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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
SADLY, AS OF OCTOBER 5, THIS TOOL HAS BEEN SHUT DOWN INDEFINITELY AND LIKELY PERMANENTLY, AS DESCRIBED IN THIS POST.

Other cowtools remain available at cowtool.com

ACCESS RULES ARE CLEARLY DESCRIBED BELOW. READ THEM. DO NOT POST OR PM ADAM SMITH ABOUT ACCESS, OR YOU WILL BE BANNED FROM EVER GETTING ACCESS TO THE TOOL.


[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

https://acrewardsearcher.cowtool.com/

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.

Alerts
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


Bugs:
  • 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 Sep 30, 2023, 2:23 pm
  #1606  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: YUL
Posts: 974
Since most of the partners have also vanished from cowtool, can we expect they’ll be back soon? Canadiancow and cowtool seem to be silent.
LearningToFly is offline  
Old Sep 30, 2023, 2:45 pm
  #1607  
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC SE, AA PlatPro, Hyatt Globalist, Bonvoy Plat & LT Gold, Hilton Gold, National EE
Posts: 880
Originally Posted by jhou322
They didnt name anyone in particular actually, Seats.Aero was just being talked about in the chat. They did however talk about how these search engines might be helping points brokers, "fraud and misuse". I wish there was more details about how to stop point brokers though
It was very clear based on the words chosen they were singling out Seats.Aero and most people in the chat realized that.
MillennialMiles is offline  
Old Sep 30, 2023, 4:10 pm
  #1608  
Moderator, Air Canada; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: YYC
Programs: AC SE MM, FB Plat, WS Plat, BA Silver, DL GM, Marriott Plat, Hilton Gold, Accor Silver
Posts: 16,925
Originally Posted by LearningToFly
Since most of the partners have also vanished from cowtool, can we expect they’ll be back soon? Canadiancow and cowtool seem to be silent.
Partners haven't vanished from cowtool, they've vanished from Aeroplan; cowtool can only display what Aeroplan is making available.
Adam Smith is offline  
Old Sep 30, 2023, 5:48 pm
  #1609  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Canada
Programs: Aeroplan E50/MM, HH gold, Nat Exec Elite, Kimpton Karma
Posts: 2,402
Is there a recording of this chat?
Bartolo is offline  
Old Sep 30, 2023, 6:22 pm
  #1610  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: YOW
Programs: AC SE, FOTSG Platinum
Posts: 5,858
Originally Posted by Bartolo
Is there a recording of this chat?
YOWgary is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 8:41 am
  #1611  
Company Representative, Cowtool
 
Join Date: Jul 2023
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 146
I have decided to shut down this cowtool indefinitely. I've been waffling over the idea for a while. That video reinforced the point. Pretty much everyone I talked to said I should keep it up, but I've made the decision.

I do not expect it will come back online ever.

I hope it was useful for you while it existed.

Last edited by cowtool; Oct 5, 2023 at 12:26 pm Reason: Added emphasis
cowtool is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 8:44 am
  #1612  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: HEL
Programs: *G, used to be with TK but left due to their corruption and political ties
Posts: 4,418
Originally Posted by cowtool
I have decided to shut down this cowtool indefinitely. I've been waffling over the idea for a while. That video reinforced the point. Pretty much everyone I talked to said I should keep it up, but I've made the decision.

I do not expect it will come back online ever.

I hope it was useful for you while it existed.
I just donated an hour ago :-) Thanks anyway for this.
aquanine, Jm0115 and flyerbill0100 like this.
Gnopps is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 8:45 am
  #1613  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: YYZ (&YTA/YOW/YVR)
Programs: AC SE (thanks to canadiancow)
Posts: 34
Originally Posted by cowtool
I have decided to shut down this cowtool indefinitely. I've been waffling over the idea for a while. That video reinforced the point. Pretty much everyone I talked to said I should keep it up, but I've made the decision.

I do not expect it will come back online ever.

I hope it was useful for you while it existed.
It was the best Aeroplan tool out there.
Thanks for the countless trips booked using it cow!
beltway and Jm0115 like this.
doctornature is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 8:45 am
  #1614  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: YVR
Posts: 52
It was certainly a useful tool. Was just using it this morning. Thank you.

I hope you may be open to reconsidering your decision. With this said, I don't know the whole story behind your decision.
Afta-Noon is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 8:46 am
  #1615  
Git
 
Join Date: May 2022
Programs: AC 35K, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 98
Long live the Cow.

Thank you, the tool made one of my dream trips come true this past year!
YVR72 and Jm0115 like this.
Git is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 8:47 am
  #1616  
Marriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: In the air
Programs: Occasional RTW club
Posts: 6,932
Truly unfortunate - sad to see great tools disappear.
Pseudo Nim is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 8:49 am
  #1617  
 
Join Date: Dec 2022
Location: Republic of Moldova
Posts: 2
Can't believe this...
R0G3R is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 8:52 am
  #1618  
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC SE, AA PlatPro, Hyatt Globalist, Bonvoy Plat & LT Gold, Hilton Gold, National EE
Posts: 880
End of an era...if only someone else running another online search tool had the same level of awareness....
MillennialMiles is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 8:54 am
  #1619  
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Programs: Aeroplan SE 2MM
Posts: 54
Very very helpful. Thank you.
All good things come to and end...
MStrople is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2023, 8:56 am
  #1620  
 
Join Date: Mar 2023
Posts: 6
Thank you for experience. This will be missed.
SergoKIV is offline  

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