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Just How Long To Post Flights? Twitter Support Keeps Changing Deadlines

Just How Long To Post Flights? Twitter Support Keeps Changing Deadlines

Old Dec 22, 2016, 7:20 am
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by Error 601
I don't understand precisely what reconciliation has to be done after an itinerary has been flown, what is there to be calculated? Paid upgrades?

Isn't the eligible spend for a flight that was flown a known number?
it is a known number for direct channels such as the airline website, call centre, etc (those where the payment is handled by the airline), but not for indirect channels such as travel agents, partners, etc until the final state of the ticket is known. This is due to the fact events within change and cancel in the indirect channel can happen right up until the flight is flown, leading to uncertainty in the revenue and consequent loyalty accrual, which won't be known until the submission of those changes by the indirect channels when the transactions are consolidated (for larger agents their own systems are self contained and may go through a daily consolidation before all transactions are submitted). Fundamentally it is the standard industry processes that cause this delay. For airlines that only sell online through their own website, this is never a problem.
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Old Dec 22, 2016, 10:58 am
  #17  
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Originally Posted by aerobod
American, United and Delta are all still fundamentally using mileage based programs
You obviously don't know how the U.S. programs work. Mileage accrual is a multiple of the base fare and fees - exactly the same as WestJet's accrual. The fact that the end currency is called "miles" is irrelevant - it's just a fantasy currency just like WestJet's "dollars". They could all be called Quatloos and the facts would remain.

Originally Posted by aerobod
I would expect the US airlines will handle their different channels when they don't have the revenue from the channel reconciled in a delayed manner, only posting their direct channels immediately.
You have unrealistic and unfounded expectations. No matter the purchasing channel, the miles post within 24 hours (sometimes less). Your claim would also mean that credit for tickets purchased directly from WestJet should post instantly, but they still take 1-3 weeks in my experience.
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Old Dec 22, 2016, 11:26 am
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman
You obviously don't know how the U.S. programs work. Mileage accrual is a multiple of the base fare and fees - exactly the same as WestJet's accrual. The fact that the end currency is called "miles" is irrelevant - it's just a fantasy currency just like WestJet's "dollars". They could all be called Quatloos and the facts would remain.


You have unrealistic and unfounded expectations. No matter the purchasing channel, the miles post within 24 hours (sometimes less). Your claim would also mean that credit for tickets purchased directly from WestJet should post instantly, but they still take 1-3 weeks in my experience.
It sounds as though you have either been lucky or not used an indirect booking channel with the US big 3.
American quotes up to 15 days for miles to be posted: https://www.aa.com/request-miles/form
Delta says up to 7 days for credits to post: https://www.delta.com/acctactvty/mileagecredit.action
United says up to 5 days: https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/mil...request-credit

All the US programs are setup for use of miles, as opposed to a currency based earn and burn, they convert the dollar accrual to a mileage amount. I don't know of any of the majors that allow you to take an accumulated dollar value and then apply that directly to a rewards purchase (either full or partial). They are all fundamentally mileage based programs that have a conversion from dollars to miles in non-qualifying accumulation (qualifying is still only miles based).
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Old Dec 22, 2016, 12:08 pm
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Error 601
I don't understand precisely what reconciliation has to be done after an itinerary has been flown, what is there to be calculated? Paid upgrades?

Isn't the eligible spend for a flight that was flown a known number?
You would think so and in Twitter the agent quoted me the qualifying amount that the itinerary cost, so they have the amount, the flights are flown and they then do jack %&^$ with the data for weeks.
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Old Dec 22, 2016, 1:30 pm
  #20  
 
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I wouldn't attribute the length of time to process and post loyalty accrual on WestJet to $ vs miles, at least not directly. I would attribute it to multiple, disparate systems, some internal and some outsourced for WestJet's booking/reservation/accounting systems. If it was one nicely integrated system, I would suggest things would happen much more quickly. WestJet gave that a try a while back and as it turned into a bottom-less money-pit they went for an update of their existing disparate systems, of which we are still less than ideal capabilities throughout the entire flight search through reward posting cycle. Air Canada attempted something similar and likewise cancelled their effort - the results of that show-up in their FFlyer program too, with frequent delays and errors in posting qualifying dollars vs miles flown.

I wouldn't hold-my-breath on WestJet fixing a part of their system to credit reward earnings quicker when it is just one part of a bigger system overhaul that is needed to interface multiple systems in near real-time.
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Old Dec 22, 2016, 5:22 pm
  #21  
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Originally Posted by aerobod
All the US programs are setup for use of miles, as opposed to a currency based earn and burn, they convert the dollar accrual to a mileage amount.
You are very confused. The earning is based on the fare, and that's all that matters for the purposes of posting. The end "currency" is completely irrelevant.

The fact of the matter is that WestJet has poor programmers, poor software management, and no desire to graduate to a reasonable system. The software I wrote in my sophomore year would put WestJet's system to shame. If a student ever turned in this system as an assignment in any of the classes I taught, they would have failed the course.
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Old Dec 22, 2016, 8:41 pm
  #22  
 
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I'm not sure how you are able to draw such sweeping conclusions about IT at WestJet in general from your interaction with a few of the hundreds of applications, 3000 or so servers and 2000 databases used to operate the airline, guests only interact with a small fraction of the IT systems needed. Some systems are in different phases of their life cycles. As Pat Gelsinger, the well regarded CEO of VMware stated in this article "I don't have a more advanced customer in the world than Canada's WestJet" http://www.itworldcanada.com/article...ightmare/91378. Or an Oracle case study on the WestJet high availability database environment that is over 99.999% available even during upgrades and maintenance http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/da...dy-2075591.pdf. There are a lot of strategies being executed that are world leading for implementation in a corporate datacentre such as micro-segmentation, zero-trust networking, docker containerization, hot-aisle datacentres, etc.

If you would like to investigate the wide range of airline systems that we operate and the intricacies and challenges of airline IT in general, together with some insight into future strategies, feel free to PM me when you are next in Calgery, I will be happy to spend an hour to chat if I'm in the office.
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Old Dec 23, 2016, 1:18 am
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by aerobod
I'm not sure how you are able to draw such sweeping conclusions about IT at WestJet in general from your interaction with a few of the hundreds of applications, 3000 or so servers and 2000 databases used to operate the airline, guests only interact with a small fraction of the IT systems needed. Some systems are in different phases of their life cycles. As Pat Gelsinger, the well regarded CEO of VMware stated in this article "I don't have a more advanced customer in the world than Canada's WestJet" http://www.itworldcanada.com/article...ightmare/91378. Or an Oracle case study on the WestJet high availability database environment that is over 99.999% available even during upgrades and maintenance http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/da...dy-2075591.pdf. There are a lot of strategies being executed that are world leading for implementation in a corporate datacentre such as micro-segmentation, zero-trust networking, docker containerization, hot-aisle datacentres, etc.

If you would like to investigate the wide range of airline systems that we operate and the intricacies and challenges of airline IT in general, together with some insight into future strategies, feel free to PM me when you are next in Calgery, I will be happy to spend an hour to chat if I'm in the office.
I don't care about how sophisticated a company's IT systems and needs are when they can't even process my retroactive mileage claim and it's been over 3 months just pending with an open status.
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Old Dec 23, 2016, 7:11 am
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by keitherson
I don't care about how sophisticated a company's IT systems and needs are when they can't even process my retroactive mileage claim and it's been over 3 months just pending with an open status.
I'm not the official WestJet channel, but a senior person in IT. I can take your claim to the relevant business area to sort it out if you would like to PM me your email address, we can then exchange details about you claim via my WestJet email.
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Old Dec 24, 2016, 8:11 pm
  #25  
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It appears that the dollar amount of one flight from the 8th posted and the 12th hasn't. So much for the fiction that the whole round trip posts at once.
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Old Dec 24, 2016, 10:30 pm
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by Error 601
I don't understand precisely what reconciliation has to be done after an itinerary has been flown, what is there to be calculated? Paid upgrades?

Isn't the eligible spend for a flight that was flown a known number?
Changes can happen up to 2 hours before departure, if those changes are made through WestJet direct booking channels, they will be known immediately. If they are made via a travel agent or other indirect channels, the adjusted fare due to the change is generally not accurately known until the revised ticket is submitted by the travel agent through a standard settlement method such as BSP: http://www.iata.org/services/finance...ges/index.aspx Before WestJet participated in codeshare and interline agreements and IATA based sales through travel agents, the centralized Open Skies system always had realtime information available on any ticket sale and state due to all data being held in the single Open Skies database. Sabre was chosen as a booking system to enable standard industry channels to be established between airlines quickly and efficiently and to add indirect channels to travel agents around the world. After WestJet moved to Sabre (although Amadeus and Travelport could also have provided similar capabilities), the integration with IATA standardized ticketing was possible. Unfortunately Southwest could not participate in a standardized ticketing arrangement, so the envisaged codeshare with them was abandoned.

The challenge with standardized IATA ticketing is that there is no central database where any current view of all tickets can be retrieved. It is flow based by nature. Effectively the old paper ticket coupons still exist, but in an electronic form for each flight segment and ancilliaries as a separate coupon that in a standardized form is called an Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD). Each time a change is made by an agent, a new ticket is created and the itinerary information is updated in the airline reservation system (Sabre for WestJet). The financial information around the change follows as a record in a consolidated BSP data set on a nightly basis. If there is an error in a record (for example an agent system created an incomplete record), manual correction may be required.

Without IATA ticketing, the cost of issuing, maintaining and changing tickets between airlines and their partners would be much more expensive, with every airline having to establish unique integration arrangements with every partner. The way the ticketing works is very hard and slow to change, though, as the whole industry that doesn't just rely on direct ticket sales has to evolve at the same pace in this area.
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Old Dec 25, 2016, 4:26 pm
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by aerobod
I'm not the official WestJet channel, but a senior person in IT. I can take your claim to the relevant business area to sort it out if you would like to PM me your email address, we can then exchange details about you claim via my WestJet email.
Thanks, PM sent!

Originally Posted by aerobod
It sounds as though you have either been lucky or not used an indirect booking channel with the US big 3.
American quotes up to 15 days for miles to be posted: https://www.aa.com/request-miles/form
Delta says up to 7 days for credits to post: https://www.delta.com/acctactvty/mileagecredit.action
United says up to 5 days: https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/mil...request-credit

All the US programs are setup for use of miles, as opposed to a currency based earn and burn, they convert the dollar accrual to a mileage amount. I don't know of any of the majors that allow you to take an accumulated dollar value and then apply that directly to a rewards purchase (either full or partial). They are all fundamentally mileage based programs that have a conversion from dollars to miles in non-qualifying accumulation (qualifying is still only miles based).
You may want to look at Air New Zealand: their Airpoint dollar system is basically earning flat dollars based on partners from a chart (like Westjet's partners earn rates), which you can use on Air NZ fares like "miles and cash" options which most airlines offer now. For NZ metal you earn based on spend, similar to what other airlines do now. But they've been doing this since the 90s.

Of course, dollar-based programs tend to be some of the worst redemption values in the entire industry.

Have a look at the redemption chart for NZ:

https://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/airl...rom-1-november

You get poor value, even when comparing to cash fares, and are still limited to Star Alliance award space availability.

Cash-like point systems like JetBlue and Southwest also tend to offer poor value as well, but because they're "points" and not specific Dollar-equivalents, they can have dynamic pricing.

I know WestJet just offered the ability to redeem WestJet dollars on Qantas, but I can't imagine there being any good value there either. Or at least, absolutely nothing even coming close to the AA miles I used to book DFW-SYD in Qantas F.

Last edited by keitherson; Dec 25, 2016 at 4:35 pm
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Old Dec 25, 2016, 8:52 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by aerobod
Changes can happen up to 2 hours before departure, if those changes are made through WestJet direct booking channels, they will be known immediately. If they are made via a travel agent or other indirect channels, the adjusted fare due to the change is generally not accurately known until the revised ticket is submitted by the travel agent through a standard settlement method such as BSP: http://www.iata.org/services/finance...ges/index.aspx Before WestJet participated in codeshare and interline agreements and IATA based sales through travel agents, the centralized Open Skies system always had realtime information available on any ticket sale and state due to all data being held in the single Open Skies database. Sabre was chosen as a booking system to enable standard industry channels to be established between airlines quickly and efficiently and to add indirect channels to travel agents around the world. After WestJet moved to Sabre (although Amadeus and Travelport could also have provided similar capabilities), the integration with IATA standardized ticketing was possible. Unfortunately Southwest could not participate in a standardized ticketing arrangement, so the envisaged codeshare with them was abandoned.

The challenge with standardized IATA ticketing is that there is no central database where any current view of all tickets can be retrieved. It is flow based by nature. Effectively the old paper ticket coupons still exist, but in an electronic form for each flight segment and ancilliaries as a separate coupon that in a standardized form is called an Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD). Each time a change is made by an agent, a new ticket is created and the itinerary information is updated in the airline reservation system (Sabre for WestJet). The financial information around the change follows as a record in a consolidated BSP data set on a nightly basis. If there is an error in a record (for example an agent system created an incomplete record), manual correction may be required.

Without IATA ticketing, the cost of issuing, maintaining and changing tickets between airlines and their partners would be much more expensive, with every airline having to establish unique integration arrangements with every partner. The way the ticketing works is very hard and slow to change, though, as the whole industry that doesn't just rely on direct ticket sales has to evolve at the same pace in this area.
Yet I use a travel agent to buy and fly on AA and COPA and I have changed flights literally on a day's notice and they manage to credit the miles/legs in a day or two regardless. Yet this claim bought weeks ahead and not changed at all, with e-mail from WS reminding me of the itinerary can't get done in weeks.

Westjet told me an update on an itinerary can't be done until the whole round trip is finished yet they have just credited the outbound with some portion of the whole, a mere 16 days after flying it. Wow, is that fast, partly done after both flights completed and all the right details known.

Sounds like a bogus bunch of excuses since other airlines are not doing anything this glacial. Pull up your pants, WS if you want full-fare business travellers.
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Old Dec 27, 2016, 9:09 am
  #29  
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A Christmas miracle!

Second flight posted a day after the first (total 16 days for the first and 13 days for the second) and the status changed to Gold from Lead or wherever one starts.

I think it was a bit of the squeaky wheel getting the grease mind you.
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Old May 13, 2017, 9:13 pm
  #30  
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WS has scored another bass-ackwards posting. May 37th posted the 11th and May 3rd (to get there) not at all and they claim via Twitter it takes a month.

I cannot recall any other airline being so lax while trying to promote full fare travel. Even TACA under its various oddball programs was llickety-split.

They are pricing themselves out of some markets with the Plus Flexible price raising shenanigans and have no clue as how to deal with people paying top dollar for fares.
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