In life you win some, you lose some. Or as of late in the case of ExpertFlyer, you temporarily win some and then lose them faster than Kanye West can finish a Jimmy Kimmel interview.
Earlier in the month I posted about how ExpertFlyer began displaying British Airways award space. While I don’t value the ability to search British Airways award space on ExpertFlyer all that much (given that American’s website is rather useful for doing that for an entire month at a time), I did value the ability to set availability alerts. As I explained in that post, you could use ExpertFlyer to set alerts for award space, so if/when award space opened up in a particular cabin on a particular flight, they would send you an email alert letting you know. That’s hugely valuable, and actually for the airlines ExpertFlyer supports, the greatest thing I derive from the service.
Well today ExpertFlyer posted the following message on FlyerTalk:
Sorry folks, it looks like BA have once again hidden their award inventory from the reservation systems. We have been hearing from customers about the benefit they have derived from the information during the brief time it was available, so we would suggest that you contact BA and express your interest in the information again being made public.
Unfortunately this seems to be a continuing trend. Last month Delta pulled elite upgrade space from ExpertFlyer, while a couple of weeks ago a majority of Star Alliance airlines pulled out as well. Anyway, these are extremely frustrating developments as a consumer. It’s getting tougher to justify an ExpertFlyer membership when these benefits are being taken away (not that it’s ExpertFlyer’s fault), and I’m certainly not a fan of the airlines being less transparent.
But to some small degree I can also see the airlines’ perspective. Are they making it too easy on consumers when you just receive an email when award space opens up?
What do you guys think?