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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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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 May 15, 20, 1:27 pm
  #1126  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Chicago
Programs: united 1k, HH Diamond
Posts: 386
Originally Posted by blug View Post
Talking to someone at United on Messenger, who obviously has no idea what award waitlist is and doesn't know what to do. Every time I send a message, I get a reply (after a long wait) like "Can you clarify if you are referring to complimentary premier upgrade?"
Is there a way to talk to a different person on Messenger? Or do I have to call?

Update: I called the premier desk and a helpful agent got it done in 10 minutes. However:
1. She quoted me an additional 53k miles per passenger, because "saver business class SFO-PEK is 88k per person". This is not true - it should be 70k (there's no partner flight on the PNR). I asked her to double check, she went to ask someone and came back saying "Yes, it is 88k for this particular flight". Well, since there's no award chart now, I guess I have no argument.
2. It's now been an hour since she put me on the waitlist. The reservation shows "waitlist for I class" but there's no sign of miles being deducted from my account.

I guess all sorts of strange things can happen when you deal with airlines. Their legacy software platforms are just way too complicated.

Incidentally, in order to do what she needed to do, the agent had to ask me the login security questions over the phone, like "what was your favorite subject in school". Really??
88k is not right if it’s all on united metal. I would call back.
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Old May 15, 20, 4:45 pm
  #1127  
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Join Date: Oct 2001
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Originally Posted by blug View Post
1. She quoted me an additional 53k miles per passenger, because "saver business class SFO-PEK is 88k per person". This is not true - it should be 70k (there's no partner flight on the PNR). I asked her to double check, she went to ask someone and came back saying "Yes, it is 88k for this particular flight". Well, since there's no award chart now, I guess I have no argument.
This is specifically the concern that I've had since they removed the chart, but this is the first report I've seen of an agent actually doing this. Unfortunately, I agree -- I'm not sure that there's much that anybody can do about it. It's entirely possible that waitlisting may die a quiet death.

Originally Posted by united 1k flyer View Post
88k is not right if it’s all on united metal. I would call back.
The lack of an award chart means that there's not really any basis to decide whether 88K is right or not. I suppose a motivated passenger could try pricing out the itinerary every day and looking to see what shows up in the "saver" column, but, even then, who's to say that UA hasn't decided that saver awards cost more on the day OP wants to travel?
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Old May 15, 20, 5:16 pm
  #1128  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Chicago
Programs: united 1k, HH Diamond
Posts: 386
Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
This is specifically the concern that I've had since they removed the chart, but this is the first report I've seen of an agent actually doing this. Unfortunately, I agree -- I'm not sure that there's much that anybody can do about it. It's entirely possible that waitlisting may die a quiet death.


The lack of an award chart means that there's not really any basis to decide whether 88K is right or not. I suppose a motivated passenger could try pricing out the itinerary every day and looking to see what shows up in the "saver" column, but, even then, who's to say that UA hasn't decided that saver awards cost more on the day OP wants to travel?
The right price should be whatever the low is on United metal and that is 70k.
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Old May 15, 20, 5:46 pm
  #1129  
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Join Date: Oct 2001
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Originally Posted by united 1k flyer View Post
The right price should be whatever the low is on United metal and that is 70k.
Without a chart, how do we know what the low is on United metal? I did a quick search and didn't see a single J award seat on UA SFO-PEK any lower than 77K, and the 77K all appeared to be SFO-FRA (UA J)-PEK (LH Y).
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Old May 15, 20, 9:30 pm
  #1130  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Silver
Posts: 1,073
Originally Posted by united 1k flyer View Post
88k is not right if it’s all on united metal. I would call back.
I did call back, and it took two more calls to sort it out.

The first agent quoted 43k additional miles per passenger for a total of 78k (do they have some kind of internal system that returns arbitrary amount of miles for flights??)
The second agent finally quoted 70k per passenger total.

The good thing is that all agents I talked to on the phone knew immediately what it means when I said I wanted to "waitlist for saver business class".

Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Without a chart, how do we know what the low is on United metal? I did a quick search and didn't see a single J award seat on UA SFO-PEK any lower than 77K, and the 77K all appeared to be SFO-FRA (UA J)-PEK (LH Y).
There are some J awards on LAX-PVG flights still priced at 70K, for now. These are on 787 with old J seats though. For some reason it seems United never ever releases any saver J awards on SFO-PEK and SFO-HKG, which are operated by 773ER, even at the last minute when there are tons of J seats open (like when they first introduced the second daily HKG flight).
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Old May 15, 20, 10:12 pm
  #1131  
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Originally Posted by blug View Post
The second agent finally quoted 70k per passenger total.
I'm glad it worked out, but I think this episode should serve as a warning to people that Plan B may not exist in its current form for much longer.

Originally Posted by blug View Post
There are some J awards on LAX-PVG flights still priced at 70K, for now. These are on 787 with old J seats though. For some reason it seems United never ever releases any saver J awards on SFO-PEK and SFO-HKG, which are operated by 773ER, even at the last minute when there are tons of J seats open (like when they first introduced the second daily HKG flight).
Yeah, it's hard enough to find PZ space in advance, even though people who fly those routes regularly indicate that they're pretty easy to clear as a 1K. Of course, these days, who knows?

The point, though, is that some people are acting as though they've hidden the chart but they're still pricing based upon it. And, that's understandable -- that's a pretty good description of what they've been doing thus far. The problem is, they're obviously still changing the program, and I don't think it's accurate at this point to say that saver awards from North America to North Asia on UA metal cost 70K. They just cost whatever the computer spits out on a given day. And that's why, IMO, your initial reaction was correct. It's difficult to argue with them about the number of miles required for a waitlist when there's no chart.
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Old Jun 20, 20, 11:15 am
  #1132  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: NYC: UA 1K, DL Platinum, AAirpass, Avis PC
Posts: 4,579
Was able to waitlist saver business I on a saver economy award. No problems finding the price even though "I" wasn't available. She just called the help desk to get it done.

FYI the dynamic saver price on this PS flight was 38k one way - a touch above the prior 35?k . The available 'everyday' award without waitlisting was 63k.
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