ExpertFlyer is a paid subscription service that I use. Membership costs $99 per year, and as someone that’s searching flight availability in one form or another on a daily basis, I find it to be well worth the cost.
A vast majority of information found on ExpertFlyer is publicly available, though being able to access so much information in one place adds a lot of value for me. Then there are also some other unique features.
For example, ExpertFlyer allows you to set availability alerts, so if there’s not availability in your desired fare bucket, you can set an alert, and if space opens up they’ll email you. It’s worth noting that for award fare buckets this doesn’t work for all airlines. In the past it was super useful, because they displayed all Star Alliance availability, though that’s not the case anymore.
Still, I can set award availability alerts on a variety of airlines, including Alaska, American, Iberia, Qantas, etc.
How this relates to US Airways
Last night ExpertFlyer announced that they would now be able to display Award and Upgrade space for US Airways, which is great news.
As part of our continued partnership with American Airlines, we are pleased to announce that as of today ExpertFlyer now supports full US Airways Award & Upgrade searching and alerting. The addition of awards and upgrades from US Airways operated flights will complement the existing American Airlines operated award/upgrade data currently available to subscribers of ExpertFlyer. In addition Flight Alerts can now be created for award and upgrade inventory for US Airways operated flights.
The newly supported classes are:
O – First – Award/Upgrades, also complimentary Preferred upgrades into First
I – Business – Award/Miles Upgrade
J – Business – Upgrades into Business using Certificate upgrades for ALL applicable routes (not just PHL-TLV)
X – Economy – Award
This information is now available via the Award & Upgrade search tool.
As per American management:
“We are pleased that customers who choose to fly US Airways will now have the same service from ExpertFlyer that they have had for American Airlines flights,” said Cory Garner, American’s managing director – distribution. “This agreement provides another step toward a more seamless customer experience during the integration of our two airlines.”
We hope that you enjoy the new addition to ExpertFlyer.
-The ExpertFlyer.com Team
In practice, I think this is probably more useful for alerts and upgrades than for searching award space. The American Airlines website displays US Airways award space as well, and I find that interface a bit easier to use.
For example, using the calendar view on aa.com you can quickly see there are only a handful of dates in July with business class award space between Charlotte and Rome:
ExpertFlyer will give you the same information, but allows you to to be more specific on the search screen:
More importantly, you can also set an alert by selecting the box with the exclamation point on the right hand side.
This allows you to specify a particular fare class and number of seats, and then receive an email if additional seats are added to that bucket of inventory.
So if you were hoping to secure a second business class seat on this flight (which to be honest, isn’t likely to happen until a few days before departure, if at all), you could set an alert for additional I space.
I always like seeing features being added rather than removed, and this improvement will certainly benefit US Airways flyers. Kudos to American and US Airways for allowing ExpertFlyer to display availability, unlike Delta, which has taken the opposite approach.
(Tip of the hat to David)