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UA Award - BKK-TPE-IAH - Available for 1, not 2

UA Award - BKK-TPE-IAH - Available for 1, not 2

Old Mar 31, 18, 10:56 pm
  #1  
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UA Award - BKK-TPE-IAH - Available for 1, not 2

Hello, I've been lurking for a while reading experts posts and applying knowledge from the forum. I've come across a little problem and I'm hoping y'all have some insight.
I'm looking to go from BKK to IAH through TPE, with a longer layover, with the Business Saver Award. My departure date is 12/23/18. United's website has the flight I'd like (EVA Air) available for 90k miles if I try to book for 1 person. As soon as I switch it to 2 people, the flight is unavailable. I've been using Expert flyer and the flight from BKK to TPE has openings for two I class awards. However, the TPE to IAH does not have two I class available.
1) Has anyone figured our if EVA has a specific time frame that they'll release multiple award bookings together (ie: if ill be able to book for two people). Or;
2) I could always book seperate itineraries for my wife and I, but obviously that's not ideal. Any advice for seperate itineraries other then hoping everything goes to plan? Am I worrying too much about flight changes and rebooking together? Or;
3) Any other ways to get around the problem?

Thanks for reading and I appreciate anyone providing advice.

cheers.
​​
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Old Apr 1, 18, 2:41 am
  #2  
 
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Usually when I have seen BR for 2 people it has been close in, like less than a week prior to departure. But then again, I almost never book award flights more than 2-3 weeks before departure anyway so I'm not necessarily looking far out on a regular basis.

You can also usually bank on NH having 2 seats near departure, but being so near Christmas might be the wrench in that plan. TK is also another likely bet, but farther out.

If you're using United miles, unfortunately you can't standby for partner awards. So you could book one in C now and one in Y now (assuming Y is available), then pay to change it when/if BR opens up another C seat on the segment in question. But frankly I'd just look for another route, book it, and then keep an eye on BR as time passes to see if they open up 2 seats. It's not nearly as sexy, but CA is available right now on your date for 2 people in C, it does have a terribly long layover in PEK though.
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Old Apr 1, 18, 3:36 pm
  #3  
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Your question really has nothing to do with *A per se (other than you may end up on an alliance airline) ... you're using UA miles ... suggest you look in here https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unit...7-forward.html and EVA (BR) award experiences using United miles and https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unit...7-forward.html and Consolidated "Waitlist for Award Seats Questions/Issues"

Last edited by UAPremExecflyer; Apr 1, 18 at 3:43 pm Reason: added additional thread links
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Old Apr 2, 18, 2:25 pm
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Thank you for the suggestions. You're absolutely right, it's mostly about using UA miles as I can transfer them from chase rewards. I'll check out the links provided and again thank you
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Old Apr 2, 18, 3:45 pm
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dvs7310, Thanks for the input. We're not opposed to a long layover as we can make a day of it. I'll check out the route through PEK.

UAPremExecflyer, Thanks for posting additional resources. I'll take a look through the threads.
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Old Apr 2, 18, 4:32 pm
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To add another wrinkle, the exact flight I'm looking at is BKK-TPE-IAH with TG632 for BKK-TPE and BR52 TPE-IAH on 12/23. The exact same flights are available on 12/24 for two, but not the 12/23 date. Maybe I've been staring at this flight for too long and all the *A partners know it!
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Old Apr 2, 18, 4:35 pm
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Expert Flyer Flight Availability.
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Old Apr 2, 18, 9:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Mdinius View Post
To add another wrinkle, the exact flight I'm looking at is BKK-TPE-IAH with TG632 for BKK-TPE and BR52 TPE-IAH on 12/23. The exact same flights are available on 12/24 for two, but not the 12/23 date.
Understandably frustrating, but keep in mind that Christmas Eve (like Christmas day) is generally an easy day for international upgrades and awards. Just not much demand. The 23rd much less so.

This far out (8+ months), inventory is meaningless.
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Old Apr 3, 18, 2:46 am
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Originally Posted by Mdinius View Post
To add another wrinkle, the exact flight I'm looking at is BKK-TPE-IAH with TG632 for BKK-TPE and BR52 TPE-IAH on 12/23. The exact same flights are available on 12/24 for two, but not the 12/23 date. Maybe I've been staring at this flight for too long and all the *A partners know it!
Originally Posted by Mdinius View Post
dvs7310, Thanks for the input. We're not opposed to a long layover as we can make a day of it. I'll check out the route through PEK.

UAPremExecflyer, Thanks for posting additional resources. I'll take a look through the threads.
I'd normally say suck it up and fly the 24th if you really want BR, but they get in far too late in the evening to do anything for Christmas eve after I saw the schedule you posted. CA gets into IAH pretty early, still giving you most of the day to settle in and do whatever you want.

If it makes you feel more comfortable to lock in something now, unfortunately CA is your only choice, I checked the 22nd as well with the same results. The PEK to IAH flight is at 3pm, but it's still enough time that you could take in a couple of sights and have a lunch in town before heading back to the airport. Since you'd already have your bags checked through, arriving back at the airport 2 hours prior is more than sufficient (keep in mind immigration and especially security can take time in PEK, so I wouldn't cut it as close as more efficient airports in the region like HKG, TPE, NRT, HND etc. where I'll enter no more than an hour before my flight if already checked in).

United's change fee isn't cheap if you find a superior product/routing later, but you have to decide how much is insurance worth to you to ensure you both have business class seats? If you were traveling almost any other day of the year I'd easily say wait it out and something will open, but the 22nd and 23rd are going to be among the most challenging. A lot of Asia based expat executives get company paid business class for themselves and their spouse to return for the holidays, the airlines know this and withhold award/upgrade seats in favor of paid seats during this time obviously.
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Old Apr 3, 18, 7:13 pm
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Originally Posted by dvs7310 View Post
I'd normally say suck it up and fly the 24th if you really want BR, but they get in far too late in the evening to do anything for Christmas eve after I saw the schedule you posted. CA gets into IAH pretty early, still giving you most of the day to settle in and do whatever you want.

If it makes you feel more comfortable to lock in something now, unfortunately CA is your only choice, I checked the 22nd as well with the same results. The PEK to IAH flight is at 3pm, but it's still enough time that you could take in a couple of sights and have a lunch in town before heading back to the airport. Since you'd already have your bags checked through, arriving back at the airport 2 hours prior is more than sufficient (keep in mind immigration and especially security can take time in PEK, so I wouldn't cut it as close as more efficient airports in the region like HKG, TPE, NRT, HND etc. where I'll enter no more than an hour before my flight if already checked in).

United's change fee isn't cheap if you find a superior product/routing later, but you have to decide how much is insurance worth to you to ensure you both have business class seats? If you were traveling almost any other day of the year I'd easily say wait it out and something will open, but the 22nd and 23rd are going to be among the most challenging. A lot of Asia based expat executives get company paid business class for themselves and their spouse to return for the holidays, the airlines know this and withhold award/upgrade seats in favor of paid seats during this time obviously.
Thank you for all the insight! I'm all for flying the 24th, however the wife has nixed that idea.

I'm okay waiting a little while longer, but as you mentioned, I'm very nervous with the holiday travelers. My mind keeps coming back to booking separate itineraries for my wife and I since they're available for one person. Any word of caution to booking the separate itineraries? I'm the only one with status and it's the lowly Silver through Marriott.

As for insurance, I would pay the $100 premium to change the flights to the same itinerary if it becomes available later.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 3:25 am
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Originally Posted by Mdinius View Post
Thank you for all the insight! I'm all for flying the 24th, however the wife has nixed that idea.

I'm okay waiting a little while longer, but as you mentioned, I'm very nervous with the holiday travelers. My mind keeps coming back to booking separate itineraries for my wife and I since they're available for one person. Any word of caution to booking the separate itineraries? I'm the only one with status and it's the lowly Silver through Marriott.

As for insurance, I would pay the $100 premium to change the flights to the same itinerary if it becomes available later.
I think that's your answer then, book CA now to ensure that you are both booked into business class the whole way there. Pay the $100 (each ticket) to change if something more desirable opens up for both of you before departure. Personally considering that you want to fly the 23rd, your spouse won't accept arriving late the 24th, then take what's available as there is certainly no guarantee anything else will become available. The CA flight from PEK-IAH isn't bad, it's their 77W which has a nice premium cabin. I forget what the BKK-PEK flight is, probably the A333 which is generally ok (hard product), and fine for just sleeping which is what you'll be doing anyway as it's an overnight flight.

Otherwise, not necessarily any problem with booking separate itineraries except cases of irrops. In irrops you'd be prioritized slightly over your spouse since you have Star Alliance Silver status and she doesn't. If you're on the same itinerary you get looked at together. I honestly wouldn't do it just to fly BR as there is a fair chance one of you is stuck in the back. Set an alert to check ever few days or a week instead to see if the route opens up for 2 people in C. Expertflyer can do that for you automatically. I've done that quite a few times in the past when I've desired a better award itinerary and it works well, but I've had free changes on UA awards for quite a few years, so I don't even hesitate to book now and change later, especially for holiday period flights.
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