How about club outsourced milage run and good price searches from WAS?

Discussion in 'BWI/DCA/IAD | Washington D.C. Area Airports' started by iolaire, Feb 5, 2011.  |  Print Topic

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How about club outsourced milage run and good price searches from WAS?

Poll closed Mar 5, 2011.
  1. This idea doesn't interest me

    21.4%
  2. I'd commit $10 per month to join a club like this for WAS

    50.0%
  3. I'd commit $10 per month to join a club like this in another area

    21.4%
  4. If this gets off the ground I'd like to be part of the leadership of the WAS group

    14.3%
  5. If this gets off the ground I'd like to be part of the leadership of the group in another area

    21.4%
  6. I'm feel there are serious issues with the idea and it will not work anywhere

    14.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. iolaire
    • Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

    This is an idea that I've been kicking around for a bit, but since I don't really do mileage runs - just weeklong cheap flights - I can not justify paying for it on my own.

    What if those of us in the DC area formed a club and hired web researcher on a site like oDesk.com to run flight searches for us overnight and report back the results? Then say after a day or two of private access (since we paid for the research) we would publicize any good options back here?

    It would require an upfront cost of paying the researcher as well as taking the time to train and retrain new researchers if they move on. Say $5 hour (competitive on the international market) * 4 hours per day = $610/month. If we had enough members of that club the cost could be fairly low on a monthly basis.

    We would need a club leadership with skills. I could create the website to collect data from the researcher and provide controlled access to the member base. I also could deal with the contractor and oDesk. A few people would need to put together the training materials - i.e. make sure they know all the tricks. We would need formalize the club legally since long term there is a good bit of money involved with dues and payments to the researcher so that would take another skill set... etc..

    The benefit to the membership would be someone doing the research overnight for best available fares for common time periods -> weekend same day/weekend runs and maybe weekend to weekend good price flights.

    Please open discussion on the topic and take the time to answer the poll. (set to close in 1 month).
     
    thegrailer likes this.
  2. gleff
    • Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

    Really interesting. Would need to blast email, maybe text, club members with really good results... If this was going to get off the ground for real I'd play. [​IMG]
     
  3. Misplaced Texan
    • Original Member

    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

    I like the idea a lot. If we did it, it would also be nice to have some resources dedicated to specific fare types in addition to just overall cheapest (which aren't that hard to find).

    For example, best UA/CO international W fares (upgradeable) would be cool. As would best premium cabin fares to each major region. Those seem to be harder to find and would be worth real investment.

    I'm not sure that my skill set fits any needed slots to get this thing going. But if there is interest and something I can do to help out, I'd be happy to.
     
  4. eap
    • Original Member

    eap Silver Member

    Interesting idea. While I am not particularly interested in the outsourcing the planning of mileage runs, I would be interested in doing them as a group. Misery loves company, right? :)

    As to Misplaced Texan's comment, I definitely see value to both "cheapest single day" runs as well as "cheapest upgradable long-weekend getaways to *". :)
     
  5. iolaire
    • Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

    Thank you all for your comments. The interest is a bit underwhelming so I think it’s best to think of it another way unless demand builds. I’ll come back with some more ideas later.
     
  6. Pizzaman
    • Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

    Give it a bit of time before you change direction. We're adding members in nice-sized chunks every day. I'm definitely in, and would probably consider putting up some money to help it get started.
     
  7. DCtrAAveler
    • Original Member

    DCtrAAveler Gold Member

    Sounds like a great idea. The art of the MR is something I'm still learning, so having the additional resources of a club structure with dedicated research would be nice. Anxious to see how the conversation and idea continue to evolve. Would there be a way to focus on certain alliances and/or airlines? I'm pretty much an AA/OW flyer at present, for example.
     
  8. techguru
    • Original Member

    techguru Silver Member

    Problem is everyone has so many different restrictions -- I think it would be a bit of a mess. Too general to be useful for many.
     
  9. WaterSki
    • Original Member

    WaterSki Silver Member

    Instinctively, I think planning mileage runs is a good part of the fun of this hobby. However, enlisting some outside help to root out good fares (i.e. cheap international W fares) may be worth considering.
     
  10. sunseeker
    • Original Member

    sunseeker Silver Member

    I am interested.
     
  11. thegrailer
    • Original Member

    thegrailer Silver Member

    I am interested.

    At the Chicago DO last year one of the folks was offering his services in this area. He is at Elitehelper.com (but I forgot his name). I am not soliciting for him here but it might be an option
     
  12. thetenken
    • Original Member

    thetenken Silver Member

    Interested!
     
  13. jhflau11
    • Original Member

    jhflau11 Silver Member

    I'd be interested too!
     
  14. iolaire
    • Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

    Everyone - it feels like there is some interest in my idea but maybe not a critical mass. So let me propose this concept:

    Rather than paying a offshore contractor to do the work - do you think that people would\ be willing to share their ITA (http://matrix1.itasoftware.com/cvg/dispatch) search results with a community like ours?

    I've thought about this and am thinking that maybe community sourced data would be best. My current concepts it that it would be achievable to provide users with a bookmarklet (little javascript for the browser) that parses the html if the search page and stores the key data back in another website - in a private fashion - but there probably would need to be user accounts, and maybe a point based system for submissions that controls how fast you see other people's new searches.. This would not result in someone doing all the searches you want, but you could quickly scan to see the results that others are finding - looking for gems for yourself that might not exactly be a gem for someone else.

    If a system like this was setup it could be used by the contract proposed in the first post for faster data entry.

    I'll be at the NYC event on Friday night and on Saturday if anyone wants to talk about it in person.
     
    thegrailer likes this.
  15. thegrailer
    • Original Member

    thegrailer Silver Member

    Sign me up. But one of the reasons I was interested in the original idea was b/c I have not been having much luck finding the good fares myself - how would your suggestion take that into account other than keeping folks from finding the same bad results asI do?

    Cheers and thanks for keeping this idea alive

     

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