We’re all about award travel, but there are times when it can make sense to book paid flights with airlines.
In general, it’s best to book directly with airlines rather than OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) because if there are subsequently problems with your flight(s), it’s easier to deal directly with the airline rather than hoping that you’ll find someone both helpful and competent at the OTA to assist you.
What you might not have realized when booking paid flights directly with airlines is that you could’ve been missing out on cashback from a shopping portal.
Clicking through from a shopping portal is something I do by default any time I shop online. Despite that, for some reason I don’t tend to think about clicking through from a portal when booking flights, despite many airlines appearing on shopping portals.
Unfortunately most (but not all) domestic airlines don’t appear on shopping portals, but many international airlines do which can be useful if you ever book paid international flights.
As a result, I’ve put together a list below of all the airlines I could find that offer some kind of cashback through shopping portals. Even if you’re booking award flights with these airlines, it’s worth clicking through from a portal just in case it inadvertently tracks, whether based on the taxes/fees or somehow on the cash value of the flight because stranger things have happened.
I’ve also included links to each of the airlines’ listings on Cashback Monitor so that you can compare cashback rates across portals. Cashback Monitor sometimes has more than one listing for an airline, so all applicable links have been added below.
Let me know in the comments below if there are any airlines I’m missing and I’ll get them added. Note that I’ve left a few airlines off (e.g. Air France) because shopping portal earnings are based on buying their miles/points rather than booking paid flights.
- Aer Lingus
- Air Canada*
- Air Malta
- Avianca – Link 1 & Link 2
- British Airways
- Brussels Airlines
- Etihad – Link 1 & Link 2
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Iberia Airlines
- Jet Airways
- Korean Air
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Southwest Airlines**
- Swiss – Link 1 & Link 2
- TAP Air Portugal – Link 1 & Link 2
- United Airlines**
- Virgin Atlantic – Link 1, Link 2 & Link 3*
* Link directs you to an overseas version of the airline’s website. While that might not affect tracking per se, the affiliate program in that country might only offer cashback for flights originating from that country.
** These airlines are only available on FatCoupon. I’m not convinced that you will earn cashback when booking flights, but it doesn’t hurt to click through. I imagine though that the cashback they offer is based on buying points/miles rather than booking paid flights.