ExpertFlyer Just Came In Clutch

The current climate sees traffic lights malfunctioning consistently, one moment green, the next, amber. Supposedly following science, in reality, it looks like the British Government is choosing the science to fit their political agenda. As such pretty much every flight is being cancelled or moved. If like me you are booked on some of these flights, your initial response may be anger or frustration, instead, use it to your advantage.

Preface

I am supposed to be flying out to Hawaii with my other half soon. Nothing has changed regarding the US’ entry restrictions to Brits, so whilst I have a multiple entry visa, the OH doesn’t and as such it’s a no go. A backup plan was needed just in case the US didn’t create a travel corridor with the UK like what has happened. That backup plan was Spain. No faffing around with needing vaccines or tests to get in, a country on the Amber list so you don’t have to pay £1750 to quarantine in a dive of a hotel, instead you can just go straight home and work from home whilst you quarantine.

I wanted to book Ibiza but economy flights were over £250 per person with BA. They weren’t much cheaper with Sleazyjet or Brianair and when you factor in being Gold status meaning you have access to the first-class lounges and all that comes with it you’ll pay a little more. Nonetheless, I wasn’t willing to pay that so I settled on second best which was Mallorca. For the uninitiated who associate Mallorca with Magaluf, Mallorca has some of the worlds most exclusive hotels in incredible locations. If you don’t believe me, just google Cap Rocat, St Regis Mardavall or Jumeirah Port Soller.

Schedule Change

The first image in this post shows BA informing me that they had cancelled the evening flight and moved us onto the morning flight. Due to there being more than 4 hours difference in landing time, the airline can be extremely flexible when it comes to changes.

Research

A quick look on Great Circle Mapper shows that there isn’t much difference in terms of nautical miles between LHR-PMI and LHR-IBZ and that IBZ airport is only 87 miles away from PMI. As most airlines have a policy to allow you to fly to a different airport if it’s in the same country and within a 300-mile radius of your original destination the signs were looking promising that I’d be able to change to Ibiza.

ExpertFlyer

With the odds in your favour that the airline will allow you to change your flights to where you want to go, they can’t change them if there’s no availability. In ExpertFlyer you set your route, in this instance LHR-IBZ with the dates (You can even select plus or minus 3 days if you want to be flexible). Choose the airline you’re flying with and in this instance, I selected directly as I know BA fly direct.

ExpertFlyer will then quickly search the airline’s inventory and display what stock they have available. Business-class, in this case, is J and C with Economy being Y, B & H. As you can see there are at least 18 business class tickets available and at least 14 economy class seats available.

Another neat thing about ExpertFlyer, if you click on the little seat icon it will show you the current seat map so you can see what physical seats are available for selection. This is handy if there are multiple flights on the same day and you would prefer a specific seat.

Knowledge Is Power

Now that you know that there is availability, you can contact the airline and put your request in to change. Rather than having them have to look to see what’s available, you can suggest specific flights with the knowledge they are available and thus making the airline staff members job easier and more inclined to help. It’s best to have a few flights in mind just in case, but other than that it should be a quick conversation with you getting what you want.

Outcome

The over £250 per person flights to Ibiza that I initially wanted but couldn’t justify paying that much have now risen to close to £900 per person, yes that’s still in economy! So I now have a set of return tickets for 2 people to Ibiza which should be £1800~ for a hell of a lot less than the original £500~ the airline wanted. This instance alone easily justifies the $99 annual subscription fee.

One day I’ll get to stay at Cap Rocat…

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