Old Apr 5, 15, 11:18 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: CVG
Programs: UA Silver, AA, DL, Marriott Silver
Posts: 12,072
Originally Posted by jaynyc View Post
You would think with today's technology available seats would be in real time.
Nope. What happens when you do a search practically on any site these days is it is bringing up cached availability which is updated only every so often. Only when you select specific flights or in some cases, when you try to pay, does it confirm in real-time. It's also the cause of many of those "the fare for the itinerary you selected has changed" type errors on Orbitz, etc.

There is a method for this - when doing an initial search, it is searching through tons of inventory, and even with today's technology, would take a loooong time to search real-time availability of so many options. Once you've narrowed down the selections, it's a lot faster to search just the real-time inventory on those.

UA.com is actually pretty good at updating its own inventory very quickly for searches. What it's bad at is giving users a specific reason for an error. Instead of the message that a site like Orbitz (above) will give, it just kind of barfs up a generic message for anything that goes wrong anytime.
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