Roame.travel is a new, free award search tool so I figured it was worth bringing to your attention.
So far they’re just searching (9) award programs for availability:
- United MileagePlus
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- American Airlines AAdvantage
- Delta SkyMiles
- Avianca Lifemiles
- Air France KLM Flying Blue
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Iberia Plus
For the most part, I can get saver award results that they offer now by searching Air Canada, American, and Air France. Still, many of you might find this useful.
They don’t give you the breadth of point.me, or the strategies for getting an award for the fewest points (or for the fewest points that you have, and they don’t walk you through transfers and booking the way that point.me does.
And they don’t search multiple dates in a single search, or save queries and email when availability opens up, which would be value add compared to many current tools.
This won’t be the one I’m using – I’m a heavy enough user that more robust paid tools make sense. But the tool is free and they’re not done yet – they’re in beta – and they promise they have no “plans to charge right now,” telling me that their revenue model will be advertising.
Great news. Hopefully they will emerge as a working version of the awful, buggy, non-functional p;oint.me!
I use point.me all the time and it works great
Not your readers. See comments on earflier articles here.
There are some folks who were unhappy, but it clearly does a better job searching across more programs and showing booking options (and walking through the booking process) than others.
It doesn’t search multiple dates at once, you have to do that manually. And it doesn’t have an email monitoring service like Expertflyer (which has its limits).
They are also not mentally genned up to deliver software. When I demonstrated bugs in their software they didn’t contact me or enlist me to get the problem fixed. They didn’t even respond. Just as some people suffer from “long COVID”, these people are going to suffer from “long bug” until they either go out of business to a competent competitor or get bought (likely in a fire sale).
BTW: Don’t you have a commericial interest in point.me? Best to declare it.
It does not work. I proved that. They haven’t fixed it. Their view is that people who demonstrate bugs in their sofware have something wrong with them. As I said, they are not genned up to write software.
It is much harder than these arrogant failures think it is.
@L3 – I’ve written a long post on my relationship with point.me https://viewfromthewing.com/update-on-my-award-booking-service/
I wouldn’t trust my reputation with anyone besides Tiffany, who has managed One Mile at a Time operations for years and is a partner at point.me. Absolutely one of the best, sharpest and most trustworthy people I’ve ever met.
Sorry you haven’t had a great experience. Feel free to shoot me an email with the details of what frustrate you and I’m happy to make sure they see it.
In any case, in terms of commercial relationships, I’m literally writing a post to share the news *about a new competitor product* so if friendship or personal benefit were somehow driving my thoughts here I wouldn’t have written this post about a service no one had heard of before..?
Point.me is a bug-ridden piece of junk — the buggiest software I have used in recent memory. It appears to have been written by the cheapest offshore contracting firm under the direction of people who don’t know how to develop software, but have sufficient hubris to be sure that they don’t need someone who does.
I recommend every reader try point.me, under a free trial, and then comment here on their experience. The fact that you have already had users back up my experience is indicative of how bad it is. Busy people actually went to the trouble to report how bad it was.
In the medium-term the market will generate a competitor that works, and Pointless.me will disappear (or be forced to fix its fatal flaws).
Regardless of what you have written elsewhere about your commercial entanglements with Point.me you should have referenced them here. That is the FCCs standard.
Thanks for sharing this! Roame seems pretty slick. Hope they stay free, but I would pay whomever has calendar view.
@L3 – you keep saying it is “bug ridden” – I offered to take specific feedback to them but you haven’t offered any. If you are seeing shortcomings I am not that would be helpful.
I appreciate your offer.
However, see my comments. I SENT specific feedback to them and did NOT get a response. I sent the product back. I don’t have it now. I have nothing to send you except bad memories of this bug-ridden piece of junk.
@L3 – You keep trashing the product but haven’t expressed a single specific thing that supposedly doesn’t work. I haven’t found that in my own uses. I’m genuinely curious. You’re bothered enough by it to keep commenting, but not enough to say what bothered you? Strange.
Specifics are in my reports to them. They wouldn’t mean much to a reader here who hasn’t used the product. Easiest way to describe it to the non-user is that it would just hang without expanation when asked to do a calculation. No screen estimate of when it would finish. No indicator of what it was doing. No indicator that it had, in fact, hung!
If they had bothered to get back with me we would know what was wrong, and have it fixed. Instead, the rest of your users have to undergo the same hassle. Most will not report it. I am unusually public-spirited in telling you what a piece of junk pointless.me is.
I am amazed that you are spending time defending it given the number of users who reported problems after your post a few months back.
@L3 – defending it? I’ve been trying to figure out what your criticism even is! And don’t you think I’d want to know, since I try to understand the pluses and minuses of all of the tools for frequent flyers..?
You had an issue where their website was hanging. Ok, not something I’ve experienced. But not great when you were trying to use it. Were there any other issues?
No. Not their web site. Their product hung. And when it was asked to calculate for a route. It’s single most elemental function. If it can’t do that, it can’t be used.
Same problem reported by others on this blog.
Perhaps L3 can post here what was sent by L3 to point.me.
That way we can see if the issues L3 faced are more widely experienced.
My pain point with Point.me is it’s too slow and doesn’t have the functionality to search for multiple days. If you have a specific date you want to travel then it’s a good tool but if I want the cheapest award then it’s best to search with airline website.
second probs with point.me. won’t work on chrome or edge on my desktop but i can search on my phone. sorry i dont enjoy performing searches on my phone. feel a little shady about the situation. tired of reporting.
I’ve heard point.me has bug issues
I had a reported a bug with Point.me (wasn’t showing Aerolpan results on my BKK-EWR query), but it looked like they fixed that issue now.
I do have one recommendation – I have to search JFK and EWR separately, which is time consuming. Would be great if they could show all NYC airports in one search.
Which tool allows you to search multiple dates at once? That would be the one big improvement I would like to see with point.me.
@NN – multi date search is hugely resource intensive. The paid AwardNexus.com supports it. Expert Flyer (also paid) has you search one airline at a time but you can do plus or minus 3 days.
@NN: Run multiple instances. That is all a multi-date search is.
At L3..just forward your email(s) to Gary, not hard. Otherwise you are just a troll or competitor…
As a point.me subscriber, I’ve been really disappointed by the lack of communication and improvements made. It’s unlikely that I will be renewing.
They don’t support multi-date searching, nor do they support City airport codes. A simple NYC to TYO flight search over multiple dates takes dozens of searches.
thanks for the recommendation for the new award search site. Not to pile on, but I’ve had multiple issues with Point.me. I have no skin in the game other than simply wanting to have a site to search for awards seamlessly and would pay for that ability. I too sent them notes to their “help” link (or whatever it was) but didn’t get a response.
Hope they work out their kinks. And anyone suggesting that they’re unscrupulous is idiotic; they just haven’t perfected (or plan to perfect) their product. Just a fact from my experience. Others may differ in their experience. I will try them again when I need to make extensive flight reservations. It’s only $12 for the month and it works “sometimes” so totally willing to give them another chance.
I tried point.me and was unimpressed. It’s been a while now so I don’t remember all the specific bugs I ran across but there were a few such as erroring out as well as it being painfully slow. I won’t say that I’d never use it again but I’d like to see substantially improved functionality first as well as at least a few days availability at a time like ExpertFlyer.
I am not sure what some people are looking for, but I have used point.me and I have been intrigued with some of the obscure gems it finds for me.
I do appreciate there is no one size fits all, especially when it comes to very subjective topics, such as travel preferences. If it does not work for you, vote with your wallet… oh wait! 🙂
I just tried it and it gave me a few options a d it asked me to sign up to see all the options for free…problem is the sign up link does a http 400
@Gary: Well, you have Marriott Marty on your side. That’s influence.
In my experience, point.me is just too slow. Point.me was much better when it was Juicy Miles.
IME point.me has been a huge FAIL
Provided the feedback on this / OMAAT article threads. Response by Tiffany in thread comments was arrogant dismissal – totally at odds with your claims above regarding any professional acumen. A dud.
Harvested my details and never provided any access.
Issues never fixed.
@ L3 is correct to call you out, did the right thing in providing feedback and isn’t accountable to Gary or anybody else’s denigration on the topic. You should be thanking customers for feedback not trashing them on your blog or enabling others to do such.
The folk involved in pint.me appear to think themselves about positive critique.
Gary, go back and look up the customer feedback if you are serious about facilitating positive improvement.
@platy I have not trashed anyone, I challenge you to cite specific comments I’ve made here in that regard.
And, like @L3, you criticize the point.me site but leave me scratching my head because you don’t tell me where it failed to find available award space. I’d thank readers like you and L3 for feedback when you offer some!
I believe you are mistaken, though, suggesting I should be thanking customers for feedback on point.me. While my concierge award booking service folded into point.me, point.me is not my company, I do not run it, and people using the tool to find award seats are not my customers.
This site doesn’t work. WTH. A simple search has been stuck searching forever.
I’m still waiting for roame.travel to return a simple SIN to JFK search for the past 3 hours now (and counting) …….
I tried this, and completely useless! First, it looks OK; then you look at the flight details and mix cabin, a coach from LAX to anywhere in Europe, and then Europe to CPT in Business. Also, there is no option for you to be flexible in searching for a range of dates. Some flights are OK, but they all want 450,000 ridiculous miles.
“I have not trashed anyone, I challenge you to cite specific comments I’ve made here in that regard.”
[quote addressing @L3]….You’re bothered enough by it to keep commenting, but not enough to say what bothered you? Strange….[end quote]
“you don’t tell me where it failed to find available award space.”
True. But then my previously submitted feedback was about the repeatedly mismanaged promotions (the stupidity of running a marketing exercise with a cap) and the way that the system had harvested my email, but never provided any access, so potentially generating a marketing list of non customers.
Any critical feedback over at OMAAT is deleted at the discretion of the website owner and certain commentators who have previously challenged factually incorrect content are also apparently blocked from further commentary presumably at the whim of the blogger therein – that is my personal experience and others who have commentated on point.me and OMAAT (based on comments in the thread below your own previous article on the topic).
Why would any of us waste our time recasting feedback that has already been provided? And why should you be left with the task of harvesting such feedback if it is indeed deleted, ignored, or not recorded for future reference?
“I’d thank readers like you and L3 for feedback when you offer some!”
You have plenty of feedback in this thread. Gary, I have some experience in the product marketing of similar tech product – I know how challenging it can be to develop software based product, launch it and attempt to penetrate the market. It’s an audacious endeavour. It would be fantastic if it is functional and successful. But I’m not sure why it is behoven on myself or other commentators to provide free business consultation to folk who don’t appear to want to listen. IME very basic stuff was problematic. Such may or may not have been fixed.
“I believe you are mistaken, though, suggesting I should be thanking customers for feedback on point.me. While my concierge award booking service folded into point.me, point.me is not my company, I do not run it, and people using the tool to find award seats are not my customers.”
Well then, forgive me if I misinterpreted your comment from your earlier article / thread within the context of ceasing a previous business relationship for award bookings services and establishing alternate arrangements:
[quote]…I will be working with point.me (not merely recommending them)…[quote]
On the positive side, you aren’t censoring comments critical of the product and that is to be respected. Be well, buddy.
Gary, I manage large IT projects in my day job. Suggest setting up a panel of volunteers who can help test and improve point.me incrementally. I have used point.me and noticed that there were several usability issues (I have a Masters in Human-Computer Interaction/Usability) and bugs that would frustrate users. Happy to volunteer some time to talk in more detail if it would be helpful.
@platy is correct.
@Gary your comment ““I’d thank readers like you and L3 for feedback when you offer some!”” ignores the fact that that is exactly what we did. When I tell you that point.me stalls and times out on searches — it’s most fundamental task, that is absolutely clear and a fatal flaw in the product.
When I tell you that point.me support does not respond, and then others here reiterate that, that is real feedback.
Your problem is that you have become an uncritical cheerleader for point.me, not a reporter on it.
@L3 – you still haven’t shared the feedback you sent point.me with me, so I still do not even know what you think is wrong with it.
I reserve judgment on what you see as their problems until you actually tell me specifically what they are.
@gary: I have — twice! Read what I wrote. Not hard.
You still claim this bug-ridden piece of junk is bug free” Read the above comments. I would guess that fully half say that trhere are bugs.
@L3 – No, you haven’t gone into detail. And no, I never claimed it was “bug free” just that I have no idea what bugs you’re talking about.
I understand the frustration @platy offered about free trial offers that expire after a certain cap on uses has been reached (not uncommon, but understandable).
Also notable that some of the comments above are from people using multiple usernames.
@ Gary Leff
“@L3 – you still haven’t shared the feedback you sent point.me with me, so I still do not even know what you think is wrong with it.”
You have been told that the software stalls and times out. What further details are you expecting on that particular issue?
You have been told that the support facility is unresponsive. Are you passing that feedback onto the appropriate person? Personally, I would be extremely concerned to read comments that report that feedback doesn’t appear to penetrate and is apparently ignored, deleted or dismissed.
“I reserve judgment on what you see as their problems until you actually tell me specifically what they are.”
You continue to pass comments which cast shadows on the commentators providing feedback. We are not providing commentary for the purpose of your judicial pontification. I’m sure every one of your readers would love the product to be functional and successful.
FWIW the point.me mob can easily survey their customer base (suing the feedback for direction) to ascertain what issues still prevail with appropriately targeted questions to harvest the detail they need to dress any problems. It’s called customer research and if they aren’t engaged in such, arguable they bl–dy well should be.
“@L3 – No, you haven’t gone into detail.”
Just how much detail do you expect? Perhaps spell it out?
“I understand the frustration @platy offered about free trial offers that expire after a certain cap on uses has been reached (not uncommon, but understandable).”
Thanks, Gary for that acknowledgement – it’s appreciated and I’m sure your intentions are positive. But I’m not sure you fully grasp the issues and their potential implication.
Putting a cap on trial subscriptions makes sense form a marketing viewpoint if your purpose is to create a sense of rarity, exclusivity and a call to action. That fails if you put a limit that is too low to harvest a tranche of potential customers and leave others to air their frustrations. Doing that once is unfortunate, but doing it more than once is absolutely asinine. It tells me that the business cannot manage basic marketing (or that there product isn’t market-ready).
Now , there could be reasons – for example, perhaps the system has not been scaled for more than a certain number of users. And , sure, even a high end player like Qantas apparently got that wrong on their recent promo releasing a batch of award seats only for their booking engine to cease up for several hours. But again, you don’t make that mistake twice (unless its intentional is someone reverse psychology sort of nonsense way)!
Another possible reason for such as cap is that the software hasn’t been ironed out. It’s still buggy. A formal UAT process hasn’t been performed efficiently, so you run a beta where you’re swapping out free access for free feedback. IIRC the product had already had a run with some Amex folk. You then take the small step of a partial release to see how the product performs. I would argue that doing so outside of a formal testing process is a critical error of business judgement. Others may view it differently.
Now you have feedback from the professionally informed and experienced @ PM1 about setting up a volunteer testing panel. Although I would recommend that should be on paid basis to guarantee professional insights and outcomes, I would encourage that you share such an idea with the point.me team.
But the cap debacle wasn’t the only issue. The system recorded my email address even though I was locked out of the promotion . Now, as hopefully, you would know that email address is used in the database as the unique identifier.
On then one hand, it might make sense to lock somebody out once the cap is reached AND collect their email address – you can harvest when you want to extend that promo. BUT that didn’t happen…again a marketing and / or software misfire.
…so when another batch of trial subscriptions were released and I tried to enrol, I couldn’t do it because my email had already been harvested and was sitting as my unique identifier in the database. When I tried to set up a trial account it refused to let me do so be case it had my email as an existing user in the system even though I was not such a customer.
Either way, I’m left scratching my head! I can only conclude that somebody messed up really badly. Of course, I could have defaulted to an alternate mail address. But why bother? They clearly haven’t got the basics worked out! In any case, the lack of search facility over more than one day makes the value proposition limited for my personal needs.
Now there’s another angle. It relates to privacy legislation and personal data. I’m not conversant with the US legislation (perhaps others can comment), but here in Australia, I would be advising the point.em team to be very wary about how they collect and store personal data. Harvesting email addresses and NOT providing the service (satisfying the purpose for such collection) could potentially be non compliant with the legislation. Why should I trust a business that harvests my email without delivering upon the purpose of such?
There is another glaring problem. IIRC a number of commentators are alleging that they attempted to get refunds when they were unsatisfied with the product and such requests were denied. If that is indeed the current case, surely it would be prudent to advise the point.me team to change their policy?
Disclosure – I am not an IT person, but have worked on software projects and with software-based products. I must say that we never committed such to a workplace or the marketplace without painstakingly thorough testing! Hint – your customers are not your testing team!
The product is ambitious – wishing it every success!
“Also notable that some of the comments above are from people using multiple usernames.”
Just what are you implying , Gary?!
Roame.travel seems to be a bit more accurate than Point.me. I subscribe monthly to Point.me and after this trip is done, I will cancel. I find that Point.me, many times has phantom space. I am looking for last minute space for my trip to Japan. I want to improve what I have already booked. I will know in the next few days which program is really accurate or just pumping out false results.
@platy – “You have been told that the software stalls and times out. What further details are you expecting on that particular issue?”
Maybe what circumstances this happens? Because I’ve been a heavy user and haven’t experienced this.
“You have been told that the support facility is unresponsive.”
That’s half a complaint, I need to know what issue was raised with support specifically, because if they’re as ambiguous as the critical comments here I wouldn’t know quite how to respond either. Probably better to reply with “not sure how to help without more specifics” (if indeed it’s true that no reply was received) but I can imagine the frustration on the receiving end of complaints like those listed here.
“Putting a cap on trial subscriptions makes sense form a marketing viewpoint if your purpose is to create a sense of rarity, exclusivity and a call to action. ”
Actually I suspect it’s a cost thing, and a lot of people in this audience create multiple accounts to get free service over and over, the cap keeps people from doing that and remember this is an expensive server-intensive process. (Note: that’s my speculation, I have not asked, but seems pretty clear to me nonetheless.)
“Just what are you implying , Gary?!”
Nothing implied, only stated what I have stated..
@ Gary Leff
“Maybe what circumstances this happens? Because I’ve been a heavy user and haven’t experienced this.”
That as may be the case, but it doesn’t mean that issue cannot arise for others.
Just a suggestion – a customer survey could provide a dataset to test the currently experienced issues (some may or may not have been fixed by now). You might not learn much from one instance.
An allied customer satisfaction survey would also provide potentially useful data for marketing the product and balance the critique (of which you appear to be wary).
Hopefully the team also have ongoing data on customer retention and strategies to counteract any loss of custom.
“That’s half a complaint, I need to know what issue was raised with support specifically, because if they’re as ambiguous as the critical comments here I wouldn’t know quite how to respond either.”
Again, just a suggestion…I would imagine that if complaints / tech issues have been submitted there would be records somewhere within the point.me system, assuming they do indeed have a systematic process. Go and data-mine that resource, if the team is interested in an improvement cycle! Gary, if you serious about troubleshooting issues, go and take a look at the data held by the team.
In any case, if the support issue was / is not articulated clearly enough at the time of submission, then the support team can (arguably should) communicate with the customer to clarify and specify the feedback. IME that’s a normal qualifying process when dealing with tech support.
Arguably, if the job had been done right in the first place, you wouldn’t need to bicker about lack of detail post hoc and characteristic feedback herein as ambiguous and critical.
Being able to make a statement about the existence and integrity of the complains / feedback process and its success rate would also be of potentially positive use when marking the product and counterbalancing the critique.
“Probably better to reply with “not sure how to help without more specifics””
No. Per the above, there should be (hopefully there is) a process to log and qualify tech issues, and input summary data for product / service improvement. This is very basic stuff.
“(if indeed it’s true that no reply was received)”
You appear determined to question the integrity of the comments herein (?).
“but I can imagine the frustration on the receiving end of complaints like those listed here.”
And I have personally experienced the frustration of being on the receiving end of the mismanaged promo and mishandling of unique identifiers in their database, which leans me towards being more open rather than dismissive of the feedback and intentions of those providing such herein.
Managing customer perceptions and satisfaction are core business practices (you know this).
“Actually I suspect it’s a cost thing, and a lot of people in this audience create multiple accounts to get free service over and over”
You could well be right, Gary. Surely the business model can be designed to lower that risk? I can think of ways to do just that immediately off the top of my head, so the team should be able to as well.
“the cap keeps people from doing that”
There are potentially smarter approaches. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater seems unfortunate to me.
“remember this is an expensive server-intensive process”
Yes. But hopefully there is a robust business plan with attendant risk analysis / mitigation strategy. This is a courageous and substantive undertaking and clearly the back end needs to evolve and be scaled as the product matures. Their gig – their choice. Arguably, managing customer expectation is part of the journey.
“(Note: that’s my speculation, I have not asked, but seems pretty clear to me nonetheless.)”
Given the feedback herein, perhaps it would be enlightening for one of the point.me team to be invited to respond? Surely, one wouldn’t want to foster misplaced assumptions which can easily be redirected?
“Nothing implied, only stated what I have stated.”
FWIW, I don’t – I can’t speak for others.
Incidentally, (perhaps ironically?) the search tool “Roame.travel” doesn’t return any results, only a server error message!
I trust the point.me team appreciate you being a product advocate. Be well, sir! I have some Qatar first class flights to redeem for my May trip….;)
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