Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page > The stupid PNR auto-splitting at T-24 needs to stop

The stupid PNR auto-splitting at T-24 needs to stop

    Hide Wikipost
Old Jul 15, 17, 4:02 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: aacharya
Wiki Link
What is this whole PNR auto-splitting thing about?
First, you need to realize there are two separate upgrade waitlists. There's the advance upgrade waitlist, which runs periodically from your applicable upgrade window until about four hours before departure, and the airport waitlist, which is manually cleared by the gate agents about 30 minutes before departure.

The first waitlist can handle an elite and a companion automatically. If you're next in line for an upgrade and there are at least two upgradeable seats available, you'll both get the upgrade.

The second waitlist (the airport one) can only handle upgrading one traveler on a PNR. If there is more than one person in your reservation when you check in, you'll be asked if you want to either split the reservation and list for an upgrade or stay on the same reservation and decline the upgrade.

Next, you need to be familiar with United's "auto-check-in" feature. If you select this option when you check in for your original outbound flight (depending on how you check in, it may automatically default to selecting this), then shortly after 24 hours before your return flight segment, you'll automatically be checked in and boarding passes will be electronically delivered to you.

If you opt for this and the system automatically checks you in, and if you have two people in your reservation, the system will automatically split your reservation. You and your companion will now be on two separate reservations, and you'll be waitlisted for an upgrade and your companion won't.

Why might splitting be bad?
If your companions are not elite, they will no longer qualify for the elite benefits they inherited from you. That means no free baggage, no Economy Plus seating access (although they won't be booted out of E+ if they're already seated in it, barring irregular operations), no Premier Access, and potential issues in irregular operations as a result of being on a separate reservation (they may be rebooked on a separate flight from you without agent intervention).

On the other hand, splitting allows you (the elite) to waitlist for an upgrade. Although your companion won't be listed on the return, you can still list him or her as your companion upon arrival at the airport, in which case they'll be upgraded after all other elites in your elite tier. If the smaller baggage allowance is not an issue, this may not be a bad deal: you can usually bring friends and family traveling with you through the Premier Access lanes at check-in, security, and boarding without question.

What is the recommended practice?
  1. If possible buy one-way tickets so that an auto-split won't affect your return resevation.
  2. If you have 3 or more persons flying in your group and want to upgrade everyone, consider splitting into 2 groups (i.e. 2+1, 2+2) and using RPUs to upgrade the group with the non-elite. You can then roll the dice on CPU for the elite+1, assuming you don't mind the risk of traveling in separate cabins.
  3. When checking in for your outbound flight, decline auto-check-in.
  4. Wait as long as possible to check in for your return flight. If you check in and opt to stay together, a "do not upgrade" flag will be entered into your reservation, and you'll no longer be listed on any upgrade waitlist (advance or airport).
  5. When you finally do check in, make a decision: are you okay with the second traveler losing some elite benefits and having at least one of you sit in F, or do you need to remain on the same reservation? Decide whether to split accordingly.
  6. If you split, talk to an airport agent upon arrival at the airport and have them add your companion to the upgrade waitlist.

Oops, I did the wrong thing. How do I recover?
If you split and didn't want to, it's too late. Think carefully before splitting. Split reservations cannot be re-integrated.

If you checked in early and didn't split, you can always call in and have your check-in canceled (as if you'd never checked in). At this time, ask to have the "do not upgrade" flag removed from your reservation. You can then either attempt check-in again and this time split (if you want) or do the recommended thing and wait until as late as possible before checking in.
Print Wikipost


Old Mar 5, 17, 9:53 am
  #1096
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Jersey Shore/YYZ
Programs: UA 1K, Marriott Gold, National Exec, Hertz PC
Posts: 11,857
If you're not pushing for an UG, I'm surprised the PNR is split. Never had that happen on a non-CPU eligible or non-instrument supported itinerary.
aacharya is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 5, 17, 11:01 am
  #1097
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: JAPAN
Programs: UA 1K 1MM, IC PLAT AMB, HH Gold, AVIS Pres, Hertz Gold Plus
Posts: 5,136
Originally Posted by aacharya View Post
If you're not pushing for an UG, I'm surprised the PNR is split. Never had that happen on a non-CPU eligible or non-instrument supported itinerary.
Did not "push" or request upgrade. Happy with exit seats. Now Mrs.EX received E-Mail with her new PNR # and invitation to check-in on-line. Which of course ends with this :

"YOU ARE NOT CHECKED INWhy didn't I get a boarding pass?Your documentation must be verified at the airport before a boarding pass can be issued.
THIS IS NOT A BOARDING PASS"
Exleftseat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 5, 17, 1:41 pm
  #1098
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Programs: UA Plat
Posts: 40
The reservation can definitely be split without being asked if you want to be on the upgrade list. I just flew a segment of an award flight, and (I assume) because I alone was CPU-eligible, my companion was split onto a new reservation when I checked in via the mobile app. Was never asked if I wanted to be on the upgrade list or if I wanted to split the reservation.

Hopefully she will be able to take advantage of free baggage on the return, even though her new reservation lists a baggage fee.
ProfessorChaos is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 5, 17, 10:37 pm
  #1099
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K 1.7MM, Hyatt Plat, Marriott Gold, Hilton Silver
Posts: 39,716
Originally Posted by ProfessorChaos View Post
... Hopefully she will be able to take advantage of free baggage on the return, even though her new reservation lists a baggage fee.
This will be a problem and will agent the check-in agent to research the record to see it was split. This will not happen usually without some gentle pushback and preferably you being there at checkin.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 5, 17, 10:42 pm
  #1100
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Programs: UA Plat
Posts: 40
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
This will be a problem and will agent the check-in agent to research the record to see it was split. This will not happen usually without some gentle pushback and preferably you being there at checkin.
I forgot that as a Plat, I can check all our bags on my reservation. So won't be a problem!
ProfessorChaos is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 6, 17, 11:55 am
  #1101
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: DCA
Programs: UA Gold (640k of MM), HH Gold, MR Gold
Posts: 69
Not sure if it was said before. The record will be split WITHOUT asking in some circumstances. It happened to us the other day when we had requested a domestic upgrade with miles and one of the two segments were waitlisted.

Also, when split (no matter when) my companion has always retained my status thought the rest of the flights (even the return).

But, I have had an auto re-booking situation after a misconnect (I was automatically assigned a new flight and my companion was not). I had to ask the gate agent to fix my companions ticket. He snarkely asked why I was asking about somebody else and I told him our records had been split. He then proceeded to help me.
gayste is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 6, 17, 12:44 pm
  #1102
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: JAPAN
Programs: UA 1K 1MM, IC PLAT AMB, HH Gold, AVIS Pres, Hertz Gold Plus
Posts: 5,136
So after the PNR splitting we had two different reservation numbers. I got my pre-check but
Mrs. EX did not. If we check in under a single PNR she always gets "pre" with me. Agent
says "pre" showed on the record but would not print out on the boarding pass and there was
nothing she could do. She murmured : "It's Trump.". Beats me.
Exleftseat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 6, 17, 2:07 pm
  #1103
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K 1.7MM, Hyatt Plat, Marriott Gold, Hilton Silver
Posts: 39,716
Originally Posted by Exleftseat View Post
So after the PNR splitting we had two different reservation numbers. I got my pre-check but
Mrs. EX did not. If we check in under a single PNR she always gets "pre" with me. Agent
says "pre" showed on the record but would not print out on the boarding pass and there was
nothing she could do. She murmured : "It's Trump.". Beats me.
TSA had commented (before the election) that "complimentary" PreCheck was going away. As they got more using KTN/TTN , unsupported PreCheck (including elite status) was going to be decreased.

The companion no longer on same PNR has been spotty for quite some time.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 17, 1:04 pm
  #1104
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 11
Does this apply to reservations using GPUs that didn't clear? I got a notice at T-24 saying the upgrades could not be confirmed and I would be added to the airport list. It looks like my reservation was split.

Does this mean that reservations with instruments that don't clear will always be split?
mtmonte is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 17, 2:00 pm
  #1105
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: ORD/FLL/MIA
Programs: UA 1K, Avis Preferred, Hyatt Platinum, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 713
Originally Posted by mtmonte View Post
Does this apply to reservations using GPUs that didn't clear? I got a notice at T-24 saying the upgrades could not be confirmed and I would be added to the airport list. It looks like my reservation was split.

Does this mean that reservations with instruments that don't clear will always be split?
Yes, once you are added to the airport standby list it will split your reservation. Because for some reason SHARES can only handle one person per reservation on the upgrade list at a time.

As a side note I believe the same holds true for standing by on a flight. If you wish to standby because you can't be confirmed then your reservation will also be split.
JDS747 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 31, 17, 3:16 am
  #1106
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: EAU
Programs: UA Plat, CO Plat, NW Plat, SPG Plat-50, Priority Gold, Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 4,236
Originally Posted by JDS747 View Post
Yes, once you are added to the airport standby list it will split your reservation. Because for some reason SHARES can only handle one person per reservation on the upgrade list at a time.
The reason is that doing it the other way is hard.

You have to hold open inventory if you have less seats available than the number of people in the next reservation on the upgrade list.

That means you can't let anyone else sneak in and grab the inventory (say, with an instrument). But maybe you do want to let them sneak in with a TOD.

It also means that at some point, you have to allow the GA to either force split the reservation OR skip the next reservation in the queue if they know, for sure, they will only have X free seats and >X people on the next reservation in the queue. And they should probably record people's preferences as to whether they want to split and upgrade less than everyone or skip and stay together and let the next person on the list upgrade.

And, if they DO prefer one person upgraded and one not, then they have to split the reservation anyway since you can't have seats in multiple cabins on the same PNR.


All that said, it's still no excuse for auto-splitting.
raehl311 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 17, 9:00 pm
  #1107
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SJC/SFO
Posts: 2,883
Was just auto-split without my permission on a mixed carrier, mixed cabin award itinerary using mobile app.

We were waitlisted for domestic F since we had a J award. I tried web check in earlier today but no dice due to passport check. But, .bomb told me I could use the mobile app and scan passports and would be blessed with a successful check in replete with boarding passes.

Did the mobile app checkin with passport scan which was accepted but still no dice, doc check required at airport so you lose. No BP for you.

Oh, by the way we split ur PNR without asking or telling you that we did it. I just happened to notice I was the only one left on the reservation.
spgaston is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 19, 17, 2:03 am
  #1108
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: SAN
Programs: 1K, *G, 1MM
Posts: 502
With all the issues that people have with this, and I have been one of them and it is bad when you travel with people with lower status, especially children, why has UA not made it an option so you can say at check-in you do not want the reservation split? Most of the time I would not care but the times I do care it has gone south very quickly, very badly mainly due to MX issues and although I was protected my flying companions have not been even though original reservation was all under one reservation. And what it does when you add in non-UA flights is a horrific experience (based on my past travel experiences ).

I am not a programmer but I do not understand why this cannot be made an option at check-in. Default being what they currently do since this seems to be the preferred option for UA.
Aussienarelle is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old May 20, 17, 1:36 pm
  #1109
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Canada! eh?
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 334
I split my reservation recently, on my return flight, I found that my companion was freely to do whatever he wanted on the mobile app without charge: SDC, E+ seating, etc.. etc.. It also show'd that he was CPU eligible for the 96 Hour 1K window.

It seems like it's working like it should now?
schnitzer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 20, 17, 1:50 pm
  #1110
Moderator: Hawaii-based airlines & Hawai'i forums
Hyatt Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Honolulu, Hawaiʻi [+MKK4 EBBER R577 EDSEL R577 ELKEY EXERT]
Posts: 15,477
Originally Posted by schnitzer View Post
I split my reservation recently, on my return flight, I found that my companion was freely to do whatever he wanted on the mobile app without charge: SDC, E+ seating, etc.. etc.. It also show'd that he was CPU eligible for the 96 Hour 1K window.

It seems like it's working like it should now?
Not really. 1K here and wife is now silver. We split ressies last week to get on the upgrade list and the app wanted to charge me for E+ seating when I wanted to switch to another row. Had to get GA to override and even she remarked that the app behavior was bizarre... Then again, I guess nothing is unexpected from UA these days.
slippahs is offline  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:25 am.

Home - News - Forum - Hotel Reviews - Glossary - Contact Us - Airport Code Lookup - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy - Cookie Policy - Advertise on FlyerTalk - Archive - Top

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by Flyertalk.com. Copyright 2017 FlyerTalk.com. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.