Is Kralev's "Decoding Air Travel" Required Reading for a Newbie?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Audy_KTUH, Jul 5, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Audy_KTUH

    Audy_KTUH Silver Member

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    I'm just wondering if any of you newbies or experienced FFs out there have read Kralev's book and would recommended it for a newbie like me. I find myself doing a lot of digging on MP and FT in order to understand some of the threads here and there. Should I get this book to bring me "up to speed" so I can contribute answers rather than just post questions? How about "Mileage Pro"? Should that be required reading as well?

    Thanks for your thoughts!
     
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  2. James

    James Active Member

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    I went to the book premiere in DC. I have read the domestic ticketing chapters so far--definitely worth the read and such a great tool to grasp all the tools and options out there for very reduced first class/elite traveling.
     
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  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    There's a review of it by gleff posted on MP but I don't remember exactly where, maybe in the general travel or general miles and points fora.
     
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  4. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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  5. VVanderlust

    VVanderlust Silver Member

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    Reading right now - Definitely recommend this book to anyone trying to figure out how to read fare, routing rules and to know what the lowest possible fare that is out there. He recommends Expertflyer.com and KVS as means to accomplish this.
     
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  6. VVanderlust

    VVanderlust Silver Member

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  7. mhf
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    mhf Silver Member

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    I read and enjoyed it. I'd already learned a lot of the information from various blogs/forums, but it's nice to see it all laid out in one place. This book also opened my eyes to some concepts that I'd heard about but didn't really understand (how fare bucket availability can change with married vs broken segments).

    Overall, I'm happy that I purchased it.
     
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  8. worldtraveller2
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    worldtraveller2 Silver Member

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    I ordered it and am awaiting its arrival for a good read on my summer vacation!
     
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  9. Bluto
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    Bluto Silver Member

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    I bought it after reading gleff's review on his blog. I will probably start reading it this weekend and will follow up with any thoughts. I figure that if it helps me save a tiny fraction of 1 airfare or helps me save a few thousand miles, I will more than recoup my investment.
     
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  10. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    There is no doubt in my mind that Kralev is a good source.

    If you are really dedicated and want to know just how to make the sytems work your way professional travel agent training is easier and faster than you might think. ASTA has some good programs, although they are very US-centric.http://www.asta.org/Education/content.cfm?ItemNumber=1681

    Years ago while I was a banker I started a GSA (General Sales Agency) to help protect our investment in an airline. The training programs of ASTA helped me immeasurably doing that, even though the airline had nothing to do with the US. Later as a frequent flyer I have saved tons of money by understanding the technicalities. That is an option only if you are rally determined.

    Otherwise Kralev and the various places you can find Randy, gleff et al will do what you need. Without question these people will really help you optimize your use of FF programs more than the training I mentioned. My recommendation works mostly for paid tickets. The deep alphabet soup of routing, tariff construction, fare construction units and so on are all fundamental needs and Kralev helps you get there. gleff, milepoint, FlyerTalk etc help you figure out what works best now, but help you less to know how to find the best deals on your own.

    This is a lifelong obsession for those of us who take is seriously, much like the obsession normal people have with sports scores, so be prepared to become addicted.:D

    I suspect most of us who have done this for a long time have our own particular idiosyncratic views of specific topics. The more you know the more you can develop your own rather than just take the advice of others.

    Whatever you do remember to have fun! The more you know the more you'll end out taking MR's!! In the end we all spend more on travel. Thus the StarDo's get huge management support, and AA sends us their head of AAdvantage. They do not do that because we strike hard bargains. They do it because we are high-yield, high-frequency travelers. Surely were we to survey ourselves we'd find that the industry likes us because we are points hounds, not true seeks of the real best deal. I am certain somebody will argue with me on this.:cool:
     
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  11. arnplaw

    arnplaw Active Member

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    I just finished it. I had read some of the information on the from forums, but this was a much more efficient way to get the information quickly. I also learned a lot of new information. I plan to use it as a reference when I get ready to do a particular trip. Definitely worth the investment.
     
  12. mrredskin
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    mrredskin Gold Member

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    the part i've struggled most with on my own is tarrifs and fare rules and such. first few chapters have already helped quite a bit. only about 1/6 of the way through the book!
     
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  13. wolfsatz
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    wolfsatz Silver Member

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    I'm about 1/4 of the way through the book and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. A lot of stuff about fare rules and construction that I didn't previously know.
     
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  14. Audy_KTUH

    Audy_KTUH Silver Member

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    Thanks for the great insights everyone! I just used the link from Gary's blog to order the book at a 25% discount. Hopefully this newbie will be posting useful advice to other newbies soon.
     
  15. Million Mile Secrets

    Million Mile Secrets Silver Member

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    I've got this in my Wishlist on Amazon, but already have a stack of books that I have to get through. I'm hoping to order it in the next 2 weeks!
     
  16. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    In the old days of online travel boards, we shared books. The only cost involved was mailing the book to the next person. Hmmm. :cool:
     
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  17. rharrigill
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    rharrigill Silver Member

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    This book is definitely on my to-read list.
     
  18. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    What?, no Kindle version :(
     
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  19. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    Is this a book to share, or a book to hold onto for future reference? I'm inclined to think that it might become a good reference book. I haven't bought it yet, but I intend to.
     
  20. dildooba44

    dildooba44 Silver Member

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    I read it over a long July 4th vacation. Highly recommend it for newbies. I consider myself a newbie + (haven't yet subscribed to ExpertFlyer). 70% I had read on websites but even then it's good to hear this stuff over and over. Def worth the price, without question. It's helpful to have all of those topics in one document. You can probably find everything on the web somewhere but this will save you a lot of time. I really liked gleff's review. Excellent. I'll read it again soon though maybe certain chapters. I walked away with the impression there is a lot more I don't know and also ... that you can make the airlines work for you bc they sure aren't looking to help you.
     
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  21. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    there is a kindle version, just not that much cheaper than the printed book. unusual for kindle pricing.
     
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  22. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    Just noticed that kindle version was released July 11. I'll be picking that up.
     
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  23. adl73x
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    adl73x Gold Member

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    I just finished the book. It was educational for me in the ways US based carriers and programmes work, particularly with mileage earning fares, upgrades and so on. The book clearly points out that European and Asian carriers work differently, but there were few detailed strategies for the non-US based flier.

    That said, all of the content is available elsewhere but is very clearly and concisely related in the book. Its other strength is that it is very up to date.
     
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  24. mrredskin
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    mrredskin Gold Member

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    I've got about 30 pages left (frequent flyer stuff that i mostly know already) and while it is nice having everything there at your disposal, it doesn't do a lot that the Airline Fare School archive didn't explain.

    It seemed to be written towards those who already travel a decent amount but know nothing on how to do stuff for themselves.

    There were several places that would discuss one term or thought that hadn't been introduced yet, and the reader would be required to already know what Kralev meant by it. Kind of scattered in a few places.

    It's not really a book for a true beginner, nor is it one for most of us.
     
  25. mrredskin
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    mrredskin Gold Member

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    albeit a month later...

    I would consider it a book to share, once you grasp all the concepts and know where to look online for the same info. Just look at how out of date it can become since DL is going through a decent amount of change with its award bookings. Since airlines change aspects of their programs every year it seems, this book will be out of date by Fall '12.
     
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