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Consolidated "Waitlist for Award Seats Questions/Issues"

Consolidated "Waitlist for Award Seats Questions/Issues"

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Old Sep 18, 19, 2:19 pm   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
Wiki Link
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
When waitlisting for a higher, state you are waitlisting for I (or IN if a plat or higher) -- do not use the word "upgrade", it may confuse the agent

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. The 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 Sep 8, 19, 1:54 pm
  #871  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 9,933
Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
Sure, there will be levels that are opaque. But please explain how a system could work whereby one waitlists for a Saver Award of unknown price? It flies in the face of the rationale for a Dynamic Pricing system.
I've explained it multiple times. The fact that there is no inventory doesn't mean that there is no price. All they need is a system that tells them what the price would be if there were inventory, and it works.

This is exactly how cash airfare works today. Inventory and fares are separate. You could have a P fare, but no P inventory; you can't buy the flight at that price, but, in theory, you could waitlist for it. By policy, it's not allowed, but the mechanism is well-defined; it would work if they allowed it.
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Old Sep 8, 19, 1:59 pm
  #872  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Programs: Northwest, United
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
In general, I agree. However, the current Everyday awards don't really seem to work that way. There are a lot more gradients in the pricing -- even on the same date and route -- than I'd expect under Delta's system.
There may indeed be many more levels or tiers. But I do think there will still be specific levels, with specific numbers. I can't imagine there will be completely fluid, non-tiered pricing numbers -- ie that award seat from EWR to FRA might cost you 73,291 points. I expect rounder numbers than that.

Once we start seeing what the costs will be in practice, it won't be long before someone simply compiles and shares a real-world award chart based on actual redemption levels, showing multiple level costs between various points. All that will take is some patience and willingness to be thorough. (Those numbers will change over time, so keeping any derrived-from-experience chart updated will require ongoing effort...I assume such a thing will be posted in a wiki here... ).
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Old Sep 8, 19, 2:10 pm
  #873  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: HNL
Programs: Pt: UA; Au: AA, Marriott, Hilton; Ex-HA Pt (now not), GE
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
I've explained it multiple times. The fact that there is no inventory doesn't mean that there is no price. All they need is a system that tells them what the price would be if there were inventory, and it works.

This is exactly how cash airfare works today. Inventory and fares are separate. You could have a P fare, but no P inventory; you can't buy the flight at that price, but, in theory, you could waitlist for it. By policy, it's not allowed, but the mechanism is well-defined; it would work if they allowed it.
Sorry, but in my limited experience, cash airfare works by knowing a price and paying it. In theory, one could design all manner of opaque systems that could theoretically work, but why would a rational organization do that when then want you to purchase now? Waitlisting currently involves an intention to purchase/sell a seat for a known and agreed price, not something that is unknown and not agreed (and by the way, perhaps the waitlister does not even have enough points to pay the unknown fare).

Your example of something that could happen, but is not allowed by policy, working if they allowed it, just does not make any practical sense. Of course, UA could decide to devote its resources to undermine its Dynamic Pricing plan, I just do not see it. Time will tell.
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Old Sep 8, 19, 2:35 pm
  #874  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 9,933
Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
Sorry, but in my limited experience, cash airfare works by knowing a price and paying it.
But, it doesn't. There are a multitude of prices available for any given flight at any given time. UA even shows you a couple: you can buy Basic Economy, Economy, Economy (Flexible), or First, for example. However, there are lots more that they don't show you, but that you can still buy if there is inventory. (1Ks know this well, because you have to buy a W or higher fare to use a GPU on a transoceanic flight, even if a cheaper ticket is available).

Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
Waitlisting currently involves an intention to purchase/sell a seat for a known and agreed price, not something that is unknown and not agreed (and by the way, perhaps the waitlister does not even have enough points to pay the unknown fare).
Hide the chart, but keep using it, and waitlisting would work exactly the same way. The agent would look up the price on the chart, communicate it to the purchaser, and then they make a decision.

Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
Of course, UA could decide to devote its resources to undermine its Dynamic Pricing plan, I just do not see it.
UA already has multiple award levels. By your logic, why allow waitlisting for Saver awards, when it undermines its Everyday award plan?
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Old Sep 8, 19, 3:23 pm
  #875  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: HNL
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Posts: 5,231
Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
By your logic, why allow waitlisting for Saver awards, when it undermines its Everyday award plan?
Hence, Dynamic Pricing is introduced.

We will be in suspense for the next few months, and perhaps more, and UA's intentions will become clear. I do hope one can waitlist for Saver in the future, and for some that will remain valuable.
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Old Sep 9, 19, 10:16 pm
  #876  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 15
There are two flights from LHR to SFO daily (UA 900 and UA 949). I'm booked on UA 900 Saver Economy Award (XN fare). I called United and waitlisted for Saver Business Award (IN fare) on UA 900 after paying 30K additional miles and taxes.

To improve my chances of getting a Saver Business Award, can I also waitlist for the IN fare on UA 949 on the same day? I read in Wiki you can waitlist on up to 2 flights per PNR, but I'm not sure if this is possible. Thanks!
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Old Sep 10, 19, 7:49 am
  #877  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: UA 1K, DL PM, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
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Originally Posted by hk7ju View Post
There are two flights from LHR to SFO daily (UA 900 and UA 949). I'm booked on UA 900 Saver Economy Award (XN fare). I called United and waitlisted for Saver Business Award (IN fare) on UA 900 after paying 30K additional miles and taxes.

To improve my chances of getting a Saver Business Award, can I also waitlist for the IN fare on UA 949 on the same day? I read in Wiki you can waitlist on up to 2 flights per PNR, but I'm not sure if this is possible. Thanks!
I'm pretty sure policy is that you may only waitlist for one alternative at a time, although it is possible in the sense that an agent could type it into the system.
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Old Sep 10, 19, 9:53 am
  #878  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 9,933
Originally Posted by findark View Post
I'm pretty sure policy is that you may only waitlist for one alternative at a time, although it is possible in the sense that an agent could type it into the system.
Agreed. The "two flights" refers to an outbound and a return flight -- one in each direction.
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Old Sep 10, 19, 12:37 pm
  #879  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Agreed. The "two flights" refers to an outbound and a return flight -- one in each direction.
There was a time when you could waitlist for multiple options for the same segment. Suspect you can still today, Getting an agent to do this may be a different story.
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Old Sep 11, 19, 3:49 pm
  #880  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 2
I am considering booking UA 8932 (operated by LH) SAN-FRA-MUC under a class X ticket but wanted to try to figure out the chances 2 of us get upgraded to I. Available fare classes:J4 C3 D3 Z0 P0 O6 A6 R2 Y6 B6 M6 U6 H6 Q6 V6 W6 S6 T6 L6 K0

The flight is under 2 weeks out. If chances are extremely low I might considering paying for 155k (ZN) points for a ticket to lock in biz class on a different itinerary.
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Old Sep 11, 19, 3:55 pm
  #881  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Programs: UA 1K, AS MVP
Posts: 164
Originally Posted by LotsOfPointsNoClue View Post
I am considering booking UA 8932 (operated by LH) SAN-FRA-MUC under a class X ticket but wanted to try to figure out the chances 2 of us get upgraded to I. Available fare classes:J4 C3 D3 Z0 P0 O6 A6 R2 Y6 B6 M6 U6 H6 Q6 V6 W6 S6 T6 L6 K0

The flight is under 2 weeks out. If chances are extremely low I might considering paying for 155k (ZN) points for a ticket to lock in biz class on a different itinerary.
If you're referring to waitlisting clearing automatically through United, than your chance is nil since only United flights are elegible. If you're referring to just waiting and seeing if they open a spot in I/business, then there's a chance but extremely small given the only 4 seats left.
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Old Sep 11, 19, 3:57 pm
  #882  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
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Originally Posted by VWang1111 View Post
If you're referring to waitlisting clearing automatically through United, than your chance is nil since only United flights are elegible. If you're referring to just waiting and seeing if they open a spot in I/business, then there's a chance but extremely small given the only 4 seats left.
Agree with the first part -- LH has to open I space before this is possible, and there's no way to waitlist for that to happen.

The second, not quite -- you can't learn much about LH's inventory from the UA inventory information. LH does not release every seat for UA to sell. There could be lots of business class inventory and you might still see J4 for the UA flight number.

OP: AFAIK, you'll need a paid tool like ExpertFlyer or KVS Tool to find out the actual inventory on the flight you're interested in.
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Old Sep 11, 19, 4:19 pm
  #883  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by VWang1111 View Post
If you're referring to waitlisting clearing automatically through United, than your chance is nil since only United flights are elegible. If you're referring to just waiting and seeing if they open a spot in I/business, then there's a chance but extremely small given the only 4 seats left.
Ok I was pretty sure that the waitlist would not be able to clear on a LH operated flight. Thanks for the help. Will have to decide if I want to fly this thing coach or spew 155k points for each biz class ticket
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Old Sep 11, 19, 5:52 pm
  #884  
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Welcome to FT!, LotsOfPointsNoClue
Originally Posted by LotsOfPointsNoClue View Post
I am considering booking UA 8932 (operated by LH) SAN-FRA-MUC under a class X ticket but wanted to try to figure out the chances 2 of us get upgraded to I. Available fare classes:J4 C3 D3 Z0 P0 O6 A6 R2 Y6 B6 M6 U6 H6 Q6 V6 W6 S6 T6 L6 K0

The flight is under 2 weeks out. If chances are extremely low I might considering paying for 155k (ZN) points for a ticket to lock in biz class on a different itinerary.
Awards are never booked as a codeshares, look at the available of the native flight. Additional partner flights are only bookable at the "saver" level. And to fit in this thread's topic, there is no waitlisting on partner-operated flights.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 1:45 pm
  #885  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
I've explained it multiple times. The fact that there is no inventory doesn't mean that there is no price. All they need is a system that tells them what the price would be if there were inventory, and it works.

This is exactly how cash airfare works today. Inventory and fares are separate. You could have a P fare, but no P inventory; you can't buy the flight at that price, but, in theory, you could waitlist for it. By policy, it's not allowed, but the mechanism is well-defined; it would work if they allowed it.
Just wanted to mention again my experience to support jsloan’s answer:

When I called to waitlist my itinerary to New Zealand post Nov 15, in 2 different calls they gave me 2 different prices for a One Way Saver Award from the US to Auckland, 80,000 and 85,000, and it changed in a matter of minutes.

One may think of the price of the I fare perhaps as currency exchange rates or stock prices that vary during the day, except that perhaps there will be limits to how much they can go up or down, such as the cost of a one way saver award to NZ to always fall between 70,000 and 90,000 miles. You are waitlisting and paying for the I fare class in advance, so even if the price of the award goes down in the system you already paid for the I fare waitlist (with no possibility of a price match/adjustment). Now what you’re waiting for is availability of the I fare class in your flight, regardless of what the cost of the I fare is at that moment.

Hopefully my explanation is not too confusing.
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