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How do you search class and seat availablility on flights?

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JamieB

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Hi All,

I am in the process of booking some flights as follows
ADL-SYD-LAX-YVR-LAX-SYD-ADL
I have asked for them to be booked in V class so I can request an upgrade to business. I just wanted to see how many seats are still available in Business because I assumed if there were still seats available in Business the chance of an upgrade would be much better?
I am obviously mainly interested in the SYD-LAX legs.
I checked the seating availability with http://www.flyaow.com/classcwt.htm
the thing I don't understand is the total number of seats available as shown are far less then the total number of seats on the flight, can anybody shed some light on this ?? (if you understand my question)
I want to fly out on the 10/11/12 of March and return on the 28/29 of march.

Also just on aside I have added up a total of 150 sc for the flight is this correct?
 

JohnK

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Re: How do you search class and seat availablility on flight

JamieB said:
I checked the seating availability with http://www.flyaow.com/classcwt.htm
the thing I don't understand is the total number of seats available as shown are far less then the total number of seats on the flight, can anybody shed some light on this ?? (if you understand my question)
I want to fly out on the 10/11/12 of March and return on the 28/29 of march.
The Flight availability tool thread explains a little more.

NM said:
The number next to each fare letter is the minimum number of seats available in that fare bucket. The number seen is determined by what the airline wants your see. The number is never more than 9. Common maximums are 9, 7 and 4. So when you see these, it could mean there are 100 seats for sale in that bucket, or it could mean only 4.

I like to use the KVS Availability tool, but for the full access version you need to make a contribution to the developer of the tool. I did so and find it very helpful. And since it was a once-off payment, I don't have to keep paying is as the case with ExpertFlyer (which is another excellent tool).

Using Sabre, KVS is showing the following for QF51 26th December:

J9 C9 D9 I0 U0 Y9 B9 H9 K9 M9 R9 L9 V4 S0

So that would imply to me that there are indeed only 4 V seats currently for sale.

For 4th Jan 2006, QF52 SIN-BNE is showing:

J9 C9 D9 I4 U0 Y9 B9 H9 K9 M9 R9 L9 V9 S7

When you look at these numbers you have to keep in mind that fare buckets don't necessarily relate directly to specific seats. So J4 D4 means there are at least 4 business class seats available, and they are offered for sale as either J or D depending on the conditions you are willing to accept.
NM's explanation hits the nail right on the head re class availability.

JamieB said:
Also just on aside I have added up a total of 150 sc for the flight is this correct?
Correct by my calculations also.
 

Maca44

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I am not sure what bucket the upgrades business seats come from with QF, but expertflyer for the 10th, 11th and 12th March does not show any "U" award business seats available for those dates.

There are D class seats available but I seem to recall from previous threads that these are discount business class, and not upgrade seats. So, it would appear that if upgradable seats come from the U (award) bucket, you might be out of luck with an upgrade. Would the experts please correct this if wrong.
 

serfty

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Maca44 said:
I am not sure what bucket the upgrades business seats come from with QF, but expertflyer for the 10th, 11th and 12th March does not show any "U" award business seats available for those dates.

There are D class seats available but I seem to recall from previous threads that these are discount business class, and not upgrade seats. So, it would appear that if upgradable seats come from the U (award) bucket, you might be out of luck with an upgrade. Would the experts please correct this if wrong.
Wih Qantas, "U" seats are award business class. (Z=First Award, X/T=Economy award). Also, domestic whY -> Business upgrades come out of the "U" class. Before the May '05 changes this was the case for International travel as well. (+ "Z" for International Busines -> First.)

However, I am not sure International Upgrades have used the Z/U classes since the May 25 changes. The presence of Z or U availability may indicate a lightly loaded cabin, thus making the chances of an upgrade more liekely; but I get the feeling that any such uprades are now based more on unsold seating massaged with Yield Management Voodoo!
 

NM

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serfty said:
However, I am not sure International Upgrades have used the Z/U classes since the May 25 changes. The presence of Z or U availability may indicate a lightly loaded cabin, thus making the chances of an upgrade more liekely; but I get the feeling that any such uprades are now based more on unsold seating massaged with Yield Management Voodoo!
That is correct. Any U/Z that remains available is very likely to revert to upgrade waitlist clearances for international flights. But having U/Z available at the time of applying for an international upgrade does not guarantee it will be cleared. You join the waitlist and the waitlist is processed the day of (or before in some cases) the flight based on FF status and the time you joined the waitlist.

So U/Z on international flighst are only used for award bookings now.
 

JamieB

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So just to clarify
The seats to check for business/first upgrades are U/Z fares

But if there are any other unsold business/first class seats the day before these will become available for upgrades?
 

NM

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JamieB said:
So just to clarify
The seats to check for business/first upgrades are U/Z fares

But if there are any other unsold business/first class seats the day before these will become available for upgrades?
Not really. U/Z availability just shows there are award seats available in business or first class. These are not use for upgrades any more. They used to be used for upgrades before last years program changes.

There is no way to tell the availability of upgrade seats for international flights. Even if there are U/Z seats available, all upgrade requests go on a waitlist that is services when the final seating allocations are done either on the day of the flight or the day before the flight.

So all you can do is look at the number of unsold seats (ie the number of J or F seats) and that will give an indication as to how many upgrades may be forthcoming. But you have no way of knowing how many people of higher priority are ahead of you on the waitlist. Note that a CL joining the waitlist the day before the flight will slot in ahead of all the Platinum member that may be have been on the list for months. Similarly a late joining Platinum member guzumps all Gold members no matter how long they have been on the list.
 

JamieB

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Thanks for the information !!

...so if you have flexibility it's better to take flights where quite a few seats remain unsold
 

NM

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JamieB said:
Thanks for the information !!

...so if you have flexibility it's better to take flights where quite a few seats remain unsold
indeed that would be the case. But predicting such things can be difficult. Generally avoiding the popular days for business traveller is a good start, so that means avoid Sunday, Monday, Friday and Saturday flights.
 

swissbignose

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Just a follow up question.

Looking at ExpertFlyer, a flight I'm taking has J8 availability, but looking at the seat map, all but two of the seats are marked as "taken".

How would that be the case?
 

serfty

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swissbignose said:
Just a follow up question.

Looking at ExpertFlyer, a flight I'm taking has J8 availability, but looking at the seat map, all but two of the seats are marked as "taken".

How would that be the case?
On some routes there is a lot of movement by J PAX between flights. It could be that Qantas Yield management are expecting some of those bookings to be cancelled/moved.

How far out from the day of the flight is it?
 

markis10

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serfty said:
swissbignose said:
Just a follow up question.

Looking at ExpertFlyer, a flight I'm taking has J8 availability, but looking at the seat map, all but two of the seats are marked as "taken".

How would that be the case?
On some routes there is a lot of movement by J PAX between flights. It could be that Qantas Yield management are expecting some of those bookings to be cancelled/moved.

How far out from the day of the flight is it?
Or they could be taking into the account the availability of seats in F cabin as well, so if demand exceeeded supply they simply op upg pax. Overselling of seats is still common practice.
 

swissbignose

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The flight is QF29 this Saturday 18/02.

J appeared half full a couple of days ago, but all of a sudden the seats filled. It's indicating J9, and A5/F5 for F.

I'll keep an eye on it...

Now to get out of 38A while waiting for an upgrade! :)
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Seat map is a poor indicator of load.

Seats could also be blocked to ensure QF has ability to keep families or groups seated together etc.
 

NM

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Kiwi Flyer said:
Seat map is a poor indicator of load.

Seats could also be blocked to ensure QF has ability to keep families or groups seated together etc.
And on codeshares, often entire blocks of seats are "allocated" to the codeshare airline.
 
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