Is there a way to see award space history for OW?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by corz123, Apr 16, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. corz123

    corz123 Silver Member

    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    51
    Status Points:
    275
    I always get the feeling that as soon as I start my search, regardless of when it is, the seats begin disappearing by the day. I always get this feeling that it's happening whether I'm booking 8 months out or 4 months out. Is there a tool to see when the award space for an airline has been booked and when it is coming back? I want to see if this is really in my head cause I'm starting to feel superstitious here. Am I the only one??
     
    Newscience and gabrielgsp like this.
  2. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,219
    Likes Received:
    61,755
    Status Points:
    20,020
    No, there is not an authoritative, public tracking of where and when award seats are available on various routes from various airlines. Just like specific fare data isn't available.
     
    gabrielgsp likes this.
  3. gabrielgsp

    gabrielgsp Silver Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    152
    Status Points:
    325
    We are continuously being stimulated by airlines to fly with them to collect miles.
    Why?
    Because they create loyalty programs giving us the EXPECTATION to have the opportunity in a near future to redeem those miles, mainly for award tickets and upgrades.
    We base our decisions of flying to earn miles on the EXISTING rules and charts.
    Each time an airline changes radically a rule - whatever the reason - and that affects the expectations I had until such a day, I feel myself FOOLED!
    And furthermore, the "X" of the issue, even more than changing the rules, is manouvering the AVAILABILITY of upgrades and seats for award tickets, SECRETLY.
    We - the paying passengers - are the ones who SUSTAIN an airline, and what do we get from them: DISRESPECT!
    Airlines claim they are the owners of the Loyalty Programs and OUR miles!
    The miles I PAID to earn!
    And they had a certain value, which are hugely devaluated by unilateral decision of increasing the amount os miles for awards, be it a saver or an anytime.

    The issue raised in this thread is of UTMOST relevance:
    Airlines should offer us "a tool to see when the award space for an airline has been booked and when it is coming back".

    MORE, it should allow searchs to show WHEN a certain award is available, not day by day, or month by month, but as simple as answering to these questions:
    -In which dates in the next 11 months is there availability for saver awards in the route JFK/CDG, in business class?
    Or
    -In which date in the next 11 months is there availability for upgrades from coach to business in the route LAX/HKG?

    The behaviour of many airlines is the proof passengers are treated as the LAST item of importance in the scale of priorities!

    And we should be NR. ONE!!
     
    Newscience, MX and Eloy Fonseca Neto like this.
  4. newbluesea
    Original Member

    newbluesea Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,678
    Likes Received:
    4,728
    Status Points:
    2,570
    Now that you have gotten that rambling somewhat incoherent little rant out of your system (with the shouting and all) lets get back to real world.
    a) One of the problems with finding OW availability( or any alliance for that matter) is that the various airlines in each alliance use very different and incompatible
    reservation booking/tracking systems.
    Perhaps they just did that deliberately just to make it difficult for you:D

    b) As far as OW goes one can use the individual airlines websites along with Expert Flyer to assist in your search for in inventory and the cobble one's trip together.
    It takes a little work but its not that difficult folks.
    c) See returning award inventory for eleven months??? Have you actually thought about this?
    Reality would suggest that the future release would based it futures sales .. no?
    d) Rule of thumb .. either book early or wait till pretty much the last minute.
     
    Newscience and gabrielgsp like this.
  5. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,219
    Likes Received:
    61,755
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I disagree. My rule is to start looking as soon as I've identified where and when I want to go and then book as soon as the seats show as available. It isn't always early or late.
     
    gabrielgsp and Muerl like this.
  6. Muerl
    Original Member

    Muerl Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,253
    Likes Received:
    2,656
    Status Points:
    1,445
    Not everyone write scrapers for every airline they want seats on.

    Well okay I might do that also, but most poeple don't.
     
    Newscience and gabrielgsp like this.
  7. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,219
    Likes Received:
    61,755
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Who said anything about scrapers? I've been playing this game a long time, most of it without scrapers.

    Start looking early. If you assume seats aren't going to be there and don't check then you have no idea if they are there or not.
     
  8. Eloy Fonseca Neto
    Original Member

    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

    Messages:
    843
    Likes Received:
    1,024
    Status Points:
    870

    That´s not even near incoherent. It was a valid statement, and the truth behind the will of the frequent flyer. Who here doen´t fly considering the miles? Gabrielgsp is 100% right. Miles or points are valuable commodities of customer´s loyalty, so therefor they should be the customer´s to do whatever they want. Unfortunately we live in a unregulated world of loyalty which puts us, customers, in disadvantage, and the airlines hold all the cards in regards to this, that´s the real world. And an idea to show the history of award seats, that´s a brilliant idea to show the customers how the program is working basing on awards and give the airlines expertise to season tool to sell or hold seats. I´ve been watching a lot of planes flying empty on F and J with American Airlines because they believe a customer will use their miles to get that seat on an anytime award or simply buy them. Well, they are wrong, at least on the Brazilian Market!
     
    Newscience, MX and gabrielgsp like this.
  9. Muerl
    Original Member

    Muerl Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,253
    Likes Received:
    2,656
    Status Points:
    1,445
    Very true. The philosophy is good. I totally agree that you should always look as soon as you know when you want to do something
     
    Newscience, Flyer1976 and gabrielgsp like this.
  10. newbluesea
    Original Member

    newbluesea Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,678
    Likes Received:
    4,728
    Status Points:
    2,570
    That's my modus operandi also as far the term early I assumed it was understood to mean " as soon as available" However in past I have made early alternate bookings and found in particular with CX, inventory opens up at a date much closer departure than booking.... as far as the other OW members late release is a much rarer situation occurrence.
     
    Newscience and gabrielgsp like this.
  11. gabrielgsp

    gabrielgsp Silver Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    152
    Status Points:
    325
    1) When I write in capital letters the purpose is quickly identify the points I wish to give relevance.
    I am not necessarily "shouting".

    2) If "the various airlines in each alliance use very different and incompatible systems", such fact creates difficulties for us to find awards.
    The Airlines should make the systems COMPATIBLE. Everything can be integrated online, IF they wish. Not doing so - whatever the allegedely reason - the consequence is that we suffer finding what we want.

    3) On one line you said "c) See returning award inventory for eleven months??? Have you actually thought about this?"
    On another line you CONTRADICT yourself saying "Rule of thumb .. either book early or wait till pretty much the last minute".

    That is EXACTLY what I want: BOOK EARLY.
    However, instead of searching day by day, or month by month, depending on the "system" I want a Search Tool, provided by the Airlines themselves, to HELP me find the awards.

    That is what I call TRANSPARENCY!

    It is a nonsense to me that the airline itself does not allow to search awards and upgrades with the details Expert Flyer does, but it allows the third company (EP) to use its data.
    Why? To my understanding, just to make it more difficult to find and use awards/upgrades.
     
  12. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,219
    Likes Received:
    61,755
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Alas, if only the rest of the world interpreted things that way. But they don't. Writing in all caps on a message board like this one is shouting, whether you want it to be or not.

    How much are you willing to pay for that? The systems are compatible in that reservations can move between them. But beyond that there is no obligation for every airline to be able to sell seats on all others online. And it can be quite expensive to make that work. There is a lot more to it than just pointing the computers at each other and saying, "This is the US Airways inventory; go search it."


    Searches cost the airlines money. Keeping a real-time database of all available award seats active and current is not a smart use of their money.
    EF is, in many cases, paying the airline to access that data. It is measured in fractions of pennies but the numbers can add up over time. That's why you pay for a membership to use EF. I suppose the airlines could sell it directly as well but that seems unlikely to happen anytime soon.

    Many airlines now have month-long search results available. That's already a lot of information to share. Even the most flexible passengers rarely care only about that the route is available rather than just any time in the next 11 months. There is a cost/benefit analysis that the airlines (and consumers) have to consider when implementing these systems.
     
    gabrielgsp and newbluesea like this.
  13. gabrielgsp

    gabrielgsp Silver Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    152
    Status Points:
    325
    Well, consider it this way. I am not shouting, but I do have the right to, and the others have the right not to like it.

    I am already paying for my ticket, that includes the right to earn my miles, and therefore, the right to use them, and for that, the airline has - in my point of view - the obligation to make things smoother to their customers.
    I am not willing to pay a single cent more.
    Everything costs money. The time I lose making searchs also!
    When things are coneccted via computers, they do not cost necessarily as much expensive as it seems.
    But actual cost figures will be never shown.

    Making things more difficult to loyalty programs members is a way of disrespecting them

    I do care! About the route, and about availability in the next 11 months.
     
    Newscience and Eloy Fonseca Neto like this.
  14. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,219
    Likes Received:
    61,755
    Status Points:
    20,020
    It is not a "right" at all. You should probably move past that view of reality before trying to make sense of things.
    So, how much are you willing to pay to recoup your time?

    Do you have any experience working in this industry? If not you should probably stop pretending you understand it.
     
    newbluesea likes this.
  15. Eloy Fonseca Neto
    Original Member

    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

    Messages:
    843
    Likes Received:
    1,024
    Status Points:
    870
    My friend, perhaps in the US is not a right, but gabielgsp is from Brazil, and there, according to the law, miles or points are a right, if the airline or any other company offer a loyalty program. Maybe that's why you're finding hard to understand him! Regarding experiencing in the industry, he might have none, but that doesn't mean he can not offer his point of view, suggestions or claim to make things better for all of us! The ones who could say it won't work are the airlines itself, but for that I'd expect for then to give us a good reason for it!
     
    Newscience and MX like this.
  16. gabrielgsp

    gabrielgsp Silver Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    152
    Status Points:
    325
    1) I DO have the right to use my miles, once compliying with the program rules.
    2) Do YOU work for any airline, once you seem to be backing them up all the time?
    3) Show me the actual figures of the COST of sharing with passengers the information about awards/upgrades, and we can continue talking.
    4) I am not pretending anything: It is a simple fact: Cost is one thing, PRICE is another. Did you know that?
     
    Newscience, MX and Eloy Fonseca Neto like this.
  17. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,219
    Likes Received:
    61,755
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Are you suggesting that Brazilian law includes a right to redeem points on any flight at the discretion of the customer. I'm betting not so much.
     
  18. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,219
    Likes Received:
    61,755
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Ahhh...compliance with the rules. Of course. And who writes the rules?

    You are not being denied your "right" to use the miles. You simply appear to not like the rules. That's quite different, isn't it?

    Not currently, but I've had some moments consulting on stuff like this. And I'm hardly backing them up so much as suggesting that what you are asking for is unreasonable, unfeasible and far too expensive. Moreover, forcing the airlines to incur those expenses will actually be bad for consumers. Passengers are going to pay for it.
    How many flights/routes/days? United operates more than 5000 daily flights every single day of the year. Maintaining and publishing real-time data on 1.7 million annual flights, even if only a small fraction of a penny per query, adds up to huge costs over time.

    Plus there's the part where none of the airlines have a competitive motivation to make such a move.
    Sure. And value is yet another thing.

    The data you want is available. And it isn't even all that hard to get to. You want it even more accessible. I think that's bad for business for the airlines and ultimately bad for customers. Driving up airline costs to meet the needs of a very, very select few who aren't offsetting those costs sufficiently is not good for anyone. Even those who are demanding the expanded access.
     
    gabrielgsp likes this.
  19. Eloy Fonseca Neto
    Original Member

    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

    Messages:
    843
    Likes Received:
    1,024
    Status Points:
    870
    That's not what I said! Don't bend my words please! In Brazil according to the law, miles or points of loyalty programs are your property! Now of course some airlines makes it hard for you to redeem them, which lead to a lawsuit filed against them and we are waiting the decision of the proper authority to see how it goes, but Azul, onde of our major airlines offers a programs with no Blackout dates, but their points work as money, and you use then to buy your ticket according to the rate! And I think in Brazil will prevail this system! It's only a matter of time!
     
    Newscience, MX and gabrielgsp like this.
  20. gabrielgsp

    gabrielgsp Silver Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    152
    Status Points:
    325
    1) Show me the rules, I will read them, and accept or not. If I accept, I will comply with them.
    Airlines create rules with the right to CHANGE them in the middle of the game, generally, worse for passengers.
    That is the easiest thing in the world!
    It is not a matter "I do not like the rules". I do not like those that create rules and THEY do not respect them, and change, creating problems for me! And "me" are the MILLIONS (not a "very select few") of passengers that hold billions of miles difficult to use.

    2) Sure, airlines have thousands of flights daily.
    They "maintain and publish real-time data on 1.7 million annual flights" for every flight to be sold, because that interests them.
    So it seems very easy to do the same with awards and upgrades. And I have the right to think it is not too costly. But that does NOT interest them. But it of MY interest, the paying passenger, the reason of existance of any airline.

    3) Of course I wish "data more accessible". But only me??

    4) I respect your view that it could be bad for business, but I disagree that it could be "ultimately bad for passengers".
    Fares are not formed based on airline costs. They change daily based solely on a few people minds. Go up and down. One airline makes a promotion, another makes too. One ends, the other too. That resembles much more a cartel than free competition.
    A fare GRU/MIA is offered sometimes for double the price than GRU/Europe, connecting in MIA.
    There is absolutely nothing to do with "cost". How can a fare double the distance costs half the price on the same initial flight, in the same airline?
     
    Newscience, MX and Eloy Fonseca Neto like this.
  21. newbluesea
    Original Member

    newbluesea Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,678
    Likes Received:
    4,728
    Status Points:
    2,570
    Oh boy could somebody please remind me what the original topic of this discussion was?:rolleyes:
     
    Newscience, gregm and gabrielgsp like this.
  22. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,219
    Likes Received:
    61,755
    Status Points:
    20,020
    After which you acknowledge that you've read the rules and you don't like them. One of the rules is that they make them and they have the right to change them. You seem pretty upset by that. So you don't like the rules.

    So, show me a site where you can query the fare on a city pair for a full year at a time. It doesn't exist. The queries cost money and computing time to process. You may choose to believe that the costs are small enough but I don't believe that meshes with the reality of the situation. Also, access to the data comes at a cost to the 3rd parties; the airlines get to charge for queries made against their systems. They don't get to recoup the costs on award bookings as OTAs don't have access to process the queries. As to the reason the airlines exist, it certainly is not to provide seats for award redemption.

    Sure they are. Not linearly on a per-mile-flown basis, but they absolutely are driven by the underlying costs the airlines incur. If fuel prices go up so will airfares on average, for example. If crew or catering costs go up those are also included in the overall calculations of fares.

    We're not talking about individual route fare where competition and other market forces also come in to play. We're talking about on average and across the system as a whole. And increased expenses to the airlines are nearly universally passed through to the passengers.
     
  23. gabrielgsp

    gabrielgsp Silver Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    152
    Status Points:
    325
    1) I recognize my comment was missing a few words, which I imagined were implicit: Show me the rules "that are stable and fair"...
    Of course I do not like any rule that is not fair nor stable, which are the case of mileage programs, that in fact have only one rule: Airlines can change it whenever they want, and damn the passenger!
    Am I alone and everybody else likes it?

    2) You are correct about a fare query, even paid, for a city pair in a full year at a time.
     
    Newscience, Eloy Fonseca Neto and MX like this.
  24. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,508
    Likes Received:
    2,161
    Status Points:
    1,200
    IMO Miles and points are 'gifts' for loyalty or patronage. Some see them as bait. I claim no divine right to earn them, or entitlement, but I sure do enjoy them. Change the rules or take them away tomorrow and I would be upset, bit it wouldn't be the end of the world. The process to redeem miles and points may be intense at times, but one again, a necessary evil.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
    Newscience likes this.
  25. Steven Schwartz
    Original Member

    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    2,195
    Status Points:
    1,270
    My computer must be broken. I signed on to MP but somehow I think I ended up on FT!

    Let's all take a deep breath. It's all very frustrating. I have well over 1,000,000 air miles and there are now very few places to use it for First and getting Business is not the gut it used to be. But we're here to help each other - right? And I guess sometimes we simply need to vent. Once again, I urge everyone to respond the same way they would if the person was sitting across the table from you. What a concept!
     
    flyforawg, gregm and Newscience like this.

Share This Page