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

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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.

Comments (62)

  • Ikaz says:

    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.

    • Stephen says:

      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.

      • Ikaz says:

        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

    • Rob says:

      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.

  • EC says:

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

  • 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.

  • N says:

    Can alerts be set for individual flights or are they only set for dates?

    e.g. LON-AGP has many flights per day but I want an alert for seats one specific flight, but not the others on the same day. Can I do this with Seat Spy?

    I couldn’t do this with RFF and found it v frustrating.

    • Stephen says:

      Only for dates at the moment N.

    • RB says:

      Having the same issue, need availability on BA005 & BA006 but it seems only the other flight that day for that route has the availability.
      Looks like I need to make the 1:00am call to BA to try and get seats on the flight I want.

  • The Original David says:

    In the interests of transparency, is there any commercial relationship between SeatSpy and HfP? It feels like the site is now peppered with SeatSpy links and widgets, but there is no mention of them on the affiliates page.

    • Rob says:

      They’re not an affiliate, that’s why. We don’t get paid if you sign up. They have bought a block of advertising space for 12 months at a fixed price.

  • Stephen says:

    Geoff, I’ve just checked the Bermuda award availability for Sunday 4 April on BA and I can see that seats are available in Economy and Business only as we are reporting on the SeatSpy site. Do you have more specific dates I can check?

    • Anna says:

      Same issue with GCM.

    • Stephen says:

      Anna, I can’t reply to you message it doesn’t have a reply button. I have checked BA for 4 April 2021 to GCM and they report no award availability in any class as does the SeatSpy site.

      • Stephen says:

        Anna, I’ve tried to do the same in an image for the LON-GCM route you mention. I show all of BA’s results pages where they show no availability and the corresponding SeatSpy view that shows no availability on that date https://ibb.co/SVYbB0t

      • Anna says:

        Hi Stephen – April 4th is a Sunday when BA don’t fly that route! But the system seems to match BA’s availability now, thanks.

  • Chris says:

    @Stephen

    Tokyo – 2nd March. Showing availability on SeatSpy but not on BA

  • Stephen says:

    Hi, my name is Stephen from SeatSpy. I really want to hear if you think there are any incorrect routes or data on the SeatSpy site. Please can you let me know if you come across any via the Support link on the SeatSpy site to make sure I get to see them. Every page on SeatSpy has the support link on the left hand side, on both desktop and on mobile. Thanks.