Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Who is ExpertFlyer.com?
ExpertFlyer.com is an online service of Expert Travel Services, LLC. We are a privately held corporation registered in the State of New York. We have contracted directly with two GDS services to access airline information. We are not a booking engine or ticket broker and do not sell airline tickets. ExpertFlyer.com is designed to offer information about air travel to anyone who wants or needs access to the vast array of air travel information in an easy to use form that is otherwise not readily available.
Isn't the same information on ExpertFlyer.com available elsewhere on the web?
Yes, some of it is and some of it isn't. But we believe that it is not all available in one place, with 24/7 access and in an easy to use, airline independent, graphic form. We also give you access to the information without having to go through the process of having to actually book a ticket, as may be the case with some booking sites. ExpertFlyer.com can be accessed from any computer with Internet access and does not require any specific software to be downloaded. You may also find that some information is not available on ExpertFlyer.com that may be available on a specific airline's web site.
Why are there links on your site to other travel related sites? Are you affiliated with them?
We have no business ownership or personal affiliation with any of these sites. We provide the links on ExpertFlyer.com, which appear as a new window or tab, as a courtesy to our subscribers to help them with their travel planning.
Is there a Mobile version of Expertflyer.com?
Yes there is, and it can be accessed via a number of different addresses:
  • http://www.expertflyer.com/mobile
  • http://mobile.expertflyer.com
  • http://m.expertflyer.com
  • http://expertflyer.mobi
The same search tools that are available on the regular version of ExpertFlyer are available on the Mobile Edition for Premium subscribers. If you have any issues or questions about using it, please make sure to let us know via the Contact Us link on the bottom of every ExpertFlyer Mobile page.

Seat Alerts® Questions

How often do Seat Alerts check for availability?
We have a proprietary algorithm that varies the polling frequency based on several factors, including how far away the departure date/time is.
Why are some Seat Alert options not available for my flight?
For ease of use, you can chose from the Any Aisle Seat, Any Window Seat, Any Seat, Any Exit Row Seat, or Any 2 Seats Together options that will automatically select all of the applicable seats for you. If there is an Available seat that falls into one of those categories, the option will be grayed out.
How long will it take for a Seat Alert to find a better seat?
A Seat Alert may or may not find a better seat before the departure of your flight. Many factors such as how many people cancel their ticket or change their seat assignment can affect how long a Seat Alert may take to find a better seat, if at all. We cannot guarantee that a Seat Alert will always find a better seat, however it will keep trying up until the departure of the flight.
Why does a Seat Alert have to be created by looking at a live Seat Map?
To create a Seat Alert, ExpertFlyer first displays which seats are already available on your flight. This is to ensure that a Seat Alert isn't created for a seat that already exists. For example, you wouldn't be able to create a Seat Alert for "Any Window Seat" if there is already a window seat available on your flight.
How many Seat Alerts are included with each ExpertFlyer subscription level?
Free Account: 1
Basic Account: 4
Premium Account: 30 (Flight & Seat Alerts combined)

For all account types, additional Active Alerts can be purchased for $.99 each

The complimentary Seat Alert for a Free Account only includes the Any Window Seat, Any Aisle Seat and Any Seat options. The Any Exit Row, Any 2 Seats Together, and Select Specific Seats options will incur an extra charge. Any additional purchased Seat Alert, as well as Seat Alerts for Basic and Premium users, includes all alert options.
What does the Active/Notified/Expired Alert status mean?
Active - Seat Alert is actively searching for a better seat.
Notified - Seat Alert was successful in finding a better seat and the user was notified.
Expired - The departure date of the flight has passed, however a better seat was not found.
What is a Paused alert?
If your subscription is downgraded or cancelled and the number of non-paid Active alerts exceeds the limit allowed by the new subscription type, all non-paid active alerts will be moved into a Paused state. While in this state, the alert is temporarily inactive and will not locate availability. You must reactivate these alerts manually. Note that paid alerts will not be paused. For example, if you have 4 Active Alerts in a Basic Account that is downgraded to a Free account, all 4 alerts will be Paused where you can reactivate one for free.
Does the amount of Available or Occupied seats on the Seat Map correspond to the amount of available or sold tickets?
No, the Seat Map just shows which seats have been assigned to ticketed passengers or not. There may be tickets sold to passengers who have not yet been assigned a seat. In addition, some airlines don't allow seat selection until 24 hours before departure which will result in many more Available seats then are available tickets.
Does the amount of Available seats on the Seat Map correspond to the available Award or Upgrade inventory?
No, the Seat Map just shows which seats have been assigned to ticketed passengers or not. Frequent Flyer Award and Upgrade inventory is restricted by airlines to a portion of available seats, so an Available seat on a Seat Map does not mean it is available for an Award or Upgrade. To search for Award and Upgrade inventory on a flight, use the Award & Upgrade search tool in the ExpertFlyer Basic or Premium service.
Does a Seat Alert keep checking for more seats after I am notified of a better seat?
No, once a Seat Alert finds at least 1 seat that meets your alert criteria (or 2 seats together if that option was selected) then the alert will go into the Notified state and not search for any additional seats. You can easily choose the Resubmit option to tell Seat Alerts to check for additional seats if needed.

Navigating ExpertFlyer.com

Why do I have to log in again after I am idle on your site?
As a security measure, ExpertFlyer.com will automatically log you off if you have no activity on the site after 45 minutes.
When I click on a link to lookup a code or click on a code to find out what it stands for, nothing happens.
Since those features display their information in popup windows, make sure a pop blocker isn't running on your computer that could interfere with the ability of ExpertFlyer.com to display that information.
How do I edit a saved query?
Click on My Saved Queries and click on the Edit button for the saved query you wish to edit in the left hand column. Change the parameters of the query and then click Save or Save and Search.

Retrieving Travel Information

How do I purchase tickets based on the fares I see on ExpertFlyer.com?
You would purchase the fare by either contacting the airline directly or going through a travel agent and asking for the specific Fare Basis or Fare Class. Remember to check the availability of the Fare Class in the Flight Availability tool to make sure that the fare you wish to purchase is indeed available.
ExpertFlyer shows availability for a specific fare bucket (e.g., "Q"), but there isn't a corresponding fare listed. Why not?
Usually, it is because you see a fare class listed for a flight, but you cannot book it because it's not available on the routing you are flying.

For example, there may be a fare class available from A-B-C ('N' for example) but that fare class may not be bookable from B-C. It may show as available, but that's only to accommodate people flying A-B-C in that fare class. If you're just trying to go from B-C, it won't be bookable even though it shows as available.

Also, advance purchase requirements and other fare restrictions may be a factor. If N shows available, and that particular N fare has a 21 day advance purchase requirement, you won't be able to book if the dates you want to travel are outside that window.
Why are the Fares and Availability on separate screens, wouldn't it just be easier to combine them?
The Fare Information and Flight Availability results are on separate screens on purpose. What you gain is the ability to see every fare and what you can do with it, not just the cheapest fare. Sometimes you may not want the cheapest fare as it can be to restrictive, non-refundable, or without the ability to change your itinerary without paying a penalty. Also sometimes the cheapest fares aren't upgradeable using miles or points on a given airline or cost more to upgrade in terms of miles and co-pay required then a more expensive fare. If the results were shown on the same screen then you wouldn't be able to view the in-depth level of information that ExpertFlyer has to offer.

Also, remember that the Fare Information tool shows you what the published fares are, regardless of the availability of the fare. So after you perform the Fare Information search you would then do a Flight Availability search to determine which flights have availability for the Booking Class (if no Booking Class is specified, use the first letter of the Fair Basis Code) of the Fare in question. Then you know which flights you can buy that specific fare on, as long as you satisfy the requirements of the Rules of the Fare.

Generally speaking, if you're just looking for the cheapest priced non-refundable ticket in coach, just go the airlines own website and let them tell you what it is. If you're looking for a more expensive ticket (i.e. one that's refundable) then you would use ExpertFlyer to figure out what the best fare is for you.
Why are Flight Availability results for the same flight sometimes different when combined with other flights?
This is called Married Segment logic, where airlines can change the availability of a flight based on what other flights it's paired with. Also called Journey Control.
What is meant by a "seat map" and how many airline seat maps are available?
Presently, there are seat maps for about 130 different airlines that show what particular seats are occupied or vacant for a particular flight on a particular day. You can view the list of supported airlines here. This is not a generic seat configuration guide. This information comes from the airlines and not all airlines that participate make known the seat maps for all flights and/or classes of service.
Why can't I find my airline/airport/fare class code on the code lookup pages? Does that mean you don't support it?
All of the code lookup tools contain information that is accurate to the best of our knowledge. If a code is not listed on a lookup page it does not mean ExpertFlyer.com doesn't support it. If you know a specific airline, airport, or fare class code to be valid please go ahead and use it in your query and then please e-mail customer service with the information so that we may correct our lookup pages.
How do I retrieve hidden Award and Upgrade classes?
You may see available hidden Award and Upgrade classes by using our Award & Upgrade Availability tool. You can view the list of the award and upgrade classes we support by clicking here.
Which airlines do you show award and upgrade classes for?
You can view the list of airlines by clicking here. Please note, this is just the list of airline we support the special award and upgrade classes for, we support searching for regular availablity classes and fares for over 400 airlines.
How do I see any Routing Rules for a fare?
To view Routing Rules for a fare, click on "View Routing" next to the fare listing.
Why do I see greater availability for a class than there are seats available shown on the seat map for that cabin?
Sometimes seats are blocked for airport assignment at the day of the flight. On our map they will show as occupied when it's really just held for the gate agent. On certain routes an airline will hold one or two seats for airport assignments.
Why do I see more seats available shown on the seat map then there is Flight Availability for a class?
Sometimes seats aren't assigned for all ticketed passengers ahead of time. A seat map should never be used as an indicator of fare/ticket availability.
What is the Purchasing City parameter for on the Fare Information query?
The Purchasing City tells the system from where you plan on purchasing your ticket. This is important because sometimes airlines can make different fares available for a given flight depending on where the ticket is being purchased.
Why is it when I select "Non-Stop or Direct Flights Only" I still get results listing flights with connections? Shouldn't they be filtered out?
If a city pair has no non-stops or direct flights on the date(s) selected, then any connecting flights will be shown.
Why do I see an airline "YY" in some Fare Information results?
The YY airline is a generic term meaning that the fare is a generic IATA fare. IATA is the International Air Transport Association and posts fares into the reservation systems that airlines have the option of using or not. Click on View Rules to view the details of the fare and remember to contact your airline to find out if they offer the fare.
How often do Flight Alerts check for availability?
We have a proprietary algorithm that varies the polling frequency based on several factors, including how far away the departure date/time is.
How do I search for Around the World (RTW) and Circle fares?
To retrieve the fares, just enter the same three-letter airport code for both the Departing Airport (your first point of departure) and the Arriving Airport in the Fare Information entry screen. Also, you may specify the airline in the alliance from whom you want to purchase the ticket using the Airline Code box. Up to three airlines may be specified and they can be from different alliances. In addition to displaying the fare, we provide all published routing and purchasing rules and restrictions.

Account/Billing

How do I reinstate an ExpertFlyer.com subscription that I had previously cancelled?
Log in to ExpertFlyer.com with your existing account and follow the reactivation instructions. Your subscription will then be reactivated and set to renew on the next billing period.
When I try to login, it says my account has been locked out. What does this mean and how do I get back in?
An account becomes locked out when a wrong password is used to try to login too many times. To unlock your account, or if you forgot your password, please send an e-mail to .
I just changed my membership plan, when will my new plan go into effect?
Any membership plan change will take effect when the current one expires, at the end of your current monthly or yearly billing cycle. Logon to ExpertFlyer.com and click on My Account to see when your current billing cycle ends.
How do coupons get applied to my account when I signup for ExpertFlyer.com?
When you redeem a coupon on ExpertFlyer.com, its discount will be applied to the first billing cycle of your service, either your first month, or your first year. Subsequent billing cycles will be billed at the standard rates.
What is the overage charge per query for Basic accounts?
The overage charge is $.05 per query.
How do I make sure I don't get charged if I want to cancel within 5 days of signing up?
Log in to ExpertFlyer.com and click on "My Account" from the left side menu bar. Then, click the Subscription tab and set the Type to "No Renewal" and then click Save. Now your subscription will not renew at the end of your 5 day free trial. Please note, if you do not do this, and you are charged at the end of your 5 day free trial, there will be no refunds. Please see our 5-Day Free Trial and Refund Policy for more details.
How do I cancel my ExpertFlyer.com subscription?
Log in to ExpertFlyer.com and click on "My Account" from the left side menu bar. Then, click the Subscription tab and set the Type to "No Renewal" and then click Save. Now your subscription will not renew at the end of your current billing period.