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Unofficial Advanced AC Reward Search Tool with Calendar (aka cowtool)

Old Jul 19, 21, 10:34 pm
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Last edit by: Adam Smith
https://acrewardsearcher.cowtool.com/

Due to abuse, you must now first register (see link at top 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 canadiancow.

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. And 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 with 15 posts, and I ignore it, and then you PM me with 30 posts a few weeks later, don't expect a response. 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. Those posts will be deleted.

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

Alerts
Basic price alerts are currently in available to all registered users. Full search/availability alerts are in...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).

The following is crossed out pending a potential opening of availability alerts, which would likely have similar restrictions.
If you have at least 2500 FT posts and would like access to the 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. The threshold will be decreased over time.

* 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 filtering/alerting by brand
  • Option to launch AC.com in new tab should be saved to your account
  • Show more information about stops, such as the time
  • Finish and release alerts
  • "Copy into round-trip alert" instead of "merge into" in case you want both
  • 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
  • Populate filter checkboxes from deep links
  • 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
  • filter option to set latest arrival date & time (cow likes this)

Bugs:
  • Reset password doesn't seem to work (though this has definitely gotten much better - if I made an account for you manually right after I started doing that, it may not work because I didn't understand the limitations, so I can help with that on one-off cases... it should work if it's a more recent creation)
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Unofficial Advanced AC Reward Search Tool with Calendar (aka cowtool)

Old Oct 6, 21, 8:11 am
  #151  
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 1
UA will show the standard X award inventory that AC can ticket, but if you have a UA credit card or have status it will expose others like XN IN as an award that I don't think AC can use.
buzzini is offline  
Old Oct 6, 21, 8:50 am
  #152  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 457
Originally Posted by ChrisA330 View Post
Availability on the UA website is only relevant if it's O,I or X class, depending on if it's First, Business or Economy. Anything else is UA's dynamic pricing only available to their members.
Sorry. I meant UA and actually Lifemiles as well, both show biz class, I, for LOT polish airlines but nada on AC website.
IamHungry is offline  
Old Oct 6, 21, 11:45 am
  #153  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, UA Gold, Bonvoy Tit LT Sil, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond, Accor Silver
Posts: 41,063
Is it actually bookable on UA?

They put a lot of effort into eliminating phantom availability in the new program.
canadiancow is online now  
Old Oct 6, 21, 1:20 pm
  #154  
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: YVR
Programs: AC SE100K, Bonvoy Platinum Elite, IHG Gold, Hertz 5*
Posts: 2,132
Just wanted to drop a thank you here. Your tool saved me 40k points while keeping the same routing and date. Reminder to folks to keep checking back in the weeks leading up to your flight. Things do sometimes change for the better.
canadiancow likes this.
WaytoomuchEurope is offline  
Old Oct 6, 21, 1:26 pm
  #155  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, UA Gold, Bonvoy Tit LT Sil, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond, Accor Silver
Posts: 41,063
Originally Posted by WaytoomuchEurope View Post
Just wanted to drop a thank you here. Your tool saved me 40k points while keeping the same routing and date. Reminder to folks to keep checking back in the weeks leading up to your flight. Things do sometimes change for the better.
You owe me a drink
beltway likes this.
canadiancow is online now  
Old Oct 7, 21, 11:00 pm
  #156  
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: YYZ
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 18
Is it possible for the AC booking link to be open in a new tab instead of opening in the current one?
throtter is offline  
Old Oct 8, 21, 11:56 am
  #157  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, UA Gold, Bonvoy Tit LT Sil, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond, Accor Silver
Posts: 41,063
Originally Posted by throtter View Post
Is it possible for the AC booking link to be open in a new tab instead of opening in the current one?
Sure. On Chrome for Mac, cmd-click. Chrome for Windows is ctrl-click. I guarantee other browsers have similar shortcuts.
canadiancow is online now  
Old Oct 12, 21, 3:07 pm
  #158  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: BOS, YVR, ZRH
Programs: *G
Posts: 14,413
I have a huge complaint with this tool.

When I google "cowtool", the OTHER cowtool (the PNR viewer) is the first result, I need to google cowtool flyertalk to get to this thread.

HUGE issue. I demand an apology from Mr. Google. and cow.

jk, this thing has been supremely helpful.
canadiancow likes this.
Smiley90 is offline  
Old Oct 12, 21, 3:13 pm
  #159  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, UA Gold, Bonvoy Tit LT Sil, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond, Accor Silver
Posts: 41,063
Just wait until I finish what I'm working on and the URL changes
fbrdky likes this.
canadiancow is online now  
Old Oct 16, 21, 1:35 am
  #160  
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: YYZ
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 18
Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
Just wait until I finish what I'm working on and the URL changes
It'd be neat to select airlines "only" instead of "must-have" (basically just AC to find flights that can be eUp-ed)

Also, thanks for this tool, if there's a revamp in the future, I'm sure we're all looking forward to it
throtter is offline  
Old Oct 16, 21, 1:47 am
  #161  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, UA Gold, Bonvoy Tit LT Sil, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond, Accor Silver
Posts: 41,063
That's a reasonable request, but the revamp is changing the whole backend to require authentication and eliminate timeouts.

But my real job has been getting in the way lately. Though it pays a bit more, so I'm generally okay with that.
throtter likes this.
canadiancow is online now  
Old Oct 16, 21, 4:01 am
  #162  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: ZRH
Programs: AC SE 100K
Posts: 871
Just saying - am I the last person to find this link? Wow - it is seriously fast !!!!! Crazy.
zrh2yvr is offline  
Old Oct 16, 21, 4:52 pm
  #163  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, UA Gold, Bonvoy Tit LT Sil, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond, Accor Silver
Posts: 41,063
A bug was pointed out to me yesterday whereby I wouldn't show results properly if there were, for example, only Latitude available, but not Standard or Flex.

This has now been fixed across all cabins.
canadiancow is online now  
Old Oct 17, 21, 3:33 pm
  #164  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, UA Gold, Bonvoy Tit LT Sil, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond, Accor Silver
Posts: 41,063
Originally Posted by DrunkCargo View Post
Searching by Points fails. Almost 10 hours ago I was able to do an Aeroplan redemption using what appeared to be a new user interface, including a filter for connecting cities and another filter the details of which I forget, along with the "DIsplay Options". Now, it appears to just be returning no flights.
Well, I can't let AC have a feature I don't for too long, so there's now connection city filtering.
Adam Smith likes this.
canadiancow is online now  
Old Oct 17, 21, 3:43 pm
  #165  
Moderator, Air Canada; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: YYC
Programs: AC SE MM, DL PM, WS Silver, BA Bronze, Marriott Titanium, Hilton/Radisson Gold, Accor Silver
Posts: 14,927
Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
A bug was pointed out to me yesterday whereby I wouldn't show results properly if there were, for example, only Latitude available, but not Standard or Flex.

This has now been fixed across all cabins.
@canadiancow: bugs fixed within 1 day.

AC: I think we might still be dealing with website bugs from 10 years ago, even though they built a fancy new skin for it a few years ago?
canadiancow and yrp like this.
Adam Smith is offline  

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