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Unofficial AC Schedule Change Notifier (cowtool)

Unofficial AC Schedule Change Notifier (cowtool)

Old Oct 25, 2017, 10:33 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Programs: AC SE MM, BA Gold, SQ Silver, Bonvoy Tit LTG, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond
Posts: 44,815
Unofficial AC Schedule Change Notifier (cowtool)

I've been very frustrated with schedule and equipment changes that I never hear about.

EF only allows setting 30 alerts on my $100/year plan, which means 15 flights if I want to monitor for both time and equipment.

At the time I looked into this, I had ~72 flights booked for the remainder of 2017.

As such, I set about building my own solution.

Then, this past weekend, my CRA was swapped for a Q400 after I was checked in, resulting in a cabin downgrade, with no notification.

Luckily, I was already half done building something that would track that!

So today I'd like to announce the initial release of my Unofficial AC Schedule Change Notifier.

I'll probably create a wiki as soon if this thread becomes too unwieldily to ensure the current state of the project is up top, maybe with some FAQs.

First, you need to use TripIt, and your flights need to be in TripIt. I believe the free TripIt accounts will work for this, but I'm not sure, as I've paid for TripIt for years. It's one of the most useful tools for day of departure alerts, and I highly recommend it.

Second, you need to give me your email address, and authorize my app to access your TripIt data. I will never store your trip information anywhere. Once a day, I will use the TripIt API to pull all your flights, and then check the status on them. At the end of that check, your flights are removed from memory on my server.

The only thing I store is:
1. Your email address (through your cowtool account registration)
2. An OAuth key for my application to access your TripIt account, like 501b228b7407f0ae5cbbb4bcf626e6b31909daa9
3. An OAuth secret for my application to access your TripIt account, like fb30554daad0d9c4e096d33af10b612218586d51

(2) and (3) can be revoked through TripIt's interface.

There's also a link in every email you get that will remove your row from my database.

So what happens when a change is detected? You'll get an email with a subject of "Unofficial AC Schedule Change Notification".


Code:
Hello,

There has been a schedule change on the following flights:

Trip: https://www.tripit.com/reservation/show/id/123456789
Old flight details: AC 754 SFO-YYZ 2017-11-17T22:45:00.000-08:00 - 2017-11-18T06:33:00.000-05:00 (321)
New flight details: AC 754 SFO-YYZ 2017-11-17T22:45:00.000-08:00 - 2017-11-18T06:35:00.000-05:00 (321)

You will continue to be notified about these flights every day until you update them in TripIt. In the future, we will take care of that for you.

To delete your account, please visit: https://flyertalk.canadiancow.com/acschedchange/unsubscribe.php?userKey=501b228b7407f0ae5cbbb4bcf626e6b31909daa9&userSecret=fb30554daad0d9c4e096d33af10b612218586d51

Sincerely,
Your friends at https://flyertalk.canadiancow.com/acschedchange/

This is a real email (except for the TripIt trip ID) I just triggered by running this on my own account. The arrival time of 754 has changed by 2 minutes.

For now, you'll need to manually update the flight details to avoid getting another email the next day, but I've included the link to the trip to make this easy. In the future, I plan to automatically do this for you (as the TripIt API supports it).

And I'm offering this free of charge. The once-a-day check will be free as long as cowtool exists.

You can sign up now at https://actripitschedchange.cowtool.com/

Let me know if you have any questions, and I hope this is as useful for you as it is for me.

Last edited by canadiancow; Mar 29, 2023 at 12:19 am
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Old Oct 25, 2017, 11:09 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
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Does this only work on AC?
Can you open source the code, I am thinking of adding a new line that would say,It is now departing X minutes (before/after) the original depature time.
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Old Oct 25, 2017, 11:11 pm
  #3  
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It definitely works with AC metal. It might work with AC marketed flights. It doesn't work otherwise.
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Old Oct 26, 2017, 1:30 am
  #4  
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Waste of time.
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Old Oct 26, 2017, 1:56 am
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by kylejaymes
Waste of time.
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Old Oct 26, 2017, 6:17 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Toronto, ON, CANADA
Programs: AC SE100K, Marriott Bonvoy LTE
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Awesome cow!

Curious tho - how would your tool have caught the equipment swap, if you are only running the updates once a day? Do you plan on having this run in near real-time in the future so it catches last minute changes?

Where do you get your AC schedule / equipment information from?
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Old Oct 26, 2017, 7:20 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Programs: AC 100K SE (*G), Marriott P, SPG G, Hilton D
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I'm a beta user from the last week and the service works pretty good. It detected 1 equip change and 1 time change that I wasn't notified about.
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Old Oct 26, 2017, 9:18 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Originally Posted by philelite
I'm a beta user from the last week and the service works pretty good. It detected 1 equip change and 1 time change that I wasn't notified about.
Time change should show up on Tripit. Unfortunately AC waits for the very last minute to inform of time changes. Sometimes incoming aircraft is not there yet but they still do not publish a time change so not sure how good that would be compared to Tripit. Equipment change would be good to know.
Maybe Cow should sell his free app to AC . Seems like he has done what AC IT cannot do, though off course adding Tripit.
I have Tripit Pro so will test this out. Thanks Cow.
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Old Oct 26, 2017, 10:21 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Jebby_ca
Awesome cow!

Curious tho - how would your tool have caught the equipment swap, if you are only running the updates once a day? Do you plan on having this run in near real-time in the future so it catches last minute changes?

Where do you get your AC schedule / equipment information from?
I don't know when the equipment swap happened, but my plan is to increase the frequency in the future. I figure if I'm checking even every 4 hours I'll catch almost everything.

I get my AC information from AC

Originally Posted by vernonc
Time change should show up on Tripit.
According to their website, they do not monitor for schedule changes until 3 days out. And that may be a TripIt Pro feature.

The AC 754 example I used is real. I'm booked on that flight, its in TripIt, but TripIt is "completely" unaware of the time change.

However, if I delete the segment from TripIt, then re-add it, it pulls the correct time. So wherever TripIt is pulling its information from is up to date, but it doesn't go back and update existing trips.
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Old Oct 26, 2017, 10:51 am
  #10  
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It seems I was not clear enough in my post.

If you want to sign up, please visit https://flyertalk.canadiancow.com/ac...ange/index.php

PMs to me will not help
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Old Oct 26, 2017, 10:52 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Posts: 4,451
Well this works as stated. I just registered and I got an email with a schedule change (10 mins) for a flight in Dec. It also picked up the equipment change from a 789 to 777. Great work canadiancow
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Old Oct 26, 2017, 10:55 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Thanks for this!
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Old Oct 26, 2017, 11:34 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
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it seems that TripIt and AC might handle timezones a little differently. After signing up, I got an immediate flight change notification like this:
Code:
Old flight details: AC 854 YVR-LHR 2017-12-19T18:00:00.000-08:00 - 2017-12-20T11:20:00.000+00:00 (77W)

New flight details: AC 854 YVR-LHR 2017-12-19T18:00:00.000-08:00 - 2017-12-20T11:20:00.000Z (77W)
It appears that Tripit uses "+00:00" for Zulu versus AC which uses simply "Z".

I will try to deleting and re-adding the flights on TripIt and will see if I get another notification tomorrow.
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Old Oct 26, 2017, 11:36 am
  #14  
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Good catch. That's definitely something I can handle too.

I guarantee you won't get an email because it will be fixed by then
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Old Oct 26, 2017, 11:40 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Originally Posted by canadiancow
Good catch. That's definitely something I can handle too.

I guarantee you won't get an email because it will be fixed by then
CI/CD at it's finest - thanks!

We have openings if you ever feel like relocating back to Canada ;-)
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