SQM flights

I have read quite a few of the older threads about SQM and the 50% off flights but still not quite finding what I'm looking for. I apologize in advance for all the questions I'm getting ready to ask.

I am looking to fly round trip next October with my fiancé. There are no non-stops avail, so I'll have to do double reports to the destination and on the way home. From today's prices, there is a *minimum* savings of $220 going with SQM, taking everything into account. I do mean everything - comparisons with other carriers including baggage fees, etc. In some cases, it is much more $$$. (The ones that are a lot more $$ are non-stops, which I'd prefer of course, but significantly more expensive - to the tune of more like $300+ more than SQM.)

My questions: (any you can answer is helpful, tia):

Can I submit the travel request this early? For my city, they only show May dates. I want to do this early so I can ensure my fiancé will be able to travel with me.

What is the best timing to send the travel request? When I see the best avail price with my preferred times?

Once SQM books the flight, can I request a seat assignment? (So fiancé and I can sit together.)

If I submit the request for the flight and the price rises, would I get hit for a fee if I declined it? (I plan to have them PayPal invoice me, rather than submit my cc #.)

Would you say a (minimum) savings of $220 is worth four reports? I looked over the reports; they don't look too terrible, but at the same time, this is supposed to be a mini-honeymoon. smiling smiley

Any info you can help me with is truly appreciated. Thank you.

Just out shopping around...

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You can only request for the months they have posted on the website. Its one of the downfalls in my mind because normally the price of the flight increases as it gets closer.
If this is the airline with free checked baggage, there is no assigned seating.

If you have the time at your destination to do a report, I would go for it. But depends how your new spouse would feel about that winking smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/08/2018 12:20PM by jgoodwin.
It has been my experience on the SQM flights, the airline does not have preassigned seats. Instead you request a boarding pass 24 hours before the pass. You then get the order number for you to stand in line to board the plane. You and your fiance will have to get your boarding passes separately. However, whoever gets the best number can generally save a seat for their flight partner. I would be hesitant to do back to back one-stop flights. I've done it, but it sure was nicer having only one report to contend with. They do give you 72 hours which is nice. All in all it's a pretty good deal and a rather easy report in which much can be competed while in flight.

Shopping up and down the Colorado Rocky Mountain front range.
[www.sqm.ca]

Is this the correct SQM? I've not heard of them before and want to be sure I have the legit one.
Yes, that's them.

For the OP: It's odd that you are only seeing May dates. Is that for both your city of origin and the destination? October dates are posted for numerous US destinations. For an international destination I'd reach out directly to them as those seem to get filled quicker. (I"m not sure if it is because there are fewer flights shopped or more demand, but an international destination was the only time I was ever told a flight was unavailable.) In my experience SQM answers emails promptly.

The reports do take a while the first time you do them but the interaction requirements are all quite reasonable, especially if you'll be checking a bag anyway. For the gate interaction you can ask something as simple as what time the flight arrives, although I like to ask for an explanation of the seating process as it lets the agent earn a good report if they do a good job (and most do).
@NinS wrote:

Yes, that's them.

For the OP: It's odd that you are only seeing May dates. Is that for both your city of origin and the destination? October dates are posted for numerous US destinations.....

Only May dates are posted for the city of origin, but the destination city has dates going out until October. I will keep checking my origin city.

Thanks jgoodwin -- he wouldn't mind smiling smiley

and COMystery -- thanks for the clarification regarding how seat assignments work.

Just out shopping around...
@COMystery wrote:

It has been my experience on the SQM flights, the airline does not have preassigned seats. Instead you request a boarding pass 24 hours before the pass. You then get the order number for you to stand in line to board the plane. You and your fiance will have to get your boarding passes separately. However, whoever gets the best number can generally save a seat for their flight partner. I would be hesitant to do back to back one-stop flights. I've done it, but it sure was nicer having only one report to contend with. They do give you 72 hours which is nice. All in all it's a pretty good deal and a rather easy report in which much can be competed while in flight.
You aren't allowed to save seats and the flight attendants are supposed to be enforcing this. It's one of the most common A-lister complaints and the company listens to its top tier flyers. If you check in at the same time, it shouldn't matter. Or you can pay the extra ($30 maybe?) at the gate and get bumped up to a higher category.

I have done several back-to-back flights without any problem. As previously mentioned, the report is mostly things you would notice anyway. The most valuable thing on the flight for the company is to listen for the flight attendant to get a verbal confirmation from everyone sitting in an exit row.

A price increase isn't going to matter since it's being booked with the scheduler's points. This is how the company gets paid - they book with points and then get your 50% as their fee. They'll accept the lowest priced flight at the time of booking. That means you cannot change the flight if, say, there are vouchers being offered for overbooking (they're no longer supposed to be doing this) or delayed flights.

Email the project manager if you want a date that's not yet posted. If you have a good history with them (or are Step Level 9), he'll likely be accommodating for a date farther out. You won't be able to set it up with him if it's not yet available on the airline's site, though. Note that only one of you can do the particular route you're on.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
If there are shops available from the city of origin then you can apply. It does not matter what the final destination is.
If it will save you $200 or more, I think it is worth doing two reports, or four in this case because of the layover.
Prices do not change much on this airline. The seats are never assigned, its on first come, first served basis. Just make sure you have the dates and ight numbers ready when you apply. It will cost you $25 for any changes made after booking.
Is Step Level 9 a shopper rating? I've done at least 15 shops for them and have never noticed a rating.
They have quizzes you take up to level nine.

@NinS wrote:

Is Step Level 9 a shopper rating? I've done at least 15 shops for them and have never noticed a rating.
@iShop123 wrote:

@COMystery wrote:


A price increase isn't going to matter since it's being booked with the scheduler's points. This is how the company gets paid - they book with points and then get your 50% as their fee. They'll accept the lowest priced flight at the time of booking. That means you cannot change the flight if, say, there are vouchers being offered for overbooking (they're no longer supposed to be doing this) or delayed flights.

I am a bit confused by the above statement. I have never done one of these but have similar questions . I have booked through this airline many times and the price goes up dramatically once you are two weeks out. My daughter flew recently and the change was from around $150 one way to over $300 one way for the cheaper seats after a few days of checking. So if we pay half which is what I understand, there seems there would be no savings as half of the closer date is $150 which is the price at the further date.
@sandyf wrote:

I am a bit confused by the above statement. I have never done one of these but have similar questions . I have booked through this airline many times and the price goes up dramatically once you are two weeks out. My daughter flew recently and the change was from around $150 one way to over $300 one way for the cheaper seats after a few days of checking. So if we pay half which is what I understand, there seems there would be no savings as half of the closer date is $150 which is the price at the further date.
To clarify, you pay the lowest available fare at the time of booking. This is paid TO THE MSC. The scheduler then books the flight with points from his account. After a correctly completed report (I've yet to hear of someone having theirs rejected), they refund 50% of what you paid.

Thanks for the tip about modifying flights, Niki. I was unaware that this was possible.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
Great Questions/concerns
Here are some support details
- The airline dictates the method under which the passenger is booked, and yes while many are booked using points, there are other methods including CC and vouchers. This is all done behind the scenes by our travel team (regardless of how you paid) and ensures that the airline can make additional measurements behind the scenes. As the MSC is not the airline, we don't have the ability to work with vouchers, rewards or other possible booking options had you booked direct with the airline.
- We do take bookings up to 6 months in advance and we work with the window of dates that the airline has released. This allows you to book way in advance for additional savings. If you can see/book the flights with the airline, then send your plans in and we will book it.
- Yes, we do permit changes, but to minimize some of the nonsense here, there is a service charge for the changes.
- Yes, you can always fly with others. The Shopper books with the MSC, the others book direct with the airline.
- No , you can't earn airline rewards, but you can earn cc rewards.
- Refunds are automatic and usually done within 14 days of your last report on a round trip plan.
- No, sorry, due to the first point, we can't work with bookings already made directly with the airline.

Keep them coming

Craig
Do you have any options to fly just one way, instead of round trip?

For instance one way from a major US hub city to a major city in Canada and then another one way flight (a couple of days later) from that city to a European destination? Planning a big trip long in advance, lol.)

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/24/2018 06:57PM by walesmaven.
One way, round trip, and open-jaw travel are all permitted. We will structure the package of flights around your specific travel plans.
At this time, there no trans-border flights operating between Canada and the US or any European based flights. We are working on changes which will make those options available. Flights available are based on not only the airlines we are working with, but the routes they offer and release for evaluation.
Thanks for the update. My travel will be in about 13 months and I hereby volunteer to fly to any western Europe city for you!!!

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
I am looking forward to my first, but not last, assignments from this MSC. I have been signed up for awhile.Travel is in my future.
I have done several shops for SQM using the airline program and have been very happy with it. I was traveling these routes anyways so the discount was well worth it. I have found them to be very responsive and great to deal with. They always pay on time and are totally legit. You can book flights pretty far out, I booked my last one three months in advance. I recommend that you email them at the contact and let them know when you are looking to fly and see what they have available. They generally have flights to anywhere the airline flies available. It's just a matter of if someone else is already shopping on that flight then you could not do it, but that's rare. I give them a date and ask for some times. They will email you back within a few hours and let you know what flights are on those days and the price. Then you look to see what works for you and what's the best deal. Since you are getting half back you want to know what half really looks like. Once you do that they have you sign an agreement and they book you on the flight. You pay them they pay the airline directly. Price change has nothing to do with it, you are locked in at that price if it goes up then you stay at the price. The airline that I have shopped for with them does not have assigned seats. As others have pointed out you get assigned a boarding position based on a number of factors, one being how quickly you check in. You can also pay to board early or use status, but you cannot do that with SQM so others will be ahead of you. If your traveling partner checks in around the same time as you do even if he's not on your reservation you should be assigned similar boarding spots. Having flown this airline before you can request to board later, so if he has say B30 and you have B1 you can ask them to board at B30 and no one complains. But there may not be two seats free together. if you are evaluating the flight crew (sometimes its just the gate crew) there are restrictions on where you can sit on the plane as well, usually you must sit in the middle of the plane. I just did this last month and the flight was delayed by three hours. SQM had me updated on this matter long before the airline did, and they constantly emailed me with updates. The airline offered us a voucher due to the delay and I was allowed to keep that so basically on top of the discount I got the voucher. I have never had a report returned to me, and there is none of the nit picking that Coyle does. Since I literally just did this if you have questions please message me.
@Lisannez wrote:

The airline offered us a voucher due to the delay and I was allowed to keep that so basically on top of the discount I got the voucher.
Wondering how that worked since the flight is tied to the scheduler's rewards account. The voucher should have shown up with his number, shouldn't it?

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
It was sent to the scheduler and the scheduler emailed it to me. It was in my name. They book you just like a travel agent would, so the airline has you listed as a passenger and any vouchers would be issued to that name.
PSST - there is an SQM OMG moment coming for flights in September. Hundreds of flights will be available for only $49.00 (after refund) including all taxes, regardless of the posted rate. If you are planning on getting around the USA in September, you will want to watch for this update.
Hundreds of September flights are posted for only $49.00 after refund. All across the USA. Including a few Caribbean and Central America flights as well.
Evaluateitbysqm.com
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