Award Nexus, Expert Flyer and KVS - Recommendations For A Newcomer

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by Traveling Momma, Apr 8, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Traveling Momma

    Traveling Momma Silver Member

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    Hi all -

    As part of my ongoing education in this game I'd like to experiment with understanding everything I've learned so far by searching for complicated, high-value award tickets. I don't have enough miles yet and will likely use an Award Booking service when the time is right. However, I'm one of those people that likes to know how everything works.

    With the above introduction which program do you recommend I mess around with and learn the functionality? I'm using Oneworld and Star Alliance carriers and will be looking for flights departing from ORD to Europe, Middle East and South East Asia. I'll want complicated First and Business Class awards typically at peak times or just before peak times for 3 seats at a time. I will look for Free one ways and stop overs to maximize the value of the redemption.

    Your suggestions on which on or ones to "play" with for a short period of time are helpful.

    NB: I used 100 points on Award Nexus already and have only scratched the surface. I think I'm getting the hang of it but need to try out everything I've learned.

    Thanks,

    Blue.
     
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  2. Quasiconvexity
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    Quasiconvexity Gold Member

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    I have found AwardNexus to be the most user-friendly (and flexible). The points do by fast, though! :) I think it is great for planning a specific trip that you may have in mind, but not for "playing around" as the points do go by fast. Expertflyer is what I would recommend.
     
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  3. Traveling Momma

    Traveling Momma Silver Member

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    Agreed. They flew by and I've only scratched the surface. I'll look at expert flyer now too. Thanks for your feedback. Am I crazy for wanting to "play" around? Even if pay for an award booking service I want to have a good solid understanding of what they'll be doing.

    Cheers!
     
  4. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    You could always just use UA.com or ANA tool to "play around" with SA flights. And what they'll allowed & not allow. I've booked 2 award trips using just UA/ANA. One was a simple stopover/openjaw to SE asia; while my upcoming one is a stopover/openjaw in Europe on my way to Asia and back home.

    for OW ... BA or Qantas allows you to look at what's available.

    For just playing around ... I like the free stuff ;)
     
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  5. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Me, too. That's why my tools have a free version. Both *A search/alerts and OW alerts can be had for free.

    Not necessarily as full-featured as the others, but the price is hard to beat. :cool:

    At the end of the day the data sources are basically all the same. So it becomes a question of usability, support and price.
     
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  6. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    for alerts WA tools is a no brainier. For searches ... more or less the same ... but UA.com would probably be better so that the OP can see the pricing structure (both miles & taxes) and see what UA allows in terms of stopovers/etc. But once you know what you're aiming for WAtools are the way to go.
     
  7. garyst16
    Original Member

    garyst16 Silver Member

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    Which would be all well and good except for.... ;)

    WA Screen shot.JPG
     
  8. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    But the award searches work fine ... ? I don't think the OP is using wa.Tools to search for best fare finder.
     
  9. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The OP is looking for award space. That feature is working just fine. Were they asking about fare search tools I'd not recommend mine; I know all too well they don't work.

    I'm also curious if you know anywhere else effectively aggregating that data. I sure don't. Definitely not KVS, EF nor AwardNexus.

    FliSea.com is another one worth looking in to.
     
  10. garyst16
    Original Member

    garyst16 Silver Member

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    You are absolutely, positively correct... it is working just fine.. however, I was commenting on your response regarding the free use of your tools... hence my response, which would be great but...
     
  11. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Yeah, I actually still don't understand what the point you're making is. :confused:
     
  12. garyst16
    Original Member

    garyst16 Silver Member

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    Oh well... no worries... :)
     
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  13. Traveling Momma

    Traveling Momma Silver Member

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    Dear WA, Spectacular! I've bookmarked your site and will check it out. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and tools with me. I've been to your site, read your twitter feed and love how you explore and interact. You're a gem!

    Blue.
     
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  14. Traveling Momma

    Traveling Momma Silver Member

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    Guys, I'm wondering if you can help me with something. I used Award Nexus messing around looking at flights from ORD to BKK in March of 2014. I found several CX first class awards that suite my needs. I then flipped over to AA to see if they pop up there and they don't. Then I logged into CX with my Asia Miles account and did a search also and don't see them pop up there either. When searching on Award Nexus there were flights everyday for a full two weeks. Why can't I see these on the CX site.

    I'm specifically looking at March 11th (evening flight) ORD to BKK via HKG (stopover for a visit)

    Return March 22nd or 23 BKK to ORD (via SIN if possible or another interesting city for stopover visit)

    Because this is international I was going to also practice how one would add a fee one way to say HNL for December of 2014.

    Why is Award Nexus showing avail but nothing on AA.com and nothing on CX?
     
  15. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Try BA
     
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  16. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    AA doesn't show CX seats online... You would have to call in to know if AA can "see" those seats, but likly they will not. AA shows online:

    oneworld Alliance Partners
    airberlin
    British Airways
    Finnair
    Qantas

    Other Airline Participants
    Alaska Airlines
    Hawaiian Airlines
    http://www.aa.com/i18n/fragments/aadvantage/apaAirlines.jsp
     
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  17. Traveling Momma

    Traveling Momma Silver Member

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    Thanks. Ahhhhh, there is a lot of information to keep straight in this game. I'm thinking about putting together a one page cheat sheet to keep on hand otherwise I have do to a search every time on here to figure out what I don't know. I also use milevalue.com a lot. Scott clearly outlines things that can and cannot be done.

    Thanks.
     
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  18. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Yeah ... but as a general rule

    OW = BA/QF/AA to search.
    SA = ANA/UA to search
    ST = AF i think????? I dont even know.
     
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  19. Traveling Momma

    Traveling Momma Silver Member

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    Quantas is showing me flights. Tks!
     
  20. Traveling Momma

    Traveling Momma Silver Member

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    edekba - I've seen LOTS of postings that suggest you always HOLD when you find something. I see 2 F class seats that fit my travel pattern. I need 3. I'd like to put 2 on hold. Since I can't see these through AA.com how do I hold them? Do I pay the $25 phone fee to hold the 2 awards?
     
  21. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    ST you end up using different sites for different carriers.
     
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  22. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    I've read that the JL method is best for searching for CX seats available to AA. At a minimum I like it because it shows counts of available seats.
     
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  23. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    I think w/AA you can hold them for 5 days but then you gotta book them.... but GL trying to get 3 F seats. You might get lucky closer to departure but getting more than 2 F is hard from what I've read.
     
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  24. Traveling Momma

    Traveling Momma Silver Member

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    Yeah - I see 2 right now that's why I was thinking to hold them. Thanks for the feedback.
     
  25. KVS Tool

    KVS Tool Z Representative

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    There is currently no Award Availability in F on those flights, but there is in C:

    [KVS Availability Tool 7.1.9/Diamond - Axess: Awards/JL-OneWorld/UK]
    Code:
    ORD  Chicago O'Hare Intl IL US [KORD]
    BKK  Bangkok Metro / Suvarnabhumi Intl TH = BKK DMK [VTBS]
    TUE  11 Mar 2014
    
    Carrier    Flight  From  Depart    To    Arrive    A/C  St  Availability
    ---------  ------  ----  --------  ----  --------  ---  --  -------------
    CX         807     ORD   15:00     HKG   19:55 +1  77W  0   FS0  CS3  YS0
     -> CX     709     HKG   22:00 +1  BKK   23:55 +1  333  0   FS/  CS3  YS0
    CX         807     ORD   15:00     HKG   19:55 +1  77W  0   FS0  CS3  YS0
     -> CX     713     HKG   09:10 +2  BKK   11:10 +2  773  0   FS/  CS3  YS0
    CX         807     ORD   15:00     HKG   19:55 +1  77W  0   FS0  CS3  YS0
     -> CX     615     HKG   10:05 +2  BKK   12:05 +2  744  0   FS0  CS3  YS0
    
     
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