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[SHUT DOWN] Unofficial Advanced AC Reward Search Tool (cowtool)

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Old Jul 19, 2021, 9:34 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: Adam Smith

Other cowtools remain available at cowtool.com


[PSA from forum moderator Adam Smith: since it doesn't seem obvious to everyone, please note that the cowtool was created by cowtool. He has invested hundreds of hours in creating this very useful tool and making it available to the FT community. I, Adam Smith, have had nothing to do with creation of the cowtool. I can do nothing to get you access to the cowtool. Please do not ask me to give you access - I can't and won't, and will suggest that you be blocked from the tool for this waste of time, and lack of appreciation for cowtool's efforts, as described in more detail in this post. Also note that, other than this section and a clearly indicated moderator note below, the author of this wiki, writing in first person, is canadiancow, on behalf of [cowtool].

Please do not PM other Flyertalk users to try and gain access to cowtool, for the same reasons Adam's laid out above. - YOWgary


Due to abuse, you must now first register (see https://www.cowtool.com, and read the rest of this wiki) and sign in to use it. All access is logged (not what you're searching, but the complexity of the searches, and the number of searches). Abusers will be throttled or terminated. Continued abuse will lead to a more involved registration process, up to and including personal vetting by cowtool.

Access to this cowtool for new users is temporarily disabled due to anticipated ("I'm going to make a big blog post") publicity and actual increases in usage. This is not free for me, and I am concerned what will happen if all the US major blogs pick it up.

If anyone "new" needs an account here, as long as you have 25 posts and your account is at least 3 months old, please register for a cowtool account, and then PM me (please include your email address) and I'll set you up with reward search access.

YOU DO NOT NEED TO INCLUDE ANYTHING IN THE PM OTHER THAN YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS. The PM interface shows me your posts and join date. A lot of people have explicitly included that information. It's unnecessary. I also don't need a paragraph of text, whether it's a please to bend the rules, or immense thanks. My life is immensely easier if the subject is "cowtool access" and the message is "[email protected]". I don't read the messages anyway.

However, I will read your posts, so don't spam FT with crap please. If you have a genuine interest in travel, points, and so on, it really isn't hard to make 25 contributive posts to FlyerTalk and be eligible for access. If you do not meet this threshold, I am not making an exception for you. Not because you live in SFO like me, not because you're really excited, and not because of any personal issues. In fact, if you PM me without meeting the requirements, you will be blocked from ever getting access. Moderator note: the rules for access are very clear. Please don't post in this thread, or anywhere else, asking how you can get access, offering to pay for access, or asking for the access rules to be changed. Those posts will be deleted.

I do not process PMs instantly. My goal is at least once per week, so it may take a few days.

Additionally, any Prince of Travel Platinum members may contact canadiancow over POT Discord for access.

Basic price alerts were currently in available to all registered users. They have been turned off due to high load, until the system can be re-written to accommodate them.
Full search/availability alerts are in early alpha.
Each account is limited to 4 alerts* for now.

A price alert is set on a specific itinerary that includes AC metal (this may be expanded as we begin to see EK dynamic pricing). The general idea is that you making a booking at price X, set an alert, and then if the price drops, you'll get an email, and can rebook the itinerary at a lower price and cancel the old, more expensive, booking. This really only works well if you're SE or booked a fare with no cancellation fee. All results with AC flights will show a "Price alert" link on the right. Clicking this will add one. You can view all your alerts in the alerts section, where you can delete them, or select two one-way alerts to merge into a round-trip alert, which will determine the current round-trip price and reset the alert level (since round-trip pricing is not the sum of the two one-ways).

If you have at least 2500 FT posts and would like access to the price alert beta, send me a PM including the email you used to sign up for cowtool. There are currently no exceptions on the post count restriction. I am trying to slowly roll this out, and need an easy way to expand access, ideally to people who have contributed to FT a lot.

* Due to the fact that a round-trip alert requires making and then merging two alerts, the technical limit is 5, but I'm advertising it as 4.

Having Trouble? Hold "shift" and click the refresh button.

Feature Requests:
  • Allowing alerting by brand
  • Finish and release alerts
  • "Copy into round-trip alert" instead of "merge into" in case you want both
  • Option to launch AC.com in new tab should be saved to your account
  • Show more information about stops, such as the time
  • Save filters to profile
  • Historical prices
  • Colored background gradiated by %age of mixed cabin. Solid green if 100%, fading to white as percentage drops...
  • Option to enable a priority reward discount
  • Lie-flat filter (maybe with lie-flat % filter as well?) - Unsure if this data is easily accessible
  • +/- 1 or 2 days dropdown if entering a single value for date at top, grayed out if entering more than one date or range
  • Cities/Aircraft/Airlines should allow an OR condition in addition to the default/current AND

  • Annoying error dialog pops up far too regularly related to JS/Cognito crap
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[SHUT DOWN] Unofficial Advanced AC Reward Search Tool (cowtool)

Old Aug 14, 2023, 8:34 pm
Join Date: May 2023
Posts: 28
it seems crashed ......
There are an extremely high rate of errors at the moment. Searches will likely not work"

still appreciate!
Say_Aloha is offline  
Old Aug 15, 2023, 1:19 am
Company Representative, Cowtool
Join Date: Jul 2023
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 134
Things should be back online now.
CosmicGirl and Cas23 like this.
cowtool is offline  
Old Aug 15, 2023, 5:04 am
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: On strike
Posts: 8,134
Originally Posted by cowtool
Things should be back online now.
Still getting all 500s, alas.

UPDATE: Working beautifully now. Search a few minutes ago (4 dates, 3 destinations) came back very quickly with no errors.

Last edited by beltway; Aug 15, 2023 at 9:58 am
beltway is offline  
Old Aug 15, 2023, 5:21 am
formerly rt23456p
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 1,210
Still red error code.
PES_B1 is offline  
Old Aug 15, 2023, 6:33 am
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: TPA
Programs: oneworld Rusty Iron; Starwood Aluminum
Posts: 217
Didn't see the red language about high errors and gave it a whirl, --> Error searching (500)
elsenor is offline  
Old Aug 15, 2023, 10:22 am
Company Representative, Cowtool
Join Date: Jul 2023
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 134
Try now.
beltway and LilithNS like this.
cowtool is offline  
Old Aug 15, 2023, 10:24 am
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: YYC
Programs: AC SE MM, IHG Diamond, National Exec Elite
Posts: 394
Originally Posted by cowtool
Try now.
works for me now!

SearsTower is offline  
Old Aug 15, 2023, 11:30 am
Join Date: Aug 2023
Posts: 1
Recently found out about cowtool and flyertalk from goingawesomeplaces. I've been out of this game for a few years and really hate AC's new version of searching for flights by points. I remember the first trip I booked was from HKG to BKK F class on Thai Airlines for something like 40K points. While it was absolutely amazing it gave a taste of something that's hard to come by these days.

I just sent a small donation and look forward to trying cowtool for some upcoming trips.

rt23456p likes this.
moonwatch is offline  
Old Aug 15, 2023, 11:38 am
formerly rt23456p
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 1,210
Working very smoothly at the moment
PES_B1 is offline  
Old Aug 15, 2023, 12:18 pm
Join Date: Sep 2022
Programs: HH Diamond
Posts: 89
error: --> Error searching (500)
sunwin likes this.
secretflyer is offline  
Old Aug 15, 2023, 12:31 pm
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: TPA
Programs: oneworld Rusty Iron; Starwood Aluminum
Posts: 217
Maybe I missed a well-functioning window but I'm still seeing nothing but --> Error searching (500) again
sunwin likes this.
elsenor is offline  
Old Aug 15, 2023, 12:35 pm
formerly rt23456p
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 1,210
Big Red message again.....
sunwin likes this.
PES_B1 is offline  
Old Aug 15, 2023, 12:38 pm
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: YUL
Posts: 971
Could somebody show me where is the donation link? Thanks.
LearningToFly is offline  
Old Aug 15, 2023, 12:44 pm
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: YVR - MILLS Waypoint (It's the third house on the left)
Programs: AC*SE100K, wood level status in various other programs
Posts: 6,260
Originally Posted by LearningToFly
Could somebody show me where is the donation link? Thanks.
Look near the top of this page: https://acrewardsearcher.cowtool.com/
Bohemian1 is online now  
Old Aug 15, 2023, 2:16 pm
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 33
Is there any way to search flights with no stopover? All flights that came back on the results have stopovers, but there's non stop flights on AC's website for the dates I searched.

Last edited by atluu; Aug 15, 2023 at 2:29 pm
atluu is offline  

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