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Consolidated "Waitlist for Award Seats Questions/Issues"

Consolidated "Waitlist for Award Seats Questions/Issues"

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Old Oct 10, 18, 5:59 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
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Waitlisting for awards

Click for the current rules from United
Waitlisting options
  1. Waitlist for alternative flights times / routing
  2. Waitlisting for a different cabin
From the above link on waitlisting for a different cabin: You may redeem miles for travel in United Global First, United First, United Business or United BusinessFirst, even if the space is not available. In these cases, United Economy in the same award type must be confirmed, and the front cabin will be waitlisted. If the courtesy waitlist does not clear, it will expire 24 hours before itinerary departure, and you will automatically be added to the airport upgrade standby list upon check-in. In these cases, you will be confirmed on a space-available basis by a United airport representative at the gate once the flight has closed for check-in. For United BusinessFirst and United Business travel awards, the difference in miles will be refunded when the United BusinessFirst or United Business class segment of the trip could not be confirmed. Waitlist requests may only be made over the phone with your local United Customer Contact Center.
Waitlisting can only be done over the phone, not online.
You can not book a standard award and then waitlist for a saver award.
If waitlisting for a higher cabin, best if done at the time of booking or soon afterward.
If done more than 24 hours after booking you may be charged an award change fee.
Generally, the waitlisted class mileage is deducted at time of request and will be refunded if unsuccessful

If waitlisting for a segment when the rest of the segments are already in the higher cabin, there is no refund if unsuccessful

Member experiences:
  1. You must have a confirmed segment to waitlist for different cabin and/or a different flight.
  2. Can only waitlist for UA/UX operated flight, cannot waitlist for partner flights. Can waitlist for UA/UX flights on a mixed itin.
  3. Maximum number of WL segments in a PNR is 2.
  4. When confirmed segment is on a partner, you can waitlist for UA operated alternative.
At the airport, if you have not yet cleared for the higher cabin waitlist, you should be listed on the standby upgrade list (your priority on the waitlist is not well understood -- below are some conflicting theories)

Note: The correct priority term here may, in fact, be a code that is one of WAX, WBX, WCX, or WDX depending on status. The is per GG ONESTANDBY lines 32-55.

Originally Posted by hughw View Post
The agent should give you “PR-1 status”* which gives you top-priority status and moves you to the very top of the upgrade standby list, ahead of employees and everyone else trying to upgrade with miles+cash. If one agent won’t put you on the list as a displaced Business class passenger with "PR-1 status"* then find another one who will. With this status, the odds of you getting a business class are very high if there are still open seats (or if anybody no-shows).

If the agents in the airport are all clueless you should direct them to look
up “gg onestandby” in their system (they’ll know exactly what this is)
and look around lines 85-89 which spell out the details of the procedure for
this award.
Note: PR-1 status is given to those who "paid" the requisite miles for an upgraded seat (i.e. biz) when only the non-upgraded space (i.e. coach) was available. The PR-1* status is to clue the system (and agents) in so that it is clear that you have been "displaced." (NOTE: once you have obtained PR-1 status, should there be any change to your ticket, e.g., an involuntary reroute by UA due to missing a connection, the PR-1 status will most likely get dropped and you must have it reattached (esp. before any UGs are given to others).
* note "PR-1" may not be the correct term, see the Wxx note proceeding this section

Unfortunately at T-24, many GAs do not get this concept. Use the above to plead your case but be prepared to be unsatisfied. One method that can get you to a higher level of understanding is the UC. Their staff seems to not only have a better understanding of the issues, but they can contact the gate and exert some influence on the less informed GAs, AND they seem to have more of an interest in helping PAX. If you can get into the UC, it will be worth your while.

**Note: If you get the UG on the long haul, the higher level of award miles you are using (like with the GPU) are considered used up regardless of the short haul. You will not be charged the lower level # of miles (i.e. refunded the diff between the lower level and the higher level you paid in advance), rather the higher level award miles will be considered spent. That is the risk you take when you do Plan B.

Related thread - Understanding the United Upgrade List Comprehensively

Archive of past posts - Consolidated "Waitlist for Award Seats Questions/Issues [ARCHIVE]
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Old Aug 4, 18, 11:07 am
  #361  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 7,425
Originally Posted by mysorepack View Post
1. When I check the flight status for this flight, it shows no one on the upgrade list. Is that correct? We have not checked in yet for the flight. It shows United PolarisSM business: 60 Booked: 50 Checked In: 0. I called customer service, and they said that we are all on waitlists for specific fares to open up, so we are not on the Upgrade Standby list.
There are multiple lists. There are invisible, behind-the-scenes waitlists, and there is the single, visible waitlist. The visible waitlist only shows passengers who have checked in. Since you're at T-48, nobody has checked in yet, so you won't see anybody on that waitlist. Once you've checked in, you'll be on the Upgrade Standby list.

Originally Posted by mysorepack View Post
2. When we are eligible to check in, should we check in? Does that change our status from waitlisted to on the upgrade standby list? Or should we wait all the way till we arrive at the airport to check in?
When you check in, your family members' PNRs will be split. In fact, once you pass T-24, their reservations will be tagged and it may not be possible to prevent them from being split at check-in. Assuming you're OK with that, check in as close as possible to T-24, as check-in time is the last tiebreaker. Understand that almost any outcome is possible here -- anything from 0 to 3 passengers could clear. If you're not OK with that, you'd need to remove the waitlist requests prior to T-24 by calling UA.

If you do decide to check in, we'd appreciate it if you'd come back and tell us where each person ended up on the list, and what status each passenger has, as that might help us understand the transition process better -- there are differences of opinion about whether you should be ahead of your family or vice-versa.
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Old Aug 4, 18, 1:56 pm
  #362  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 17
Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
When you check in, your family members' PNRs will be split. In fact, once you pass T-24, their reservations will be tagged and it may not be possible to prevent them from being split at check-in. Assuming you're OK with that, check in as close as possible to T-24, as check-in time is the last tiebreaker. Understand that almost any outcome is possible here -- anything from 0 to 3 passengers could clear. If you're not OK with that, you'd need to remove the waitlist requests prior to T-24 by calling UA.
Got it - that's helpful to know. Do you know how my upgrade waitlist (paid fare, 20K miles+$550 upgrade) will be treated relative to my family's (economy award tickets, waitlisted to business saver award, IN space I assume)? Assume none of the 4 upgrades clear prior to T-24, how will the 4 be placed in the upgrade waitlist?

Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
If you do decide to check in, we'd appreciate it if you'd come back and tell us where each person ended up on the list, and what status each passenger has, as that might help us understand the transition process better -- there are differences of opinion about whether you should be ahead of your family or vice-versa.
Will update here!
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Old Aug 4, 18, 2:06 pm
  #363  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 7,425
Originally Posted by mysorepack View Post
Got it - that's helpful to know. Do you know how my upgrade waitlist (paid fare, 20K miles+$550 upgrade) will be treated relative to my family's (economy award tickets, waitlisted to business saver award, IN space I assume)? Assume none of the 4 upgrades clear prior to T-24, how will the 4 be placed in the upgrade waitlist?
Prior to departure, you're ahead of them, because R space will open before IN space would.

On the waitlist -- that's a very good question, which is why I asked you to let us know what happens. There are competing theories. Some people are of the opinion that your family should be / will be ahead of you; others are of the opinion that it's purely based on status and fare class as of T-24; still others would say that upgrades should be / will be ahead of waitlisted business class award passengers regardless of status, since that's the case prior to T-24.

There are quite a few anecdotes but I don't recall many situations where we could get data about known IN and R passengers on the same flight -- mostly it's just guesses and assumptions based upon list position.
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Old Aug 4, 18, 2:13 pm
  #364  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 17
Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Prior to departure, you're ahead of them, because R space will open before IN space would.

On the waitlist -- that's a very good question, which is why I asked you to let us know what happens. There are competing theories. Some people are of the opinion that your family should be / will be ahead of you; others are of the opinion that it's purely based on status and fare class as of T-24; still others would say that upgrades should be / will be ahead of waitlisted business class award passengers regardless of status, since that's the case prior to T-24.

There are quite a few anecdotes but I don't recall many situations where we could get data about known IN and R passengers on the same flight -- mostly it's just guesses and assumptions based upon list position.
Ok! I will definitely update how on this plays out. It is interesting that there is possibility that a IN waitlist could end up ahead of a paid upgrade - doesn't seem logical to forego $550 in revenue, but I am sure there are other factors at play.
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Old Aug 5, 18, 9:59 am
  #365  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 17

Quick update as of this morning. There seems to be space available now in multiple fare categories, but for some reason neither upgrade request has cleared yet. I see R3, RN3, IN2, I2... any suggestions on what I might be able to do?
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Old Aug 5, 18, 10:51 am
  #366  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: New York NY
Programs: UA Gold, CO Plat, CO Million Miler
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Originally Posted by mysorepack View Post

Quick update as of this morning. There seems to be space available now in multiple fare categories, but for some reason neither upgrade request has cleared yet. I see R3, RN3, IN2, I2... any suggestions on what I might be able to do?
You might try calling, but it's probably that they're waiting to assign the space until everyone checks in so that it's assigned in the correct order. Have you checked in yet? If so, where is everyone on the upgrade list.
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Old Aug 5, 18, 11:18 am
  #367  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
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Originally Posted by mysorepack View Post

Quick update as of this morning. There seems to be space available now in multiple fare categories, but for some reason neither upgrade request has cleared yet. I see R3, RN3, IN2, I2... any suggestions on what I might be able to do?
Your family's request can't clear because you need IN3 (assuming they're all on the same reservation). If you split off two of the passengers, they could clear.

Your request can clear, but there have been multiple reports of R space appearing but the waitlist not processing.

At a minimum, I would call and ask that your waitlist request be cleared. Be polite, because not all agents will do it, but hang up and call again if necessary. The problem is, right now, anybody could call in and jump the queue.
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Old Aug 5, 18, 12:34 pm
  #368  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Your family's request can't clear because you need IN3 (assuming they're all on the same reservation). If you split off two of the passengers, they could clear.

Your request can clear, but there have been multiple reports of R space appearing but the waitlist not processing.

At a minimum, I would call and ask that your waitlist request be cleared. Be polite, because not all agents will do it, but hang up and call again if necessary. The problem is, right now, anybody could call in and jump the queue.
Done as suggested. First agent said there was nothing that could be done, as the system is processing upgrades automatically and they "are locked out". Called back a while later, and a super helpful agent processed my upgrade, split out two passengers and cleared them both. One remains on the waitlist, availability shows IN0 right now so it looks like I'll have to check in and go through the T-24 upgrade list. Thanks for the helpful advise.
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Old Aug 5, 18, 12:36 pm
  #369  
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Your family's request can't clear because you need IN3 (assuming they're all on the same reservation). If you split off two of the passengers, they could clear.

Your request can clear, but there have been multiple reports of R space appearing but the waitlist not processing.

At a minimum, I would call and ask that your waitlist request be cleared. ....
Be aware if the OP can get the R space cleared first, there is a good chance the IN/I space will decrease by 1. The inventory for R & IN/I is not independent. Might be better to clear 2 of the IN/I first and then request the R.
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Old Aug 5, 18, 12:48 pm
  #370  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Your family's request can't clear because you need IN3 (assuming they're all on the same reservation). If you split off two of the passengers, they could clear.

Your request can clear, but there have been multiple reports of R space appearing but the waitlist not processing.

At a minimum, I would call and ask that your waitlist request be cleared. Be polite, because not all agents will do it, but hang up and call again if necessary. The problem is, right now, anybody could call in and jump the queue.
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Be aware if the OP can get the R space cleared first, there is a good chance the IN/I space will decrease by 1. The inventory for R & IN/I is not independent. Might be better to clear 2 of the IN/I first and then request the R.
This is very good insight, which would have been useful to know when I called. She cleared the R request first, at which point IN2 decreased to IN1. So she started to clear one of IN requests, after splitting out the booking. By the time she finished splitting the booking, fortunately IN1 went back to IN2 and she was able to clear two.
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Old Aug 5, 18, 12:54 pm
  #371  
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Originally Posted by mysorepack View Post
This is very good insight, which would have been useful to know when I called. She cleared the R request first, at which point IN2 decreased to IN1. So she started to clear one of IN requests, after splitting out the booking. By the time she finished splitting the booking, fortunately IN1 went back to IN2 and she was able to clear two.
That bounce back can happen but not always and using not that fast,

Gald to hear you got 3 out of 4 up front, good luck on the fourth. Looks like it is still J7
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Old Aug 5, 18, 1:38 pm
  #372  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
That bounce back can happen but not always and using not that fast,

Gald to hear you got 3 out of 4 up front, good luck on the fourth. Looks like it is still J7
Final update - just did the online check-in for the 4th family member, and was offered the $829 upgrade offer, which I took. I assume I'll get the 30K miles back at some point?
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Old Aug 5, 18, 3:42 pm
  #373  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
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Originally Posted by mysorepack View Post
This is very good insight, which would have been useful to know when I called. She cleared the R request first, at which point IN2 decreased to IN1. So she started to clear one of IN requests, after splitting out the booking. By the time she finished splitting the booking, fortunately IN1 went back to IN2 and she was able to clear two.
Sorry, I probably should have suggested that. I hesitated because UA can re-calculate its inventory at any time, so if you had called to clear the waitlisted passengers into IN, it's possible that R would have gone from R3 to R0 even though only two seats had been claimed.

Originally Posted by mysorepack View Post
Final update - just did the online check-in for the 4th family member, and was offered the $829 upgrade offer, which I took. I assume I'll get the 30K miles back at some point?
You'll get the additional miles back after the flight. It should happen automatically, but if it doesn't, file for a refund on the website. (Don't do it until travel is complete -- that way, you minimize the chances of someone fat-fingering the refund and leaving you without a ticket).

Enjoy your trip. :-)
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Old Aug 5, 18, 4:04 pm
  #374  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: New York NY
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Again....we/re all curious about where your and your family were listed on the upgrade standby list, and what if any status you have.
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Old Aug 5, 18, 10:15 pm
  #375  
 
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Originally Posted by hughw View Post
Again....we/re all curious about where your and your family were listed on the upgrade standby list, and what if any status you have.
This didn't get to the upgrade standby list stage. 3 of the upgrades cleared before the T-24 window, and the 4th one happened at check-in time.
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