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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 May 13, 21, 12:52 pm
  #31  
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Originally Posted by DrunkCargo View Post
Technically it would likely only be a DoS, not a DDoS. Always cool to see new tools to help burn off those points! Kudos!
That would be true if only one person could use it at a time, and could only use one instance at a time...

Though it wouldn't be distributed beyond us-east-1.
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Old May 13, 21, 6:00 pm
  #32  
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I've changed the display format, and it should be sortable by sensible metrics now.

Mixed-cabin filtering still needs some work though.
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Old May 14, 21, 9:36 am
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
I've changed the display format, and it should be sortable by sensible metrics now.

Mixed-cabin filtering still needs some work though.
Wicked, thank you!
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Old May 14, 21, 12:40 pm
  #34  
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 26
Wonderful tool!

Love the search tool you've created! Saves so much time when putting together optimal itineraries. Thank you!
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Old May 14, 21, 1:36 pm
  #35  
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Maybe once the calendar function is up and running, we should call this the "cowlendar" to distinguish it from other cowtools?

Originally Posted by RobDN View Post
Love the search tool you've created! Saves so much time when putting together optimal itineraries. Thank you!
With this being your first post, welcome to FT
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Old May 14, 21, 8:47 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
Maybe once the calendar function is up and running, we should call this the "cowlendar" to distinguish it from other cowtools?
I was worried about this.

Why does United have a calendar grid?

​​​​​Because they only display results for one day.

I don't think an actual calendar grid will be useful. I'll be moving the nonstop and price filter to JS so they can be adjusted without a full refresh. I'll add a similar mixed cabin and duration filter.

Do you really need a 7x5 grid of prices on each day when I can just show you all the itineraries over a two week period that meet your requirements?
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Old May 14, 21, 9:30 pm
  #37  
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Is the tool broken right now? All I keep getting is "Error searching".

Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
I don't think an actual calendar grid will be useful. I'll be moving the nonstop and price filter to JS so they can be adjusted without a full refresh. I'll add a similar mixed cabin and duration filter.

Do you really need a 7x5 grid of prices on each day when I can just show you all the itineraries over a two week period that meet your requirements?
Let me note that you need a 7x6 grid if you're going to show the prices for all the days in any month, like any decent "calendar" should

You pose a good question though. Historically, I've generally had fairly narrow windows in which I've wanted to travel. At those times, I wouldn't be so fussed about the grid.

But there are definitely times when my date range has been broader, and I've enjoyed having the calendar grid at Google Flights (for revenue trips, of course).

So I could see the grid being useful from time to time, but there are definitely other features that would be more useful. For instance, the ability to _exclude_ certain airlines, or include/exclude certain connecting cities, or ignore mixed cabin altogether.
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Old May 14, 21, 9:36 pm
  #38  
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I just did a little search and there was one error but the rest came back fine.

I'm at a bar right now so I'll check when I'm... I dunno... Sometime
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Old May 15, 21, 11:41 am
  #39  
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 26
Getting errors

I've been getting the same error for every search for a couple of days now. It says "---> error searching". This in response to partner searches and simple, one date AC searches.

I'm not able to include a screeshot as I'm new to posting and Flyertalk won't allow it...sorry.

It's happening on both my phone and laptop. I don't think I changed any of the search parameters, but maybe user error. Or is Aeroplan restricting this tool now?

Does it still work for everyone else? Advice please.
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Old May 15, 21, 11:43 am
  #40  
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I can't even get "Error searching" this morning. The page doesn't even load, just gives me:

Code:
{"message": "Endpoint request timed out"}
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Old May 15, 21, 12:11 pm
  #41  
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Originally Posted by RobDN View Post
I've been getting the same error for every search for a couple of days now. It says "---> error searching". This in response to partner searches and simple, one date AC searches.

I'm not able to include a screeshot as I'm new to posting and Flyertalk won't allow it...sorry.

It's happening on both my phone and laptop. I don't think I changed any of the search parameters, but maybe user error. Or is Aeroplan restricting this tool now?

Does it still work for everyone else? Advice please.
I just did a quick search and didn't get any errors, so it doesn't seem universally broken.

Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
I can't even get "Error searching" this morning. The page doesn't even load, just gives me:

Code:
{"message": "Endpoint request timed out"}
Try just https://api.ft.canadiancow.com/ac-re...rewardsearcher. A timeout would mean it took over 29 seconds, which should never happen for just pulling up the form, and really shouldn't happen otherwise.

Though if AC is broken right now, that would explain it.

I've been wondering if they'd either:
a) ask (tell?) me to take this down, or
b) break me

But the former certainly hasn't happened, and I'm pretty sure the latter hasn't either.
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Old May 15, 21, 12:20 pm
  #42  
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
Try just https://api.ft.canadiancow.com/ac-re...rewardsearcher. A timeout would mean it took over 29 seconds, which should never happen for just pulling up the form, and really shouldn't happen otherwise.

Though if AC is broken right now, that would explain it.

I've been wondering if they'd either:
a) ask (tell?) me to take this down, or
b) break me

But the former certainly hasn't happened, and I'm pretty sure the latter hasn't either.
Page now loads, but this is basically what I'm seeing every time, regardless of dates, O/D, and airlines:

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Old May 15, 21, 12:35 pm
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
Page now loads, but this is basically what I'm seeing every time, regardless of dates, O/D, and airlines:

I get the same error there.

Does it work for https://api.ft.canadiancow.com/ac-re...ue&cabinJ=true ?
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Old May 15, 21, 1:25 pm
  #44  
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 26
Just tried the newest url you sent and I still get the same error.

If this is too detailed for the forum please let me know.

If I copy and paste your link with all parameters intact, the search works. If I change one parameter, like dropping the number of passengers down to one, I get a result along with the same error message tagged on. If I change more parameters I get just the error message and no actual information.

All on phone, haven't tested on laptop.

Last edited by Adam Smith; May 15, 21 at 1:54 pm Reason: Merge consecutive posts by same user
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Old May 15, 21, 1:44 pm
  #45  
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I've turned this off for now. AC is also using AWS API Gateway, with its 29 second timeout.

I'm slightly concerned this is causing AC issues, but I really hope not.
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