Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Information Desk
Reload this Page >

Using the Search Feature on FlyerTalk: The Definitive Thread

Old May 18, 2014, 11:08 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: JDiver
Using the Search Feature on FlyerTalk: the Definitive Thread

The moderators did a great job of re-organizing this discussion pertaining to the use of the Search function available on FlyerTalk after it was moved from its original forum — posted long before there was an Information Desk forum.

However, the functionality does change over the years — and you can help keep information regarding the functionality updated by contributing to this WikiPost.

Please contribute your helpful tips, tricks and suggestions on how fellow FlyerTalk members can improve the results of searching for anything which has been posted on FlyerTalk.

Thank you.

Regards,

Canarsie

_______________________________

This long-overdue thread is intended to contain all of the information you need to know pertaining to how to successfully search for information on FlyerTalk. This thread also assumes that you possess basic knowledge pertaining to how to navigate around the FlyerTalk Internet web site.

The vision I have for this thread is not only to simply give instructions on how to perform every kind of search possible on FlyerTalk, as well as how to search for information without using the FlyerTalk search engine, but it is also open to questions about how to perform specific types of searches, as well as give tutorials on how to do all types of searches on FlyerTalk. Be as creative as you can be in having the FlyerTalk search engine perform the most efficient search for information for you and post your questions in this thread!

Although I will do my best to help, I do not intend to be the only person assisting other FlyerTalk members with the FlyerTalk search function. I encourage other knowledgeable FlyerTalk members to also participate in and contribute to this thread not only by helping other FlyerTalk members, but also by posting tips and tricks to help harness the power of the FlyerTalk search engine and use it as efficiently as possible.

This thread is NOT for asking about technical issues regarding the Search feature for FlyerTalk, such as “Search is not working today — what is the problem?”. Please post your questions and comments regarding technical issues pertaining to the FlyerTalk search engine separately in this forum.

Thank you in advance for your assistance and for your patience.

The following are quick links to take you directly to the specific infomation which you are seeking:

Basic Uses of Search
Advanced Uses of Search
Searching for Information Without Using Search
Tips and Tricks for Searching for Information on FlyerTalk
_________________

Please add more links to the above list when you add your own tips and tricks to this discussion. Thank you in advance.
Print Wikipost

Using the Search Feature on FlyerTalk: The Definitive Thread

Old Mar 29, 2007, 6:17 am
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Mid-Atlantic
Programs: AA Plat, UA Silver, DL Silver, Marriott Titanium, etc.
Posts: 4,212
Originally Posted by Canarsie
Common words, such as “best”

Words or numbers with fewer than four characters

****
Aha! So that's why I have wasted time trying to search for threads with airport codes, etc. Unfortunately, this is a big deficiency for Flyertalk since most flyertalkers rarely spell out a lot of key words, and the abbreviations are frequently fewer than 4 characters.
GrizShel is offline  
Old Mar 29, 2007, 11:03 am
  #17  
Tim at WebFlyer
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Originally Posted by GrizShel
Aha! So that's why I have wasted time trying to search for threads with airport codes, etc. Unfortunately, this is a big deficiency for Flyertalk since most flyertalkers rarely spell out a lot of key words, and the abbreviations are frequently fewer than 4 characters.
This is due to problems that a 3 character search can cause. Specifically stress on the server. One way to get around this that might be mentioned in the faq is the Google search which can do 3 letter word searches and can be found at:

http://www.flyertalk.com/google_search.php

Thanks,
 
Old Apr 1, 2007, 10:50 pm
  #18  
Moderator: Hilton Honors forums
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Marietta, Georgia, United States
Posts: 25,040
Exclamation Status Update...

As of the time this has been posted, the organization of the information in this thread is not complete, nor has all of the information been included in this thread just yet. However, the bulk of the necessary information is currently included in this thread. You may now start asking questions or asking for a tutorial about how to do a specific search, or you may post your tips and tricks on successfully searching for information on FlyerTalk.

Thank you in advance.

Last edited by Canarsie; Apr 2, 2007 at 1:37 pm
Canarsie is offline  
Old Apr 3, 2007, 9:23 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: LAX
Programs: Almost all status expired. UA 0.8 MM. AA 0.6 MM. Hilton Silver. Wyndham Gold.
Posts: 1,383
Any ideas on how to search for historical data on SFO-NRT fare sales in the past? I'm trying to figure out if a SFO-NRT $562 all-in is worth posting.

I'm unable to do SFO NRT searches in Mileage Run anymore.
A google search of "SFO NRT site:flyertalk.com" returns 7,120 pages.
Google search of "SFO NRT mileage run site:flyertalk.com" has 5,000+ pages & the headers are not useful.

Any ideas?

What is the reason flyertalk can no longer do 3-letter searches?
The "reason" link in this thread doesn't work.
mitchell is offline  
Old Apr 21, 2007, 10:58 am
  #20  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: SF CA USA. I love large faceless corporations. And they cherish me in return (sometimes). ;)
Programs: UA Premier Gold/disappointed 1MM, HH Gold, IHG Plat, MB lifetime Gold, BW Diam Sel
Posts: 17,614
Great job, Canarsie! ^

BUT (not to sound too cynical or anything).... if someone can't figure out how to do a search, do you really think they are going to read instructions on how to do it?

Another tip worth mentioning is that a lot of the more basic information about frequent flyer/stay programs is readily findable on the website of the airline/hotel chain etc. In fact, it is quite often much more easily findable there than on FT! But for some reason, it never seems to occur to people to search for it there. On the other hand, FT often has information on the more advanced, sometimes (or often) undocumented features of the programs.
KathyWdrf is online now  
Old Apr 23, 2007, 12:14 pm
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Idaho
Programs: Alaska MVP
Posts: 144
I'm sorry if this sounds really basic and I should already know this, I could figure it out myself if I spent another hour. I know someone will be nice and save me some time!
When I want to subscribe to a thread, how exactly do I do this? Can I subscribe to the Alaska forum and then receive emails when someone starts a new thread, or do you basically have to search regularly to stumble on items that you're interested in?
Also, when you type in a message, do I have to put in a title?
shirts6 is offline  
Old Apr 23, 2007, 12:19 pm
  #22  
Community Director Emerita
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Anywhere warm
Posts: 33,904
You can subscribe to this thread by using the pulldown menu at the top titled "thread tools". Click "subscribe to this thread".

You can set up "My FlyerTalk" and subscribe to all the forums of interest to you. You can set up an email summary of all the threads posted in that forum.

When you respond to a thread, you don't have to use a title. When you start a new thread, you do.
SanDiego1K is offline  
Old Apr 23, 2007, 12:19 pm
  #23  
Moderator: Hilton Honors forums
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Marietta, Georgia, United States
Posts: 25,040
Originally Posted by shirts6
I'm sorry if this sounds really basic and I should already know this, I could figure it out myself if I spent another hour. I know someone will be nice and save me some time!
When I want to subscribe to a thread, how exactly do I do this? Can I subscribe to the Alaska forum and then receive emails when someone starts a new thread, or do you basically have to search regularly to stumble on items that you're interested in?
Also, when you type in a message, do I have to put in a title?
You cannot subscribe to a forum in general, but you may subscribe to specific threads within a forum.

Simply go to a desired thread and choose Thread Tools near the top of the “page”. Clicking on it reveals a “pop-up” list which includes the option of subscribing to a thread.

You can subscribe to as many threads as you like using this method, and you also have the option of receiving an e-mail every time FlyerTalk members post to each subscribed thread.

I hope this helps, shirts6. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
Canarsie is offline  
Old Apr 23, 2007, 5:50 pm
  #24  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: n.y.c.
Posts: 13,989
Originally Posted by KathyWdrf
Great job, Canarsie! ^

BUT (not to sound too cynical or anything).... if someone can't figure out how to do a search, do you really think they are going to read instructions on how to do it?
I agree with Kathy on both counts.

First, good work.

Second, I think people will either post a newbie/repeat question or take it on themselves to figure out the search engine.

Someone who can't figure out how to learn the search engine is not going to a) click an announcement link, then b) click on the link to this thread, then c) sort through another dozen links to find the info they need.
nerd is offline  
Old Apr 23, 2007, 6:04 pm
  #25  
Community Director Emerita
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Anywhere warm
Posts: 33,904
How to subscribe to a forum

You can subscribe to a forum when you set up "My FlyerTalk."

Let's say you want to subscribe to the Southwest forum.

Go to FlyerTalk Forums.

Click on Airline Programs to get an expanded list.

Click on Southwest.

Go to the upper right of the page, about 1/3 down. Click on "Forum Tools".

This brings up a pulldown menu. Click on "Subscribe to this forum".

When you do so, you will be given 3 options for notification:
  1. None
  2. Daily updates by email
  3. Weekly updates by email

Irrespective of whether you chose email notification or not, when you return to "My FlyerTalk", you will find your subscription to Southwest Airlines.
SanDiego1K is offline  
Old Apr 29, 2007, 11:42 am
  #26  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: AUS
Programs: DL Gold
Posts: 290
Originally Posted by nerd
I agree with Kathy on both counts.

First, good work.

Second, I think people will either post a newbie/repeat question or take it on themselves to figure out the search engine.

Someone who can't figure out how to learn the search engine is not going to a) click an announcement link, then b) click on the link to this thread, then c) sort through another dozen links to find the info they need.
I think we are missing the point here. If the search feature requires an entire thread of explanation of syntax and strategy methods, I would say that's a pretty good indication of a very flawed search feature.

I realize you are using a packaged forum solution, but that does not mean the search feature cannot be modified easily. One feature would go a long way to make the search useful and would take very little effort: append a + before each keyword not preceded by " +" or " OR " beyond the first keyword. This would effectively make it an AND search by default, which is what the user expects. If you take this translation approach, the effort is extremely minimal.

The approach of the FT mods should be: fix the search. Documentation DOES NOT FIX ANYTHING, as pointed out by the message quoted above. You have a good % of people here who are IT consultants (including myself). I am sure many of us would be willing to lend a hand, as the FT search feature is even more annoying to people who design software for a living...
mwarden is offline  
Old Apr 29, 2007, 3:49 pm
  #27  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: IAD/DCA
Posts: 31,797
i have not had any problems with search for a while now, and this thread is good for people who dont have as much experience with online forums ^^
Kagehitokiri is offline  
Old Apr 29, 2007, 10:42 pm
  #28  
Moderator: Hilton Honors forums
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Marietta, Georgia, United States
Posts: 25,040
Originally Posted by mwarden
I think we are missing the point here. If the search feature requires an entire thread of explanation of syntax and strategy methods, I would say that's a pretty good indication of a very flawed search feature.

I realize you are using a packaged forum solution, but that does not mean the search feature cannot be modified easily. One feature would go a long way to make the search useful and would take very little effort: append a + before each keyword not preceded by " +" or " OR " beyond the first keyword. This would effectively make it an AND search by default, which is what the user expects. If you take this translation approach, the effort is extremely minimal.

The approach of the FT mods should be: fix the search. Documentation DOES NOT FIX ANYTHING, as pointed out by the message quoted above. You have a good % of people here who are IT consultants (including myself). I am sure many of us would be willing to lend a hand, as the FT search feature is even more annoying to people who design software for a living...
I do not necessarily disagree with you, mwarden.

The administrative team that tends to the technological issues of FlyerTalk know that the search engine of the vBulletin bulletin board software is weak. However, the problem, as they told me in person in Washington, D.C. only yesterday, is that FlyerTalk is now one of the largest Internet bulletin boards that is powered by the vBulletin bulletin board software. While many — or even most — other Internet bulletin board web sites may function flawlessly either with the current search engine or with one modified by “hacking” the main software application program or with “plug-ins”, FlyerTalk could very well encounter unknown and unique problems simply due to its sheer size and traffic. The effort may indeed be minimal, but its potential longer-term effects and resulting problems could possibly far outweigh the advantages, and I know that they are currently not willing to take that chance.

For additional information, I recommend that you contact one of the technical administrative staff that takes care of FlyerTalk. Hopefully, one of them will post here to address your thoughts.

The bottom line is that the search engine for vBulletin is certainly far from perfect, and everyone is in agreement with that assessment. In the meantime, until a better solution is available — and a better solution to the search function is being actively sought for FlyerTalk — this thread exists to assist those FlyerTalk members with the current search engine.

If this thread assists even one FlyerTalk member in facilitating the use of its search function, then it has served its purpose.

By the way, a + can be used for more detailed searches, but it still is far from perfect.

Last edited by Canarsie; Apr 29, 2007 at 10:48 pm
Canarsie is offline  
Old May 30, 2007, 9:19 pm
  #29  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: SF CA USA. I love large faceless corporations. And they cherish me in return (sometimes). ;)
Programs: UA Premier Gold/disappointed 1MM, HH Gold, IHG Plat, MB lifetime Gold, BW Diam Sel
Posts: 17,614
Originally Posted by mwarden
I think we are missing the point here. If the search feature requires an entire thread of explanation of syntax and strategy methods, I would say that's a pretty good indication of a very flawed search feature.
Well, there are a LOT of complaints about the FT Search feature. And a few of them are indeed legitimate, such as some of the things mentioned in this thread.

But what I really think is happening is that doing a search is an art, and sometimes it is hard to figure out what search terms to use. Plus, some people are just not good at figuring out how to use the capabilities that FlyerTalk DOES have. Neither of those problems will necessarily be ameliorated by adding features. @:-)

I've been chuckling over this lately, because I have recently been trying to use the "new, improved" Chowhound bulletin board at www.chowhound.com . A little history: for a number of years (10 or so), Chowhound lived on a really crappy, clunky BB interface and was run on a shoestring, always in the red. Finally, last year or so, it was sold to CNet and ported to a new system. The new interface LOOKS much better. It is much easier to read. I thought, great, they have finally updated their site, and I started exploring. I quickly became frustrated by -- guess what -- their crappy Search feature. OK, I thought it was just user ignorance -- I need to read some FAQ or Help pages on how to use Search. But what I found, instead, was a thread on the Technical Help board, explaining:

Hello, Hounds,

We're beginning this week to overhaul the search system for Chowhound and all of Chow. What features would you like to see implemented? What's most important? What's least important?

Technical limitations will probably prevent it being absolutely to your specifications, but we can dream...

--------

Editing to add:

We are working on significant search changes, which will be released as a single update, rather than doing piecemeal updates. A schedule for when that update will take place is not available. Search/sort by date are definitely features that are included in the work being done, so it's not necessary to add your support for those ideas--we've already got them at the top of the list.

If you've got a new suggestion, please feel free to add it here. It likely won't be included in the pending major update since Engineering is well into development, but may be considered for future releases.

Engineering Feb 05, 2007 04:42PM
Since that posting nearly four months ago, there have been 300 or so responses, begging and pleading for such BASIC capabilities as a search by date (duh), and asking that "piecemeal" improvements be released, PLEASE.

Chowhound is divided into several boards or forums by region (plus some topical boards). The search feature lets you enter search keywords, but it does NOT sort the results by date, or in any other obviously meaningful way. Plus, there is no way to MAKE it sort the results by date! If you enter a keyword and "San Francisco," you will indeed get results -- sometimes zillions of results. You can't sort them, though. This really limits the usefulness of Chowhound. I'm really shocked that CNet, which I imagined was a high-tech company, has such a piece of garbage for their BB interface.

Anyhow, the point of all this is that, in fact, the Search feature on FlyerTalk is very powerful. It has a lot of wonderful features. You can put in a keyword(s) and search in the Title only, or all the text. You can limit the date range. You can search by poster. You can show the results by thread, or by post. And on and on and on. You really, truly, CAN do all kinds of great things using FlyerTalk search. And the results come out chronologically sorted! Saying that the search feature is useless is patently false, and is really, oftentimes, nothing more than an excuse for doing nothing (other than whining, of course, which FTers are very, very good at ).

Now, if Search on FT were as bad as that on Chowhound, then the chorus of search-complainers might really have a point. But it isn't. It has its limitations, but it is orders of magnitude better than Chowhound. So count your blessings, and use it. @:-)
KathyWdrf is online now  
Old Jun 10, 2007, 1:37 pm
  #30  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Metro Detroit
Programs: DL Plat, NW Plat
Posts: 708
If this question doesn't belong here, please move it.

I want to search new posts, but exclude certain forums which I have no interest in. How can this be done?

Thanks.

PS I did a search for this just now, and never received a response. Looks like I confused the search engine!!
jcherney is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.