Expert Flyer current status

RooFlyer

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Nov 12, 2012
Posts
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I was an EF user in the past, but I let it go abt 2020 (for obvious reasons). It was sold in 2018 I recall and few were looking forward to that.

I'm looking to take it up again, but browsing various threads, I see issues here and there with specific airlines but in general not much comment at all in threads with EF in the title.

I'd be grateful if people could contribute any particular limitations or problems (or positives!) with the service presently, to judge its usefulness for particular likely flight usage.

Is the Mobile Edition better for being on the go? I do note that on their web site, the 'Mobile Edition' is good for BlackBerries! :eek: Is that a good or bad sign?

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Joined
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I've been using ExpertFlyer for quite some time now (including pre-merger) and would say that for the most part the functionality from pre-merger remains, albeit I don't recall them ever adding any new features. I've had seat alerts set throughout the panorama and they fired off when conditions were met. There are some occasional hiccups that have occurred during 2020 to present, much of which have been resolved. For instance, ExpertFlyer did not show Aeroplan award availability in the months after Aeroplan launched their new program. Checking today, I see that they are now showing business saver again (I availability):
Screen Shot 2022-05-18 at 07.39.47.png

More recently, I noticed EF has some issues fetching BA award data, hopefully that will be resolved soon:
Screen Shot 2022-05-18 at 07.43.17.png
My recommendation would be to consider subscribing if you found value in EF in the past and certainly if you plan on booking many flights down the track. As it presently stands this Kangaroo has booked 15 trips through early next year and is making full use of what ExpertFlyer has to offer. YMMV

-RooFlyer88
 

dajop

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 1, 2002
Posts
13,590
Have been using it regularly for years and still as good as it was. I believe at one point displaying DL flights was an issue, but now appear if you put DL into the search.

FT has a good discussion and wiki about what is working or not (usually it seems award availability is the main issue.).



The mobile version is pared down (eg doesn’t have +/- 3 day search, can only look at single day), but the desktop version is accessible from the mobile version and entirely useable on a mobile device, although may need to zoom in for some things.

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OATEK

Established Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Posts
4,914
I have continued with my subscription, and not found any difference since the take-over. Like @kangarooflyer88 I have mainly used for seat alerts, and also for loadings and seat maps.
 

Mike Barouche

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2017
Posts
22
Hello, I'm hoping someone can give me some guidance. I have just taken out a premium membership with ExpertFlyer for the month and am setting up some alerts for next year. Can anyone tell me the difference between;
First - Flex Award/UpgradeP7
First - Saver & Partner AwardsD0

I assume Flex Award/Upgrade is the one I want to find business class availability. Is that right? Are there any tips/tricks to setting up alerts?

Thanks in advance.
 
Joined
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Hello, I'm hoping someone can give me some guidance. I have just taken out a premium membership with ExpertFlyer for the month and am setting up some alerts for next year. Can anyone tell me the difference between;
First - Flex Award/UpgradeP7
First - Saver & Partner AwardsD0

I assume Flex Award/Upgrade is the one I want to find business class availability. Is that right? Are there any tips/tricks to setting up alerts?

Thanks in advance.
Which airline?
 
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For most airlines First saver & partner awards refer to the First class awards that cost the least number of points to redeem. Most airlines make a couple of seats available with every flight for such award redemptions (usually 2-4 but could be more depending on the airline). If you are booking with Hawaiian points, you'll have access to Flex Award/Upgrade and Saver/Partner Awards. If you are booking with a Hawaiian partner, only Saver/Partner awards will be available.

For Hawaiian specifically, first class is generally what we would call business class here in Australia (Yankees still call domestic business, First class). What ExpertFlyer is telling you is there are no saver seats available but there is several flex awards available. If you are redeeming on Hawaiian you should see those seats appear, but if booking on a partner like Virgin, those seats won't appear since they can only access First - Saver.

In terms of finding availability, do one-way searches only, focusing on the flights which do show availability. In ExpertFlyer there is a field you can toggle beside the desired date that lets you look a week at a time (+- 3 Days):

Screen Shot 2022-06-01 at 21.40.01.png
Performing that search will give you a week's worth of results at a time, and you can adjust the dates until you find a week where there is availability:
Screen Shot 2022-06-01 at 21.40.45.png

One thing I should note is business class to Hawaii is amongst one of the hardest routes to secure tickets for, particularly at saver rates. Everyone wants to travel in style to Hawaii (including yours truly having come back a couple days ago). You should see what airlines you can redeem your points for with the frequent flyer points you have. For instance, holding Qantas points you can redeem for Qantas (the obvious choice) to Honolulu from Australia, but many folks forget that Fiji Airways is also a partner and there may be awards there as is Japan Air and American.

In terms of setting the alerts, you just click the exclamation mark beside a flight you'd like to take on the far right, and then specify what availability you want to be notified of:
Screen Shot 2022-06-01 at 21.43.37.png

I must warn you that airlines don't regularly release award seats, so if you're banking on an award seat appearing tomorrow it ain't gonna happen. You'll want to have alerts set up for multiple dates in the year when you can travel and just sit on it hoping for an alert to appear:
Screen Shot 2022-06-01 at 21.45.29.png
Hopefully that answers your questions.

-RooFlyer88
 

Mike Barouche

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2017
Posts
22
Thank you @kangarooflyer88 that's really helpful.

It's now starring me in the face that I need to search 'partner awards (D class)' to use my velocity points on Hawaiian Airlines. I have heard that it's near impossible to secure Business Class seats between here and Hawaii so I thought I'd try expertflyer as a different strategy. I was motivated by Peter Fryer's success that he spoke of in the recent podcast espisode 81 and I am trying to do the same for my family. A bridge too far??

Is it just Business Class seats on Hawaiian that are difficult to secure or are Economy Seats also rare? Do you know the fare class / code that I need to select to set up an alert for Economy? Is there a fare class for their Premium Economy (Comfort Plus) product?

It appears there's different amounts of availability between the 'awards & upgrades' search and the 'flight availability' search. Could you please explain the difference? Does the latter just breakdown availability by segment?

Thanks for your guidance. Much appreciated.
 

VPS

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Apr 2, 2011
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Showed me an inbound international flight had been cancelled when Jetstar considered I didn't need to know....
damned demanding customers out there that want to know whether their flight is running or not - so unreasonable 🤷‍♀️
 

OATEK

Established Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Posts
4,914
I was down the back of J for QF1 in a few weeks, as it was booked solid. Set a seat alert in EF and got a message that seats were available further forward and snapped them up straight away.
 
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