Once you start trying to use airline miles to book international award travel, you quickly discover that flexibility is the key to finding award flights. There’s more than one way to be flexible. Some people are flexible about their destination but that’s not me. Others can be flexible with the dates of their trips but that’s also a no go for me, as I have to clear vacation time months in advance.
So how else can you be flexible? You can be willing to start and/or end your award trip from somewhere else than your home airport.
A beginner would think it’s straightforward to book an award ticket from Buffalo to London. You can do that search right from the airlines’ websites but unless saver space exists on the domestic flight and the transatlantic flight, it will say that there’s nothing available.
There may be saver award flights available from New York or Philadelphia or Boston to London but you’ll never see them because the computer is searching for a ticket from Buffalo.
Welcome to the wonderful world of positioning flights.