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Decoding the alphabet soup - fare buckets for UA

Old Jul 1, 2013, 9:03 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: WineCountryUA

Revenue buckets
J - Full Fare Business
C - Discount Business
D - Discount Business
Z - Deep Discount Business
P - Deep Discount Business
O - Full Fare PremiumPlus (Premium Economy)
A - Discount PremiumPlus (Premium Economy)
R - Deep Discount PremiumPlus (Premium Economy)
Y - Full Fare Coach
B - Full Fare Coach
M - Discount Coach
E - Discount Coach
U - Discount Coach
H - Discount Coach
Q - Discount Coach
V - Discount Coach
W - Deep Discount Coach
S - Deep Discount Coach
T - Deep Discount Coach
L - Deep Discount Coach
K - Deep Discount Coach
G - Deep Discount Coach
N - Basic Economy

Saver Award Inventory
IN - Elite (Plat/1K/GS) Saver Business or 2-cabin First Award
I - Non-Elite and Low Elite Saver Business or 2-cabin First Award
XN - Elite Saver Coach Award. Also available to Chase Gateway, Explorer, Quest, and United Club Visa cardholders as an undocumented benefit
X - Non-Elite Saver Coach Award

"Everyday" Award Inventory
JN - Elite/CC Everyday Business or 2-cabin First Award (may be open to all MP members )
ZN - Non-Elite Everyday Business or 2-cabin First Award (tracks to the Z bucket) (not clear if still used for award travel). Also used for buy-up upgrade offered at check-in. May be a factor in Skip-the-Waitliist availability
ON - Everyday PremiumPlus (Premium Economy) Award
YN - Elite/CC Everyday Coach Award (may be open to all MP members)
HN - Non-Elite Everyday Coach Award (tracks to the H bucket) (not clear this is still used)

Upgrade Inventory
PN - Y/B/M 1K Instant Upgrades (CPU eligible routes only); All GS sponsored upgrades Y->J (CPU, PlusPoints, miles)
PZ - Upgrades to Polaris Business, United Business, or United First (excepting GS sponsored upgrades and 1K Instant Upgrades)
RN - Upgrades to Premium Plus

Points earning for all upgrades is based on the originally purchased fare. Also see below.

Upgrades Note that upgraded flights will post to your MileagePlus statement as Z(X) where the second letter (X) is the original booking class. The parenthetical letter defines the earning rate for the flight as points are earned based on the original booking class.


How to read inventory numbers:
Why does J8C5D3Z0P0 mean?
The zero inventory is easy to explain, UA is presently unwilling to sell tickets using inventory in that fare class.
Does J8C5D3 mean there are 16 seats for sale? No -- there are just 8 available seats.
Inventory in a fare class is not additive but the lower fare classes are subsets of the higher fare classes
If UA sells / upgrades 1 seat in the premium fare class, the Inventory will like change to J7C4D2.
The J inventory is the total number of seats for sale in business/first. While C,D,Z, P ... are the number of seats UA is willing to sell in those lower fare classes
Going back to J8C5D3Z0P0, if you want 4 seats on a single PNR, you will have to purchase C fare, as there isn't enough inventory for D fare for everyone on the PNR and everyone on a common PNR must have the same fare class / fare basis.

In some cases, if a lower cabin is oversold, UA will then block, remove from inventory in the higher cabin to protect against the oversale.
Note the largest number for a UA fare class in public displays is 9 (some airlines limit to just 4), this prevents revealing too much information to the competitors or the public.

Award and upgrade inventory are also subsets on their respective cabin inventory

Management of inventory and maximizing revenue is the role of Revenue Management (RM), a highly secretive, proprietary operation of the airlines -- So inventory changes (within the physical limitations of the aircraft) will be dynamic and can change without notice as determine by RM

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Decoding the alphabet soup - fare buckets for UA

Old Jan 13, 2024, 8:43 am
  #136  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Programs: UA Gold
Posts: 102
Expert mode codes

Hi,
I'm looking for an explanation of using Expert Mode, and all the codes in it.
I know it's here somewhere, but I couldn't find it!
Thanks!
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Old Jan 13, 2024, 8:45 am
  #137  
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Programs: UA 1K 1MM; Marriott LT Titanium; Amex MR; Chase UR; Hertz PC; Global Entry
Posts: 10,269
Originally Posted by DanK
Hi,
I'm looking for an explanation of using Expert Mode, and all the codes in it.
I know it's here somewhere, but I couldn't find it!
Thanks!
Here you go

Expert Mode: opt-in to see upgrade visibility/fare bucket data/Issue staying enabled?

Decoding the alphabet soup - fare buckets for UA
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Old Jan 13, 2024, 8:53 am
  #138  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Programs: UA Gold
Posts: 102
Thank you for superfast reply!
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Old Apr 12, 2024, 6:23 pm
  #139  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: SF
Programs: United-GOLD, AA
Posts: 155
Red face Premier Gold-what are the present upgrade fare classes (econ-bz)

I'm a lowly Premiier Gold and based on 2023 TPG/UP articles, the only codes with econ>bz inventory are R/PZ and RN. I've been searching far in advance and find zero inventory for either of these codes.

What are the current (2024) codes a Premier Gold member (using eligibile econ fare classes) can search for econ>bz upgrades? I'm hoping that my 2023 info has been updated.

Are 'R/N' and 'R/PZ' still valid codes? Are there other codes that apply to Premier Gold econ>bz upgrades (assuming eligible econ fare classes)?

Trying to stay optimistic .

Thank you all! pbh

Last edited by pbh220; Apr 12, 2024 at 6:24 pm Reason: typos
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Old Apr 12, 2024, 6:41 pm
  #140  
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 21,978
Originally Posted by pbh220
I'm a lowly Premiier Gold and based on 2023 TPG/UP articles, the only codes with econ>bz inventory are R/PZ and RN. I've been searching far in advance and find zero inventory for either of these codes.

What are the current (2024) codes a Premier Gold member (using eligibile econ fare classes) can search for econ>bz upgrades? I'm hoping that my 2023 info has been updated.

Are 'R/N' and 'R/PZ' still valid codes? Are there other codes that apply to Premier Gold econ>bz upgrades (assuming eligible econ fare classes)?

Trying to stay optimistic .

Thank you all! pbh
PZ is used for upgrades to Polaris or to domestic first class. RN is used for upgrades to Premium Economy.

Note that even if you do find this space, which tends to be challenging, you’ll need to use an upgrade instrument — for a Gold, that would generally be miles + copay, unless you have someone else who is willing to use their upgrades on your travel. (On short-haul flights that are eligible for Complimentary Premier Upgrades, you could get an instant upgrade at ticketing by purchasing a Y or a B fare; however, on many routes, B is quite expensive and often more expensive than buying first class directly.
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Old Apr 12, 2024, 6:46 pm
  #141  
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: DL PM, UA Gold, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 14,715
If you want to confirm an upgrade to the forward cabin (United First, United Business, or United Polaris business) using miles + copay as a Gold, the requisite class is PZ.

It is normal that it is very difficult to find.
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Old Apr 15, 2024, 6:56 pm
  #142  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: SF
Programs: United-GOLD, AA
Posts: 155
Thank you very much! Yes, haven't even attempted to get an upgrade using the codes in a long time. Last couple years we've been just buying a bz class ticket. Still we will be traveling more this year and wanted to give it a try!
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