Why don't we ever see "fat finger fares" on US?

Discussion in 'US Airways | Dividend Miles' started by dcpatti, Feb 15, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. dcpatti
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    dcpatti Silver Member

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    Just curious :)

    If you check the forum related to "most EQM for the dollar" over on "that other website", there's really insanely good fares fares on UA, CO, DL, AA, some of the European airlines, etc. They pop up from time to time--- like UA selling B-fares ORD-SFO for $300 r/t around Christmas (but for travel well into 2011), or the current $193 a.i. to Copenhagen on DL. Some of these fares are so low that they've got to be mistakes--- someone fat-fingered the price, or put the decimal in the wrong place, or left out a number somewhere, or left out a fuel surcharge. They don't stick around long, that's for sure.

    My question: why do we never see stuff like this on US? Sure there were some nice deals during last year's Twitter promo, but I've never seen a Y/B anywhere for $300 on US. Are US data entry people that much more accurate? Or is it just that the folks on "that other website" seem to really dislike US, so nobody's looking for mistake fares on US?

    Bonus question: tips on how to find such fares would be appreciated. I know about using Expert Flyer and looking for good deals, finding alternate routings, and the FareCompare CPM calculator, etc, all the usual sources, but I feel like I'm missing a whole lot of what's out there. I usually search EF from a short list of origins and destinations, for example, so I'll never see a crazy fare from MCO, but there's too many airports for me to search them all by hand. If there's a better method, I'll gladly do it. Just not sure of how to get started. But I sure would like a Y/B-up to the West coast for $300 or a trip to Europe for less than that, if it's on Star Alliance (but normally the UA fares don't work for me because the positioning into ORD isn't cheap and I lose whatever savings the fare offers by just going to meet the plane). Even better if it's US where I can hope for an elite upgrade or use a CP certificate!
     
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  2. richinaz
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    richinaz Silver Member

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    These won't last and may not be fat finger airfares but I sure haven't seen anything close to this on US Airways.
    (I just got a few alerts for some PHX airfares to Europe.)

    $353 RT flight from Phoenix to Frankfurt (PHX-FRA) Delta


    $287 RT flight from Phoenix to Paris (PHX-CDG) Delta


     
  3. dcpatti
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    dcpatti Silver Member

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    And Delta NYC-Copenhagen is under $200 r/t a.i.
    I admit I don't monitor DL fares closely--- if they normally add a fuel surcharge, though, they might have forgotten it on this round of fares. That PHX-CDG is just a few dollars more than I usually pay US to take me DCA-LGA.

    I haven't looked at how much the fuel surcharge adds to the US fares lately but if there's little/no fuel surcharge, that's one reason we don't see mistakes made-- nothing to forget to add to the fare tables.
     
  4. MikeLaw
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    MikeLaw Silver Member

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    There have been some good mileage run fares on US, but it is less common than other carriers. Part of the reason does seem to be that the folks who seem to focus on scouring for these fares aren't US fliers. I also find that the UA fares frequently can be booked on US metal and I've done one or two when it makes sense for me.
     
  5. jupper
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    jupper Silver Member

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    I agree with MikeLaw, people aren't scouring for US prices a lot, plus I find that US also publishes more last-minute type fares which make MR'ing a but more hard to do. Then again, getting creative with routing is also an option, and a couple of years back got me some good deals on US. I've since moved primarily to CO (and thus now also UA), but some of my frequent stops are still best reached on US, although there rarely are really good deals out of say PIT across the pond or domestically... :(
     
  6. uva185
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    uva185 Member

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    They are bound to happen. I still remember the infamous $1.86 ART fare :D
     
  7. dcpatti
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    dcpatti Silver Member

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    Maybe we should challenge eachother to start scouring for some of these fares. Every time I start to look, I get distracted and I probably don't even have the best method out there :)

    Tips for finding them, other than spend all day on ITA site?
     
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  8. Sean Colahan
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    Sean Colahan Gold Member

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    Farecompare.com/flyertalk is one way. Surfing around the US site could be another. I like your idea about helping each otehr out with good fares. Pooling our resources and time for the better of the collective.

    btw...congrats on the iPad[​IMG]
     
  9. gpaya
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    gpaya Gold Member

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    Sure - mine a GDS with a supercomputer :)

    Without being able to monitor multiple fares simultaneously and track % changes due to previous state, you'll have to rely on the power of the crowd.
     
  10. dcpatti
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    dcpatti Silver Member

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    I've been meaning to use one of those keystroke emulator freewares to see if I can write a script that checks some of the flights I'm most interested in, but I never seem to get around to it. Maybe I'll play with that again. If I can get the keystroke emulator to run, the next question would be how to extract the results... but that's cart in front of horse at least for now.

    I'm a tech geek and I have access to lots of other tech geeks including a few really scary-good programmers so I don't mind "outsourcing" some stuff, once I get a handle on how to actually do it!

    PS thanks Sean :)
     
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  11. gpaya
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    gpaya Gold Member

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    You may only need to check it a few times a day - specifically when the fares are loaded. Now, what's the lage between fare loads and ITA display?
     
  12. sc801
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    sc801 Gold Member

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    We (at least this 'we') will be anxiously awaiting the arrivial of your new program :)

    And did you win an iPad?
     
  13. dcpatti
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    dcpatti Silver Member

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    Apparently I did win an ipad from a random draw in honor of this lovely new MilePoint site :D
    They gave away 4 today and are doing one more per day in March so hopefully some familiar faces will join me in iPaddery :D
     
  14. ArizonaGuy
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    ArizonaGuy Silver Member

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    I never win squat. And I'm sad that airfare just sucks right now save for the "fat finger" deals of recent weeks.
     
  15. nomflyer
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    nomflyer Silver Member

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    Congrats Patti!

    I think automating searches is a good idea. The tough part is thinking up how to do it! If I come up with anything useful I'm report it here.
     
  16. dcpatti - congrats on iPad. I think one of the reasons is the routing rules on UA versus what was on US. Until recently when UA started to follow CO a little bit more, they were very liberal with the number of stops and how you could get somewhere. This could really benefit the CPM. US always had tight rules. And of course no one searches for US.

    Cheers.
     
  17. sc801
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    sc801 Gold Member

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    Some of us do :) We prefer to fly US actually.
     
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  18. scubaflyer
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    scubaflyer Silver Member

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    I think the closest thing I have seen to some of the mistake fares is some of the crazy e-saver deals (and of course the crazy Twitter deals) that were put out there intentionally. I flew an e-saver from Pittsburgh to Maui (via PHX) for $108 each way (it was under 300 ai). The kicker was that I asked to be upgraded since I was Gold at the time (not remembering that Hawaii is not part of the UDU), and the agent apologized that the system didn't do it and put me right up front (both ways). I admit that the old 757 they run from PHX-OGG is not great, but sub 300 to Maui in F was cool :cool:.
     
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  19. nomflyer
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    nomflyer Silver Member

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    I must not have been paying attention, but I don't recall seeing this. Do they still have these e-saver/Twitter deals from time to time?
     
  20. dcpatti
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    dcpatti Silver Member

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    The e-savers are posted every Tuesday if I remember correctly, on the USAIrways.com website, and sometimes (but not always) sent via emal if you're signed up for those notifications. The twitter fares were awesome; it was a promo last spring or summer, and I got a $19 each way fare DCA-MSY although I was jealous of those who were going to Oslo and other locations super cheap. I would love to see US run a repeat of that promo. They've done other Twitter promos since then, some fun, some annoying, but none IMO as great as that first one.
     
  21. sc801
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    sc801 Gold Member

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    US has really fallen down on its social networking on Twitter. I'm not sure why they even bother now.... typically it is just an announcement of some sort. They don't even bother to reply to congrats or issues anymore.... or so it seems. Would love to see some Spring Twitter fares!
     
  22. scubaflyer
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    scubaflyer Silver Member

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    The e-savers are nowhere near as great as they were back in 2008/2009 (which is when I think I grabbed the OGG fare). You can occasionally find a decent fare to Europe or transcon, but they often end up being worse than competitor fares that are already out there. I do wish I would have grabbed some of the Twitter fares. I remember that DCA-MSY fare being posted on FT, but I missed it. In addition to the Oslo fare, there were also some incredible fares to Tel Aviv and Rio. I missed them both and then had to hear from several US fliers how they grabbed a bunch of them to take their family or large group of friends to each. It would be nice to see some of those again for sure.
     
  23. scubaflyer
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    scubaflyer Silver Member

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    You were my Twitter fare "connection" last year [​IMG]. So, if they do announce some awesome Spring Twitter fares, I hope you share the scoop. I guess I could just sign up for Twitter, too [​IMG].
     
  24. dcpatti
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    dcpatti Silver Member

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    US' use of social media in general is really behind the pack. I don't follow all the airlines on Twitter or Facebook but I do follow enough to see what others are doing. VS facebook page is really slick, nicely done, and almost feels like a full-blown website of its own; US facebook page has been updated with posts a few times in the last couple months but went probably 6 or 8 months without any input from US. JetBlue, DL, UA and AC have strong presence on Twitter, with AC and UA being more focused on deals/sales/promos, DL being more focused on assisting travelers, and JetBlue being strong in both areas; US runs an occasional promo and otherwise abandons the site. On neither outlet does US seem to be responding to anything; it's one-way communication, you can't start a thread on the US facebook page, and if you send US a tweet, 9 times out of 10 it never gets a response.

    Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay, and by not investing in a proper social media program, US is reinforcing their image that they're stuck in the past, outdated, and not engaged with their customers. US' IT department has been described to me as "stale, old, and in desparate need of new blood." That's coming from someone who has actually worked with their IT department, and has been to the datacenter, met the people, etc. Given the slow uptake on the social media campaign, I'm guessing the IT department has been given this project, when bringing in a specialist consultant would probably be a smarter investment. My employer (big IT company, you've probably heard of at least one of our products and may even own it) does exactly that, and the difference in our twitter/facebook/customer forum since we stopped trying to do it ourselves has been night and day. I hope US comes to this realization soon, because they're missing out on a whole lot of easy advertising (look at the way the "Buy up Preferred" tweet and facebook post was redistributed so widely, even if it was not the positive reaction the company had wanted) plus a totally new way to build customer relationships.
     
  25. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    With such spare service on US flights, no one gets fat fingers. Simple enough [​IMG]
     

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