To split or not to split PNR

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Old Jul 29, 19, 11:35 am   -   Wikipost
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For complimentary premier upgrades, United explains how they are handled for itineraries with more than one passenger:

Companion policy

One companion traveling on a paid ticket on the same reservation as a Premier member is eligible for Complimentary Premier Upgrades on select flights, and may be confirmed with the same priority as the Premier member, even on the day of departure. If the companion is a Premier member, the upgrade will be processed according to the highest Premier status level in the reservation.

If a reservation includes three or more travelers, and only one is not a Premier member, the Complimentary Premier Upgrades will be processed according to the lowest Premier status level in the reservation. If two or more travelers on the reservation are not Premier members, it will not be processed automatically. In these cases, Premier members should call the Premier Priority Desk to request a separate reservation for themselves and the eligible companion.
https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly.../upgrades.html

For elites, an itinerary for multiple passengers will remain together until ~T-24. If the upgrades clear before then, the PNR remains together. If they have not cleared by then, the PNR will be "split" when you check in for purposes of upgrades, with waitlist priority in accordance with above. The splitting has consequences regarding eligibility for "inherited status" - i.e., baggage allowances, upgrade priority, boarding priority for passengers with lower status than the highest status passenger. I.e., as a formal matter the benefits of inherited status are lost (although E+ seats are usually retained or can be gotten back, baggage is usually granted, one can board with highest priority passenger). This also matters for the return.

This thread explains various scenarios and considerations as to whether it is desirable to split the PNR before T-24 and the consequences of having it happen.

Questions to consider:
1) Do you mind if not all passengers are upgraded? If you are willing to have some people remain in coach, then splitting increases your chances of an upgrade before T-24 because sometimes only one upgrade seat becomes available at a time. In such scenarios a group of 2+ will be skipped. If you can't be separated, don't split until forced to do so. If you really can't be separated, consider a call to UA to ask to be marked not for upgrades.
2) Once you get inside T-24 your PNR will be split, unless you make a special request that it not be. Each passenger will be placed on the upgrade list in accordance with the above. This doesn't matter much on the outbound flight unless there are IRROPS, in which case it may be tougher to get accommodation for all passengers.
3) On the return flight(s) the companions may no longer have the highest level of status of all passengers, including baggage allowances (E+ seats are usually retained). However, some recent reports are that companions retain the status of the highest passenger on the original PNR, even after it is split.

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Old Sep 20, 18, 12:00 pm
  #391  
 
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On the IAD->LAX 757 (UA 719) in early October. We are waitlisted with RPUs at this point. Flight is listing as F7 right now. I'm a Plat and DW is GM.

Wondering if and if so then when I should split the PNR to maximize our chances of upgrade? I'm not worried about the split mucking up the return flight as our upgrades have already cleared for that flight. I can check all our bags on the outbound under my PNR and not worry about any fees for her. The only thing I'm worried about is her possibly getting bounced out of her E+ seat, but if I don't touch her seat assignment post split is that really something can happen?
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Old Sep 20, 18, 12:21 pm
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It basically won't matter unless you see R1 and want to split in order to snag it. If you don't mind being separated, splitting now is probably preferable as the odds of one clearing when two might get skipped are very small, but strictly higher than the odds of her losing her E+ seat due to a shuffle after you get upgraded.
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Old Sep 21, 18, 2:47 pm
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Originally Posted by drowelf View Post
On the IAD->LAX 757 (UA 719) in early October. We are waitlisted with RPUs at this point. Flight is listing as F7 right now. I'm a Plat and DW is GM.

Wondering if and if so then when I should split the PNR to maximize our chances of upgrade? I'm not worried about the split mucking up the return flight as our upgrades have already cleared for that flight. I can check all our bags on the outbound under my PNR and not worry about any fees for her. The only thing I'm worried about is her possibly getting bounced out of her E+ seat, but if I don't touch her seat assignment post split is that really something can happen?
To maximise your chances for the second upgrade, you should not split. Upgrade waitlist no longer clear FIFO, it clears by status, then fare, etc.

Is it common for PNR splits to mess up E+ seat assignments? It's never happened to me. On a future flight schedule change, my family's E+ assignments were preserved across 3 split PNRs with a plane swap from 737 to ERJ. I'm on a separate PNR. Maybe being GS helped, I'm not sure.
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Old Sep 23, 18, 8:02 am
  #394  
 
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Splitting PNR/Upgrade question

Quick Question. I am going to waitlist for a long haul flight using GPUs(IAH->SYD). It is 4 of us traveling, one of us is UA Plat. I figure we should split the PNR since 4 people clearing will be very difficult. A few questions though.

1. If we do that, only my PNR will be prioritzed as platinum correct?
2. GPUs are now processed using status of the person using them, not the person who owns the GPU(im my case the person giving me the GPU is Global Services).
3. Any other considerations when splitting? Are there any reasons i should not split? Should i wait until a few days prior to split?

Thanks.

Last edited by njxbean; Sep 23, 18 at 9:34 am
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Old Sep 23, 18, 12:01 pm
  #395  
 
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GS GPUs waitlist for PN regardless of the status of the traveler, and so implicitly retain priority over all non-GS instruments. It's possibly worth considering your odds of clearing at all and who your party of 4 is; split PNRs can be a pain depending on the circumstances.
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Old Sep 23, 18, 1:47 pm
  #396  
 
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
GS GPUs waitlist for PN regardless of the status of the traveler, and so implicitly retain priority over all non-GS instruments. It's possibly worth considering your odds of clearing at all and who your party of 4 is; split PNRs can be a pain depending on the circumstances.
How So?
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Old Sep 23, 18, 1:52 pm
  #397  
 
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Originally Posted by njxbean View Post
How So?
Some examples:

- if your party is a family with children, having minor children on their own PNR may cause system issues around unaccompanied minors, and clearing upgrades independently may actually not be desired
- if you are relying on elite benefits like the expanded baggage allowance, it is more challenging to keep the extra allowance applied to companion with a split PNR
- this is often completely impossible if relying on *G benefits for partner segments; e.g. NZ will assign good seats to *G pax but not to off-PNR companions
- you are much more likely to get separated in IRROPS if you are on separate PNRs as the system will not keep you together during an auto-rebook

On the other hand, if everyone in your party is a nimble, able adult with some knowledge of frequent flying, most of these things are minor inconveniences at worst and the increased upgrade odds are probably worth it. YMMV.
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Old Sep 23, 18, 1:58 pm
  #398  
 
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
Some examples:

- if your party is a family with children, having minor children on their own PNR may cause system issues around unaccompanied minors, and clearing upgrades independently may actually not be desired
- if you are relying on elite benefits like the expanded baggage allowance, it is more challenging to keep the extra allowance applied to companion with a split PNR
- this is often completely impossible if relying on *G benefits for partner segments; e.g. NZ will assign good seats to *G pax but not to off-PNR companions
- you are much more likely to get separated in IRROPS if you are on separate PNRs as the system will not keep you together during an auto-rebook

On the other hand, if everyone in your party is a nimble, able adult with some knowledge of frequent flying, most of these things are minor inconveniences at worst and the increased upgrade odds are probably worth it. YMMV.
Good points. we would be a family of four. Was going to put myself and my wife on separate PNRs. But not sure if the risk of IRROPS makes it worth it. On the flip side IAH->SYD is looong for a 1 year old!
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Old Sep 24, 18, 7:18 am
  #399  
 
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Originally Posted by flyerbjorn View Post
To maximise your chances for the second upgrade, you should not split. Upgrade waitlist no longer clear FIFO, it clears by status, then fare, etc.

Is it common for PNR splits to mess up E+ seat assignments? It's never happened to me. On a future flight schedule change, my family's E+ assignments were preserved across 3 split PNRs with a plane swap from 737 to ERJ. I'm on a separate PNR. Maybe being GS helped, I'm not sure.
I thought it clears by Upgrade Type (Instrument vs Paid), Satus, then fare. Now what I've always been unclear about is an Instrument (RPU) == Paid?
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Old Sep 24, 18, 8:21 am
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Originally Posted by drowelf View Post
I thought it clears by Upgrade Type (Instrument vs Paid), Satus, then fare. Now what I've always been unclear about is an Instrument (RPU) == Paid?
I'm not sure what "Paid" would be in this context. There is no distinction between the various upgrade types.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 9:53 am
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
I'm not sure what "Paid" would be in this context. There is no distinction between the various upgrade types.
RPU/GPU is the instrument method
Miles/Cash Upgrade would be the paid method

I'll have to go view one of the wikis again to refresh my memory on the priorities.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 10:11 am
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Originally Posted by drowelf View Post
RPU/GPU is the instrument method
Miles/Cash Upgrade would be the paid method

I'll have to go view one of the wikis again to refresh my memory on the priorities.
Miles (+ Copay) is another type of instrument, for these discussions. It makes no difference what type of instrument is used -- RPU, GPU, and miles + copay are all equivalent in priority.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 12:22 pm
  #403  
 
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Originally Posted by njxbean View Post
On the flip side IAH->SYD is looong for a 1 year old!
IAH->SYD is looooooooong for an older adult with back pain and leg cramps.

IAH->SYD is looooong for the parents of the 1 year old.

IAH->SYD is looong for the neighbors of the family that includes a 1 year old. Or is that reversed? Looong for the parents vs looooong for the neighbors.....

IAH->SYD is no problem for the 1 year old.
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Old Oct 15, 18, 10:51 am
  #404  
 
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Am I blind or did they totally remove the option to separate reservations online?
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Old Oct 15, 18, 12:08 pm
  #405  
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Originally Posted by joder View Post
Am I blind or did they totally remove the option to separate reservations online?
Still there but slightly different.

Go to the reservation while you want to split a passenger off of.
Select change flights
Look for "Would you like to change the flight(s) for all people in this reservation? "
Select " No, change flights only for those people selected below: "
And "continue", exit before confirming a flight change and the PNR will be split.
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