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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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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 Feb 12, 19, 4:03 pm
  #586  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: DEN
Programs: United Silver, Hilton Silver, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 594
Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
Granted, my experience is possibly worse than the average UA flyer, but even in my years as 1K, I almost NEVER cleared into FC domestic if it was not available at time of booking So:

1. Don't hold your breath.
2. Need to call in.
3. You already paid for this with miles deducted.
For what it's worth, I've only booked a couple of flights like this, and in every case my domestic portion has cleared. But I did have to call to get it waitlisted. Maybe I'm just lucky?
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Old Feb 25, 19, 4:45 pm
  #587  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Programs: Far too many
Posts: 310
Getting waitlisted without HUCA: happy datapoint

Just a happy datapoint on finding UA help to get waitlisted:

The reservation agent I spoke with after the customary 20 minute hold had no idea what waitlisting for a saver business award seat meant. He told me that my only option was to book a standard award at about double the price in miles. I courteously told him that I knew I could be waitlisted for the saver award price, and asked to speak to a supervisor.

After a five minute wait, a supervisor came on. What I had been trying to accomplish had been garbled in transmission from me to the agent to the supervisor, but once I said what I wanted, the supervisor knew exactly what to do and booked the economy seat with an "I" requested, all of which appears in order on the booking. He also waived the call center fee at my request, given that the transaction could not have been completed online.

I might have just been lucky about the knowledgeable supervisor I got, but if I ever do this again, I will certainly go this route rather than hanging up, calling again, waiting on hold, and hoping that the next agent might be better informed.
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Old Feb 25, 19, 5:02 pm
  #588  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Programs: Far too many
Posts: 310
Best practices between waitlisting and departing

Can an old hand at waitlisting mention what steps an award passenger booked into international long haul economy and waitlisted for business should take to optimize the business potential?

Reading this thread, it appears that the business award should happen automatically up to some time before departure if seats become available. Then the waitlist is transferred to the gate, where it should automatically clear if seats become available. Priority on the waitlist is still in controversy, but the days when a booked, waitlisted passenger had a very high priority have been over for years.

What, if anything should be done between booking and the day before the flight? If expertflyer notifies me that a business saver award seat has become available, should I contact UA? If so, how, and what is the ask?

When does the waitlist transfer to the gate? What, if anything, should I do at that point?

Many thanks.
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Old Feb 25, 19, 5:43 pm
  #589  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton ♦ , Hyatt Carbonado, Wyndham ♦, Marriott PE, "Stinking Bum" elsewhere.
Posts: 2,905
Wrong CPU Upgrade Order?

I was on an F saver award recently, TPA-IAH-BKK (IAH-NRT on NH and NRT-BKK on TG) and waitlisted the TPA-IAH segments, or so I thought. At OLCI, I couldn't see anything on the UG list so I called, invoking the CC holder privilege, to be added to the CPU list. The 1K desk told me to tell the check-in agent to add me to the list when I got to the airport because my res was under airport control. At check-in, I was told that we would be placed on the CPU list, but below the General members because awards are considered the lowest fare class and indeed we were listed at the very end of the CPU list. This sounded like hokum to me, so I called the 1K desk again and they took 20 minutes to tell me they couldn't do anything to move me up the list.

This was wrong, correct? We should've been placed at the end of the 1Ks on the UG list in my understanding-is that correct? What should I have done differently?
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Old Feb 25, 19, 6:32 pm
  #590  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K, DL, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 8,137
Originally Posted by travel light View Post
What, if anything should be done between booking and the day before the flight? If expertflyer notifies me that a business saver award seat has become available, should I contact UA? If so, how, and what is the ask?
If you see business saver (I) space, you should call UA and ask them to clear the waitlist, as it's "stuck". Or, if you have free change/redeposit, just change the award to business if applicable.

Originally Posted by travel light View Post
When does the waitlist transfer to the gate? What, if anything, should I do at that point?
It should work exactly as if you have an upgrade instrument applied. You should get the "unable to confirm" email about 15 minutes before check-in opens (assuming you remain in Economy), and then you should appear on the visible list with a priority equivalent to an instrument-supported upgrade (this is my belief, at any rate, on exact priority although this is a hotly debated topic).

Originally Posted by zombietooth View Post
This was wrong, correct? We should've been placed at the end of the 1Ks on the UG list in my understanding-is that correct? What should I have done differently?
Definitely wrong. It sounds like you were added as a non-rev, but hard to tell. If based on the waitlisted premium sector, you should rank equivalent to a 1K on your fare class with an instrument upgrade applied; if based on the credit card and CPU-eligible Economy sector you should be behind 1Ks on G fares and ahead of Plats on Y fares looking for CPU.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 10:07 am
  #591  
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1k
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So I'm confirmed LIS-(TP)-ORD-(UA)-SFO for Jan'2020 with a 5 hour layover in ORD. I wanted to waitlist onto an earlier ORD-SFO but when I tried calling the 1k line they said I can't do that. Should I just HUACA, or is this indeed not allowed?
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Old Feb 28, 19, 10:11 am
  #592  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 7,408
Originally Posted by mrt88 View Post
So I'm confirmed LIS-(TP)-ORD-(UA)-SFO for Jan'2020 with a 5 hour layover in ORD. I wanted to waitlist onto an earlier ORD-SFO but when I tried calling the 1k line they said I can't do that. Should I just HUACA, or is this indeed not allowed?
It should be allowable, provided that the minimum connection time is maintained. This appears to be 1:30.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 10:37 am
  #593  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: BOM-SIN-EWR
Programs: UA*G (1K again), Sixt Plat, *was*: SQ QPP01 & SK EBS/EBG, LH SEN, AA EXP, 9wPlat
Posts: 7,686
Originally Posted by mrt88 View Post
So I'm confirmed LIS-(TP)-ORD-(UA)-SFO for Jan'2020 with a 5 hour layover in ORD. I wanted to waitlist onto an earlier ORD-SFO but when I tried calling the 1k line they said I can't do that. Should I just HUACA, or is this indeed not allowed?
So this can work if there is another (TP in your case) *A airline in the itinerary, LH in my case - I'm planning to WL for the EWR-FRA segment. Confirmed X on UA metal over the water...
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Old Feb 28, 19, 11:58 am
  #594  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Marin County
Programs: None - previously UA
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Originally Posted by zombietooth View Post

This was wrong, correct? We should've been placed at the end of the 1Ks on the UG list in my understanding-is that correct? What should I have done differently?

You should have been above the 1K's on the upgrade list. The agents get very confused about the benefit, this is not the "upgrade on saver awards" credit card benefit, it's the displaced pax/paid for business class but only confirmed in economy" benefit. If properly transferred to the upgrade list you should be above almost everyone on the list except maybe GS and a few other cases, maybe some pilots etc. I've seen this work and been upgraded a few times now. I've also missed a few narrowly. You should have explained that you should get the same priority as displaced business pax. This used to be PR-1.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 12:10 pm
  #595  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 7,408
Originally Posted by escapefromphl View Post
You should have been above the 1K's on the upgrade list. The agents get very confused about the benefit, this is not the "upgrade on saver awards" credit card benefit, it's the displaced pax/paid for business class but only confirmed in economy" benefit. If properly transferred to the upgrade list you should be above almost everyone on the list except maybe GS and a few other cases, maybe some pilots etc. I've seen this work and been upgraded a few times now. I've also missed a few narrowly. You should have explained that you should get the same priority as displaced business pax. This used to be PR-1.
There is little evidence that this is still the case, and quite a bit of evidence that it is, in fact, no longer true.

That said, on the gate list, I'd expect someone with a waitlisted award to be ahead of non-GS CPUs, but not necessarily ahead of instrument upgrades. I'd expect someone using the credit-card CPU benefit to be last among their status level (that one I'm sure of).
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Old Feb 28, 19, 12:26 pm
  #596  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Marin County
Programs: None - previously UA
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
There is little evidence that this is still the case, and quite a bit of evidence that it is, in fact, no longer true.

That said, on the gate list, I'd expect someone with a waitlisted award to be ahead of non-GS CPUs, but not necessarily ahead of instrument upgrades. I'd expect someone using the credit-card CPU benefit to be last among their status level (that one I'm sure of).
I don't have hard evidence, just anecdotal evidence, I had to get manually applied as the last time I didn't transfer automatically to the airport list. The United club agent added me and with just silver status, I was almost dead last on the upgrade list that was about 70 deep, I went over to politely explain that I should have been waitlisted higher as I had paid for Premium cabin etc. She agreed and made some adjustments and I jumped to number 1 on an IAD-SFO flight. So perhaps she gave me a higher priority than she should have or that the computer does. It's also possible the system is adding folks with the wrong priority, but I guess that would be a feature, not a bug.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 12:46 pm
  #597  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
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Originally Posted by escapefromphl View Post
I don't have hard evidence, just anecdotal evidence, I had to get manually applied as the last time I didn't transfer automatically to the airport list. The United club agent added me and with just silver status, I was almost dead last on the upgrade list that was about 70 deep, I went over to politely explain that I should have been waitlisted higher as I had paid for Premium cabin etc. She agreed and made some adjustments and I jumped to number 1 on an IAD-SFO flight. So perhaps she gave me a higher priority than she should have or that the computer does. It's also possible the system is adding folks with the wrong priority, but I guess that would be a feature, not a bug.
I would argue that neither dead last nor #1 was correct. It sounds like you originally got put in with CPU status, and then got put in with PR-1 status. When people are transferred automatically to the waitlist, they seem to be mixed in with instrument upgrades. Per the wiki, the GG lines that used to indicate PR-1 was applicable have been changed.

There is no logical reason to assume that waitlisted saver awards should be ahead of upgrading passengers at the gate, given that saver awards will only open prior to the gate if all upgrades have already been processed. In other words, the PZ (upgrade) bucket is ahead of the I (saver award) bucket in the inventory priority, so it really doesn't make any sense for that to invert at the gate.
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Old Feb 28, 19, 1:34 pm
  #598  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Marin County
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
I would argue that neither dead last nor #1 was correct. It sounds like you originally got put in with CPU status, and then got put in with PR-1 status. When people are transferred automatically to the waitlist, they seem to be mixed in with instrument upgrades. Per the wiki, the GG lines that used to indicate PR-1 was applicable have been changed.

There is no logical reason to assume that waitlisted saver awards should be ahead of upgrading passengers at the gate, given that saver awards will only open prior to the gate if all upgrades have already been processed. In other words, the PZ (upgrade) bucket is ahead of the I (saver award) bucket in the inventory priority, so it really doesn't make any sense for that to invert at the gate.
I thought this post was still the status quo? https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/27753011-post1439.html IE that you're ahead of upgraders but behind any revenue displaced passengers? If this page isn't correct I would be interested in getting the correct one.

BTW that post basically also confirms why you don't get on the upgrade list if you check in prior to 24 hours before your flight. What **should** happen is that the check-in process should check the waitlist, remove you and add you to the standby list even before 24 hours. But they aren't ever going to fix that.
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Old Mar 1, 19, 10:04 am
  #599  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 3
So later this month I have an Economy Saver booking, and both segments say:
"Waitlisted You will be automatically confirmed on this flight if space in your request class United Polaris business (I) becomes available."

The combined itinerary shows Available fare classes:J4JN4C4D4Z4ZN4P2PN0PZ0IN0I0

If I search the segments separately, I get:

International Available fare classes:J9JN9C9D9Z9ZN9P0PN0PZ0IN0I0
Domestic Available fare classes:J3JN3C0D0Z0ZN0P0PN0PZ0IN0I0

I've never done this before, so I'm wondering what my odds of getting the upgrades are, and if I should do anything before checkin opens.
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Old Mar 2, 19, 4:39 pm
  #600  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 16
Wanted to share a successful waitlist for Polaris J from AKL to SFO. I don't have any status, and I don't have the United Explorer card. I booked way in advance on April 2018 for one way economy award tickets for 2 pax for AKL-SFO for our trip on Feb 2019 and waitlisted for business class seats. I didn't want to get separate tickets for each passenger and had both passengers in the same ticket. I know chances for the waitlist to clear were higher if we have 1 passenger per ticket, but I took the risk.

Kept watching for business class availability but didn't see any come up. On Nov, we got an email that our AKL-SFO waitlist cleared and we were confirmed in business class. I didn't need to call to get the confirmation. We got the confirmation almost 2 months prior to our departure.

Waitlisting for 2 people in the same ticket is doable, but one thing we did was to waitlist just the long haul leg. We booked a separate first class award ticket for our onward trip from SFO-ORD.
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