I’ve decided that it’s time to start a new series here on the blog called Travel Tools I Love. Hopefully these tools are something that readers can benefit from using. With the volcano making finding any seats a very difficult prospect for our Cranky Concierge clients, I thought it would be appropriate to start with the KVS Tool.
I should make it clear that these aren’t sponsored posts, but I have had a relationship with the KVS Tool for a long time. I use it religiously and Cranky Concierge clients receive a 5% discount when they sign up for it.
So what is this tool? It’s like crack for former airline employees. The KVS Tool has a wealth of information all in one place from availability to fares to visa requirements and more. Why do I say it’s like crack for former airline employees? It’s like looking at an old green screen with airline information, and that’s something I hadn’t seen outside of the airline world since the old eAAsy Sabre days.
I should warn you. If you aren’t an airline person, then you’re better off with another tool. Something like ExpertFlyer has a more intuitive display for the non-airline folks. (ExpertFlyer also has alerts for when when an award seat comes available, which are invaluable.) How do you know if it’s for you? Look at this screenshot. If you get excited seeing this, then it’s for you.
You can find flight availability via four systems – Worldspan, Apollo, Sabre, and Galileo. There is also timetable info via Amadeus and fare displays from Sabre and Galileo. This came in handy for us with the volcano blowing ash around. It’s how we uncovered availability to Europe through places like the Azores or Jordan.
If you’re looking for frequent flier availability, you can get it for the three big alliances. You can also see United’s and Cathay Pacific’s upgrade availability.
Some of the more useful functions are somewhat hidden. For example, you can look up the minimum connection time for every airport if you want to build your own connections. You can also look up visa requirements and airport taxes by country.
If you know your way around booking codes and fare displays, this tool is the fastest way to get the info you need. I use it every day.