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Expert Flyer – How to upgrade your seats

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Expert Flyer – How to upgrade your seats

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I’ve used Expert Flyer’s service before, and while I’m still not convinced it was worth my $9.99 a month for finding upgradeable seats – as with other free tools such as SeatCounter (which I talk about in this post) I can track the flights I need myself – I found it useful for other features, such as the ‘Fare Information’ that would give me more options for itineraries and carriers that a typical search engine wouldn’t find.

As I said, I’m still debating if it’s worth it or not, so I may give it a try again in the future.

For those that haven’t heard of their service, here’s a recent article on the Wall Street Journal with more details.

Stuck in a middle seat? Here’s a trick for upgrading

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Nov 16 2009 | By Scott McCartney

Can’t get the seat you want on an upcoming flight? Now there’s a waiting list, of sorts.

ExpertFlyer.com, a subscription service popular with hard-core road warriors, has added a feature that will alert you when a currently occupied seat you want opens up for a flight. If you want a specific seat, such as a bulkhead or exit row, you can get notice if it becomes available. If you are stuck in a middle seat, for example, you can sign up for alerts for any aisle or window seat.

ExpertFlyer.com

A screen shot from ExpertFlyerLike fares, seat inventory jumps around a lot before a flight departs. Sometimes airlines block seats and then open them. Other times people with reserved seats cancel or change flights. Seats open up as premium customers get upgraded. But unless you keep checking the seat map for your flight, it’s hard to follow. ExpertFlyer can now check for you on 84 different airlines around the world.

ExpertFlyer costs $4.99 a month for basic service, or $9.99 a month (or $99.99 for one year) for premium service. The seat alert function is available only with premium service. Two other nifty features that alert you when specific frequent flier award tickets and upgrades become available, or when a specific fare class such as discounted business class opens up, are also available only with premium service. The fare class and upgrade/award alert features work on only 22 airlines, but include Delta, American, Alaska and Hawaii in the U.S.

ExpertFlyer’s bread-and-butter service for heavy duty travelers allows users to peer into the booking inventory of airlines. ExpertFlyer lets you hunt for a specific fare class that may come with upgrade privileges, for example, but you have to immerse yourself in the arcane world of airline booking codes.

The growing number of alert tools available to frequent fliers can really help cut through the complexity of airline tickets. Yapta.com offers alerts on fares for specific flights you may be shopping, or specific hotels. FlightStats.com offers alerts on flight delays and cancellations. Airlines and larger booking sites are offering more and more, and savvy travelers are finding they can help. Share some of your favorites with other travelers in comments.

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