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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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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 Feb 20, 12, 9:41 pm
  #1  
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Rules for Open Jaw & Stopover Award Flights (Consolidated)

Hi, can anyone explain to me what exactly qualifies for an Open Jaw flight. I have enough miles to fly from NY to Singapore and then back from Delhi to NY. Will that qualify as an open-jaw return?

The reason I ask is because United only allows free stopovers for return tickets, and if I can get this flight counted as a return flight, I will get to do a stopover either in London or Sydney for free.

I tried calling the award booking phone line and after ~ 15 min wait had to talk to a TechSupport guy who seemed to have no idea what I was talking about, and just told me it cannot be done. Any help will be much appreciated. Thanks
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Old Feb 20, 12, 9:50 pm
  #2  
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The missing leg must be the shortest of the three.
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Old Feb 20, 12, 10:01 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by mduell View Post
The missing leg must be the shortest of the three.
which is true in this case. The missing Singapore->Delhi leg is the shortest. So, I should call back? Is there any united.com page that explicitly says so? That would give me a lot more leverage when I call back.
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Old Feb 20, 12, 10:40 pm
  #4  
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welcome to FT!, transistorized

United air travel award rules
e) Fly to multiple cities without flying back to where you started (commonly called “open-jaw” travel). Both single- and double–open jaws are allowed.
f) Include one stopover when traveling round trip between regions on roundtrip or open-jaw itineraries; for example, between the continental U.S. and Hawaii, or between the U.S. and the Caribbean, Asia, Australia, Central America, South America, Middle East or Europe). ...
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
The missing leg must be the shortest of the three.
beleive they dropped that rule a few years back.
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Old Feb 20, 12, 10:55 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
welcome to FT!, transistorized

United air travel award rules

beleive they dropped that rule a few years back.
Hi WineCountryUA, thanks for your help. I will call back and hopefully this time get a CSR who knows what he is talking about.
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Old Feb 20, 12, 11:01 pm
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I could very well be mistaken, but I believe the reason this is being disallowed is because DEL and SIN are in different regions, so as opposed to this being a North America-South Asia roundtrip award, it's a North-America-South Asia one way followed by a Central Asia-North America one way, hence no stopover allowed. Again, I could be wrong, but I think the open jaw has to be in the same region.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong,

Chris

Last edited by JayhawkCO; Feb 21, 12 at 8:25 am
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Old Feb 21, 12, 12:48 am
  #7  
 
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Another thing to consider is that SYD stop may take you over 1.15MPM and that would make the itin illegal. You may be OK with LHR stop
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Old Feb 21, 12, 1:13 am
  #8  
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OP should note that in Y and F (but not C) the cost of travel to Central Asia is different, and higher than, to S Asia.
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Old Feb 21, 12, 2:20 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
welcome to FT!, transistorized

United air travel award rules

beleive they dropped that rule a few years back.
No, this is part of the definition of an open jaw, or else GRU-IAD-DME could be an "open jaw." Of course, with the advent of one-way awards, there is less value to open jaws -- one could just book two one-ways for the same price.

I guess the only benefit of a bona fide open jaw is, as the rule you cite points out, that a stop-over would be allowed.

So on two one-way awards, SFO-HKG-SIN and BKK-NRT-SFO, stop-overs wouldn't be allowed, but if it's booked as a single open jaw itinerary -- for which this itinerary would qualify and cost the same as two one-ways -- then the stop-over would be allowed.

Correct?
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Old Feb 21, 12, 3:23 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by mecabq View Post
No, this is part of the definition of an open jaw, or else GRU-IAD-DME could be an "open jaw." Of course, with the advent of one-way awards, there is less value to open jaws -- one could just book two one-ways for the same price.
The difference could well be that the example you cite would be charged as a S America - Asia o/w itin.

I've definitely had itins where the o/j was significantly larger than the shortest (which was adjacent) segment. These have occurred in the same region which could also be significant.

Originally Posted by mecabq View Post
I guess the only benefit of a bona fide open jaw is, as the rule you cite points out, that a stop-over would be allowed.
That is the main one. The others have to do with change fees (1 itin vs 2).


Originally Posted by mecabq View Post
So on two one-way awards, SFO-HKG-SIN and BKK-NRT-SFO, stop-overs wouldn't be allowed, but if it's booked as a single open jaw itinerary -- for which this itinerary would qualify and cost the same as two one-ways -- then the stop-over would be allowed.

Correct?
That is correct.
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Old Feb 21, 12, 3:50 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by transistorized View Post
Hi WineCountryUA, thanks for your help. I will call back and hopefully this time get a CSR who knows what he is talking about.
.
There is no meed to call if you have linked your UA and CO accounts, just move the miles over to CO and you can book it all online. I just did a dummy booking, and for NYC-SIN, DEL-LHR, and LHR-NYC it prices it out correctly at 72,500 miles.
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Old Feb 21, 12, 10:50 am
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Please report back whether you are able to get this booked or not, because I was thinking of doing the same thing but can never really understand the meaning of open jaw either.
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Old Feb 28, 12, 10:20 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by dreamfool View Post
Please report back whether you are able to get this booked or not, because I was thinking of doing the same thing but can never really understand the meaning of open jaw either.
Hi, sorry about the late reply. I finally called them again and this time I got a very helpful CSR who confirmed that I will be able to book an open-jaw return ticket that will still allow a stopover.

Thanks everyone for your help!
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Old Feb 28, 12, 10:32 pm
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Originally Posted by transistorized View Post
Hi, sorry about the late reply. I finally called them again and this time I got a very helpful CSR who confirmed that I will be able to book an open-jaw return ticket that will still allow a stopover.
!
Right, but flying to Singapore and back from Delhi?
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Old Feb 29, 12, 8:10 pm
  #15  
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FWIW, co.com or a CO phone agent shouldn't have any troubles booking the award as described. It is definitely valid per the system rules.
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