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Booking Flights, Rooms, Cars, Cruises, Activities with UR (include Expedia problems)

Booking Flights, Rooms, Cars, Cruises, Activities with UR (include Expedia problems)

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Old Oct 6, 19, 1:20 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
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This thread covers how to use Ultimate Reward points for booking all types of travel via the Ultimate Rewards portal.

In 2018 Chase changed the outsourced booking portal operator from Connexions to Expedia. Posts from January to mid-October 2018 have been archived to a separate thread. Those posts discussed the portal as operated by Connexions, -and- the transition process to Expedia.

There is another thread to discuss booking by transferring to airline of hotel programs: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/chas...tc-2017-a.html

Pay special attention to booking via Chase UR/Expedia with regard to rewards and benefits. Chase UR + Expedia is considered OTA (Online Travel Agency). Travelers purchase or pre-pay travel with the OTA and is subject to the T&C from the OTA. In general, travelers receive miles rewards on flights, but do not receive night credit on hotel stays. Also, in general, travelers lose the airline or hotel status and do not receive the associated benefits (free breakfast, room upgrade etc).

1) How do I book a ticket? Choose my airfare class?
Login to ultimaterewards.com
Click: Use points > Explore and Book Travel
Click the button that defaults to [1 Traveler, All]
Change "Class" (the first entry in the pull-down) from All to Business
Click: Close

2) How far in advance can I book?
In mid-November 2017 it was reported that airline reservations are available only 270 days in advance. Read HERE.

3) How do I book hotels?
Follow the steps above to log on. There are standard looking search engines offered for airfare, hotel, etc at that point.

3.5) How to book cruises?
Chase outsources this to a travel agency specializing in cruises. (I believe they are available solely by telephone.) Agents there can book cruises for you using your URs for payments from initial deposit to final payment. It's also possible to transfer an existing cruise booking to that travel agency. That agency can then make payments (full or partial). However, to transfer a booking, there are some constraints to be aware of. A) The booking and deposit has to be made directly with the cruise line. If you use another agency, you're out of luck. B) The cruise lines limit the window when you can transfer a booking from their control to an agency's. It closes as early as 30 days after initial deposit up to final deposit due date (typically 75-120 prior to sail date) depending on the particular cruise line's rules (which are subject to change).

4) How do I get the better redemption rate offered on some Chase cards?
The upper left corner of the UR page will show you which card you are logged in with. If you hold a Chase Sapphire Reserve or JPMR card, you will be shown a better price on points bookings, as a 1.5 redemption rate is offered as one of the benefits of this card. If you log in to the UR portal from a different UR card, such as the Ink, you will not be offered this rate.

4.5) How do Refunds Work?
When cancelling a booking (and a refund is due), points will be added back to your UR balance and dollars will be refunded to the credit card account used.

5) Where else can I find information?

This thread is a consolidated resource which covers topics including:

Fare buckets, here
Price differences between open market air fares and UR bookings, here
Selecting seat classes
Using cash and points to pay for tickets

and more.

The previous discussion, through 2017, can be found here: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/chas...14-2017-a.html
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Old Dec 16, 18, 9:16 pm
  #91  
Moderator: Credit Card Programs & Chase Ultimate Rewards
 
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Originally Posted by Steve in Olympia View Post
Is anyone else getting an error message when trying to book a hotel room through the UR portal? I get "Unable to search rooms at this time. Please try again later."

But when I go through the regular Expedia website (for a cash booking), no problem.
I have good results using the IE browser.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 7:26 am
  #92  
 
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When I called UR last night to cancel a flight that had a major time change, they said that the ability to book flights was currently down.

I just tried this morning, using both IE and Chrome. I could departure flights to pull up, but not return flights.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 1:10 pm
  #93  
RNE
 
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So, do we know how refunds are handled when refundable bookings are cancelled. Do you get UR points back or cash?
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Old Dec 18, 18, 1:46 pm
  #94  
 
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In the case of my flights, it was a non-refundable ticket. They cancelled it for me anyways, at no charge, since the change was greater than two hours. They put the UR back into my account.

I did not want them to change my existing reservations, because the price went down. I will re-book myself when the system is back up, saving me about $500 total for three tix.
RNE and restrictonthehanger like this.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 2:04 pm
  #95  
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Originally Posted by RNE View Post
So, do we know how refunds are handled when refundable bookings are cancelled. Do you get UR points back or cash?
In my case, they noted that I was an Alaska Airlines Gold and so tix were cancellable. (The UR agent talked with an AS agent while I was on the line). Points went back and I was told the "cash" portion would be returned to my credit card within 3-6 (!!!!) billing cycles.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 4:38 pm
  #96  
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Originally Posted by RNE View Post
So, do we know how refunds are handled when refundable bookings are cancelled. Do you get UR points back or cash?
The original form(s) of payment, just like another other return. Though it takes time to get what you should receive, often requires multiple follow ups.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 5:41 pm
  #97  
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Originally Posted by loomis View Post
In the case of my flights, it was a non-refundable ticket. They cancelled it for me anyways, at no charge, since the change was greater than two hours. They put the UR back into my account.

I did not want them to change my existing reservations, because the price went down. I will re-book myself when the system is back up, saving me about $500 total for three tix.
Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
In my case, they noted that I was an Alaska Airlines Gold and so tix were cancellable. (The UR agent talked with an AS agent while I was on the line). Points went back and I was told the "cash" portion would be returned to my credit card within 3-6 (!!!!) billing cycles.
Someone should add this knowledge to the wiki.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 6:31 pm
  #98  
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Originally Posted by RNE View Post
Someone should add this knowledge to the wiki.
Go ahead. It's a community maintained wikipost.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 1:43 pm
  #99  
 
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I booked a flight reservation a week ago and it still says: "Ticketing in progress. No need to call to reconfirm."

Should I be concerned? Can I cancel it since it's not been ticketed?

Thanks!
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Old Dec 19, 18, 2:38 pm
  #100  
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Originally Posted by philemer View Post
Go ahead. It's a community maintained wikipost.
Done. But I expect the topic will have to be expanded as experience grows.

For instance, suppose I want to book a cruise with XYZ Cruiseline that costs $2500. I have a CSR and I use 150,000 UR points to cover $2250 of that. I pay the remaining $250 with my CSR. Expedia* sends $2500 to XYZ Cruiseline. Fine. Now, let's say I have to cancel that cruise inside the penalty window. It's 15 months later (that may be important). Let's supposed there's a 50% penalty and thus a 50% refund due. XYZ Cruiseline sends Expedia $1250. What does Expedia do with it? I presume it increases my CSR UR balance by 75,000 and refunds $125 to my CSR card. But do we know for sure? Maybe Expedia will refund the whole $1250 to my credit card because A) Expedia is so automated it doesn't know any better, or B) the intervening long time (15 months) plays a factor. I dunno.

Note: Here's further uncertainty. Normally, whenever I've gotten a refund from a cruise line, the travel agency I used never sees any of that money. XYZ Cruiseline refunds the amount directly to my credit card. So, will Expedia even see it?

*Expedia may actually be an associated agency handling cruise bookings, but you get the idea.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 8:41 pm
  #101  
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Originally Posted by RNE View Post
Done. But I expect the topic will have to be expanded as experience grows.

For instance, suppose I want to book a cruise with XYZ Cruiseline that costs $2500. I have a CSR and I use 150,000 UR points to cover $2250 of that. I pay the remaining $250 with my CSR. Expedia* sends $2500 to XYZ Cruiseline. Fine. Now, let's say I have to cancel that cruise inside the penalty window. It's 15 months later (that may be important). Let's supposed there's a 50% penalty and thus a 50% refund due. XYZ Cruiseline sends Expedia $1250. What does Expedia do with it? I presume it increases my CSR UR balance by 75,000 and refunds $125 to my CSR card. But do we know for sure? Maybe Expedia will refund the whole $1250 to my credit card because A) Expedia is so automated it doesn't know any better, or B) the intervening long time (15 months) plays a factor. I dunno.

Note: Here's further uncertainty. Normally, whenever I've gotten a refund from a cruise line, the travel agency I used never sees any of that money. XYZ Cruiseline refunds the amount directly to my credit card. So, will Expedia even see it?

*Expedia may actually be an associated agency handling cruise bookings, but you get the idea.
I am just glad that all our cruises (some 40 or more) are booked between 1.5 month to 2 weeks from sailing, so always pay in full and 100% cancellation penalty. No such complication. Self-insured should we not be able to sail.

Unless one MUST take a specific cruise, Dont see why one needs / wants to book so well ahead.

One SIL lives in Toronto once booked a TATL within 1 week of sailing, Ft. Lauderdale to Southampton, after 4 siblings have booked on the same cruise, all independently and at different time ranging from 3 months ahead to just a month ahead. She finally decided she wanted to go, too. Her cruise agent had no trouble to give her the equivalent of a Princess SBC that was no longer available, as a direct discount from the cruise fare. So she made out better than any of her siblings!
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Old Dec 19, 18, 9:06 pm
  #102  
 
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Originally Posted by Braswch View Post
I booked a flight reservation a week ago and it still says: "Ticketing in progress. No need to call to reconfirm."

Should I be concerned? Can I cancel it since it's not been ticketed?

Thanks!
I booked a one way on DL with UR and cash a couple of weeks ago. I added it to my trips in DL and it was confirmed there. Expedia gave me the same message you posted for a few days. I checked just now and the status has changed to Booked No Need to Reconfirm. I wouldnt worry.

On another note, Expedia sent me a half hour schedule change notification for that flight 2 hours before DL did!
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Old Dec 20, 18, 1:24 pm
  #103  
 
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Originally Posted by RNE View Post
Done. But I expect the topic will have to be expanded as experience grows.

For instance, suppose I want to book a cruise with XYZ Cruiseline that costs $2500. I have a CSR and I use 150,000 UR points to cover $2250 of that. I pay the remaining $250 with my CSR. Expedia* sends $2500 to XYZ Cruiseline. Fine. Now, let's say I have to cancel that cruise inside the penalty window. It's 15 months later (that may be important). Let's supposed there's a 50% penalty and thus a 50% refund due. XYZ Cruiseline sends Expedia $1250. What does Expedia do with it? I presume it increases my CSR UR balance by 75,000 and refunds $125 to my CSR card. But do we know for sure? Maybe Expedia will refund the whole $1250 to my credit card because A) Expedia is so automated it doesn't know any better, or B) the intervening long time (15 months) plays a factor. I dunno.

Note: Here's further uncertainty. Normally, whenever I've gotten a refund from a cruise line, the travel agency I used never sees any of that money. XYZ Cruiseline refunds the amount directly to my credit card. So, will Expedia even see it?

*Expedia may actually be an associated agency handling cruise bookings, but you get the idea.
If the cash portion shows up on your credit card as charged by the cruise line, than it would refund straight to your credit card. But if Expedia uses their card to pay for both points portion and cash portion, than I think the entire refund (50% or whatever left) would go back to Expedia. Now it would be up to them to see if they have record of how much % of each you paid how they are going to refund you... I know Connexion took a long time to refund points back.
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Old Dec 21, 18, 4:15 pm
  #104  
 
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So for the first time Im looking to book air on UR Portal (have only done hotels previously)

Im sorry have some basic questions...

Looking for a flight from HKG-NAR and found a flight under full refundable, however in check it says: Tickets are refundable with a penalty fee of HK$1,400 - this is almost $200USD

1) Is this Expedia's fee?
2) If I use a combo of Case and UR Points, if I cancel, how quickly does the points get redeposited back into account? How quickly does $ get credited back to the card? (less the HK#1400)
3) Is there anything else I need to know about a refundable fare booking this way?

Thank you in advance for your help
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Old Dec 21, 18, 4:21 pm
  #105  
mia
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Originally Posted by elg26 View Post
.... found a flight....
1) Is this Expedia's fee?
....
Easy to check if we know the name of the airline.
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