “the other seatfinder” is immediately seeing the tax/charges due (although this recently has said “Something’s gone wrong”?!).

  5. It’s OK but I often go weeks without any alerts whereas Rewards system is consistent. So not great yet

  6. Does anyone know how often does seatspy update it’s award availability? If there system is only pulling the data from the airlines twice per day, not as appealing as if it’s checking all throughout the day.

  7. also by far not all airports are included. Was looking for a KLM flight to Jakarta and it doesn’t find the airport… Seems like a lot of work in progress, but not yet worth paying for

    • Andre, I’ve just added that missing route. Thanks for letting me know.

    • Andre, is there a direct flight to Jakarta with KLM. I show results for direct flights only at the moment. Is there a direct flight from London to Jakarta or from Schipol to Jakarta?

      • yes there is (KL809) – it has a stop in Kuala Lumpur though, but it is marketed as one flight with a technical stop, not as a connection

        • I see Andre, that’s a slightly different flight to most then. This means that I do not have data for this more unusual route. Are there other routes that are missing? You said that by far not all airports are included.

          • Andrew M says:

            Air France CDG-PPT is missing. The stop in LAX means PPT doesn’t show up as an option from CCG, even though it’s one flight number. The same goes for AF flights from CDG involving stops in the Caribbean like Fort de France and Cayenne.

            Great service by the way Stephen! I don’t know why airlines can’t show availability in that format. It’s almost like they didn’t want you to find reward flights… The VS flight search page is painful to use and BA isn’t far behind,

  8. The two questions I do have before considering a subscription are firstly, how will this be managed if the data becomes unavailable from the airline? Will I be able to suspend the subscription and resume at the discounted price when its fixed? Secondly, will I be able to move between the £1.99 and £2.99 subscriptions?

    • Craig, we have systems in place to ensure that data will be consistently available. If we were to have a major outage, then of course we would work out a way to be fair to our subscribers. You can try the free trial of the £1.99 plan and choose to upgrade to the £2.99 plan up until the 27th May. Cancelling or changing your plan after that point would mean you would lose founder status and pay the regular rates if you subscribed again. Please check out the Ts and Cs which cover these sorts of issues. Thanks for your interest!

  9. The main use that I would have for AF searches is for first class flights, unfortunately it seems like seatspy isn’t set up for this.

    • I believe there are restrictions on AF First Class making them hard to book and limiting who can book them. The first class redemptions are restricted to Flying Blue elite members, and they need to be booked at the Flex level, which also makes redemption rates very high, so, no, I don’t show these at the moment.

      • Thanks for the update, they are indeed not the easiest rewards to book, but I have been building up my stash of FB miles just for that and do have the required status. But I can’t seem to find any availability on AF website when I search

    • Given the very few people who are allowed to book Air France First (last report I read was that you could now only book it if you’d previously booked it for cash) I doubt many are using it for that.

  10. How instant is the first class tier in comparison to alerts from Reward Flight Finder?

  11. Peter K says:

    Personal thoughts/ramblings.

    I wish them the best.

    This launch seems bad timing with the concern of whether Virgin Atlantic will survive, like the baggage hire company that started not long before everything shut down.

    They seem to have had issues with incorrect information displaying from reports over several weeks but have not sorted this before launching a paid for version. But maybe they felt they had to launch before VS went completely kaput.

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.