Need some help with Expert Flyer (or at least advice!)

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by garyst16, Feb 5, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    I am planning a trip to PVG later this year and have been checking pricing using ITA/Matrix. I found some decent rates in September. So I looked on Expert Flyer to see if there were SWU award seats available and found this:

    Available seats.JPG

    However, when I queried the AA seat map I found J wide open (less 2 seats).

    aa seats.JPG

    Can anyone tell me why Expert Flyer would show no availability for SWU awards?
     
  2. malikguy

    malikguy Silver Member

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    Gary, the issue is that the inventory defines the seat map but the seat map does not define the inventory. So it's hard to determine availability from looking at the seat map in of itself.

    C inventory and also U (mile sAAver business) are generally held back until closer to departure because AA wants to do the best they can to sell the seats for revenue; D, I, and J inventory.
     
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  3. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    Malikguy - I understand that seat maps don't necessarily reflect inventory, but 35/37 show open... my guess is they are holding them for sale, like you said...
     
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  4. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Which is exactly what they should be doing, no? ;)

    You'll likely have to wait list, but 99.9% chance of clearing. Don't sweat it.
     
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  5. ord_a380

    ord_a380 Silver Member

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    If you have some SWU's now, I would wait list them as you have a better chance of clearing early.

     
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  6. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    I'm not so sure that inventory defines the seat map. I was booked on a flight yesterday that had no change in the seat map whatsoever as it went from F7 to F6 to F4 to F2. An AAgent told me that as coach became more oversold, they held back seats for sale in F. So, I'm not sure it's possible to say anything definitive from either seat map or inventory, although if the seat map shows fully booked, that's probably a good indication that the cabin is pretty full.

    Sadly, this is the case on my next flight in a few days. It is F2 and the seat map shows only two open seats, one of the rare concurrences between the seat map and inventory, and unfortunately for me, a bad sign for my upgrade on said flight (still hopeful I can get one of those two seats).
     
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  7. malikguy

    malikguy Silver Member

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    Very true, but what I meant by inventory defining the seat map was the fact that you can better understand what is available by the inventory even though the seat map may or may not reflect the inventory numbers. So the seat map may show all available but if the inventory shows zero, there's nothing left. But, if you used the seat map to determine inventory, you would think that no seats have been sold even though tickets have in fact been sold.

    Clear as mud? Probably, lol. :)
     
  8. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    Sure. I think both seat map and inventory in isolation may not be reliable (but inventory of course is less unreliable than seat map). Clearly, seat map is likely to show as open seats that have been sold but not assigned. But I've been informed (and have seen) situations where inventory shows a cabin as full that is actually open, due to seats being held back. So, I'm not sure that either can be said to define the other.

    Perhaps a truth table with columns for inventory and seat map would be best.
     
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  9. malikguy

    malikguy Silver Member

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    I agree, here's a good example of what you are talking about.

    untitled.JPG

    Any guesses on the inventory for this seat map?

    ... F7 P3 A0

    Definitely some held back seats. :)

    With that being said, I would say the conclusion to all this is that you can only get a decent idea of the current situation based on seat map and current inventory levels combined, but ultimately, only the airline can see the whole picture.
     
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  10. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    Sorry, I'm not seeing how you conclude that some seats are being held back. The seat map showed 2/16 occupied and the inventory showed F7. Typically, inventory maxes out at 6, 7, 8, or 9 depending on the specific GDS and query (most often 7 when querying AA on EF). So, I'd say in this case, both the seat map and inventory are in agreement: the cabin is wide-open.

    Yes, absolutely.
     
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  11. malikguy

    malikguy Silver Member

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    I suppose it depends on your definition of "wide open". My definition of "wide open" is F7 P7 A7 which is normally what a seat map like this would indicate. YMMV
     
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  12. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    Fair enough; the reduced P and A availability would suggest that either some of the F cabin has been sold, or that the airline anticipates selling them. But the fact that at least 7 seats remain for sale in F is a good sign for potential upgrades.
     
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