Saver BF and R inventory linked?

Old Jan 27, 13, 7:39 am
  #1  
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Saver BF and R inventory linked?

I was booking a trip to LHR for me and my family. Saw saver BF seats and R=2 so I was going to book my family on miles and pay for mine and use GPU.

I wondered if somehow Saver inventory and R inventory were linked so I called the 1K desk to ask. Was told by 2 separate agents (I dont trust enough to get a straight answer, so I called again to verify) They both told me that the 2 were totally separate buckets, and they did not affect each other.

So I booked the saver seats and went back to book my paid ticket- R was gone in the 3-4 minutes it took me to book the reward tix. I did this in December for a flight in August- so VERY doubtful that anyone else was booking at the same time as me. Certainly seems like a cause-effect situation.

I have seen other threads where R inventory disappears even when buying a paid ticket. This practice seems pretty close to bait and switch to me. Even if not illegal it is terribly aggravating and breeds dis-loyalty. (I wonder if this happens to GMs when they use their CC miles?)

So, now I am waitlisted and relegated to the wait and hope approach while the rest of my family is safely booked in BF.

This FF program is so frustrating that I am openly rooting for a US-AA merger so that I can escape.
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Old Jan 27, 13, 8:02 am
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They are separate buckets. That said, all of the buckets on a plane are tied together at least loosely. If suddenly two seats in business sell it is not all that surprising that there will be fewer available to sell in other channels.
Originally Posted by Yanks08802 View Post
This FF program is so frustrating that I am openly rooting for a US-AA merger so that I can escape.
Do you actually believe that US/AA do it differently? I think you're in for quite the surprise if so.
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Old Jan 27, 13, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by Yanks08802 View Post
I was booking a trip to LHR for me and my family. Saw saver BF seats and R=2 so I was going to book my family on miles and pay for mine and use GPU.

I wondered if somehow Saver inventory and R inventory were linked so I called the 1K desk to ask. Was told by 2 separate agents (I dont trust enough to get a straight answer, so I called again to verify) They both told me that the 2 were totally separate buckets, and they did not affect each other.

So I booked the saver seats and went back to book my paid ticket- R was gone in the 3-4 minutes it took me to book the reward tix. I did this in December for a flight in August- so VERY doubtful that anyone else was booking at the same time as me. Certainly seems like a cause-effect situation.

I have seen other threads where R inventory disappears even when buying a paid ticket. This practice seems pretty close to bait and switch to me. Even if not illegal it is terribly aggravating and breeds dis-loyalty. (I wonder if this happens to GMs when they use their CC miles?)

So, now I am waitlisted and relegated to the wait and hope approach while the rest of my family is safely booked in BF.

This FF program is so frustrating that I am openly rooting for a US-AA merger so that I can escape.

What do you mean by "saver bf"? What fare bucket is that? BTW, during August you can probably find Z fares for about $2000 to $2500 round trip in BF. If you can find a good z fare, it is not worth it to upgrade with miles.
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Old Jan 27, 13, 8:46 am
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Saver BF and R inventory linked?

Are you suggesting that inventory management should have read your mind about your intentions, and then, drop whatever IM strategy they have in favor of letting you book a ticket with an upgrade? Should this only happen for you, or should they be able to read everyone's mind that plans to book and upgrade using R space at booking?

My vote says this thread belongs in the least substantial complaint thread.
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Old Jan 27, 13, 8:58 am
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Originally Posted by txp View Post
What do you mean by "saver bf"? What fare bucket is that? BTW, during August you can probably find Z fares for about $2000 to $2500 round trip in BF. If you can find a good z fare, it is not worth it to upgrade with miles.
Saver Business is I, or IN for Plats/1Ks.

He wasn't upgrading with miles, was trying to use a GPU.
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Old Jan 27, 13, 9:15 am
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The OP's issue is not knowing the buckets* and the somewhat linked relationship, and then ranting later, instead of asking first.

*Which, with Expert Mode, sbm12's website, and this forum, is almost unbelievable.
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Old Jan 27, 13, 9:28 am
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Originally Posted by aacharya View Post
The OP's issue is not knowing the buckets* and the somewhat linked relationship, and then ranting later, instead of asking first.

*Which, with Expert Mode, sbm12's website, and this forum, is almost unbelievable.
Well it was news to be that the distinctly named fare classes for upgrade inventory and saver J inventory are linked. Why are they linked?

Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
Are you suggesting that inventory management should have read your mind about your intentions, and then, drop whatever IM strategy they have in favor of letting you book a ticket with an upgrade? Should this only happen for you, or should they be able to read everyone's mind that plans to book and upgrade using R space at booking?

My vote says this thread belongs in the least substantial complaint thread.
I disagree. It appears that upgrade inventory was available right up to the point he booked two saver J awards.

What should OP have done differently?

If it were me, knowing that upgrade and award inventory goes away at any minute (and not knowing that saver J and upgrade to J are linked) I would have booked the saver Js first (on the theory that you book the award tix first), then verified that there was still upgrade inventory before booking the revenue tickets.

Which is exactly what OP did.

But having learned the two inventories are linked, I would probably canceled the saver awards and looked for another flight to Europe that had sufficient inventory.

If this linkage has been discussed before, I certainly missed it.

I think the reactions are unnecessarily unkind.
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Old Jan 27, 13, 2:25 pm
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Originally Posted by aacharya View Post
The OP's issue is not knowing the buckets* and the somewhat linked relationship, and then ranting later, instead of asking first.

*Which, with Expert Mode, sbm12's website, and this forum, is almost unbelievable.
I actually DID ask first (twice) as stated in my post. I am "ranting" because I asked a legit question and got bad information from the 1k desk twice.

I made an effort to try to understand the "somewhat linked relationship" before booking tickets. Isn't that exactly what I should have done?

Your response indicates you think I didn't ask. Please read thoroughly before choosing to be nasty.
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Old Jan 27, 13, 3:31 pm
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The buckets aren't strictly linked and the availability is often different. But UA may certainly respond to bookings in one class by making changes to another class.

Asking the agents about it is mostly pointless. They probably don't know, and even if they did, aren't allowed to tell you how the system works.
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Old Jan 27, 13, 7:53 pm
  #10  
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Another way to describe the buckets being linked would to be to say that they are recalculated every time a substantive change is made to a booking on a flight. When the OP made the booking, the buckets were recalculated with two less seats available in the cabin. Upon recalculation, the R space went away, presumably because UA was willing to sell either 2 I seats or 2 I seats (or presumably one of each), but not 2 I seats and 2 R seats.

The agents were correct that the inventory isn't linked in a strict sense, but booking of seats in an award or upgrade bucket will very frequently reduce the corresponding upgrade or award bucket in that cabin by the number of booked seats in the other.

Similarly, if a flight says Y7 B4 M2 H2, you shouldn't expect to be able to buy 2 seats in H and then buy 2 seats in M five minutes later; more likely, you will see each go down by 2 when everything is recalculated. Virtually all airlines-- certainly all I can think of-- manage their inventory this way.
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Old Jan 27, 13, 10:06 pm
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Another way to think about it is that any physical seat can be in several buckets at the same time.
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Old Jan 27, 13, 10:59 pm
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Originally Posted by mre5765 View Post

What should OP have done differently?
I'm not suggesting the OP should have (or could have) done anything differently, except to have the expectation that fares and fare inventory are not stagnate and can change at any moment. Which is apparently what happened - the availability changed.

Now the OP is also assuming (as some others are) that booking the saver tickets dropped the R inventory down to 0. Certainly quite possible, but there are also other possibilities. For example, perhaps the R inventory opened up during the day, and a sweep rightly upgraded 2 people who were already on the wait list, and unfortunately for the OP, it happened before they booked the revenue tickets. Or perhaps someone else beat them on booking/using upgrades. Or perhaps the site incorrectly showed R inventory when there was really none.

On the other hand, I would not trust an agent (1K or not) would actually know whether buckets were "linked." I suspect really the only people who know this are those in IM, and if they value their jobs, they wouldn't divulge this info.
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Old Jan 27, 13, 11:01 pm
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Every time I've ever booked an I/IN seat, R has gone down correspondingly, and vice versa.
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Old Jan 27, 13, 11:49 pm
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Originally Posted by JAaronT View Post
Every time I've ever booked an I/IN seat, R has gone down correspondingly, and vice versa.
What happens if you do a Fare Lock on the R? Does the I/IN go down?
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Old Jan 27, 13, 11:51 pm
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Originally Posted by skimthetrees View Post
What happens if you do a Fare Lock on the R? ...
not aware of a way to do that -- trip must be ticketed prior to using RPU/GPU.
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