Expert Flyer vs BA Redemption Finder

Reply

Old Dec 7, 17, 5:36 am
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: England
Programs: BAEC Silver, PG Flyerbonus Priority, UA MileagePlus, Hotels.com Gold
Posts: 157
Expert Flyer vs BA Redemption Finder

I'm in the process of booking a 241 return in Club World for November/December 2018. Ideally I'd like to go in F if availability turns up. For my last 241 long haul I checked on BA.com (nearly) every day, unsuccessfully as it turned out. This time I'm looking to pay to automate the process. The two options seem to be BA Redemption Finder and Expert Flyer.

Is either better than the other (assuming paying for the premium tier of EF and the more frequent checking on BARF)? I will have some, but limited, use for the other features of EF, really just looking for availability alerts.
omk298 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 7, 17, 5:56 am
  #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: London, UK
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 765
BA.com is the only reliable source. Example:

[EDIT: I was wrong, searching for X *and* V reward availability in ExpertFlyer yields accurate results *for a BA Gold Card holder*]

GRU-LHR, 21st Jan 2018, economy.

BA redemption finder: No seats
ExpertFlyer: No seats
BA.com: 6 seats available

:-/

Last edited by armouredant; Dec 7, 17 at 7:45 am
armouredant is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 7, 17, 5:58 am
  #3
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Glos
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 3,247
Absolutely - if you've got the will power - double daily checks on BA.com making dummy bookings.. And remember if / when one seat comes up it is no good to you on a 2-4-1 which can be very annoying !
mikeyfly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 7, 17, 6:33 am
  #4
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: London
Programs: Mucci. Nothing else matters.
Posts: 30,844
Originally Posted by armouredant View Post
BA.com is the only reliable source. Example:

GRU-LHR, 21st Jan 2018, economy.

BA redemption finder: No seats
ExpertFlyer: No seats
BA.com: 6 seats available
This is unfair to ExpertFlyer.

Using the award search page, it correctly reports X0 V9 based on a US POS (which I am guessing is where the awards search page gets its V class number from - checked against a normal flight availability search using a US POS).

If you search normal flight availability using a UK POS, it correctly reports V5 which is the same number as ba.com currently offers to a UK Gold.

Or to put it shortly, EF gives the correct information to a BA Gold who's looking for the right things on EF.
Globaliser is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 7, 17, 7:19 am
  #5
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: London
Programs: BA Silver, Starbucks Gold (free syrup, don't knock it), My John Lewis (free coffee and cake!)
Posts: 534
Just to jump on this (and probably asking a question that's been asked a billion times before), if BA.com really is the only truly reliable source, is there any more sophisticated search option than having to look potentially hundreds of times for different specific destination and date combos?

Anything a bit broader like ITA matrix? When school hols award flights are like hens teeth, I really would like to go with the 'show me anything you have, to anywhere, between these dates'...

I'm probably being over-optimistic though, right?
ratechaser is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 7, 17, 7:42 am
  #6
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: London, UK
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 765
Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
Or to put it shortly, EF gives the correct information to a BA Gold who's looking for the right things on EF.
I stand corrected; I mistook the V "Gold Elite Award" availability as the Gold Priority Award (double avios) bucket, because of the wording. Of course, in retrospect, Gold Priority Rewards can use any cash bucket for a reward flights.

On top of that; it's a shame that BA Redemption Finder can't also display V availability!
armouredant is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 7, 17, 7:51 am
  #7
Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold; Flying Blue Life Platinum; LH Sen.; Hilton Diamond; Kemal Kebabs Prized Customer
Posts: 30,159
Originally Posted by ratechaser View Post
Anything a bit broader like ITA matrix? When school hols award flights are like hens teeth, I really would like to go with the 'show me anything you have, to anywhere, between these dates'...

I'm probably being over-optimistic though, right?
You could try the AA map to get some ideas, though for various reasons it's not a perfect answer:
https://www.aa.com/awardMap/home.do
Otherwise, just ask in FT - there's a number of FTers who can usually guess what may or may not be available, so long as you have a date and a few objectives.
corporate-wage-slave is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 7, 17, 8:08 am
  #8
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Central Scotland, UK
Programs: BAEC Silver
Posts: 55
I usually use the app - if you have a specific route and timing in mind then Reward Flights/ Reward Flight Finder does the job for me.

I set up a search for 2 people and I run each morning as Iím having breakfast. It usually remembers your last search so you can check in well under a minute for any availability.

Downside is that you then have to log in via app or on desktop site and faff around to see what is actually available in practice, but at that point you have a hot lead so itís worth it.

This method has bagged me UuA both ways to NYC and a better flight on a 2-4-1 voucher booking so seems to work for me.
BobServant is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 7, 17, 8:34 am
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: London
Programs: BA Silver, Starbucks Gold (free syrup, don't knock it), My John Lewis (free coffee and cake!)
Posts: 534
Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
You could try the AA map to get some ideas, though for various reasons it's not a perfect answer:
https://www.aa.com/awardMap/home.do
Otherwise, just ask in FT - there's a number of FTers who can usually guess what may or may not be available, so long as you have a date and a few objectives.
Thanks CWS, I like that map option, although it's not actually thrown anything up I can use. But I will keep it bookmarked. Shame BA doesn't have their own variant.

If anyone does fancy a challenge I'm looking to take advantage of the WT redemption sale during the next Easter hols. So specifically:

- 4 x pax
- Outbound on/after 31 March
- Inbound on/before 15 April (but no overnights as kids back at school on the 16th!)
- Around 7 days
- Open to destinations, but warm and family friendly - e.g. caribbean, ME, mouse land.

Only got about 56k Avios right now, so liked the idea of 13k to Dubai for example, but can obviously top up or mix redemption/cash if needed. Assuming the fees don't amount to a cheap Y fare in their own right, which is often the trap... I'm not really a fan of Y in any case, but if it gets me a very cheap holiday, I'll cope, like zillions of other people do. As long as it's not on a 787 of course...
ratechaser is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 7, 17, 9:52 am
  #10
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: England
Programs: BAEC Silver, PG Flyerbonus Priority, UA MileagePlus, Hotels.com Gold
Posts: 157
Thanks for the replies. Bearing in mind that I'm not gold and not looking for Y flights, are both EF and BARF accurate or not? My first question was asked assuming they were!
omk298 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 7, 17, 10:02 am
  #11
Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold; Flying Blue Life Platinum; LH Sen.; Hilton Diamond; Kemal Kebabs Prized Customer
Posts: 30,159
Originally Posted by omk298 View Post
Thanks for the replies. Bearing in mind that I'm not gold and not looking for Y flights, are both EF and BARF accurate or not? My first question was asked assuming they were!
Both are normally accurate, but in both cases they are external products looking into the BA database - and just as BA.com users get funny results sometimes, the same is true with these external providers. Two CW seats become available at 355 days, as I'm sure you are aware. If you are looking at a quite specific route then personally I think it only takes a few seconds to check via BA.com, using the Recent Searches tab on My Executive Club, creating and saving a Shortlist if necessary. If BA.com is behaving you only need to check once a day in the morning.
corporate-wage-slave is online now  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 4:20 pm.

Home - News - Forum - Hotel Reviews - Glossary - Contact Us - Airport Code Lookup - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy - Cookie Policy - Advertise on FlyerTalk - Archive - Top

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by Flyertalk.com. Copyright © 2017 FlyerTalk.com. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.