Fare restrictions also going back in time

Old Mar 22, 12, 12:10 am
  #1  
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Fare restrictions also going back in time

Tried to change a return trip tonight. Called the 1K line...actually got an agent within three minutes of hold time.

She found the new flight and said "it's the same class of service so should only be the change fee."

After five minutes of typing (and making sarcastic comments about the "new" system) she put me on hold to "sort things out."

Ten minutes later she comes back from hold and informs me that my fare had a saturday night stay requirement, so it would be an additional $600 plus the $150 change fee.

And she commented straight up "I had to call a supervisor. I had no idea that there was such a thing as a saturday night stay requirement anymore. I thought the computer was all screwed up. But sure enough, the old CO still had saturday night stay fares. And I guess that's part of the system now"

What's doubly frustrating is that the one-way fare on UA (let alone another airline) is $400, yet the upfare is $750 on an original $600 ticket. I get why that is. It's just frustrating.

But meanwhile, how many years has it been since anyone came across a saturday night stay restriction on a domestic UA flight?!?! I'm pretty sure I haven't seen one since 2002 when UA abandoned that restriction on SFO-JFK.

Last edited by boolean64; Mar 22, 12 at 5:52 am
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Old Mar 22, 12, 1:52 am
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Did you purchase the flight from United prior to the 3/3 system conversion? Did the fare rules of the ticket you purchased allow changes with a fee? Did the fare rules of the ticket you originally purchased require a Saturday-night stay?

If what's actually happening under the hood is that your ticket is being exchanged for a brand-new ticket using whatever the current fares are in the market (including whatever rules they include) then what you describe makes total sense, even if it seems a little unfortunate.

Yes, Saturday-night stays and extremely high hub-to-hub fares were unusual on sUA, common in sCO, and are a common practice in the new UA.

That's not to say that sUA offered perfectly flexible fares just prior to systems integration, though. They did away with the $55.81 stopover in DEN on most fares a year or two back. And it was back in 2010 that UA started applying extremely tight routing rules, http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...strictive.html.
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Old Mar 22, 12, 1:57 am
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An option might be SDC, From Frequently Asked Questions for Same Day Change

If the fare requires a Saturday night stay, can I utilize the same-day change discounted fee to leave early and not stay over Saturday?
Yes, as long as all other requirements are met.
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Old Mar 22, 12, 9:27 am
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Originally Posted by boolean64 View Post
What's doubly frustrating is that the one-way fare on UA (let alone another airline) is $400, yet the upfare is $750 on an original $600 ticket. I get why that is. It's just frustrating.
What are prices like for the other leg of the trip? It's possible the refaring is pricing the outbound leg as a one-way as well rather than as part of a roundtrip.
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