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How To Book International Awards W/ United Miles When There Is No Availability.

How To Book International Awards W/ United Miles When There Is No Availability.

Old Aug 2, 12, 1:38 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by QBK View Post
This.

OP, thank you for the helpful contribution! However, to ensure that nobody gets confused, this is a very basic fact about award redemptions -- for all airlines. The OP is basically observing that award tickets (just like purchased tix) do not need to be nonstop -- e.g., you can fly ORD-EWR-LHR rather than being limited to ORD-LHR nonstop.

This is fairly obvious to those of us who live in non-hub cities and are used to flying routes like FAI-DEN-IAD-CDG-VIE to get places. However, flyers who are lucky enough to live in a hub and get more or less everywhere nonstop may indeed find it useful. I suspect most FTers have moved on to more complicated challenges like trying to maximize the number of 23-hour layovers on a four-partner double-open-jaw to Asia with stopover in Europe.

One observation that may be useful to those who appreciated the original post is that routing rules on award tix are often much looser, in terms of connecting cities, than those on paid fares. For example, the routing that I mentioned above (to VIE via CDG) is not generally legal on paid fares, because CDG is not a hub. But for an award routing, you can connect (and have a stopover!) almost anywhere as long as it doesn't involve backtracking.
No kidding!

I have yet to figure out how to get the .bomb do this online...

The thread title does get me excited for a few seconds though... Then I realize it is just basically how things work anyway... And this is not anything "free" by any stretch!
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Old Aug 2, 12, 1:43 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by mikew99 View Post
So far, I don't see anything different here. Or am I missing something?
Originally Posted by SEA1K4EVR View Post
No, you're not missing anything. It costs the same number of miles to fly SEA-FRA as it does SEA-ORD-FRA or SEA-IAH-FRA. So what the OP is describing as a "free positioning flight" is actually just a regular domestic connection that most people have to take every time they book an international award...it would display as one of the options when searching for an award ticket. There has to be award space available on the domestic and international segments. Nothing to see here.

And to top it all off "Free" is misleading.. for someone who isn't a Plat or 1K..adding a connecting domestic flight would not be free at all if done 24 hours + past booking because it would alter the origin/destination and there would be a change fee.
Yes, thread title is very confusing. Looks as if you are getting something for nothing, and this just isn't the case. You often have to piece together segments for award flights for reasons already stated.
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Old Aug 2, 12, 2:33 pm
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by QBK View Post
This.

OP, thank you for the helpful contribution! However, to ensure that nobody gets confused, this is a very basic fact about award redemptions -- for all airlines. The OP is basically observing that award tickets (just like purchased tix) do not need to be nonstop -- e.g., you can fly ORD-EWR-LHR rather than being limited to ORD-LHR nonstop.

This is fairly obvious to those of us who live in non-hub cities and are used to flying routes like FAI-DEN-IAD-CDG-VIE to get places. However, flyers who are lucky enough to live in a hub and get more or less everywhere nonstop may indeed find it useful. I suspect most FTers have moved on to more complicated challenges like trying to maximize the number of 23-hour layovers on a four-partner double-open-jaw to Asia with stopover in Europe.

One observation that may be useful to those who appreciated the original post is that routing rules on award tix are often much looser, in terms of connecting cities, than those on paid fares. For example, the routing that I mentioned above (to VIE via CDG) is not generally legal on paid fares, because CDG is not a hub. But for an award routing, you can connect (and have a stopover!) almost anywhere as long as it doesn't involve backtracking.
Indeed, for me there is no such thing as an international award without a "positioning flight" unless I drive several hours to ORD, DTW, etc! I didn't know that anyone out there thought you had to start an award only from an international gateway.
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Old Aug 2, 12, 4:38 pm
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Ericka View Post
Thanks for pointing this out. Do the domestic positioning flights automatically ticket in coach, or can they ticket in first if your award is in biz/first?
"reposition" is a bit of fancy wording for an indirect routing / added segment.

But yes, the domestic segments of a premium cabin international trip can be in domestic first.

============
As others are stating -- this is essentially that AAA-CCC flights can be book as AAA-BBB-CCC for no additional airline miles in most cases (such as where AAA & BBB are domestic airports) if saver inventory is available for all segments.

Note this is not true for programs that miles are based on flight cost (like the Capital One credit card) but does work for most airline programs.

This is basic Airline Mile 101 -- but a nice FT post my OP to hype their blog site (and drive some visit traffic for ads).
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Old Aug 3, 12, 4:21 am
  #20  
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Originally Posted by MtRoot View Post
Not relevant to UA forum, but there are quite a few exceptions to this. I know at least NH and BA implement distance-based award chart, where your mileage cost may increase as you add segments.
Mea culpa -- you are, of course, quite right. I shouldn't have said "all"! There may be other programs where things are even more limited. UA actually has some of the most liberal rule sets out there, when you factor in the fact that *A partners can be mixed in without restriction (compare, e.g., to AS, which has a very nice partner list but only allows one partner on an award).
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Old Aug 3, 12, 8:50 am
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by SEA1K4EVR View Post
And to top it all off "Free" is misleading.. for someone who isn't a Plat or 1K..adding a connecting domestic flight would not be free at all if done 24 hours + past booking because it would alter the origin/destination and there would be a change fee.
The OP is not talking about 24 hours...just talking about postioning one to take advantage of a "Free Ride".
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Old Aug 3, 12, 11:53 am
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by brp1264 View Post
I have already booked a standard biz award ticket, roundtrip EWR to HKG on the direct flight for 300K miles.

Any chance of using the above info and changing this if I find a saverpass award, say HKG to SFO or something in biz?
Yes. It will cost you the award change fee, but they stopped charging redeposit fees when changing award category
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Old Aug 3, 12, 1:37 pm
  #23  
 
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I notice the OP in their blog post recommended booking trips as two one-ways. This is a bad idea for several reasons. First, open-jaws and stopovers can be booked on one ticket. And if you have little or no status, you'll end up paying double the fees if you need to make changes later.
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Old Aug 3, 12, 1:40 pm
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by LizzyDragon84 View Post
I notice the OP in their blog post recommended booking trips as two one-ways. This is a bad idea for several reasons. First, open-jaws and stopovers can be booked on one ticket. And if you have little or no status, you'll end up paying double the fees if you need to make changes later.
I wrote a comment on the site explaining just this, about 15 hours ago. It was either never approved or it was deleted.
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Old Aug 3, 12, 3:50 pm
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
"reposition" is a bit of fancy wording for an indirect routing / added segment.

But yes, the domestic segments of a premium cabin international trip can be in domestic first.

============
As others are stating -- this is essentially that AAA-CCC flights can be book as AAA-BBB-CCC for no additional airline miles in most cases (such as where AAA & BBB are domestic airports) if saver inventory is available for all segments.

Note this is not true for programs that miles are based on flight cost (like the Capital One credit card) but does work for most airline programs.

This is basic Airline Mile 101 -- but a nice FT post my OP to hype their blog site (and drive some visit traffic for ads).
This is the first message in this thread that makes sense to me.

Wow, 24 messages for such a simple topic?

Of course you can book segments *if saver inventory is available* - somehow you're the first person who actually mentioned this clearly. The OP made is sound like some kind of magic was happening. No. If inventory is available you can book it. If inventory is not available, then you can't book it. Until now, I've been scratching my head trying to figure out what great secret I've been missing out on all these years.

Nothing to see here. Move right along ...
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