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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 Dec 30, 17, 9:41 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 37
Been through the last three months of this thread, and still have some questions for those with significantly more experience. Thanks to all for educating me thusfar.

It took me well over an hour on the phone with the Premier desk to book my April flights to Europe. We were able to get confirmed Business Class on the return (which was an SAS flight) at 70k mi per, however, the outbound (United flight) was booked in code XN. We were charged the Business Class Saver rate of 60k mi, and requested wait-listing for Business Class, We have confirmed seats in Economy. There is no indication on my receipt (that I can see) which says that I am wait-listed for Business Class, though on a confirming call to the Premiere desk after receiving the itinerary, I was told that I was indeed wait-listed for Business Class. Thanks to this thread, I was able to find out the following.

Fare classes for this flight are: J9 JN9 C9 D9 Z9 ZN9 P0 PN0 R0 RN0 IN0 I0 Y9 YN9 B9 M9 E9 U9 H9 HN9 Q9 V9 W9 S9 T9 L9 K9 G0 N9 XN9 X9

Also a search of the flight status shows no one on the "United Polaris business Upgrade Standby List:"

My questions are:
  • Is my reservation correct (even though the reservation doesn't visibly reflect Business class)?
  • Is there anything I can do to improve my chances of getting the upgrade.
Thanks!
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Old Dec 30, 17, 10:06 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: New York NY
Programs: UA Gold, CO Plat, CO Million Miler
Posts: 2,480
Originally Posted by LarrySinNJ View Post
Been through the last three months of this thread, and still have some questions for those with significantly more experience. Thanks to all for educating me thusfar.

It took me well over an hour on the phone with the Premier desk to book my April flights to Europe. We were able to get confirmed Business Class on the return (which was an SAS flight) at 70k mi per, however, the outbound (United flight) was booked in code XN. We were charged the Business Class Saver rate of 60k mi, and requested wait-listing for Business Class, We have confirmed seats in Economy. There is no indication on my receipt (that I can see) which says that I am wait-listed for Business Class, though on a confirming call to the Premiere desk after receiving the itinerary, I was told that I was indeed wait-listed for Business Class. Thanks to this thread, I was able to find out the following.

Fare classes for this flight are: J9 JN9 C9 D9 Z9 ZN9 P0 PN0 R0 RN0 IN0 I0 Y9 YN9 B9 M9 E9 U9 H9 HN9 Q9 V9 W9 S9 T9 L9 K9 G0 N9 XN9 X9

Also a search of the flight status shows no one on the "United Polaris business Upgrade Standby List:"

My questions are:
  • Is my reservation correct (even though the reservation doesn't visibly reflect Business class)?
  • Is there anything I can do to improve my chances of getting the upgrade.
Thanks!
No one will show up on the upgrade standby list until checking if for flight, at approx T-24.
Your reservation should show business outbound on SAS and it should show an indication like this for the return flight
  • light: UA18
  • Aircraft: Boeing 767-400ER
  • Fare Class: United Economy (X) - (I class requested)
  • Meal: Lunch
There's nothing you can do to improve your chances other than making sure that your PNR reflects the waitlist as indicated above.
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Old Dec 30, 17, 1:16 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Raleigh, NC
Programs: AA 1mil SPG Gold
Posts: 207
I have no status with UA.

I'm booked in Economy (with points) and would like to waitlist for Business Saver. Will I accrue a $125 "change fee" (flight is 50 days out).

Last edited by bazers; Dec 30, 17 at 5:28 pm Reason: Missing important word
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Old Dec 30, 17, 1:37 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: HNL
Programs: Plat: UA; Gold: AA, Marriott, Hilton; Ex-HA Plat (now not), GE
Posts: 4,750
Originally Posted by bazers View Post
I have no status with UA.

I'm booked in Economy and would like to waitlist for Business Saver. Will I accrue a $125 "change fee" (flight is 50 days out).
Should not have to. Just call in and ask.
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Old Dec 30, 17, 5:48 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Raleigh, NC
Programs: AA 1mil SPG Gold
Posts: 207
Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
Should not have to. Just call in and ask.
They did charge me $125 but I am not sure that is correct. Reading this forum it seems like very few agents/supervisors really know how this process works.
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Old Dec 31, 17, 1:57 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: PWM
Programs: UA Silver
Posts: 784
Originally Posted by bazers View Post
They did charge me $125 but I am not sure that is correct. Reading this forum it seems like very few agents/supervisors really know how this process works.
Why did you let them charge you? May be hard to get refunded now...

Technically they are correct to charge: you made a change to an award booking. However, the change fee is waived when you buy up to first/biz (on revenue tickets so that doesn't quite apply here). For future reference, it's best to waitlist right after buying the ticket to avoid this problem.
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Old Dec 31, 17, 4:44 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 7,441
Originally Posted by sexykitten7 View Post
Technically they are correct to charge: you made a change to an award booking. However, the change fee is waived when you buy up to first/biz (on revenue tickets so that doesn't quite apply here). For future reference, it's best to waitlist right after buying the ticket to avoid this problem.
Any change to an award ticket incurs the fee. The exception that you’re quoting does not apply to award tickets.

I agree that an immediate waitlist is best. In this case, I’m really not sure what the correct policy is. Until / unless the waitlisted segments clear, has anything really been changed on the award ticket? I suppose waitlisting is a type of change, but I’m not really sure whether it’s intended to be covered under the change policy.

The lesson for the future is to waitlist immediately upon purchase of the original award. I think the chances of a refund are slim, although I’d certainly ask for one if the waitlist doesn’t clear.
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Old Jan 1, 18, 10:15 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Fishers, IN (Indianapolis)
Programs: Hilton Honors Diamond, Marriott Gold
Posts: 42
Smile It worked (so far!) for me

Hi. I recently booked a pair of saver award seats in first class for NRT-IAH then IAH-IND for 110K MileagePlus points each. The NRT-IAH segment is ANA in first class (yay!). The domestic portion (IAH-IND) is United economy at this time. I found out about this award waitlisting recently and called United this morning. When I explained my request to an agent on the phone, she knew what to do, but required help from her supervisor. It took about 30 minutes on hold, but they were able to waitlist us in "IN" for the IAH-IND segment. I did not have to pay anything additional. I was not asked to pay for a change fee, though the original booking was 2 days ago. I have read here and elsewhere that not all agents know that this is even a thing, but I guess I lucked out.

Happy New Year!
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Old Jan 1, 18, 11:00 am
  #9  
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 37
Originally Posted by LarrySinNJ View Post
Been through the last three months of this thread, and still have some questions for those with significantly more experience. Thanks to all for educating me thusfar.

It took me well over an hour on the phone with the Premier desk to book my April flights to Europe. We were able to get confirmed Business Class on the return (which was an SAS flight) at 70k mi per, however, the outbound (United flight) was booked in code XN. We were charged the Business Class Saver rate of 60k mi, and requested wait-listing for Business Class, We have confirmed seats in Economy. There is no indication on my receipt (that I can see) which says that I am wait-listed for Business Class, though on a confirming call to the Premiere desk after receiving the itinerary, I was told that I was indeed wait-listed for Business Class. Thanks to this thread, I was able to find out the following.

Fare classes for this flight are: J9 JN9 C9 D9 Z9 ZN9 P0 PN0 R0 RN0 IN0 I0 Y9 YN9 B9 M9 E9 U9 H9 HN9 Q9 V9 W9 S9 T9 L9 K9 G0 N9 XN9 X9

Also a search of the flight status shows no one on the "United Polaris business Upgrade Standby List:"

My questions are:
  • Is my reservation correct (even though the reservation doesn't visibly reflect Business class)?
  • Is there anything I can do to improve my chances of getting the upgrade.
Thanks!
One last question - I've spoken to United twice, and each time they tell me that the flight shows as "waitlisted for Business Class", yet it doesn't show up on the itinerary.

Should I insist (nicely) that the waitlist be listed on the itinerary, and if so in what form?

Thanks.
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Old Jan 1, 18, 12:40 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: CHS
Programs: Starriott PP, UA 1K, Hertz PC
Posts: 1,807
Originally Posted by LarrySinNJ View Post
One last question - I've spoken to United twice, and each time they tell me that the flight shows as "waitlisted for Business Class", yet it doesn't show up on the itinerary.

Should I insist (nicely) that the waitlist be listed on the itinerary, and if so in what form?

Thanks.
When you go to "Seats" and it has the tabs for each flight - are there 2 tabs for each flight you are wait listed for and the second of each flight tab "Blank" if so, you are wait listed
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Old Jan 1, 18, 7:26 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: New York NY
Programs: UA Gold, CO Plat, CO Million Miler
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Originally Posted by LarrySinNJ View Post
One last question - I've spoken to United twice, and each time they tell me that the flight shows as "waitlisted for Business Class", yet it doesn't show up on the itinerary.

Should I insist (nicely) that the waitlist be listed on the itinerary, and if so in what form?

Thanks.
As i said before, it should look something like this when you go to "manage flight"
  • light: UA18
  • Aircraft: Boeing 767-400ER
  • Fare Class: United Economy (X) - (I class requested)
  • Meal: Lunch
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Old Jan 2, 18, 1:15 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: PWM
Programs: UA Silver
Posts: 784
I just did this again today for my Mommy! No funny business like last time (although I recently did a partial MUA WL) but it took a whopping 25 minutes! CSR immediately knew what to do, called MPSC and they had to call central ticketing. She finally got approval and then something went screwy, took a few more minutes to fix. She cited the October software updates as the cause of the problem. I'm not surprised. Pretty soon UA will be tying one/both hands behind their backs!!!
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Old Jan 2, 18, 11:37 am
  #13  
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 37
Originally Posted by LarrySinNJ View Post
Been through the last three months of this thread, and still have some questions for those with significantly more experience. Thanks to all for educating me thusfar.

It took me well over an hour on the phone with the Premier desk to book my April flights to Europe. We were able to get confirmed Business Class on the return (which was an SAS flight) at 70k mi per, however, the outbound (United flight) was booked in code XN. We were charged the Business Class Saver rate of 60k mi, and requested wait-listing for Business Class, We have confirmed seats in Economy. There is no indication on my receipt (that I can see) which says that I am wait-listed for Business Class, though on a confirming call to the Premiere desk after receiving the itinerary, I was told that I was indeed wait-listed for Business Class. Thanks to this thread, I was able to find out the following.

Fare classes for this flight are: J9 JN9 C9 D9 Z9 ZN9 P0 PN0 R0 RN0 IN0 I0 Y9 YN9 B9 M9 E9 U9 H9 HN9 Q9 V9 W9 S9 T9 L9 K9 G0 N9 XN9 X9

Also a search of the flight status shows no one on the "United Polaris business Upgrade Standby List:"

My questions are:
  • Is my reservation correct (even though the reservation doesn't visibly reflect Business class)?
  • Is there anything I can do to improve my chances of getting the upgrade.
Thanks!
I learn more, I ask more questions...

My ticket is currently confirmed as "XN" which is an "Elite SaverPass Coach Award". The reservation also lists "I Class Requested".

A little research shows me that "I Class" = Non-Elite and Low Elite SaverPass Business or 2-cabin First Award, and "IN Class" = Elite (Plat/1K/GS) SaverPass Business or 2-cabin First Award.

I am Premiere Silver, but if the Coach award was "XN", then shouldn't the business upgrade be "IN" to be consistent? And will the "IN clear before the "I", and if so, should I have them adjust the reservation?
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Old Jan 2, 18, 1:11 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K, DL, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 8,183
Originally Posted by LarrySinNJ View Post
I learn more, I ask more questions...

My ticket is currently confirmed as "XN" which is an "Elite SaverPass Coach Award". The reservation also lists "I Class Requested".

A little research shows me that "I Class" = Non-Elite and Low Elite SaverPass Business or 2-cabin First Award, and "IN Class" = Elite (Plat/1K/GS) SaverPass Business or 2-cabin First Award.

I am Premiere Silver, but if the Coach award was "XN", then shouldn't the business upgrade be "IN" to be consistent? And will the "IN clear before the "I", and if so, should I have them adjust the reservation?
While you are correct about IN being superior to I class, as a Premier Silver your Economy awards would book into XN and your Business or domestic First into I. You would need to be Platinum or above to waitlist for IN.
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Old Jan 3, 18, 9:39 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Programs: AA PLT UA GLD
Posts: 21
Itinerary With Multiple X/XN legs

Is the "Waitlist" process only applicable to a single flight leg within a multi-leg itinerary, or will multiple legs be waitlisted (the ones that are UA metal)? If so, is there a way to specify that I want all or none confirmed in the business/first I-class (I - Non-Elite and Low Elite Saver Business or 2-cabin First Award). I don't want to put in a waitlist request for PHX-SFO-AKL, and then get charged 40K miles for an upgrade on only the TUS-SFO leg and still be in economy on SFO-AKL.

Also, for some reason, the fare status on my award has been changed from X (X = Non-Elite Saver Coach Award) to HN (HN = Non-Elite Standard Coach Award (tracks to the H bucket)). Since the waitlist rule states "United Economy in the same award type must be confirmed, and the front cabin will be waitlisted", it seems that what now shows as a STANDARD/Everyday award won't be able to be waitlisted to an I-class SAVER award.
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