expat92
Topic Author
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:03 am

The benefit of computer travel agents over humans is..?

Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:22 pm

that they can offer some really ridiculous routings :roll: . (I know; I have too much time on my hands) but I love checking out these routes that in the past when we had human travel agents would never have been offered up as a realistic route. The best that I have found for the UK keeping it domestic is NCL-SOU-EDI-LCY for flying NCL-LCY. That's a nine hour journey for a one hour direct flight. For those who don't know the UK here is an image:

Image

I suppose that I have 2 questions; a) when writing these programs does no-one think to add a filter to block these options.

and more importantly b) does anyone have any similar unrealistic route options for their country keeping it domestic?

I think I may have to book this route just to see if any human being queries it at any stage. I suppose with online booking and online check-in nowadays, people will only look at each leg in isolation.

expat92
 
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chunhimlai
Posts: 424
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:03 am

Re: The benefit of computer travel agents over humans is...........

Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:33 pm

Kick the “Add nearby airports” button. DONE
 
RJNUT
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Joined: Thu Dec 30, 1999 1:58 am

Re: The benefit of computer travel agents over humans is...........

Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:34 pm

when only lowest fare is used as the parameter, yes, these can be offered up through computer generation . A travel agent would not offer up as there is such a thing as "lowest LOGICAL" fare.. Offering this up in person would make one seem literally crazy
 
MalevTU134
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Re: The benefit of computer travel agents over humans is...........

Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:42 pm

While far from being domestic, Turkish Airlines' website has offered me GRU-PTY-IST-EZE (the last leg has a stop at GRU!), when I queried about GRU-EZE.
 
DoctorVenkman
Posts: 125
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:10 pm

Re: The benefit of computer travel agents over humans is...........

Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:05 pm

One could theoretically book EWR-DEL-JFK on Star Alliance using United and Air India which would be about 30 hours of flying to go 20 miles. Might still be quicker than going across town during Friday rush hour....

If we're keeping it domestic, you could fly BOS-HNL-JFK on Hawaiian airlines. That's probably the most out of the way domestic routing in the world.
Last edited by DoctorVenkman on Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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zkojq
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Re: The benefit of computer travel agents over humans is...........

Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:06 pm

Not domestic, but I very nearly booked Nice to Malaga via Copenhagen a few weeks ago with SAS. It was a bloody good fare too! Unfortunately I don't have time for the Malaga trip now, but I absolutely would have flown that.
First to fly the 787-9
 
Fuling
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 4:41 am

Re: The benefit of computer travel agents over humans is..?

Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:23 pm

I recently looked at flights from DEL to HND. MU had two options. 1) DEL-PVG-PEK-PVG-HND, or 2) DEL-PVG-HND. The DEL-PVG and PVG-HND flight was the same for both options, yet option 2 had a 13 hour layover and was $105 more!
 
axelesgg
Posts: 196
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:37 pm

Re: The benefit of computer travel agents over humans is..?

Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:28 pm

This thread reminds me of this fellow who flew "domestic" in the UK:
https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/ne ... 37836.html
Fly Draganair
 
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usdcaguy
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Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:41 pm

Re: The benefit of computer travel agents over humans is..?

Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:55 pm

Southwest Airlines will propose some interesting routings. For example, they have one schedule that involves flying ATL-SJC with a stop in OAK before changing planes in SNA for SJC. That's enough to get me to take the nonstop to OAK and take the train down. Another one is ONT to ISP via MDW and FLL or MCO. Years ago, some friends and I took Southwest and had a routing from HOU to SJC that involved four stops via AUS/ELP/PHX/LAX. We had a LOT of drink coupons with us and sat in the back, where they still had seats facing each other. Needless to say, it was a party to remember.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: The benefit of computer travel agents over humans is..?

Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:35 pm

If I may come at this a different way:

In answer to the OP's question, no one has told the computer this is illogical.

The computer is analyzing only the lowest cost factor. "Shortest Distance" is not a filter the computer has been given, so therefore, it did its job.

Back in late December, 2001, I was looking at USAirways for a short visit to Atlanta from San Diego. Most of the routings were SAN-PIT-ATL, but two with identical itineraries caught my eye: SAN-PIT-GSO-(small NC airport I can't remember)-ATL. For the same price, I could change planes three times!

I half-considered it; however, time was limited, and if something went wrong, I'm stuck. And it was winter, which increased the chances of weather delays. But for a split second...
 
Airstud
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Re: The benefit of computer travel agents over humans is..?

Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:55 am

I wonder if, in the pre-Internet days, did the airlines know about us airline nuts and TTN's.

Obviously these here newfangled interwebz brought that crowd out of the woodwork, and I've assumed the airlines shrugged and decided to go ahead and take our money without editorializing about whether we're nuts or not; it's win win: they get revenue, we get our trips.

But it's curious to think about how much the airlines knew about the existence of a.nut types and what sort of decisions they made - if any - about marketing to them, before yon Internet came round and made it possible and sensible to do so high-volume-like.
Pancakes are delicious.
 
FlyHappy
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Re: The benefit of computer travel agents over humans is...........

Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:23 pm

MalevTU134 wrote:
While far from being domestic, Turkish Airlines' website has offered me GRU-PTY-IST-EZE (the last leg has a stop at GRU!), when I queried about GRU-EZE.


please don't tell me the relative cost of that routing was anywhere near a realistic flight?
 
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XAM2175
Posts: 1156
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:25 pm

Re: The benefit of computer travel agents over humans is..?

Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:16 pm

Had this one served up to me once:

Image

Note that I've got it sorted by earliest departure time, but even still...
(GC distance of 1470 mi compared to 292 direct :p )
 
Birdwatching
Posts: 3705
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 10:48 am

Re: The benefit of computer travel agents over humans is..?

Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:31 pm

IMO this thread mixes up several different things. Some posters report what routing you could, in theory, fly that brings you not very far but via a very far off transfer point. This is not what the OP meant.
Some report what insane routing an airline's or OTA's booking engine will offer you (at a high fare, but nonetheless on the same ticket). This could be the OP's intent, but he didn't specify whether or not the price matters.
What's most interesting for us aviation enthusiasts is tricking the system to make one of these short-distance flights via a far transfer point be priced like a short flight, putting us in error fare territory.
I remember how the famous Alitalia error fares in the early 2010s were exactly this. You'd book a domestic flight in Italy for I believe it was €80, mine was Milan to Bari, and the routing was via Rome. But if you scrolled down a bit further past all the Rome options, there were itineraries that flew you to Tokyo first, then to Rome, then to Bari, simply because the computer thought it was a valid routing. I got instant silver status from that.
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