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Rules for Open Jaw & Stopover Award Flights (Consolidated)

Rules for Open Jaw & Stopover Award Flights (Consolidated)

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Old Jan 4, 15, 10:06 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
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Presented as Q&A format (Originally posted by Alex_B)

Q: What is a stopover?
A: A stopover on an international itinerary is any break in your air travel for more than 24 hours except at the destination.

Q: What is an open-jaw?
A: An open-jaw is where you travel by your own means (either land, sea or a separate air ticket) between two points in a journey.

Q: How many stopovers am I allowed on a roundtrip award?
A: One stopover, in addition to the destination, is permitted (an unlimited number of stops less than 24hours is allowable).

Q: How many open-jaws are allowed on a roundtrip award?
A: Two open-jaws are permitted. These must be at the stopover, destination or origin.

Q: Can I have a stopover or open-jaw on a one-way award?
A: No

Q: Can I have a open-jaw at both the stopover and destination?
A: Yes, plenty of posters have reported success in booking this

Q: Can I transit my destination multiple times (e.g. fly to JNB, fly to CPT and then return home via JNB)?
A: Yes, plenty of posters have reported success in booking this. You can only stop in your destination for > 24 hours once though.

Q: Can I cross both oceans?
A: Yes. The rule that prohibited crossing both oceans appears to have been removed from both MP and *A award rules. There are many many successful examples of people booking these itineraries.

Q: Is EWR-PVG transatlantic or transpacific?
A: US-East Asia/South East Asia is always transpacific no matter what geography might suggest.

Q: Do I pay more for a stopover or open-jaw?
A: Typically no additional mileage is required but additional taxes or fees are often payable (especially in UK with high Air Passenger Duty). Extra mileage will often be required if an open-jaw or stopover adds a higher cost region into the itinerary. Also awards wholly within CONUS, Canada and Alaska (formerly known as Series 0 awards) require additional mileage (10K miles) for a stopover of >4 hrs.

Q: What's this about a free one-way I can get on awards?
A: The concept of free one-ways is a misnomer and often confuses people, it is better to consider it a stopover in the city of origin. If you have a simple roundtrip award without a stopover, you can often create a stopover and open-jaw at your origin on the return leg to add an addition flight. E.g. I wish to book EWR-LHR (destination)-EWR which is a roundtrip US-Europe award. I could also book this as EWR-LHR (destination)-EWR (stopover)-SFO for the same mileage (and a few dollars of extra tax). The EWR segment would need to be within 330 days of booking and would be subject to the usual change fees.

Other notes:
  • The open-jaw portion must be smaller (in miles) than any other leg. -While technically true for revenue fare construction this is not strictly enforced on awards.
  • For awards between CONUS/Canada/Alaska and South Asia award regions the maximum number of segments is 5 segments each way on a round-trip and 4 segments on a one-way. (Note that many FTers report recently being read a memo that imposes an eight segment maximum on a roundtrip (4 each way). It is unclear whether this eight-segment maximum is limited to South Asia routings through Europe or North Asia, or has broader application.)
  • Stopovers and open-jaws are NOT additive. You do not get extra stops included in your itinerary simply by making an open-jaw out of it.

Seeing your fare construction on an already booked award ticket:
In order to see your award fare construction to see where your stopovers and destination are, follow these steps.

Go to http://www.saudiairlines.com/

Then hit "Manage My Bookings" and select "E-Ticket"
Enter your UA ticket number (hint: 016 will go in the first box, and then everything else in the second box). Then your last name and hit "Retrieve My Booking". On the next page you'll see a line like this under "Fare Calculation":

CHI LH X/FRA LH ROM0.00CSM/YB52 /- FLR LH X/FRA LH X/DUS LH CHI UA SEA

This example is:
ORD-FRA-FCO
Open Jaw at Destination
FLR-FRA-DUS-ORD
Stopover at origin
ORD-SEA
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Old Mar 1, 12, 4:15 pm
  #16  
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post
Right, but flying to Singapore and back from Delhi?
Yup, I called them twice and talked to two different agents. Both confirmed that I can book this open-jaw ticket with a free stopover (I will probably do a stopover in Zurich).
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Old Mar 16, 12, 4:23 pm
  #17  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Stopover rules for award travel?

I'm trying to book 2 one way tickets from MSP to AKL. the routing is MSP-ORD-PEK-AKL. The facts are laid out below:

-All segments are in business (I) except the msp-ord segment, which is in econonomy (X)

-There is a 2 hour connection in ORD and a 19 hour connection in PEK

-The mileage should be 135,000 but it is showing up on the award booking engine as 220,000

-I attempted to book it as a multi-segment award booking based on flights found using ANA and UA's award searches

I've tried calling 3 seperate UA agents on the phone now and each person is saying that it must be <4 hours to be considered a "connection" rather than a "stopover". Has this changed after the merger? Or is there a website or something that I can direct the agents to that clearly states 24 hr connections are allowed on international awards in order to book this itinerary for the 135,000 miles? Thanks in advance for the help

EDIT: the agent i'm on the phone with is saying that PEK is not a "connection city" according to the booking engine. Any ideas?

Last edited by captaincool; Mar 16, 12 at 4:29 pm
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Old Mar 16, 12, 4:41 pm
  #18  
 
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can't really help, but I think the 4 hours is for domestic flights. Hope it hasn't changed. Also I heard the same thing pre merger with co about a city not being classified as a connection city. I believe they said I could route through Sin but not through hkg or nrt.

good luck and update us on the outcome
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Old Mar 16, 12, 6:05 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: May 2011
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You can absolutely have connections of more than 4 hours in international cities. I believe the max at least used to be just under 24 hours, and I've previously booked connections of 19 hours.

As far as PEK as a connecting city goes, I just pulled up plenty of itineraries showing 8-10 hour connections in PEK using united.com. For example, look for one-way awards from BKK to ORD (pick any date you want, but I was just looking at several dates in September). Several options with connections in PEK came up.
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Old Mar 16, 12, 6:23 pm
  #20  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Originally Posted by 100countrygoal View Post
You can absolutely have connections of more than 4 hours in international cities. I believe the max at least used to be just under 24 hours, and I've previously booked connections of 19 hours.

As far as PEK as a connecting city goes, I just pulled up plenty of itineraries showing 8-10 hour connections in PEK using united.com. For example, look for one-way awards from BKK to ORD (pick any date you want, but I was just looking at several dates in September). Several options with connections in PEK came up.
Hmmm, so I got off the phone with "Alan" who used to be a continental rep and was very helpful. However, after ~50 min of trying to book it at the lower mileage he came to the conclusion that I couldn't connect anywhere in Asia besides NRT when traveling to AKL from North America. He said if I were traveling to BKK as a final destination that MSP-ORD-PEK-BKK would have been fine because the final destination is in Asia; since AKL is in the Pacific, the routing simply wouldn't be allowed and would have to be 2 seperate one-ways. I guess there isn't any way around it and I'll have to look for some Business class availability from LAX/SFO/YYZ/NRT....I was really looking forward to the flight over the North Pole and a day in Beijing too
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Old Mar 16, 12, 6:35 pm
  #21  
 
Join Date: May 2011
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Originally Posted by captaincool View Post
he came to the conclusion that I couldn't connect anywhere in Asia besides NRT when traveling to AKL from North America. He said if I were traveling to BKK as a final destination that MSP-ORD-PEK-BKK would have been fine because the final destination is in Asia; since AKL is in the Pacific, the routing simply wouldn't be allowed and would have to be 2 seperate one-ways
Ok. . . well at least that explanation makes much more sense!
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Old Mar 16, 12, 7:05 pm
  #22  
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The route you're interested in spans 13,300+ miles.

[KVS Availability Tool 6.9.6/Diamond - Reference: Maximum Permitted Mileage [MPM]: MSP-AKL/UA]
Code:
                                                                
         GI       M      5M     10M     15M     20M     25M     
MPM      PA    9661   10144   10627   11110   11593   12076
Using PEK at a transfer point is so far off the charts that this is likely why you've received the answer you have.
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Old Mar 16, 12, 10:31 pm
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by dsquared37 View Post
The route you're interested in spans 13,300+ miles.

[KVS Availability Tool 6.9.6/Diamond - Reference: Maximum Permitted Mileage [MPM]: MSP-AKL/UA]
Code:
                                                                
         GI       M      5M     10M     15M     20M     25M     
MPM      PA    9661   10144   10627   11110   11593   12076
Using PEK at a transfer point is so far off the charts that this is likely why you've received the answer you have.
Makes sense....I didn't even think about the MPM!
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Old Mar 21, 12, 11:25 pm
  #24  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Tried calling back a few more times and was able to get it ticketed! So glad I decided to try calling back a couple more times!

Last edited by captaincool; Mar 21, 12 at 11:30 pm
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Old Mar 22, 12, 12:12 am
  #25  
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Originally Posted by captaincool View Post
Tried calling back a few more times and was able to get it ticketed! So glad I decided to try calling back a couple more times!
Transiting thru PEK at the lower mileage? I'm surprised that you could connect in NRT.
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Old Mar 22, 12, 2:14 am
  #26  
 
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The rule is still 24 hours for international itineraries and agent roulette is always the best option.
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Old Mar 22, 12, 2:19 am
  #27  
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Originally Posted by BryanIAH View Post
The rule is still 24 hours for international itineraries and agent roulette is always the best option.
You are off by a minute. It is not a stopover as long as the transfer is max 23 hours and 59 minutes to be exact.
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Old Mar 22, 12, 3:36 pm
  #28  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Originally Posted by UA Fan View Post
Transiting thru PEK at the lower mileage? I'm surprised that you could connect in NRT.
I was surprised as well, but definitely not complaining Booked it as MSP-ORD-PEK-AKL

I wish we could see what their screens look like so we could help them "find" the availability
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Old Mar 22, 12, 5:01 pm
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by captaincool View Post
Tried calling back a few more times and was able to get it ticketed! So glad I decided to try calling back a couple more times!
Very good news indeed! But i just can't handle the wait times.
How long was your wait time, and what time did you call?
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Old Mar 22, 12, 11:44 pm
  #30  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Originally Posted by tomy77 View Post
Very good news indeed! But i just can't handle the wait times.
How long was your wait time, and what time did you call?
I called around noon and from 9-10PM central time.

I used this link to have united call me and never waited more then ~5min
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