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Quirky SIA Internet Booking Engine

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cssaus

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I've been looking at SIA's internet booking engine for an economy class flight SYD-HKG-SIN-SYD departing March 17.

If I first look at their schedules page for SYD-HKG I get as one of the options the following:

SYD-SIN SQ220 dep: 08.30 arr: 13.30
SIN-HKG SQ892 dep: 15.25 arr: 19.10

However, when I go into the booking engine itself I get given 9 different options, none of which include the above flight combination, instead it only shows me an SQ flight that leaves at 17.00.

Therefore, it would seem that I can't book online the flights that I really want to do and instead would need to call up and book over the phone:?: :?:
 

oz_mark

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Maybe several reasons, but for example, it could be that the flight is full.
 

auriga

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SQ 892 operates three days a week.
Mar 17 is Sat, so it doesnt fly.
 

cssaus

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auriga said:
SQ 892 operates three days a week.
Mar 17 is Sat, so it doesnt fly.
You're right, I was looking at the wrong day on my desk calendar :oops:

However, I think there's still something weird with SIA's booking engine.

On Wed March 21 I want to fly SQ859 HKG-SIN departing at 13.30pm & arriving at 17.20pm. Then on Friday March 23 I want to do SQ219 from SIN-SYD departing at 9.40 & arriving 20.15pm.

Plugging into their booking engine a mult-stopover itinerary with the correct dates and times, it kicks out 9 options to chose from. One of the options shows the SYD-HKG flights I want to do (SQ220/SQ892) as well as the HKG-SIN I want to take (SQ859) but doesn't include an option that includes the SQ219 flt.

Just in case SQ219 might be full on March 23 I entered a one-way SIN-SYD booking and it did bring up the SQ219 flt.

It would seem that for the itinerary I'm interested, the booking engine stops at 9 options and doesn't include all the potential flights even when you enter a departure time that is pretty much the same as the flt departure time I'm after.
 

oz_mark

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While I do get SQ219 when I choose 09:00 am as the flight time, it strikes me that this engine would be better if it let you choose each flight independant of the others. The way it is set up now giving you nine sets of options doesn't really give the same flexibility
 

cssaus

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oz_mark said:
While I do get SQ219 when I choose 09:00 am as the flight time, it strikes me that this engine would be better if it let you choose each flight independant of the others. The way it is set up now giving you nine sets of options doesn't really give the same flexibility
That's my conclusion. Therefore, if I want the flexibility of being able to select from all the eligible flights that the schedules show, I'm going to have to book on the phone rather than try and use online booking facility.
 

auriga

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The inability to pick each individual flight is real annoying. Hope they can do something about it!
 

Kiwi Flyer

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You can select individual flights by properly using the multicity booking option.

In your example I suspect the day flight SIN-SYD has used up all the availability for through fares and remaining availability is restricted to higher ex-SIN fares. This could be due to booking class on your fare or more complex through restrictions within booking class. It isn't unusual and SQ is particularly good at maximising yields. If either of these situations apply booking by phone won't help, unless you are prepared to pay a higher fare that matches the availability on that flight.
 

cssaus

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Kiwi Flyer said:
You can select individual flights by properly using the multicity booking option.

In your example I suspect the day flight SIN-SYD has used up all the availability for through fares and remaining availability is restricted to higher ex-SIN fares. This could be due to booking class on your fare or more complex through restrictions within booking class. It isn't unusual and SQ is particularly good at maximising yields. If either of these situations apply booking by phone won't help, unless you are prepared to pay a higher fare that matches the availability on that flight.
I was using the multicity booking option.

The problem was that from SIN-HKG it wasn't showing the SQ892 flt at 15.25pm, only the later flt for any of the 9 options shown. However, if I try a dummy one-way booking on the same day, SIN-HKG it does bring up the SQ892 flt at 15.25. SQ220 gets in from Sydney at 13.30 so there can't be an issue with connect time.

Maybe it is SQ attempting to fudge yields by directing the reservation for the SIN-HKG flt to a later departure.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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cssaus said:
Maybe it is SQ attempting to fudge yields by directing the reservation for the SIN-HKG flt to a later departure.
No fudging involved I think. Sounds like no availability for the flight you wanted. As I said above it could be either the booking class (eg only available for full fare) or some other restriction (eg only available for ex-SIN).

I see that happen from time to time, just as sometimes I see the reverse - no availability for ex-SIN but availability if connecting through. It just depends on what has already been sold on the flight and what revenue management think they can sell (without being too oversold).
 

Kiwi Flyer

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No I haven't changed my mind. In your case it appears straightforward revenue management rather than a fault of the engine.
 

cssaus

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Kiwi Flyer said:
No fudging involved I think. Sounds like no availability for the flight you wanted. As I said above it could be either the booking class (eg only available for full fare) or some other restriction (eg only available for ex-SIN).

I see that happen from time to time, just as sometimes I see the reverse - no availability for ex-SIN but availability if connecting through. It just depends on what has already been sold on the flight and what revenue management think they can sell (without being too oversold).
Well, just for an exercise I entered a dummy multi-city booking but this time selected business class for all the sectors and out of the 9 options presented, none of them included an SQ220/SQ892 pairing. In fact neither did a dummy booking in First Class.

I don't think the non-display of a SQ220/SQ892 pairing has anything to do with availability, it sounds more like a limitation ("bug") with the on-line booking engine. Enterting a dummy one-way booking from SIN-HKG for all classes shows SQ892 as a viable option.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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I disagree. Still sounds to me like availability on that flight for pax through connecting is gone and only available for pax paying the higher ex-SIN fares.
 

cssaus

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Kiwi Flyer said:
I disagree. Still sounds to me like availability on that flight for pax through connecting is gone and only available for pax paying the higher ex-SIN fares.
Did a check with the KVS Availability Tool:

SYD Sydney Kingsford Smith NS AU [YSSY]
HKG Hong Kong Int'l HK [VHHH]
SUN 18 Mar 2007
Carrier Flight From Depart To Arrive A/C St Availability
--------- ------ ---- --------- ---- --------- ---- ---- -----------------------------------------
SQ 220 SYD 08:30 SIN 13:30 744 0 F4 A4 C4 D4 Y9 M9 H9 K9 Q9 B9 N4 X4 W9 E9
-> SQ 892 SIN 15:25 HKG 19:10 772 0 F4 P4 A4 Z4 C4 J4 D4 S9 Y9 E9 B9 M9 W9 Q9
 

serfty

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Just because availabilty in a fare bucket exists does not mean you can book it if the fare rules don't allow it.

e.g.

I'm travelling to HKG at easter and am away '3 days'. As a result I cannot book the available V class since that requres a 4 day stay. I had to pay a little more for M class.

:idea: The same thing can happen with routing restrictions.
 

auriga

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Kiwi Flyer said:
No I haven't changed my mind. In your case it appears straightforward revenue management rather than a fault of the engine.

I don't quite understand what you mean.
In my case, my desired combination of flights did not appear as one of the nine options that it came up with. I was able to get it by using a travel agent. Obviously it was a limitation of the booking engine.

At that time, you agreed it was annoying.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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auriga said:
I don't quite understand what you mean.
In my case, my desired combination of flights did not appear as one of the nine options that it came up with. I was able to get it by using a travel agent. Obviously it was a limitation of the booking engine.

At that time, you agreed it was annoying.
:confused: Do you have 2 different handles? The OP cssaus posted about inability to get the desired flight out of 9 options, and now you are saying the same thing.
 

oz_mark

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Kiwi Flyer said:
:confused: Do you have 2 different handles? The OP cssaus posted about inability to get the desired flight out of 9 options, and now you are saying the same thing.
I think auriga was referring to the thread on FT.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Ah okay - bit slow on the uptake.

In the linked thread I agreed a busy/error message was annoying (check what I quoted).

To not return flights due to no availability sounds to me like revenue management. The kind SQ is very good at.
 
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