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ExpertFlyer.com Help Desk Thread

ExpertFlyer.com Help Desk Thread

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Old Jan 6, 13, 11:15 pm
  #181  
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Originally Posted by hydrogen View Post
Sorry for this very newbie question...

I was looking at fare information on EF and the system gives a list of fares. The price on these fares is often lower than what I get when I go directly on the operating carrier's website. Does this mean that the fares EF displays are bookable? If so, how do I book them, since the operating carrier's website does not show these fares. Would I have to call the airline directly?

Thanks!
There are two components that go into how much you'll pay for an airline ticket: fares and availability. You need both.

Airlines publish a lot of fares, all of which have certain requirements. Cheaper fares tend to have more requirements and restrictions than more expensive fares, including advance purchase requirements, Saturday night stay requirements, day of travel restrictions, that sort of thing. So just because you see a low fare published doesn't necessarily mean you qualify for it based on your travel plans.

Each fare has specific classes it will let you book into. Usually, this is determined by the first letter of the fare basis code. For example, TA14A0NA usually books you into T class. (There are exceptions where it gets a bit more complicated, but I won't muddy the waters with them just yet.)

Once you have determined which fares you are eligible for, you must search the flight's inventory to see if there is availability in that fare class. Airlines have a hierarchy. For example, Delta's fare class hierarchy is F P A for First Class and Y B M H Q K L U T E for Economy, in decreasing order. You'll see inventory displays like:

Code:
F8 P7 A5 Y5 B3 M3 H2 Q1 K0 L0 U0 T0 E0
In order for you to book a ticket, there must be (1) a fare you qualify for and (2) availability in the relevant fare class. So in this example, even if your itinerary qualified for the TA14A0NA fare, there is no T inventory. Delta is only willing to sell seats on this plane at a higher fare: Q and up.

Sometimes the opposite happens. There might be lots of inventory even in the lowly T and E fare classes like this:

Code:
F9 P9 A9 Y9 B9 M9 H9 Q9 K9 L9 U9 T9 E9
but with no T or E fares published. You wouldn't be able to book a ticket in T or E class, because you need both a fare that you qualify for as well as inventory to book into.

When you find a fare for which you meet the requirements, and you also find inventory in that fare class on your desired flight, then the price of that particular fare is what you will pay. It's important to note that the published fares are excusive of taxes and fees, so you will always end up with a higher all-in price than you see in a fare search on EF.

Last edited by javabytes; Jan 6, 13 at 11:20 pm
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Old Jan 11, 13, 10:49 am
  #182  
 
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Need some help please:

I've used EF to find the following flight availability on AA:

AA 136
LAX 06/07/13 7:45 PM
LHR 06/08/13 2:15 PM

Availability:
First - MileSAAver Award Z 0
Business - MileSAAver Award U 4
Coach - MileSAAver Award T 0
However, when I go to the AA (or even BA) sites, I don't see that flight available in either Z, U, or T. Why would the flight not show up on the carrier's website if EF shows it as available?

thanks
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Old Jan 11, 13, 12:22 pm
  #183  
 
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Not sure when you did your searches as availability is dynamic but neither EF nor AA show any U availability on the date you indicate now.
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Old Jan 11, 13, 1:00 pm
  #184  
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Originally Posted by index411 View Post
Need some help please:

I've used EF to find the following flight availability on AA:



However, when I go to the AA (or even BA) sites, I don't see that flight available in either Z, U, or T. Why would the flight not show up on the carrier's website if EF shows it as available?

thanks
A search for that flight show's 0's across the board:

Results from ExpertFlyer.com
Code:
Awards & Upgrades Search
Departing LAX on 06/07/13 12:00 AM for LHR
Flying AA   on booking class Z U T      


                                                                     Frequency                                                    
Flight        Stops  Depart             Arrive             Aircraft  Reliability     Class Description                      Code  Seats
0 Connections
AA 136        0      LAX                LHR                777       Daily           First - MileSAAver Award               Z     0
                     06/07/13 7:45 PM   06/08/13 2:15 PM             79% / 23m       Business - MileSAAver Award            U     0
                                                                                     Coach - MileSAAver Award               T     0
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Old Jan 12, 13, 9:49 am
  #185  
 
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I hope this is the right thread.
If I do a search for ord to msy on 2-9-13 I get some good fairs ($278 rt) with an effect date of 1/22/13 Expiration date of 3/19/13

does that mean a sale/low fair promo is going to start on the 22nd? currently ita/other sites have prices in the $450 rt range
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Old Jan 13, 13, 3:55 am
  #186  
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Originally Posted by ExpertFlyer Voice View Post
Hi kcaluwae, thanks for signing up for ExpertFlyer! To our knowledge R is not full fare economy. Looking at the class availability of a sample AY flight:

J4 C4 D4 I4 Y4 B4 H4 K4 M4 P4 T4 L4 V4 S4 Q4 Z4 R4 G4 W4 X4 E0

You'll see that R is pretty far down the list after Y, so it's not a full fare coach fare.
I found that information here: https://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/e...es/finnair.jsp

So it will give you 1,5 EQP. That seems like a good deal.
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Old Jan 13, 13, 4:20 pm
  #187  
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Originally Posted by chyamor View Post
I hope this is the right thread.
If I do a search for ord to msy on 2-9-13 I get some good fairs ($278 rt) with an effect date of 1/22/13 Expiration date of 3/19/13

does that mean a sale/low fair promo is going to start on the 22nd? currently ita/other sites have prices in the $450 rt range
Please keep in mind that the Fare Information results exclude taxes and fees. Also there needs to be availability in that fare class on a given flight. javabytes gave a good explanation of this in post #98 above.
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Old Jan 13, 13, 4:21 pm
  #188  
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Originally Posted by kcaluwae View Post
I found that information here: https://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/e...es/finnair.jsp

So it will give you 1,5 EQP. That seems like a good deal.
It could be a misprint. The published fare and availability information indicates that it is not the case.
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Old Jan 14, 13, 6:52 am
  #189  
 
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Flight number validation

It could me that the flight number validation for numbers only shall be removed. Ie some AF flights from SIN to PAR are currently rescheduled under a new flight number AF257A. And 'A' is not accepted by EF, so unable to see seatmap as a result (actually it shows the seatmap for another flight, the genuine AF257).
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Old Jan 14, 13, 11:40 am
  #190  
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Originally Posted by Keter View Post
It could me that the flight number validation for numbers only shall be removed. Ie some AF flights from SIN to PAR are currently rescheduled under a new flight number AF257A. And 'A' is not accepted by EF, so unable to see seatmap as a result (actually it shows the seatmap for another flight, the genuine AF257).
Flight numbers only have numbers in them, not letters. The GDSs are built upon that assumption. When you try to add a letter into the flight number, it breaks the request:

2AF257/14FEB«
AF RESPONSE
‡DOAF257/14FEB

* 1A PLANNED FLIGHT INFO * AF 257 31 TH 14FEB
APT ARR DY DEP DY CLASS/MEAL EQP GRND EFT TTL
SIN 2315 TH PFJCDIZOWSA/MS 388 13:55
YBMUKHLQTEN/MS
RVXG/MS
CDG 0610 FR 13:55

COMMENTS-
1.SIN CDG - AIRCRAFT OWNER AIR FRANCE
2.SIN CDG - COCKPIT CREW AIR FRANCE
3.SIN CDG - CABIN CREW AIR FRANCE
4.SIN CDG - MEMBER OF SKYTEAM
5.SIN CDG - DEPARTS TERMINAL 1
6.SIN CDG - ARRIVES TERMINAL 2E
)>

2AF257A/14FEB«
UNABLE TO VALIDATE ENTRY - VERIFY AND RE-ENTER .

2AF1111/14FEB
«
AF RESPONSE
FLIGHT NOT OPERATIONAL
As you can see, the error message returned when including a letter in the flight number is much different then just simply putting in a non-operational flight number.

Same with Seat Maps:

4G*AF257F14MAYSINCDG«
AUTH-516 388
0 - SIN 1 - CDG
NO SMOKING-SINCDG
LAV
A E F L
1 * CLS CLS 1
2 * * * * 2
3 * * * * 3
A E F L
GAL GAL GAL GAL




AVAIL NO SMK: * BLOCK : / LEAST PREF: U BULKHEAD: BHD
AVAIL SMKING: - PREMIUM: Q UPPER DECK: J EXIT ROW: X
SEAT TAKEN: . WING: W PAID : P LAVATORY: LAV GALLEY: GAL
PREF ACCESS LAV: PAL DOOR: DOR SCREEN: SCR CLOSET: CLS
PREF ACCESS:H BASSINET:B LEGROOM:L UMNR:M REARFACE:@

4G*AF257AF14MAYSINCDG«
‡INVALID CITY CODE‡
As you can see if you try to put a letter in the flight number, it just doesn't work.
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Old Jan 15, 13, 6:52 pm
  #191  
 
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So reading through this thread, I shouldn't solely rely on EF's flight alerts to find my MileSaaver flights as it only checks a few times a day. Is there a way to find out when it checks, so I can check the 'other' times. Also, if I execute a saved query, are the results real time with the airlines or is it pulling on the data last checked by EF? If it is real time results, this will be a good tool for me to check for those 'other' times not checked by EF.

Also, is there a way of finding out how many award seats have been released in the past through EF or any other tool?

Thanks for any insight in advance.
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Old Jan 15, 13, 7:09 pm
  #192  
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Originally Posted by dakam View Post
So reading through this thread, I shouldn't solely rely on EF's flight alerts to find my MileSaaver flights as it only checks a few times a day.
You are welcome to check manually whenever you want, however Flight Alerts have been working successfully to find award availability for ExpertFlyer users since 2006. The idea is that the alerts check around the clock so you can go on living your life with one less thing to worry about.
Is there a way to find out when it checks, so I can check the 'other' times.
There are no "set" times that alerts check. Not only does each alert have its own schedule but that schedule gets more frequent as the date of the flight gets closer.
Also, if I execute a saved query, are the results real time with the airlines or is it pulling on the data last checked by EF? If it is real time results, this will be a good tool for me to check for those 'other' times not checked by EF.
All results are retrieved in real time from the reservation systems when you request them.
Also, is there a way of finding out how many award seats have been released in the past through EF or any other tool?
No.
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Old Jan 15, 13, 10:09 pm
  #193  
 
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Originally Posted by ExpertFlyer Voice View Post
Flight numbers only have numbers in them, not letters. The GDSs are built upon that assumption. When you try to add a letter into the flight number, it breaks the request...
Thanks! Then just for my understanding: if Air France calls the new flight number AF256A (or AF256B) what is actually present in the system? Now we have 2 flights from SIN to CDG on 17JAN both are shown under AF256 number. But if I try to get a seatmap EF only returns the seatmap of a 'genuine' flight which departs in the evening and not the seatmap for the morning flight which was rescheduled from 16 January.
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Old Jan 15, 13, 10:11 pm
  #194  
 
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One more question, did you manage to understand what causes inaccurate availability even if the request is for a single airline (which in theory shall return the accurate 'airline direct display')?

SQ, AZ are some cases in point.
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Old Jan 16, 13, 1:26 pm
  #195  
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Originally Posted by Keter View Post
Thanks! Then just for my understanding: if Air France calls the new flight number AF256A (or AF256B) what is actually present in the system? Now we have 2 flights from SIN to CDG on 17JAN both are shown under AF256 number. But if I try to get a seatmap EF only returns the seatmap of a 'genuine' flight which departs in the evening and not the seatmap for the morning flight which was rescheduled from 16 January.
A Flight Availability search, even direct from AF, may show 2 flights, but with the same flight number. No A or B:

PHP Code:
17JAN  THU   SIN/Z8     CDG/-7                                
AF RESPONSE 
** DIRECT CONNECT PARTICIPANT **                    
** 
AIR FRANCE AN **                      0 TH 17JAN 0100      
 7AF  257 P7 F7 J9 C9 D9 I9 Z9 O9 W9 SINCDG    650A  145P       
          S9 A9 Y9 B9 M9 U9 K9 H9 L9 Q9 T9 N9 R9 V9 X9 G0       
 8AF  257 P1 F1 J8 C6 D4 I3 Z3 W8 S5 SINCDG   1115P  610A
+1     
          A4 Y9 B9 M9 U9 K9 H9 L9 Q9 T9 N9 R9 V9 X9 G0 
So there is no way to distinguish between the flights for a seat map unless you book a ticket on one of them, then call a seat map based on the booked segment, maybe. Even that would be iffy as we have never seen 2 flights with the same flight number and city pair for the same day.

Originally Posted by Keter View Post
One more question, did you manage to understand what causes inaccurate availability even if the request is for a single airline (which in theory shall return the accurate 'airline direct display')?

SQ, AZ are some cases in point.
The information is correct for the point of sale requested. There is no difference in the availability we show vs what any other travel agent in North America can see. Just specifying an airline by itself doesn't change anything in most cases. If you have a question about a specific search, then email us at [email protected]
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