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A way to improve Tier Point Runs and Premium Fare Deals threads

A way to improve Tier Point Runs and Premium Fare Deals threads

Old Apr 19, 19, 7:42 pm
  #1  
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Lightbulb A way to improve Tier Point Runs and Premium Fare Deals threads

There has been a couple of posters in th BA Premium Fares thread, suggesting a split in one fares thread and another discussions thread. As this is something I have tried to introduce to the TP-run thread, it may be a good time to figure if we need two threads with fares, where the one with 330 posts feels diluted with the peripheral discussions. What then about the almost five-fold size thread?

FYI, here's a link . If needed, I'll be happy to start a new thread on this topic, not adding further dilution to the two fares threads.

TIA for comments and suggestions !
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Old Apr 20, 19, 10:06 am
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Originally Posted by onobond View Post
There has been a couple of posters in th BA Premium Fares thread, suggesting a split in one fares thread and another discussions thread. As this is something I have tried to introduce to the TP-run thread, it may be a good time to figure if we need two threads with fares, where the one with 330 posts feels diluted with the peripheral discussions. What then about the almost five-fold size thread?

FYI, here's a link . If needed, I'll be happy to start a new thread on this topic, not adding further dilution to the two fares threads.

TIA for comments and suggestions !
Do you mean having thread which is purely posting for fares with absolutely no discussion? This sounds like the threads in the mileage runs board. Not exactly a friendly and welcoming place tbh. However if that is what you want it is already in the mileage runs board so I am not clear why it needs duplicating in to the BA thread as well?

I am possibly being slow here but I am struggling to see what the problem is to start with in relation to this and the premium fares thread? In particular for the premium fares thread it is dependent on folks adding fares in they find - there is no dedicated back room staff finding and posting things. If people are not posting fares or if there aren't many to post then I am not clear why further splitting helps. I don't see both TP and premium fares thread being so busy that further splitting is needed. As I have also mentioned in the premium fares thread there did used to be a wiki but after a while it wasn't updated hence why it was cleared. If someone (or a few people) want to add one and keep it relatively up to date that is always a very valuable thing.

I have to say I completely disagree with your suggestion to merge the TP and premium fares thread which you suggested in the premium fares thread. The two thread do not serve the same purpose. Whilst I hope people can do a bit of self help with the reference posts here there are no such posts on the premium fares thread. I don't quite see "huge flocks of posters who still need spoon-feeding" tbh in either thread.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 1:57 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
Do you mean having thread which is purely posting for fares with absolutely no discussion? This sounds like the threads in the mileage runs board. Not exactly a friendly and welcoming place tbh. However if that is what you want it is already in the mileage runs board so I am not clear why it needs duplicating in to the BA thread as well?
Thanks for commenting. I must have expressed myself very bad, if you understand me to use the subforum Mileage Run Deals as the benchmark for changes. That thread is now dedicated to economy travel for good prices, of interest for FT members using FFP that mainly is mileage based, or just looking for a catchy travel destination to a price never anticipated. Although there are some BAFT posters finding the way to this thread, the present discussion has focus on the BA FT threads on TP- runs and Premium Fares, so an economy fares thread has no interest at all here. But please, don't be distracted by the Miles&Points forum headline Mileage Run Deals, with a subforum with the same name. This is an unlucky name choice that's historically motivated as the original MRD was split into a separate sub-forum with Premium Fares Deals. This as the interest grew for premium deals, when US airlines gradually shifted to revenue-based FFP.

This forum (PFD) does, of course allow a lot of discussions on things like seating, routing and other practical/logistical things, related to these fares. For those not familiar to this sub-forum, see introduction here But, honestly, do you really find the general PFD subforum less "friendly and welcoming" ? Later, a new sub-forum was created where expired deals, discussions on side oriented topics like restaurants, shuttle and tour operators respective prices and seat's comfort etc. on diverse destinations was referred. The reason for this was the cluttering of both MRD and PFD threads with topics unrelated to the fares, and ppl having booked a good deal 1-11 months ahead keeping these threads active by reporting on their actual flying, hotel stays, restaurant recommendations etc., thus obscuring interesting present/new deals.

As per what should/shouldn't duplicate into the BA FT forum, I haven't, and will not in this present discussion comment on that.

Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
I am possibly being slow here but I am struggling to see what the problem is to start with in relation to this and the premium fares thread? In particular for the premium fares thread it is dependent on folks adding fares in they find - there is no dedicated back room staff finding and posting things. If people are not posting fares or if there aren't many to post then I am not clear why further splitting helps. I don't see both TP and premium fares thread being so busy that further splitting is needed. As I have also mentioned in the premium fares thread there did used to be a wiki but after a while it wasn't updated hence why it was cleared. If someone (or a few people) want to add one and keep it relatively up to date that is always a very valuable thing.
The 2019 BA Premium Fare Deals thread has some 330 posts. So certainly not as busy as the 2019 TP run thread with short of 1500 posts. But just in the last 3 weeks there has been 7 posters, wherof one BAFT Ambassador, in some way criticizing the dilution of the PFD thread with seemingly irrelevant discussions. The 2018 TP run thread had 5284 posts before being shut down. That's short of 15 posts per day. E-v-e-r-y day of the year ! Is that not busy? IME, when looking for updates on a deal I wanted to use (the PDX deal), circumstances disabled me from catching up on the thread for a couple of days. That certainly was a busy period, with 10 or 12 ongoing discussions, had to scroll through some 150 (200??) posts to find occasional info of interest. Having a dedicated thread for each fare deal in a sub-forum would be very time-effective for many of us. I can't see where I have questioned that ppl should keep posting on fares they find, of course that's the ground of which these threads are built. But I'm sorry for failing to understand what that possibly could have anything to do with "splitting", which seems to have become an ugly word here, so let me re-phrase it to this:

Under the BA forum umbrella, a new sub-forum is loaded with a title something like "Deals, TP-runs and related discussions" . In that subforum could be further subfora like Premium Fare Deals (if ppl want that left), TP-run deals and Expired deals and discussions". In the first two, fares having expired is moved over to the third, easily done if every fare should be published in a separate thread in the respective subforum. Just as in the main forum, it's just added [Expired deal] in the headline. That way we don't need "dedicated back room staff", which I never really could imagine one could read into my previous post I would have advocated for "finding and posting things". Organising the present threads in this way would mean finding the deal one is searching for just by scrolling down a menu with separate posts defining deals, to find all info on that particular deal. This instead of scrolling down hundreds of post to find the occasional post with minor info.

Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
I have to say I completely disagree with your suggestion to merge the TP and premium fares thread which you suggested in the premium fares thread. The two thread do not serve the same purpose. Whilst I hope people can do a bit of self help with the reference posts here there are no such posts on the premium fares thread. I don't quite see "huge flocks of posters who still need spoon-feeding" tbh in either thread.
OK, if merging threads is an obstacle let's consider leaving them, but as subfora as described above. A merge without creating separate threads for different fares, would be counter-productive, as it will create a giant Mega-thread, yet more hard to orientate withinAlthough I give you right that they are intended to serve different purposes, there is a wide overlap, and very frequently the PFD posters reveal the TP-optimisation as a major rationale. But aren't all TP-runs done in premium fares? Would it not really be easier to find all good premium fares in one place, maybe not every thread with max TPs ?
As per the "huge flocks", that wording may have been slightly eggs-aggerated, but I blame the Easter Holiday for that.

Out of my memory I can, however, recall at least 15 posters, mo who have expressed discontent (only 3 used the term spoon-feeding, though) over this habit of asking for help, not having done any research themselves, and wanting screenshots/links to all searches, before any own research on the topic.
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Old Apr 22, 19, 1:47 am
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From the foothills of only having made 150- odd posts... Most of which have been in the TP run thread... There has been an recent outbreak of (let's say) nave questioners who appear to be asking to be spoon fed guidance on how to sort out a TP run. They have mostly been met with polite but firm explanations that the forum is not here for that purpose. There don't seem to have been many TP efficient fares knocking around in recent months which may have made the occasional innocent newby stand out more than when we were purring along at 15+ posts a day. There have been times recently where this thread has sunk to the 4th page of the BA forum index... Hashtag sadface...

I think there are enough people on here that enjoy the TP run process that a specific thread where newbies can get support might be a good idea. The "Help to check BA seat availability and BA flight loads" thread might be the template - a wiki might contain guides and links to Matrix etc; people would be happy to jump in and help but it would be something that was confined to a specific area for that specific purpose so it doesn't contaminate the primary TP run thread..

Last edited by Keep it Riel; Apr 22, 19 at 2:25 am Reason: post count
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Old Apr 22, 19, 2:32 am
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Originally Posted by Keep it Riel View Post
I think there are enough people on here that enjoy the TP run process that a specific thread where newbies can get support might be a good idea. The "Help to check BA seat availability and BA flight loads" thread might be the template - a wiki might contain guides and links to Matrix etc; people would be happy to jump in and help but it would be something that was confined to a specific area for that specific purpose so it doesn't contaminate the primary TP run thread..
Thanks for your comments Keep it Riel. In the reference posts for the TP run thread there are some tips and some links to guides for matrix. Do you think these need adding to?
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Old Apr 22, 19, 2:48 am
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The BAEC moderating and ambassadorial team have been discussing this very subject in recent days, there are some very good points being made which will certainly help us in our quest. It will certainly be helpful to hear the views of those who enjoy participating or reading the two topics in question.
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Old Apr 22, 19, 3:04 am
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
Thanks for your comments Keep it Riel. In the reference posts for the TP run thread there are some tips and some links to guides for matrix. Do you think these need adding to?
More is almost always better than less. Matrix is the best way to crunch through bulk scenarios and it's also the best way to finesse details to complete an itinerary. It is fiddly though - those who intuitively know what "f bc=g" is likely to mean will get the hang of it quickly, others will find it more challenging. I have the turning left for less guide bookmarked and that usually answers the questions I need and I am probably highly inclined to understand something like matrix. Whether any guide would be sufficient to demystify the system for someone for whom this kind of syntax is gobbledygook is the question.,
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Old Apr 22, 19, 3:09 am
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Honestly if FT would make it possible to have all posts in a thread be a single page but not get too clever and try to scroll up or down automatically, I'd find catching up on longer threads to be a lot less frustrating. But because of this odd behaviour, threads with many posts and frequent activity are rather annoying to try to catch up on via a mobile device. And as far as I can tell, the settings are either to disable the all posts in a page feature, or live with the scrolling quirks.
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Old Apr 22, 19, 3:13 am
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Originally Posted by Tobias-UK View Post
The BAEC moderating and ambassadorial team have been discussing this very subject in recent days, there are some very good points being made which will certainly help us in our quest. It will certainly be helpful to hear the views of those who enjoy participating or reading the two topics in question.
I can understand how the Premium Fares Deals thread is valuable and distinct from the TP run thread - one is a valuable resource for those looking for keen pricing, the other a valuable resource for those who want to maximise their Tier Points. A specific fare may be relevant to one forum or to both.

I can also see how others may see the distinction as being quite subtle and of little practical use. Historically the mods have jumped in and streamed posts appropriately and this has always worked historically so I wouldn't be convinced we need a major rebuild.

My comments have been on the question of whether the TP run section could usefully be split into two - one for notifications and broad discussions, another for experienced-user supported guidance and advice. The second being realistic as we're a very generous and giving mob, and I am sure there'd be people happy to jump in and help newcomers build their knowledge.
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Old Apr 22, 19, 3:24 am
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To advance the discussion, I am happy to share my initial thoughts

Premium Fare Deals thread
  • USP 1 = highlight good fares eligible for TP collection
  • USP 2 = not everyone plans their flights purely to maximise the TP potential, preferring a comfortable, direct routing instead. I probably include myself in that category.
  • USP 3 = with focused contributions / fare alerts, the thread adds value to those members who subscribe to the thread
  • Taking a first principles view, the thread serves the BA community as a valued addition to the Premium Fares forum and so to sustain its place in the BA forum, it really needs to stay true to its purpose. That is about sharing the discovery.

Fare requests and self help discussion
Would it help if we created a stand alone thread for fare requests, possibly including some guidance on using ITA matrix? This guidance already exists in a variety of forms in a variety of forums but perhaps it could be made more visible. For example, KARFA and rossmacd have provided extensive tips on using ITA Matrix in the Tier Point Runs thread. There is another extensive guide in the Travel Tools forum.

Tier Point Runs thread
This thread has a unique purpose which is about maximising tier point collection. It is hosted in the BA forum (as opposed to the Mileage Run Discussion from) because its purpose and content is so heavily nuanced towards BA and the Executive Club. It is also a tremendously busy thread so I'm not sure merging it with the Premium Fare Deals would generate value. My thinking is their missions are quite different.
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Old Apr 22, 19, 3:28 am
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Is the premise here that to save time in having to browse through 150 posts that others have to manage a range of forums/sub-forums and spend their time moving posts around. Doesn't seem fair to me.

On the basis that those who use any fare to their advantage is saving money, I don't think it unreasonable that they spend a little of their time working through the posts, whether that be an experienced TP runner or a novice looking for their first deal. If they don't like it they can just ignore and find their own deals or pay full price.
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Old Apr 22, 19, 3:48 am
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I can see value in having a thread to guide searching for and helping finding TP deals, the kind of I need 500 points to retain gold type posts and a wiki to guide use of ITA matrix would be a welcome benefit.
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Old Apr 22, 19, 3:53 am
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Prompted by @zebranza post in the Premium Fares thread - a couple of thoughts for discussion and to help the mods/ambassadors in their deliberations.

I think it would be very helpful if, in each thread, the wikis were very clearly organised. Im thinking along the lines of with templates for layout when people add fares - similar to the Travel Meet-up Thread. This should include date identified and a direct link with post number to the post (in that thread) where the person sets out the core info.

One example (open to suggestions/improvements):

LHR-ABC-XYZ return/ 200TP / 300 (1.50/TP) / found 2019-04-22 post 999 / expires 2019-04-29 / DO thread if there is one / Notes: requires overnight in ABC

These could then be organised by TP range, and within this by date expiring.

If the person who finds the info is prepared to post a short summary as above in the wiki, that might make it easier for people 1) trying to find information and 2) everyone working to maintain this and keep it up to date
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Old Apr 22, 19, 3:57 am
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Originally Posted by dylanks View Post
Honestly if FT would make it possible to have all posts in a thread be a single page but not get too clever and try to scroll up or down automatically, I'd find catching up on longer threads to be a lot less frustrating. But because of this odd behaviour, threads with many posts and frequent activity are rather annoying to try to catch up on via a mobile device. And as far as I can tell, the settings are either to disable the all posts in a page feature, or live with the scrolling quirks.
Absolutely this! Its got to the point I avoid many of the longer threads on my commute. I thought it was just me.
As a wider point, I avoid many of the multi-year monster threads on the aa and Hilton sub-forums for the same reason. So, yes, does seem to be a wider functionality point.

Back to the topic in hand. I have no doubt there is some subtle distinction between the Tier Points thread and Premium fares thread (Is there a non-Premium fares thread?), but it has been lost on me these last three years and no doubt on many of the newer visitors or more infrequent users.
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Old Apr 22, 19, 4:37 am
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We can all help to keep the TP Runs and Premium Fare Deals threads useful by cutting down on the off-topic side-discussions that inevitably start springing up there; sometimes it feels more like a chatroom than a forum.
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