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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: canadiancow
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 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.

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 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 May 11, 21, 12:20 pm
  #16  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, UA Gold, Bonvoy Tit LT Sil, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond, Accor Silver
Posts: 41,086
Originally Posted by krayZpaving View Post
One other question - is the pricing the "no status, no credit card" price? Presuming so, but always worth checking those things!
Yeah, and it'll stay that way unless you want to give me your Aeroplan number, password, and turn off 2FA

But this again shows something I keep ignoring. I really only care about partner flights, so I haven't even thought about things like this.

Last edited by canadiancow; May 11, 21 at 12:31 pm
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Old May 11, 21, 1:46 pm
  #17  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 613
Nice speed improvement over yesterday with the 4 concurrent searches. Any way to be able to input a range of dates in instead of comma separating each date?
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Old May 11, 21, 2:17 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by joeags View Post
Nice speed improvement over yesterday with the 4 concurrent searches. Any way to be able to input a range of dates in instead of comma separating each date?
Yeah that's definitely the next item on my to-do list. But I didn't bring my laptop to the beach

I have to be careful with how many dates I allow though... I don't want to cause a DDoS.

​​​​​​Though if I really want to show a "calendar", I guess I'll need to allow at least 30 days.
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Old May 11, 21, 2:56 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Halifax
Programs: AC SE100K, Marriott Elite/Ambassador. NEXUS, National
Posts: 3,952
Originally Posted by krayZpaving View Post
One other question - is the pricing the "no status, no credit card" price? Presuming so, but always worth checking those things!
One can't have perfection.... Would a given person not have a similar fixed % discount, so making the relative price all that matters? And/or if you were trying to find a particular special promotion then you say yes or no to the promo, not search rather randomly for the best (list) deal.
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Old May 11, 21, 2:59 pm
  #20  
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: 14,940
@canadiancow, thanks for taking the time to work on this, especially during your vacation to Cowbo San Lucas

I will echo @krayZpaving's request for connecting itineraries... The non-stop thing is great if you live in a city with lots of international *A service, or if you're happy to build everything leg-by-leg, but it might be nice to be able to just get a few options for something like YYC-CPH or YYC-SIN without having to manually search a bunch.
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Old May 11, 21, 3:10 pm
  #21  
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Okay, that shouldn't be too difficult. Just have to make sure there's a mixed cabin filter then. Though it also makes the cabin filter more challenging.

​​​​​​
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Old May 11, 21, 4:20 pm
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
@canadiancow, thanks for taking the time to work on this, especially during your vacation to Cowbo San Lucas
I missed this part when I replied. This is fun. I'm exercising skills that are vaguely related to my new job (though more so than my previous job), building something I will personally use on a regular basis.

Also, I have a VERY preliminary multi-segment result option now. The cabin it shows for each flight is incorrect though - it's just the highest cabin on the itinerary. So I need to fix that.

Also I found power out on my balcony by my pool, so while I'm still not willing to plug in when I'm in the water, at least I can work outdoors when I'm at 9% battery (as I was after sitting at the beach).

Edit: Fixed
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Last edited by canadiancow; May 11, 21 at 4:52 pm
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Old May 11, 21, 5:52 pm
  #23  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: YVR
Programs: AC*SE-MM, BA Bronze, Marriott Ambassador & lifetime Plat
Posts: 1,784
BTW, this helped me find a cheap SYD-YVR in J leg (85k one-way), so very much appreciate the impact already!
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Old May 11, 21, 5:59 pm
  #24  
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Posts: 41,086
You can now enter dates like "2021-05-18:2021-05-23,2021-05-25"

That will search all dates from May 18 through May 23, as well as May 25 (that is, it skips May 24).
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Old May 11, 21, 6:19 pm
  #25  
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Okay so I've set a hard limit of 52 origin/destination/date queries. Above that it's just not worth the effort because it will almost certainly time out. If anyone gets a timeout any more, I want to hear about it.

This number can potentially be increased if I increase the parallelism of the searching, but again, I don't want to instigate a DDoS.

And now I think I'm putting away IntelliJ for the day.
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Old May 12, 21, 8:18 am
  #26  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 41
Looks great.
With this version i find im trying to figure out total trip time and connection time in my head, is there a way to have that info displayed
Other than that there's no other info i really want when determining what connections to choose, and the displaying of aircraft type and class of fare makes this option superior to the AC version
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Old May 12, 21, 11:44 am
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 708
This is fun. And effective. Thank you good sir!
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Old May 12, 21, 12:16 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by ThePopes View Post
Looks great.
With this version i find im trying to figure out total trip time and connection time in my head, is there a way to have that info displayed
Other than that there's no other info i really want when determining what connections to choose, and the displaying of aircraft type and class of fare makes this option superior to the AC version
Yeah, connection time and total duration should be pretty simple.
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Old May 13, 21, 8:43 am
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: YYC
Programs: A3, AC
Posts: 132
Thanks so much for the tool @canadiancow! Makes searching for rewards so much easier than using the AC interface.

Small-ish request, any chance you can implement a sort function? Maybe a list with a few common ones like trip duration(low to high), price(low to high)(what I'm really after) and number of connections?
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Old May 13, 21, 12:29 pm
  #30  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
I have to be careful with how many dates I allow though... I don't want to cause a DDoS.
Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
This number can potentially be increased if I increase the parallelism of the searching, but again, I don't want to instigate a DDoS.
Technically it would likely only be a DoS, not a DDoS. Always cool to see new tools to help burn off those points! Kudos!
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