Trust or Not to Trust EF?

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Old Nov 14, 18, 8:15 am
  #16  
 
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Both JAL and CX have somewhat unreliable Data for EF Award Seats as they are either not 100% Live : Example JL update Awards Once Daily at 1.00am Japan Time. Or with CX seems they have different Partner Award availability. Often even BA and AA don't agree MH even has 3 Different Award Inventory/Buckets depending on who the Partner is.

The reason is that in Reality ALL Airlines have Points have different values. Some Airlines such as The LG Group dont even release most Premium awards to United even though they may be available through other Star Partners

Often its like a Lottery YMMV
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Old Nov 14, 18, 8:56 am
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Originally Posted by jagmeets View Post


where are you getting the 42/26 etc available- seatmap? While I have always been auto-allocated seats, I have made bookings for non-status passengers where seats were not assigned automatically, till I did so.

That said, broadly agree- I trust EF data- with the caveat- Ďunder the same conditionsí - PoS/Married segment etc,. Further, I do use higher-yielding PoS availability to make educated guesses re availability opening up- both for awards and revenue (eg J/C/D/I all 9s for HKG-JFK probably means that my I class waitlist for XXX-HKG-JFK will clear).
Using a high yield PoS might be tricky, because airlines might be challenged to oversell for high yielding sales.

J9C9D9I9 does not imply there are 36(+) seats available. Could very well be in total 9 seats, book the 9 I tickets and all availability can go to zero after that booking. J9C9D9I9 not even implies, there are 9 seats available. The airline is prepared to sell 9 tickets, part of which may actually get an OPUP on check-in/boarding. J8C8D8I8 could even imply, there are still 9+ seats available, though the + "planned" for married segment sales. Let alone the overbooking, with overflow to a higher (or boooo lower) class.

With J9C9D9I9 at a low yield PoS, it reasonably implies, seats are available to score for awards, though only released, when expected hard cash sales will not succeed.

J9C9D9I9 does imply though, that you can purchase a cash ticket, provided not somebody else beats you by purchasing faster.
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Old Nov 15, 18, 12:36 am
  #18  
 
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Is EF accurate? I think so. Just 2 days ago, I called MPC to see if I can get my waitlisted upgrade award confirmed as waitlist was expiring on the next day. EF was showing J6 C6 D0 I0. MPC agent looked at my booking and said, "Oh, I see there are 6 seats available for sale right now". Unfortunately, he could not confirm my upgrade, but the answer he gave was exactly what I was seeing on EF.

There have been times when EF seat map wasn't quite accurate as MPC wouldn't allow me to change to a seat that showed open on EF. But for the most part, I trust EF to use as a guide to give me some information on availability when trying to score and award seat.

Unless CX were to make there award inventory available on EF you can't expect the tool to be 100% useful for determining award availability. I use it as a guide to help me target flights to try and get an upgrade reward. If check out flights on EF and see I0, I'm pretty sure there's no way I'd be able to get an award seat. If I see I9, then I have my agent try. Below 9, who knows, depends on a lot of factors. As said above, We don't have the data and algorithm the CX uses to determine award inventory. EF (or Amadeus) availability is just one factor in the equation.
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Old Nov 15, 18, 3:14 am
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Originally Posted by Cambo View Post
Using a high yield PoS might be tricky, because airlines might be challenged to oversell for high yielding sales.

J9C9D9I9 does not imply there are 36(+) seats available. Could very well be in total 9 seats, book the 9 I tickets and all availability can go to zero after that booking. J9C9D9I9 not even implies, there are 9 seats available. The airline is prepared to sell 9 tickets, part of which may actually get an OPUP on check-in/boarding. J8C8D8I8 could even imply, there are still 9+ seats available, though the + "planned" for married segment sales. Let alone the overbooking, with overflow to a higher (or boooo lower) class.

With J9C9D9I9 at a low yield PoS, it reasonably implies, seats are available to score for awards, though only released, when expected hard cash sales will not succeed.

J9C9D9I9 does imply though, that you can purchase a cash ticket, provided not somebody else beats you by purchasing faster.
what you say makes a lot of sense- and yes agree on the JCDI all being 9 not implying 36 seats (still, some ask!)..but typically Iíve only had to fret about things when the Low yielding PoS has no availability
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Old Nov 15, 18, 8:47 am
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Originally Posted by jagmeets View Post


where are you getting the 42/26 etc available- seatmap? While I have always been auto-allocated seats, I have made bookings for non-status passengers where seats were not assigned automatically, till I did so.
I am not familiar with the PoS abbreviation.

For the count... yes, I just look on EF, choose the seat map, and physically count them.

I know that if you don't have status (or probably if you choose a discount fare) you cannot select a seat. But I believe CX still blocks a seat. I believe that is why you see so many blocked seats in Y. That, and group bookings. In any case, I believe they allocate a seat every time one is sold. I would also speculate that once Y is full (or nearly full?) they will start blocking seats in PE. Of course... all speculation! But I haven't heard any other explanation that sounds better. In the picture below, I presume that the "X" seats are seats that have been sold (either individually or as a group), but are not really assigned per se. They are essentially a placeholder. (The exception would be 60G, which might be a bassinet seat, or perhaps reserved for handicapped?) They might also block some for crew transfers?


Anyway, it's my guess that the the open seats reasonably reflect the number of seats available, with some allowance for reservation HOLDS that have not yet been ticketed.
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Old Nov 15, 18, 9:03 am
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by Gongzuokuang View Post
I am not familiar with the PoS abbreviation.

For the count... yes, I just look on EF, choose the seat map, and physically count them.

I know that if you don't have status (or probably if you choose a discount fare) you cannot select a seat. But I believe CX still blocks a seat. I believe that is why you see so many blocked seats in Y. That, and group bookings. In any case, I believe they allocate a seat every time one is sold. I would also speculate that once Y is full (or nearly full?) they will start blocking seats in PE. Of course... all speculation! But I haven't heard any other explanation that sounds better. In the picture below, I presume that the "X" seats are seats that have been sold (either individually or as a group), but are not really assigned per se. They are essentially a placeholder. (The exception would be 60G, which might be a bassinet seat, or perhaps reserved for handicapped?) They might also block some for crew transfers?


Anyway, it's my guess that the the open seats reasonably reflect the number of seats available, with some allowance for reservation HOLDS that have not yet been ticketed.

PoS = Point of Sale. The ticket pricing and availability varies, depending on where the ticket is being purchased. "Poor" markets, ie where people are less prepared to spent a fortune on tickets get offered lower pricing. In EF, you have options to select the PoS, though it is not accessible from the first level of search options. Only, when you make further refinements and even then, the option is often gone.

Open seats in Y does not say anything. People without status or cheap tickets can not book their seat in advance, so all tickets sold to status less people don't have allocated seats. F, J and (sure ?) PEY is different. CX does not block a seat to mark the number of tickets sold. Otherwise status holders would not be able to select their preferred seat.

Mobility reduced people are usually located in the front of the Y cabin in aisle seats in the middle rows (at least with TG, I don't know for CX, though the mechanism is plausible to do so, it makes boarding/deplaning much easier and often the dedicated toilets are located there too).

Bassinet seats are marked as such.

The large block blocked in the back of the plane is for group tickets, so large groups of people related due to their travel intention & ticket purchase are allocated together on check-in. Makes them happy and other passengers less unhappy, due to less disturbance from people (often novice travellers) "visiting" their group mates somewhere else in the plane. These people tend to be noise, so to say.
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Old Nov 15, 18, 9:40 am
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by Cambo View Post
Open seats in Y does not say anything. People without status or cheat tickets can not book their seat in advance, so all tickets sold to status less people don't have allocated seats. F, J and (sure ?) PEY is different. CX does not block a seat to mark the number of tickets sold. Otherwise status holders would not be able to select their preferred seat.

The large block blocked in the back of the plane is for group tickets, so large groups of people related due to their travel intention & ticket purchase are allocated together on check-in. Makes them happy and other passengers less unhappy, due to less disturbance from people (often novice travellers) "visiting" there group mates somewhere else in the plane. These people tend to be noise, so to say.
LOL... I had tried to lookup the PoS acronym and the only results reported back indicated it was "Person of Size". I guess I don't understand how PoS is relevant in the context of the question, but that might be because I don't use it to check pricing or availability; I just go to the (crappy) CX website to see if something is available because really it's that website that is only accurate authority. Others may find a different use for EF, and that might explain my confusion. Anyway...

As far as the seating goes, I'd sure be interested in understanding what makes you so certain about this. I understand the rationale for grouping groups together. What seemed odd to me was that they'd fly groups of 60 every day, every flight. I did look and it seems that they block out those seats for almost every flight, even far in advance. On the other hand, as you get in close, the "X"s don't seem to match the "reserved for groups" concept: Here are a few that are close, but beyond the 55 hours window:


And from another flight a few days later:

Perhaps I was wrong about what they mean; I never really looked closely at Y seating. Maybe those are also reserved for Expedia type sales? In any case, I still believe they allocate a seat for every ticket sold, even if they don't tell the buyer which seat it is. Perhaps the "blue" seats are seats occupied by those with status, or those that paid to reserve their seats. Again, I was just speculating. I'm no expert at this... like I said in my post above, I can only go by my observations until I hear a better explanation.

Regarding the OP's question: What I wrote earlier seems to work for me, and I can predict with reasonable accuracy -- using seat count -- whether I'll be able to find an award seat in J around the time I want to travel.

Last edited by Gongzuokuang; Nov 15, 18 at 3:49 pm
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Old Nov 16, 18, 5:17 pm
  #23  
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When trying to buy tickets my Oz TA shows me her screen which shows I0 while EF shows I9. It seems OK for US purchases in the US but elsewhere I donít trust EF for total accuracy.
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Old Nov 16, 18, 7:40 pm
  #24  
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Originally Posted by og View Post
When trying to buy tickets my Oz TA shows me her screen which shows I0 while EF shows I9. It seems OK for US purchases in the US but elsewhere I donít trust EF for total accuracy.
Did you select the POS in EF?
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Old Nov 16, 18, 8:18 pm
  #25  
 
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While I class availability may fluctuate wildly across different POS, the relationship between I class availability and award availability is largely HK POS-centric. As in, you wouldn't have a harder time getting the award if you purchased your underlying fare from a low yield POS vis a vis HK POS.
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Old Nov 17, 18, 2:25 am
  #26  
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Originally Posted by og View Post
When trying to buy tickets my Oz TA shows me her screen which shows I0 while EF shows I9. It seems OK for US purchases in the US but elsewhere I don’t trust EF for total accuracy.
With all due respect, what you say is simply incorrect.
EF polls the GDS and your TA system uses exactly the same information. When using the proper POS (in your case Australia) you will get exactly the same flight availability. It is totally accurate for revenue fare buckets.

The situation is quite different for awards. There is no public GDS system.to get that information. This is further complicated by the fact that airlines often have greater availability for their own FFP Members (e.g. CX). Award search engine use tricks like having a dummy customer in different FFP. For example Nexus looks at CX availability for a BA or JL customer.
Another caveat for revenue tickets is that an airline might have greater avaiklability on their own website than in the GDS. That is rare.

Let me add that I have no stake in EF except using it very frequently. It is a wonderful tool with the recent improvements (POS, various alerts).
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Old Nov 23, 18, 2:27 am
  #27  
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
With all due respect, what you say is simply incorrect. .......
As per your comment, what you are saying is incorrect. What I posted is 100% true.

Further example: For an upcoming QF international flight, EF shows J9 C9 D0 I0. QF reservations agent (today) says its J9 C9 D9 I9. If in Oz, EF is good but its not great. This I class number is critical if you have high QF status and are trying to get award space released.

Last edited by og; Nov 23, 18 at 3:21 am Reason: further example
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Old Nov 23, 18, 2:43 am
  #28  
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Originally Posted by og View Post
When trying to buy tickets my Oz TA shows me her screen which shows I0 while EF shows I9. It seems OK for US purchases in the US but elsewhere I donít trust EF for total accuracy.
@og, did you try booking at qantas.com directly when your TA says I0? Did you see I at qantas.com?

Last edited by percysmith; Nov 23, 18 at 5:25 am
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Old Nov 23, 18, 4:22 am
  #29  
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Originally Posted by og View Post
As per your comment, what you are saying is incorrect. What I posted is 100% true.

Further example: For an upcoming QF international flight, EF shows J9 C9 D0 I0. QF reservations agent (today) says its J9 C9 D9 I9. If in Oz, EF is good but its not great. This I class number is critical if you have high QF status and are trying to get award space released.
It would be very useful to all non-US EF users, to check if non-US POS on EF are correct. I would be quite surprised if they were incorrect as they access the same GDS as your TA. There is an EF lurker who occsionally pop in, so we may also ask.
Just to verify, could you tell which exact QF flight you refer to with I0 on EF with Australia POS, while your agent sees I9.
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