The flight I want (an Alaska Airlines flight from EWR to SEA, fwiw) on the day I am travelling is sold out. So I have booked a much less desirable, though refundable ticket on another flight.

I see notification apps that will tell me if a SEAT opens on a flight (to change to a better seat), but how can I get a notification that a ticket (any ticket) is avail on the flight I want?

(I already asked Alaska air, and they do not offer such a feature/service.)

Tried so far:

  • Skyscanner app on android: Nope. Does not let me even see a sold out flight, so cannot monitor a specif flight on specif day.

  • Expertflyer Flight Alert: their mobile app is horrible slow, clunky. Not clear if it has hope. Web site: They only do searches by cabin, and the "search for any avail seat" was not enabled option for coach cabin.... AND to set up two searches (one for first class cabin, one for coach) costs $0.99

  • Can you not get a waitlisted reservation on the flight? (You will have to do this by phone.) If AS won't even waitlist you in the Y bucket the flight is probably already expected to be overbooked by many passengers. Airlines are normally happy to accept Y waitlisting because they can take your money and move a discount passenger onto a different flight. – Calchas Jun 23 '16 at 23:10
  • @Calchas I did not explicitly ask for that. I did call and ask if I could get on the flight and they did not offer any options. – Jonesome Reinstate Monica Jun 24 '16 at 18:56
  • @Calchas I just called AS and asked directly if they would sell me a Y ticket on a sold out flight, and they said "no way" – Jonesome Reinstate Monica Jun 24 '16 at 19:10

Expertflyer's Flight Alert function allows you to receive an alert if a given fare class becomes available on a specified flight. Expertflyer is a subscription service but does have a short free trial period.

The Flight Alert form allows you to create a Flight Alerts for a particular flight. A Flight Alert will periodically check the class code inventory of the specified flight to see if the inventory level has changed to satisfy the alert parameters. If so, ExpertFlyer will notify you as to what the new class code value is.

The most flexible and expensive coach fare is Y, and the most expensive and flexible first class fare is F. By placing an alert on these two fare classes, you would receive an email if either became available.

There may be a free service that performs this monitoring too, but I can't currently think of one.

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  • Are you sure? See my note above on this app! – Jonesome Reinstate Monica Jun 23 '16 at 21:08
  • @samsmith I think you were looking at the seat alert. That isn't the same as an alert for a given fare class becoming available. At the moment it's presumably F0 Y0 (or another waitlisted availabilty for F and Y). EF would alert you when it becomes F1 or Y1 – Berwyn Jun 23 '16 at 21:11
  • Expertflyer was awesome then sucked -- not their fault, airlines withdrew some vital data and now it rocks again. – chx Jun 23 '16 at 21:28
  • @chx EF is really useful, but you have to fly a lot to be able to justify a subscription – Berwyn Jun 23 '16 at 21:33
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    @samsmith Expertflyer is mainly just a front end to a GDS. It's just going to query the GDS and get things like the seat map or the fare availability in each class. I guess not many people want to monitor sold out flights. – Berwyn Jun 23 '16 at 21:52

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