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How useful is Expert Flyer for United Elites

How useful is Expert Flyer for United Elites

Old Nov 21, 17, 9:06 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 110
How useful is Expert Flyer for United Elites

I'm a new United Premier 1k, I do most of my flying for work, but have significant flexibility for using RPU/GPU, mileage runs, etc and was considering paying for Expert Flyer to help me get the most out of my United 1k benefits when scheduling personal travel.

Specifically I want to be able to more easily find instantly upgradeable space for leisure routes from ORD and EWR to LAS and MIA. I will probably also need to do an EWR-SIN mileage run this year to maintain 1k, and would like to find something where i can use my upgrade. I have about 4 months off where i can literally fly at any time.

Is this tool useful in helping to find these opportunities?
BeeeJay is offline  
Old Nov 21, 17, 9:13 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Programs: UA 1K; *G, AA Plat
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Originally Posted by BeeeJay View Post
I'm a new United Premier 1k, I do most of my flying for work, but have significant flexibility for using RPU/GPU, mileage runs, etc and was considering paying for Expert Flyer to help me get the most out of my United 1k benefits when scheduling personal travel.

Specifically I want to be able to more easily find instantly upgradeable space for leisure routes from ORD and EWR to LAS and MIA. I will probably also need to do an EWR-SIN mileage run this year to maintain 1k, and would like to find something where i can use my upgrade. I have about 4 months off where i can literally fly at any time.

Is this tool useful in helping to find these opportunities?
While I don't use ExpertFlyer, I would suggest just calling the 1K line. They've always been able to find me R space if I tell them I want to fly XXX-YYY and give them a date range. They can search it much faster than a normal person can.
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laxmillenial is offline  
Old Nov 21, 17, 9:18 pm
  #3  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Gold
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ExpertFlyer is not capabile of showing R, PN, IN, XN, .... space, so for elite upgrades, it is not useful and there is limited usefulness for awards -- I and X are searchable and available for alerts.

There are other things EF is useful for; such as seat alerts, some partner award space alerts, fare rules, MCT data, ....
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Nov 21, 17, 9:22 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: YYZ
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I would say not too much if you only fly UA and doesn't care too much of award booking, as others already mentioned EF can't show upgrade spaces while UA website have them for free.
gokeeper is offline  
Old Nov 21, 17, 9:30 pm
  #5  
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Thanks, exactly information I was looking for.
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Old Nov 21, 17, 9:34 pm
  #6  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Posts: 52,116
No third party service offers access to UA upgrade data (at least for long, as UA will aggressively shut the access down).
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Old Nov 21, 17, 9:35 pm
  #7  
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EF is most useful to me for fare rules and fare bucket availability on other airlines. It also has some cool info such as MCT at various airports and showing blocked seats. These are fairly advanced uses. Someone who primarily flies UA can get by without it just using expert mode.
Kacee is offline  
Old Nov 21, 17, 11:05 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
EF is most useful to me for fare rules and fare bucket availability on other airlines. It also has some cool info such as MCT at various airports and showing blocked seats. These are fairly advanced uses. Someone who primarily flies UA can get by without it just using expert mode.
+1. EF for me is a no on UA, expert mode via UA will handle what you're asking for. If you haven't enabled it, it's easy to do. Here's a good primer via TPG:

https://thepointsguy.com/2016/01/usi...d-expert-mode/
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Old Nov 22, 17, 5:06 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by NoLaGent View Post
+1. EF for me is a no on UA, expert mode via UA will handle what you're asking for.
And, if you use Chrome, the ExpertMode+ extension I built helps make ExpertMode details rather more visible.
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Old Nov 22, 17, 6:34 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
EF is most useful to me for fare rules and fare bucket availability on other airlines. It also has some cool info such as MCT at various airports and showing blocked seats. These are fairly advanced uses. Someone who primarily flies UA can get by without it just using expert mode.
This. I used to have expert mode membership, but to basic after UA closed off access to upgrade information. UA, I use it monthly when I fly on other airlines, and it's worth the nominal fee.
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Old Nov 22, 17, 8:03 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: WAS
Programs: UA Plat, IHG Plat, Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold, Natl Exec Elite
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EF is good for setting up seat alerts to get a desired seat in E+ especially if E+ is full when you book or if you are Silver. Many times my spouse or I have been able to get out of a middle seat or go from E- to E+ in the hours before a flight because of the alerts, which are free for windows/aisles but not if you want to pick specific seats or sections (e.g. E+ only). It saves you from compulsively having to check the seat map on the app. Also, EF can show you which seats are being blocked.
Say Vandelay is online now  
Old Nov 22, 17, 8:09 am
  #12  
formerly PHLGrump
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: PHL
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Echoing what others have said. If it were AA, different story. They aren't as transparent (on their booking website) as UA is
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Old Nov 22, 17, 8:43 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Melbourne MEL Calgary YYC
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Originally Posted by laxmillenial View Post
While I don't use ExpertFlyer, I would suggest just calling the 1K line. They've always been able to find me R space if I tell them I want to fly XXX-YYY and give them a date range. They can search it much faster than a normal person can.
I couldn’t agree more, I just rerouted 3 flight before Christmas and the 1K line found me a gpu home from Mel, an RPU to Chicago and a cheap business ticket to fca

really helpful on on the phone
Jimmie Jet is offline  
Old Nov 22, 17, 8:52 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
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I also find EF useful to set flight alerts for maximizing Same-Day-Change benefit.
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Old Nov 22, 17, 8:57 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Programs: UA Plat, BA Gold
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You can set alerts for I (business saver award), which I find has a high (but not exact) correlation to R becoming available. I will often set alerts far in advance for I, get an email overnight, check it first thing, and find R has become available, too. I also use it for aircraft change alerts, where it will usually let me know before UA does, and for certain seats becoming available. But there is no substitute for UA.com
Artpen100 is offline  

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