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A Fix for the New "Elevated" Award Booking Engine

A Fix for the New "Elevated" Award Booking Engine

Old Aug 30, 22, 9:48 am
  #31  
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Posts: 5
It is for a complete itinerary with one normal layover. The website won't even accept the airport codes using non direct flights. The fix shows availability. The native search finds it too when using the multi-city option but when trying to finalize it there's an error "Redemption class Y is not valid on this flight date". When using separate bookings, it works but it costs way more miles.
st3rv is offline  
Old Aug 30, 22, 11:38 am
  #32  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 14
Is it worth adding to AsiaMiles now?

Thank you all for these postings and hacks. I have a more general topic: Is it going to be worth accumulating Asia Miles now, given that Cathay essentially disabled the ability to search for flights and use partner awards (their web site says to fill out a form to request a partner award)? As most of you probably know, American Express is currently offering a transfer bonus. This isn't especially useful if you can't book with the miles.

In the past, Asia Miles have been a great value with great flexibility, for example, in getting Qatar Q Suites through Doha, JAL biz. flights through HND, Finnair through HEL, etc. What is the likelihood that this will continue, given that they haven't taken the care to keep the partner search feature active?


Originally Posted by ricktassie View Post
After trying multiple phone agents via:
- their HK number and US numbers,
- their WhatsApp chat/agent
- as well as a detailed email (with screenshots from the cathay website & ba website) to their memberservices @ asiamiles dot com customer service center,

and receiving nothing useful except the lame "we don't see the availability" & "the website isn't always realtime), I finally bit the bullet and booked my award via ba dot com avios (QR SYD-DOH-CDG in F). Yes that same exact award was indeed real and not phantom!!

So p1$$ed at the sheer incompetency of these folks at the moment esp since I have a bunch of miles with em and it looks like NOTHING is bookable via partners - not even non-stop awards. (yes I tried the above script)

I wonder if the DOT would have any provision to look into this issue if it may fall into false advertising or a bait and switch situation.

Just devastated at the thought of having so many miles lying unusable.
pjacobs2267 is offline  
Old Aug 31, 22, 2:16 am
  #33  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 5
Some good news after a scare

So first the scare. As I had never ticketed an infant before, I was unaware you couldn't do this online until I was putting in the birthdays on my connecting itinerary I found with the Unelevated search tool. I started to think I was out of luck after reading the earlier stories.
The good news, I used the chat feature in the award booking window and the agent was able to ticket it for me as a connecting itinerary. So maybe the agents have a fixed system now. Or at least the chat agents have a better one than phone agents. Or I just got lucky. But it looks like there is a feature on the agents side that works for connecting itineraries so hopefully this means the program still has some use going forward and the customer facing side will get full functionality soon.
Spacetek13 is offline  
Old Aug 31, 22, 11:57 am
  #34  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,525
Originally Posted by pjacobs2267 View Post
Thank you all for these postings and hacks. I have a more general topic: Is it going to be worth accumulating Asia Miles now, given that Cathay essentially disabled the ability to search for flights and use partner awards (their web site says to fill out a form to request a partner award)? As most of you probably know, American Express is currently offering a transfer bonus. This isn't especially useful if you can't book with the miles.

In the past, Asia Miles have been a great value with great flexibility, for example, in getting Qatar Q Suites through Doha, JAL biz. flights through HND, Finnair through HEL, etc. What is the likelihood that this will continue, given that they haven't taken the care to keep the partner search feature active?
I transferred about 200k from Amex to CX before the website "upgrade" to get the bonus. I was planning on transferring more before the bonus ends today but I am passing due to the debacle of a website for the moment. I assume (hope) it will get fixed but it may be a while, don't get me started on airlines and IT. Since my transfers were speculative in nature (no immediate plan to use) I'll wait for them to fix the website.
36902BRF is offline  
Old Sep 1, 22, 9:47 am
  #35  
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Join Date: Mar 2022
Programs: OWE. KLM PE.
Posts: 125
I have emptied my miles as I will not be surprised to see CX going up in smoke and finding out about it when its too late. I think relying on flights any further than next month is not a good idea these days.
benmitchell is offline  
Old Sep 1, 22, 4:14 pm
  #36  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Programs: IHG Diamond Ambassador, Accor Plus Platinum, Caesar's Diamond, Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold,
Posts: 63
Thanks to all of you who reported bugs!

Please upgrade to the latest version 2.3 for a bunch of bug fixes.
https://greasyfork.org/en/scripts/44...rch-fixer-2022

New features:
  • The batch search feature is now no longer hidden by default, without needing the 9-click secret activation gesture.
  • Passengers and Date input boxes now default to numeric keyboards on mobile.
  • Date will select day digits when clicked for faster entry on mobile.
  • Invalid date detection to lower the chances of erroring out.
  • Origin and destination strips whitespaces, and trims to 3 letters.
  • Batch mode can now search for a new routing by refreshing the page automatically.
  • Batch mode can continue searching automatically on the next page.
Bugs fixed:
  • For certain airlines, the availability numbers for economy were mistakenly counted as premium economy.
  • Availability count was incorrect for connecting flights, as it showed the higher number of seats between the two flights, rather than the lower one.
  • Fix for the search box covering certain Cathay website UI elements.
  • Fix for the search box not appearing consistently on the results page.
Feel free to post any other feature requests in this thread!
jaytw is offline  
Old Sep 2, 22, 4:15 am
  #37  
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Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: SYD
Programs: CX MPO, QF SL, Hilton Gold
Posts: 5
Thank you so much, this tool (particularly Batch Availability) was super useful for getting 3 QF J seats HND-SYD. Much better than the 'Elevated' booking tool, and the previous one too!
cxfrequentflyer is offline  
Old Sep 3, 22, 7:36 am
  #38  
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Posts: 2
Can't get the script to work :(

I'm a newbie to this site and also to Javascripts. I am trying to use this awesome tool, but failing miserably. I've tried userscripts on Safari, and Greasemonkey on Firefox, but neither of them seem to launch the Unelevated Search screen when I log into the Cathay Aware Booking page.

Like I say, never used scripts before, so not sure if I'm following the instructions correctly - I've downloaded the userscripts and Greasemonkey extensions, and then copied and pasted the Greasyfork script in to Safari / Firefox as a new script, and enabled the script on the Cathay tab. But still no joy.

Edit: I do see something when launching the redemption page in Firefox saying 'Error loading chunks!' four times. Is this something to do with the script trying and failing to run?

Am I missing a step? Any advice greatly appreciated, as the new Cathay Elevated booking tool is an absolute disgrace!!!

Thanks

Simon

Last edited by SimonACB; Sep 3, 22 at 7:48 am
SimonACB is offline  
Old Sep 3, 22, 8:17 am
  #39  
Ambassador, Hong Kong and Macau
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: HKG
Programs: Asia Miles. Not bothering to join Marco Polo.
Posts: 18,103
Chrome/Tampermonkey?
percysmith is offline  
Old Sep 3, 22, 10:19 am
  #40  
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Posts: 2
Ah! Nice, that seems to work. Not sure why the other two don't though.....

jaytw thank you, this is incredible. And the batch booking function is unreal! (also shows just how stingy Cathay are with their award seats these days.... ). Coffee on its way to you!
SimonACB is offline  
Old Sep 3, 22, 11:59 pm
  #41  
kkl
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 962
any chance of a calender to select dates ?

thanks for the script! super
kkl is offline  
Old Sep 4, 22, 8:49 pm
  #42  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,726
jaytw, something for you to check...

I tried searching today for TPE-YVR. Your search tool gave me J2 for CX 479 on 26 Aug 2023 connecting to CX 888 on 27 Aug 2023. Proceeding forward with the booking, I could not snag these two seats; there was an error message.

I called Cathay, and they said that award availability has only been released up to 24 Aug 2023.

Is there a reason why your tool can see further in advance, or is there an issue to fix?
Fly Me To The Moon is offline  
Old Sep 4, 22, 10:54 pm
  #43  
Ambassador, Hong Kong and Macau
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: HKG
Programs: Asia Miles. Not bothering to join Marco Polo.
Posts: 18,103
Originally Posted by Fly Me To The Moon View Post
I tried searching today for TPE-YVR. Your search tool gave me J2 for CX 479 on 26 Aug 2023 connecting to CX 888 on 27 Aug 2023. Proceeding forward with the booking, I could not snag these two seats; there was an error message.

I called Cathay, and they said that award availability has only been released up to 24 Aug 2023.
T+360 days from today is 31 Aug while T+353 days is 24 Aug. You can see seats to the former (even without the tool), but can only book seats on the latter.
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percysmith is offline  
Old Sep 5, 22, 1:36 am
  #44  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Programs: IHG Diamond Ambassador, Accor Plus Platinum, Caesar's Diamond, Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold,
Posts: 63
Originally Posted by Fly Me To The Moon View Post
jaytw, something for you to check...

I tried searching today for TPE-YVR. Your search tool gave me J2 for CX 479 on 26 Aug 2023 connecting to CX 888 on 27 Aug 2023. Proceeding forward with the booking, I could not snag these two seats; there was an error message.

I called Cathay, and they said that award availability has only been released up to 24 Aug 2023.

Is there a reason why your tool can see further in advance, or is there an issue to fix?
Hey Fly Me To The Moon, when you said you proceeded with the booking, do you mean you attempted to do so on the website? If so, at what stage does the error message appear? Did the flights show up in a white box on Cathay's native results? I just searched now for CX479 + CX888 on 08-26-2023 and was able to get as far as passenger details entry, which usually indicates it is bookable, but I didn't try to go further. Does the error happen beyond that point?

TL;DR: The current Cathay engine is the same one as they used when they still had Choice and Tailored awards, which opened up 360 days before departure, as opposed to regular awards which opened up 353 days prior. It may be possible that the tool is showing seat availability that is not actually "bookable" yet for regular awards, because it ignores the bookable flag for, well, reasons. If anyones interested in the technical reason it ignores the bookable flag, as well as a bit of insight into how the tool works, read on.

The way the tool works is that it bypasses the Cathay on-page form and sends search parameters directly to Cathay's engines. That means we are no longer limited to the destinations that the form arbitrarily allows us to input. It also turns off the "flexible dates" flag, which throws errors on many dates, and gets stuck on an un-styled page that says it will redirect you to a fixed date search but never does (I'm sure you guys have seen that one if you've searched enough on the native engine).

The script then takes the response and reads the available flights from it. On direct flights it shows the number of seats available on that single segment, while on connecting flights it reads availability on both segments and shows the lower value between the two. There is one additional flag that shows whether the flight combination is "bookable" but as far as I had observed it always correlated with the the two flights both having enough seats, so the script ignores that and just shows available seats instead. The reason for ignoring that is that the "bookable" flag actually correlates to whether the flights have enough seats in the class originally specified (The API very kindly returns availability numbers for all classes, regardless of what class was specified).That means that to get an accurate "bookable" parameter for every class, I would have to call the same date 4 times. Since I don't want us to be hitting Cathay's API servers any more often than necessary, I thought it would be a sensible trade-off to just show availability by seats.

So, it would not be outside the realm of possibility that some far out flights could hypothetically show available seats, but actually return a bookable=false flag, which the script does not process. However, if that were the case, the Cathay native engine should show a grey box instead of a white one, so you shouldn't be able to get to any stage where you could see a booking error. I just checked that flag for business on 8/26 and it returns bookable=true, but that could be because it is now Sep 5, 354 days prior, and the seats have legit been released now.

I have been informed by some testers that the same thing may happen in reverse in some cases, where for some dates the tool will show no availability for F, but actually have white boxes on the native engine when searching F, because the engine will allow a F+J booking for that combination. When I have time, Ill evaluate if I can support showing such bookable flights.
Originally Posted by kkl View Post
any chance of a calender to select dates ?

thanks for the script! super
Ill take a note of that! Ill probably add it if I can get it working using browser native functions, because using a third party plugin will make the script require additional permissions. Im also hesitant to introduce more potential points of failure, as compatibility across browsers is not something I particularly want to deal with.
Originally Posted by SimonACB View Post
Ah! Nice, that seems to work. Not sure why the other two don't though.....

jaytw thank you, this is incredible. And the batch booking function is unreal! (also shows just how stingy Cathay are with their award seats these days.... ). Coffee on its way to you!
Thanks, SimonACB! Much appreciated!
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jaytw is offline  
Old Sep 5, 22, 7:14 am
  #45  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,726
Originally Posted by jaytw View Post
Hey Fly Me To The Moon, when you said you proceeded with the booking, do you mean you attempted to do so on the website? If so, at what stage does the error message appear? Did the flights show up in a white box on Cathay's native results? I just searched now for CX479 + CX888 on 08-26-2023 and was able to get as far as passenger details entry, which usually indicates it is bookable, but I didn't try to go further. Does the error happen beyond that point?
Passenger details entered, and the 140,000 Asia Miles and taxes were calculated for the two seats. Then, the next step was supposed to be "seat selection", but the error message popped up at that point.
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