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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 Jan 25, 2023, 12:59 pm
  #751  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 1,323
Thank you canadiancow for this tool. Invaluable. Still a little early for me for Christmas time to Ljubljana I'm seeing, but I'm getting the idea of the use of my Aeroplan rewards. Again, thank you
RetiredATLATC is offline  
Old Jan 29, 2023, 1:30 pm
  #752  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Programs: Velocity
Posts: 70
Thank you canadiancow for this tool! I messaged you a week ago - just checking if I should try access or wait until I receive a confirmation? Thanks again from down under 🐨
Notyourbag is offline  
Old Jan 29, 2023, 8:11 pm
  #753  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, BA Gold, SQ Silver, Bonvoy Tit LTG, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond
Posts: 44,519
Originally Posted by Notyourbag
Thank you canadiancow for this tool! I messaged you a week ago - just checking if I should try access or wait until I receive a confirmation? Thanks again from down under 🐨
If I've processed it, it'll just start working. If not, wait until I have free time in front of a laptop.
canadiancow is online now  
Old Jan 29, 2023, 8:36 pm
  #754  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: YQR
Posts: 2,745
Thank you canadiancow for giving me access. Much appreciated!
arf04 is offline  
Old Jan 29, 2023, 9:21 pm
  #755  
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Posts: 3
canadiancow Thanks for spending your time on this. Dont have access to search yet, but going through the forums now to learn and contribute where I can.
sunnysflyer is offline  
Old Jan 30, 2023, 11:01 am
  #756  
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Location: California
Programs: Chase UR
Posts: 22
I don't have access yet, but is there a way for me to donate or anything? I read on the notes that it's not free to you for all these searches and I do sincerely appreciate the time you put into creating a search tool to help people here. Just starting my awards flight journey and just absorbing information has been like a second job haha
dubear is offline  
Old Jan 30, 2023, 11:02 am
  #757  
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Posts: 3
Agreed I would happily donate to help offset some of canadiancow's upkeep cost?
sunnysflyer is offline  
Old Jan 30, 2023, 6:04 pm
  #758  
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Location: Virginia
Programs: AMEX
Posts: 30
Thank you canadiancow for establishing this tool. My friend just shared this info. with me last month. Dont have access to search yet, but going through the forums now and hopefully to be able to contribute in the future
herowing is offline  
Old Jan 30, 2023, 11:03 pm
  #759  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Programs: Velocity
Posts: 70
Also happy to make a donation if a platform exists to do so.
Notyourbag is offline  
Old Jan 31, 2023, 2:16 am
  #760  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, BA Gold, SQ Silver, Bonvoy Tit LTG, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond
Posts: 44,519
If you want to make a donation, I'd prefer you pick a charity and send them money.

I don't need the money. I also don't want to bleed money into this. But managing random donations is way more effort than I want to put into this.
canadiancow is online now  
Old Feb 1, 2023, 3:19 pm
  #761  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 62
Thank you for creating this valuable tool!~Very much appreciated!

I don't have access yet, but has PMed and waiting for you to grant me the access.

You have made award travel to the next level! Thanks again!
vennichael is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2023, 3:57 pm
  #762  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Kamloops, BC
Programs: Air Canada-Aeroplan, NEXUS, E50K, Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite
Posts: 351
I have yet to say thank you for this tool which I found out from some other avgeeks as I was MIA (not miami) from here for a long time.
This tool helped me and my wife book our honeymoon and another few amazing rewards at great points value
IAD-FRA-JNB LH F with 13hrs in the FCT (literally a morning of flight availability change from EY to snag this and it was amazing)
MLE-AUH-IAD EY F

YKA-YVR-NRT NH J
NRT-YVR-YKA AC J

R space for an upcoming trip to mexico

IAH-DXB-IST EK 388 J
IST-TAS TK J
TAS-ICN-SFO OZ J

And then LAX-SIN SQ J in the fall.

For all the above man! Your tool saved me so much freaking time from how long it would have taken to search individual days like before.

Thanks!
canadianhockey91 is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2023, 4:30 pm
  #763  
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Posts: 1
same

Originally Posted by Notyourbag
Also happy to make a donation if a platform exists to do so.
this is great
superbb is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2023, 7:29 pm
  #764  
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Location: Virginia
Programs: AMEX
Posts: 30
what is the best way to use reward flight search if you want to have a layover in Japan for a few days on your way from east coast USA to Asia ?

Thank you
herowing is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2023, 8:30 pm
  #765  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, BA Gold, SQ Silver, Bonvoy Tit LTG, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond
Posts: 44,519
Originally Posted by herowing
what is the best way to use reward flight search if you want to have a layover in Japan for a few days on your way from east coast USA to Asia ?

Thank you
Specify a stopover location and a length like 2-5
canadiancow is online now  

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