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Trick it!

Discussion in 'Mileage Runs/Travel Hacking' started by kraven, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. edenri
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    edenri Silver Member

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    Ahh, this is the part I am most curious about. I've recently had some great help from a FT'er , who I believe is also a member here, but the art of finding a dump is what I really would like to know.
     
  2. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Hey folks, can we take a break from the discussion to see if anyone can offer me an assist?

    March 25-April 2 (plus/minus a day on each end)

    IAD-VCE

    Junior staffer in the office needs a ticket to visit family. Prices coming in roughly $800, about half of that is YQ.

    Usual suspects not helping me on any carrier.

    Thoughts/suggestions? TIA!
     
  3. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    Swiss seems to be pricing it slightly better, at $743 total, though that is on a codeshare
     
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  4. The Traveller
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    The Traveller Silver Member

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    Gleff may have just given us a partial solution: post if you're looking for something specific and someone can pm you with more info. This seems to have a minimal amount of exposure, although it wouldn't be as helpful to those just looking for a good deal...
     
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  5. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Yeah, I do seem some slightly $800 options but with such a big fat and juicy YQ was hoping to get it under $700...
     
  6. giggs
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    giggs Silver Member

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    Perhaps Gleff is on to something here, if people ask some specific questions regarding a route need, then it can be a way for the newbies (like me) to gain some insight.

    Reading the FT thread made me a little lightheaded, I want to learn the nuances, but if I spent as much time as some of the others trying to know everything, there would be no time left to travel.
     
  7. edenri
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    edenri Silver Member

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    I have no clue how to pm, anyways. This may or may not help. 3/24 leaving Snookie's house then leaving vce on monday 4/4 (seemed to be cheaper) and arriving back in IAD $621 on ITA using the recently killed fruit. yq=138

    On a side note a more experienced one may do better. Whenever I tried to come home from vce on sunday, it would throw me on a flight with a different airline that does not take yq. This would jack up the base fare so there was no savings at all. All I could figure out was to change the day coming home, seemed to help I guess.
     
  8. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    It is definitely an art as far as I've been able to tell. If I can figure out the PM system here, I'll send a tip, but I didn't want to post too much here that would upset everyone before we have some consensus about how much we can share (and I think some basic instructions would be good). Desert Rose posted a FAQ in a separate thread that may be useful. If we can keep everyone happy, the thread will work much better.
     
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  9. Erasmus
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    Erasmus Silver Member

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    Phew. Just read through the entire thread and I must say I'm bummed out. :(

    Certainly doesn't feel friendly and welcoming to me, and I'm a ten-year FT veteran who's read the full (at the time, anyway) FD thread several times. I never managed to figure out most of the codes, and was hoping the fresh start would provide an environment where folks might actually be able to learn a thing or two. I would strongly support, for example, explaining the details of how old, dead deals worked to allow folks to start to get into the swing of things. The Airfare Watchdog posting, for example, seems like a great discussion point.

    Let's be honest here: any "dog" that is going to spend the time to troll the thread will have invested the time to learn to decypher the code. The real threat is Google picking it up and indexing, which only requires a very light level of obfuscation to avoid.
     
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  10. nime01
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    nime01 Gold Member

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    I've tried reading the entire thread on FT, but gave up after about 4k posts... Having to spend a couple of days getting through it all is simply not worth it, either in time spent or money saved. I'd rather work 2 hrs extra to make up for the savings.
     
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  11. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I may annoy some people here with the amount of detail I’m going to post, but I’ll do it anyway because (1) it’s been posted elsewhere in more scattered form and (2) I’m not actually revealing the 3Xs or other secrets that make the tricks work. Nothing I post here will help a person book a FD unless they go out and find it themselves. The dog went too far by actually telling people what 3X to use. I am merely showing them how to find it. If this helps a few newbies figure out how to trick, too, and contribute what they find, I think it will be a good thing going forward. All I ask is that you please remember to code your posts. You will only hurt yourselves and others if you make it too easy for others to duplicate your itineraries without putting in the effort.

    The mods can always pull this before MP exits beta. I will not mention the great search engine I use in deference to Aktchi, who’s posts I appreciated reading on FT, but I’m sure most of you already know what it is.

    Basics
    • You can only dump certain airlines, and only for international trips.
    • The fares that can be dumped are often specific to certain city pairs (A-B-A for the RT, and X-Y for the 3X). They are often direction specific (e.g., you cannot do B-A-B with X-Y or A-B-A with Y-X).
    • Sometimes multiple 3Xs will work on the same RT, and sometimes multiple RTs will work with the same 3X.
    • The amount removed by the 3X will vary for different RTs.
    • Sometimes tricks will work for several cities on the same continents. For example, you can say C1-C2 to refer to flights from North America to Europe. Convention dictates that C1 is North America, and you name the other continents left-to-right, top-to-bottom.
    Step 1
    Find a RT with low base fare and high fuel surcharge (usually termed YQ). Use a month-long search to find a low total fare, and then double check the fare construction to confirm that it has these two features. You cannot do anything to lower the base fare or taxes, so they should be minimal. Flying out of LHR, for example, is a bad idea because of the high departure tax.

    Step 2
    Find a 3X with a low base fare and taxes. It is usually going to be a short, one-way, international trip on another alliance. There are exceptions (may not be short, may not be international, may be the same alliance, etc.) but the further you deviate the less likely you will find one.

    It might be good to try areas with lots of airports near each other at the same time by doing a 300-mile search. You can search for a flight from X,Y,Z to X,Y,Z for example, and it will return X-Y, Y-X, and all the other permutations. This is also a good way to find which direction actually works as a 3X when you get to Step 3.

    Step 3
    Try combining your 3X with your RT in a multi-city search. You will need to pick specific dates, so hopefully you remember which ones work. It would also be best to specify the airline or alliance for your RT to avoid a time-out while the search engine works. (It only runs for 1 min, so if it doesn't find your flights in that time, it may not perform the FD.) Don’t bother specifying the airline for the 3X as often the fares for different airlines are very similar and you don’t know which one is actually going to work.

    Step 4
    If you are having trouble, you can be creative. For example, you may find that you can dump IAH-LHR-IAH, but you live in SEA. You could try a positioning flight to get to and from IAH, or you could try an open jaw (OJ) such as IAH-LHR-SEA so you only need to position yourself one-way. You can do the same thing in reverse, IAH-LHR/CDG-IAH to avoid the departure taxes at LHR. You can also try a 1X if it works right for you. But a 1X must be flown before you begin your RT, and unlike a 3X, if you skip your 1X, your whole itinerary will be cancelled. Finally, you do not have to dump a RT. Some people will try to dump C1-C2-C4, and then book a separate ticket home from C4-C1.

    Step 5
    Book your fare. The particular search engine we all like doesn’t allow you to book tickets, so you need to find someone, not the airline, who will actually book the ticket. This usually involves searching multiple travel web sites to see which one actually lets you buy the ticket. When you find one, you should post that, but it should also be coded. And remember, don't call anyone to reserve seats or try to change a flight. It will kill the deal.

    Share everything. Code everything. Remember that! Do not ruin a deal for those who did the long hours of searching for it by exposing it to freeloaders.
     
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  12. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    I may be the only one who thinks this. Sorry if it offends anyone. But this thread is already 9 pages long without any new insight. Can we start a trick it thread afresh and name this as "Should we have a trick it thread?"

    I think a lot of the problems we are having can be solved with a wikipost feature at the top of the thread. The thread wiki could list the code names of the working 3X's/tricks and a collection of the cheap deals using the various those tricks. That way newcomers are told what to look for and what could be the potential benefit. But to use them, they have to put in a bit of legwork and search for the relevant posts in the thread.
     
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  13. bluesky
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    bluesky Gold Member

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    Many, many thanks for posting this.

    I found the trick-it thread on FT to be so convoluted and incomprehensible that it seemed to be designed to drive everyone away, not just those looking for shortcuts to cheap fares.

    This is a much more reasonable approach - and will probably result in more, and better, deals being found.
     
  14. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I agree with you. But first we need to set some policies and agree on what will be posted to the newcomers. I am trying to do this here, so I hope that can be counted as some kind of new insight [​IMG] As it is right now, this thread's name is not really appropriate to what we're discussing. But I think we are discussing what needs to be discussed, and a new thread can be started when we exit beta.

    I would like to, in the future, post a list of 3Xs, but I will hold off for now. Not the actual airports, but a list of 3X names, which people might be able to use as clues when searching for the 3X. A wiki format would be great for keeping such information consolidated.
     
  15. edenri
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    edenri Silver Member

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    I agree. I had suggested very similar things a few pages back. The trick it thread be cleaned on a regular basis to avoid too much fluff, a new one would be just as well. I'm also all for a wiki, I find them super helpful when threads become just too long to follow or you simply want to find the info you need. However, this all may be a bit too much for the mods, I really have no clue what goes into keeping a forum in tip top shape.
     
  16. SocialAdept
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    SocialAdept Silver Member

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    I'd like to extend my thanks to Scottrick for his guide (pt. 2). I'll regard this info in the way that the gauntlet has been thrown, it's now people's own responsibility to pick it up. While there's still lots of legwork and deciphering to do I think there's now enough info on the table to get of the ground. I know I'll give it an evening or two with Keanu/Neo's world and the auxilaries. Should I run into a wall I'll be back and fess up.
     
  17. I am guessing this thread will eventually get as secretive and cryptic as the one on FlyerTalk.
     
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  18. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I got asked a question about "3X" and thought I'd share the answer.
    • 3X means "third strike," as in you fly A-B, then B-A, and then you skip, or "strike," X-Y.
    • 1X would be where you put X-Y before A-B-A, which is why you have to fly it. The X shouldn't really be there in that case, but people use it for consistency when describing which segment dumps the fuel.
    • 5X variations involve nesting two itineraries when maximizing a mileage run or taking a long vacation (A-B/C-D/D-C/B-A/X-Y).
    I don't actually know if 5X variations work better in certain circumstances where one has trouble with a 3X. I do know that 1X itineraries tend to be more successful, but they are problematic since you have to fly the entire thing.
     
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  19. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I'll try to make sure that doesn't happen. Even if I'm not a mod, I'll share what I can while following my "Share It/Code It" rule. And if someone breaks that rule, then I'll call them out on it (fair warning). So far I have lots of "likes" and no angry PMs, so I assume I'm not upsetting too many people.
     
  20. Fully agree. If there is going to be a secet society, then lets keep these types off discussions off the board. Have no problem with coding the info, it's the secret groups that are the turn offs.
     
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  21. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    I now know what an aneurism feels like after trying to make sense of what I've read so far.......
     
  22. aitchly
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    aitchly Silver Member

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    You have to click on the username and then 'start a conversation', so an m. pm is really a sac
     
  23. i'm trying to book the NYC-NRT fare ($683 ai before tricking) for my spring break, and can't seem to FD it at all - the 3Xs i know are not working. the FT thread implies this can be tricked at least 50% - can someone please PM me or drop a good hint as to which 3X will work? thanks!
     
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  24. Eorpa
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    Eorpa Active Member

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    Eh? This is worse than algebra!

    I think I kinda get what you mean, but the X-Y part doesn't really make sense. You would need to get to X before you get to Y. Unless you mean there's an ARNK in between A & X...
     
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  25. tzoom84
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    tzoom84 Silver Member

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    ARNK? Now I'm confused. Maybe a hypothetical example on A,B,C,D,X,Y. (I.e I'm not sure what or why X Y rather than D E)
     
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