Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

UA's Micronesia Island Hopper - consolidated questions, advice, ....

Old Jun 30, 2016, 1:45 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: thejaredhuang
Best seat advice
See update in post 500
See update in post 690


Best seat on the Island Hopper .. {closed to new posts}

An Island Hopper [Micronesia] Definitive Guide on Where to Sit [UA B737] {this thread}

FAQs derived from findark's post (post #500)
What is the Island Hopper?

The Island Hopper is a United route between Honolulu and Guam, stopping at the islands of Majuro, Kwajaelin, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Chuuk in between. The Island Hopper operates in both directions, and skips Pohnpei on certain days. You are allowed to get off the plane and "transit" at each stop except for Kwajaelin, which is a US Army base.

This route is similar to Alaska Airlines' "milk run" routes in rural Alaska. All of these routes serve as lifelines for the residents living in areas served by the routes, as the sole connection providing supplies and transportation to/from the rest of the world.

What is the Island Hopper schedule (as of 1/14/19)?
UA154 (the full Hopper) departs HNL Mon/Fri and flies HNL-MAJ-KWA-KSA-PNI-TKK-GUM.
The shorter UA154 flies from HNL on Wed and does HNL-MAJ-KWA-PNI-TKK-GUM (skips KSA).
UA132 departs Sun and flies HNL-MAJ-KSA-PNI-TKK-GUM (skips KWA).

UA193 (GUM-ROR-MNL)departs GUM on the evenings of Tue/Fri and flies GUM-ROR-MNL.

The Hopper arrives around 1800+1, so in order to do the entire flight without a stopover you would need to depart HNL on UA154 on Monday morning.


Should I experience the Hopper?

If you like hopping through short segments, with beautiful island views, as well as a constant parade of amazing cloudscape between islands, the Island Hopper may be for you!

Which direction (west or east) is better?

The prevailing wisdom here seems to be in favor of taking UA154 (HNL-GUM). findark did 155 from GUM to HNL, and I think there were some overlooked benefits. The eastbound Hopper has the advantage of doing all the fun stuff in the morning and afternoon when you're fresh and eager to enjoy. 14 hours onboard a 737 is a long time*, and doing it eastbound you can give in to the exhaustion and conk out for the final MAJ-HNL segment. Even the HNL arrival was actually not too bad - it's only 10:50pm Guam time, so if you head on to a hotel you're pretty much in line for a night's sleep.

The most notable downside of taking the Hopper eastbound is that you visit MAJ in darkness. We ran about 25m late the whole way, and it was full dark by the time we touched down in MAJ. Whichever way you go, don't do it on a Wednesday! Kosrae was my favorite island, and it would be a shame to miss it.

*And, I learned, while the flight mechanic hops off in MAJ and the pilots get to work in shifts, the cabin crew are on duty for the whole 14 hours. They were understandably a bit burnt out by the middle of MAJ-HNL, but were simply outstanding nonetheless - greeting kids and handing out wings as they boarded in MAJ.


What's with the plane configuration?

The Hopper is currently flown by a GUM subfleet 737-800 (currently Version 4 on the United website - Row 1 is set back several inches which yields fewer E+ seats). The seatmap is loaded as the "Asia local" 737 map, which looks roughly like a 737-700. Like with other "generic" maps, it will update to the full seatmap about 4 days before departure, when the additional rows will appear.

1AB are blocked for the augmented flight crew, who change places with the pilots in the cockpit at MAJ. 2AB are also blocked because the crew rest seats at 1AB will recline until almost touching row 2, and it is usually used for crew storage.

Where should I sit?

The key here is understanding approach and wind patterns, along with each airport's runway configuration. The following stops and runways are on the north side of their respective islands:

TKK (4/22), PNI (9/27), KSA (5/23)

The following stops have runways on the south side of their atolls:

KWA (6/24), MAJ (7/25)

The prevailing winds at this latitude blow from the east, so a typical landing goes from west to east (into the wind). Therefore, in order to have best views on final approach and initial takeoff, you want to be on the starboard (right, F) side for TKK, PNI, and KSA, and on the port (left, A) side for KWA and MAJ. If you are flying westbound, or you land backwards at any stop on the eastbound flight, then the flight may need to position into the approach, usually by overflying the island at higher altitude out to sea. In this case, both sides of the aircraft will get views, although the closer views belong to the "correct" side. In my case, we landed "backwards" on 22 at TKK, and used the regular 9, 5, 6, and 7 at the other stops.

You should absolutely have a window seat - why else are you here?! The best seats are therefore any window in the Business cabin (note that 1A and 2A are blocked), 7AF and 8AF in Economy Plus (10AF has a misaligned window but is okay, the missing window will kill you in 11 and then the wing really starts intruding), and anything nice and far behind the wing in Economy. In this vein, I declined an upgrade on GUM-TKK since only 2E was left, and we flew in 4A/7F, 2F/4A, 2F/3F, 3A/4A, 3A/4A, 2F/7F.


What can I do at the stops?

The best thing to do is get off the plane! You can take tarmac photos and get amazing close-ups of the plane. You will then be shepherded into the gate area, where there are restrooms (some lacking soap and/or towels) and often locals selling souvenirs and snacks. On our trip, the most substantial souvenirs were available at MAJ. If the flight is running late they will make an announcement requesting transfer pax to stay on the plane; however, as obviously savvy travelers who were along for the whole ride and could get on/off quickly with no bags to stow, we got absolutely no pushback from the purser whenever we went outside anyway.

If you do disembark, you are required to take all carry-on baggage with you. They conduct a security sweep onboard the aircraft and will remove unclaimed bags. As is mentioned many times in this thread, KWA is the exception - as it's a US Army base you cannot get off unless ticketed to there. On our flight, we were requested not to take photographs but were allowed to look out the window. I didn't see anything terribly interesting.

You can also use WiFi in the terminal/transit area when you disembark and at some stops you can get your passport stamped. MAJ, PNI, and KSA have confirmed free WiFi. Passport stamps have been confirmed at PNI, KSA, TKK without "exiting" just ask security about getting a stamp at these 3 airports and they should be able to accommodate you.

Should I check my bags?

Yes. As annoying as it was to wait ~10 minutes for our bags in HNL, it was a lot less annoying than having to haul them around each stop, and find bin space again once on board.


What is the food situation?

Going east is a slightly different meal schedule than west. GUM-TKK and KSA-KWA are coded Snack, and MAJ-HNL is Dinner. The first and last meals are reasonably substantial in J (think like a Breakfast and Dinner code) and somewhat small in Y (somewhat less than a meal in int'l Y - was six pieces of fruit and a muffin in the morning, followed by a turkey sandwich for dinner). The middle snack was just a pass of the snack basket up front; neither of us sat in Y that segment but I would guess they just offered almonds. Additionally, every segment they were offering J pax some packaged almonds.

My general verdict is if going the distance in Y, pack some snacks or buy them at the stops along the way. If you're in J then there's enough food for 14 hours of sitting.


And how about IFE?

Look outside! That's actually about all the IFE there is. The GUM fleet has no WiFi and only DirecTV. Note that DirecTV does not work outside of CONUS, so really it just has the 8-10 looping movies of DirecTV (slightly different movie set for an Asian audience). The movie loop resets at each stop, so unless you want to watch the first 1h30 of a movie six times, there's not much use to the IFE. It is at least free in Y. I brought a book and read it for the middle 20 minutes of each segment and until I fell sleep on MAJ-HNL.


Can I get an upgrade on the Hopper?

Empirically, yes! We were offered upgrades of 11/12 eligible segments; I declined a GUM-TKK upgrade to keep my window, and my companion's MAJ-HNL upgrade was eaten by UA IT (agent in MAJ apologized profusely but understandably wasn't going to remove the already-handed-out upgrades to the next 2 pax on the list).

In order to have any shot, however, you need to be able to split the direct flight into six segments. This generally cannot be done on a mileage ticket or a paid through fare, and would need to be done via multi-city ticketing if visiting an island. In my case, I spent a very long time getting an extremely wonderful pmCO agent who was able to hack my ticket together with 9 connections on the way home. As this is also the only way to choose different views for the different approach directions, I recommend asking for this rather than for upgrades. It causes quite the headache for UA systems, but in the end I felt like it was a huge benefit to fly pretty much all of it in J. Absolutely something I credit to the value of being 1K: I was able to ring the 1K desk many times to get agents to deal with the various hiccups that came along with a PNR that had eight tickets and at one point 36 segments attached to it.

The first five Hopper segments (going east) are CPU eligible; MAJ/HNL requires a GPU. We had GPUs on our reservation and did a mixture of advance clearing and clearing at the gates in the islands (where amazingly enough they had the new J BPs waiting!).


Where to stay and what to do in GUM and HNL?

I think this depends on lot on which way you're going. Flying east, we arrived in GUM around 11pm (maximizing time in Tokyo, but not crazy enough for the 2am arrival), and spent the night at the Days Inn Tamuning. It was at the very bottom of my quality standards, but quite affordable and with 9h45 of total ground time all in the dark I did not want to pay double for a beachfront property I would never enjoy.

In HNL, I took up the excellent recommendation in this thread of the Best Western Plaza Honolulu. It was the cheapest of the few airport hotels in HNL. Having cleared customs by 3:45 (we arrived late), it was off to bed quickly. The arrival is only ~11pm Guam time, so I highly recommend going straight to a bed on arrival in HNL. Afterwards, we took advantage of the 24h connect rule to spend the whole day in HNL before continuing on home to SFO. We were pretty exhausted after another redeye home, but the beach time in Hawaii was well worth it, especially after being taunted by all the beautiful mid-Pacific islands.

Big Metal Bird Episode 8: Island Hopper - 2018
Originally Posted by COEWR2587
They just did a video in the Micronesia island hopper flight which is pretty interesting
https://youtu.be/TPueM5OF1Wc
Print Wikipost

UA's Micronesia Island Hopper - consolidated questions, advice, ....

Old Jun 7, 2024, 12:26 pm
  #1396  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Delaware
Programs: UA Mileage Plus, Amtrak Guest Rewards
Posts: 1,429
Originally Posted by JAXPax
Hello Felix,
I have AT&T...... none of the US carriers have partnerships for roaming with the carriers in the Marshall Islands or FSM. Phone might connect to the network but you won't be able to do anything, even with roaming. You'll need a local sim card, I believe. At least this is what someone told me who works IT for the state department...
Honestly, I'd be afraid to connect my Verizon phone to the FSM/RMI network. Knowing my luck a data connection would establish and I'd unknowingly download a few hundred MB of stuff and come home to a nasty bill.

I don't know if FSM TC would mail you a SIM card and a prepaid card or not. That's probably the only way you'd get anything outside of airport wifi. And FWIW, I've heard that KWA has absolutely no cell service on the island.
phkc070408 is offline  
Old Jun 7, 2024, 12:41 pm
  #1397  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: KUSA
Programs: Whatever AMEX Plat comes with... I buy on price.. Spirit Big Front Seat, want First/buy First
Posts: 1,554
Originally Posted by phkc070408
Honestly, I'd be afraid to connect my Verizon phone to the FSM/RMI network. Knowing my luck a data connection would establish and I'd unknowingly download a few hundred MB of stuff and come home to a nasty bill.

I don't know if FSM TC would mail you a SIM card and a prepaid card or not. That's probably the only way you'd get anything outside of airport wifi. And FWIW, I've heard that KWA has absolutely no cell service on the island.
Unless one is staying on one of the islands, probably not worth it to do anything. Wifi at Majuro is pretty good (which tends to be the longest stop due to crew change).

KWA doesn't have civilian cell service, no. There is a "Closed" network that requires specific programming. My contact says you can get a sim card from Ebeye and with that get very very basic cell service on parts of Kwaj, but only voice calls and texts... no data.
SPN Lifer likes this.
JAXPax is offline  
Old Jun 7, 2024, 12:46 pm
  #1398  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: New Jersey
Programs: UA MM 1K, AA MM Gold, Marriott LT Platinum
Posts: 3,250
Originally Posted by JAXPax
Hello Felix,
I have AT&T...... none of the US carriers have partnerships for roaming with the carriers in the Marshall Islands or FSM. Phone might connect to the network but you won't be able to do anything, even with roaming. You'll need a local sim card, I believe. At least this is what someone told me who works IT for the state department...
I had the same problem in Guam at the end of an Island Hopper trip. Even though its the US, my AT&T day pass didnt work there. At least I knew in advance when the pop-up message I got on my phone after I landed at GUM warned me I was paying a per-minute rate.
tarheelnj is offline  
Old Jun 7, 2024, 12:55 pm
  #1399  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 21,983
Originally Posted by tarheelnj
I had the same problem in Guam at the end of an Island Hopper trip. Even though its the US, my AT&T day pass didnt work there. At least I knew in advance when the pop-up message I got on my phone after I landed at GUM warned me I was paying a per-minute rate.
Verizon TravelPass does cover Guam (as an "international" destination). I confirmed what JAXPax said, though; FSM and the Marshall Islands are excluded and would be at the You've Got to Be Kidding Me rate.
SPN Lifer and JAXPax like this.
jsloan is offline  
Old Jun 7, 2024, 1:27 pm
  #1400  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: KUSA
Programs: Whatever AMEX Plat comes with... I buy on price.. Spirit Big Front Seat, want First/buy First
Posts: 1,554
Originally Posted by tarheelnj
I had the same problem in Guam at the end of an Island Hopper trip. Even though its the US, my AT&T day pass didnt work there. At least I knew in advance when the pop-up message I got on my phone after I landed at GUM warned me I was paying a per-minute rate.
My AT&T International-by-the-day worked everywhere on my recent around the world trip (except FSM and Marshall Islands). Heck, I had 5G in rural Kazakhstan and no roaming charges! Guam worked very well for me.

Then again... I have had the same cell "plan" since it was AT&T Wireless the first time (before Cingular) in about 2001 and have been grandfathered into unlimited everything for something like $70 a month.
jsloan, SPN Lifer and N515CR like this.
JAXPax is offline  
Old Jul 1, 2024, 10:52 pm
  #1401  
 
Join Date: Jul 2024
Posts: 2
Did award pricing just go haywire on the island hopper? Was literally about to book UA154 on 11/11 via Aeroplan and no longer see any partner availability. UA is pricing everything in YN class at 125k miles instead of 45k. Can't find X class anywhere.
seahawksjoe is offline  
Old Jul 8, 2024, 12:10 am
  #1402  
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: SAN, LGA
Programs: AA, AS, UA, CX, JL, Bonvoy, Hyatt
Posts: 25
UA 132 Trip Report

Flew UA 132 (HNL-GUM westbound) last week. It was everything I had hoped for and more. Report below:

Itinerary:

Jul 2: UA 1170 LAX - HNL

Jul 3: UA 132 HNL-MAJ-KWA-PNI-TKK-GUM (UA 132 skips KSA)

followed by 45-minute connection onto

Jul 4: UA 849 GUM-HND

Jul 5: 7G 41 HND-FUK

Booking 1: LAX - HNL: $193 cash

Booking 2: HNL - FUK: 47,500 miles (Note: The only endpoints beyond GUM that allowed me to ticket were FUK & MNL)

Seats:

I called UA shortly after ticketing and found an agent who was able to split the Island Hopper segments on my reservation, which allowed me to select seats for each segment. After checking AeroLOPA, I chose 37A / 37F as both had perfectly centered windows

Upgrades:

Despite being only Premier Silver, I cleared into First for HNL-MAJ, PNI-TKK, and GUM-HND. Loads were >85% on all Island Hopper segments, and roughly ~40% on GUM-HND. Guess I got lucky flying during July 4th

Flight-by-flight overview (Equipment was N73270)
  1. HNL-MAJ: As we settled in, I enjoyed watching the ground crew load dozens of coolers and cardboard boxes. We departed on-time and the flight was uneventful until we encountered some weather approaching Majuro. All passengers were allowed to deplane. When approaching the terminal building, one can either go straight inside to the transit area, or veer off to the right for arrivals. I made the mistake of heading straight into the transit area and missed my opportunity for a passport stamp. Oh well. However, the terminal did offer free and usable Wi-Fi, allowing me to share a few photos with friends and family. Additionally, there were two vendors in the terminal—one selling snacks and souvenirs, and the other exclusively offering souvenirs.

    Loading in HNL

    Breakfast enroute

    Yokwe!

    Snack stall at MAJ

    Boarding again
  2. MAJ-KWA: Our departure from Majuro to Kwajalein was delayed by around 15 minutes due issues loading bags. We had weather throughout the flight but otherwise, the journey was uneventful. After landing in KWA, the crew announced that photos and videos were prohibited. For some reason I expected them to ask all pax to close their window shades, but this never happened. During the stop passengers were required to retrieve their bags from the overhead compartments for inspection. Lavatories were also closed during this process, which took around 15 minutes to complete. Despite the delay, the crew managed a quick turnaround, and we departed on schedule for Kwajalein.
  3. KWA-PNI: This was the second-most scenic segment. On approach we were treated to gorgeous views of the fringing reefs surrounding Pohnpei. We landed 15 minutes ahead of schedule, and the FAs once again allowed everyone to deplane. Walking up to the terminal building I again noticed there were two paths: left to arrivals or right to transit. This time I decided to just head to arrivals. I asked for a stamp and the officer happily obliged, placing it next to my Tahiti stamps - how fitting. Boarding for the next segment commenced on time, and I was told I’d been upgraded to 3A. We were able to push early and I realized that we were lucky that Asia Pacific Cargo was not flying today - they are a common reason for delays on this route. I was chatting with the FA and she mentioned they only let transit passengers deplane if they're on or ahead of schedule (which is consistent with what others have written here). She said that they average one major IRROPS incident per month - just last week they were stranded in TKK. They were late departing MAJ due to a manual bag recount, then the aircraft went mechanical in TKK

    On approach

    Stamp!

    Massive rainstorm passed through during our layover
  4. PNI-TKK: This was hands-down the most scenic segment. The weather had cleared up by this point which allowed for great views over the pristine reef encircling the Chuuk lagoon. It was perfect for photos. After deplaning, I walked straight to arrivals (right side of the terminal building), and once again was granted a stamp. I really should have tried back in Majuro… I noticed that the whole terminal seemed newly renovated - tile flooring, clean painted walls, a gift shop in the back which had really limited selection. I overheard some guy saying this was all redone in the past six months. The only complaint? No working Wi-Fi.



    Welcome sign by immigration

    Terminal views

    Newly renovated

    Boarding again
  5. TKK-GUM: We departed TKK around 20 minutes early, meaning that I would make my connection in Guam. After reading countless reports of delays on the Hopper I was mentally prepared to miss my 45 minute connection and was actually looking forward to spending a night in Guam! The flight itself was relatively uneventful flight save for an unexpected meal service. Everyone received a warm sandwich, a kind bar, and almondsTKK-GUM snack
  6. GUM Transit: CBP was a breeze. Upon clearing immigration there was a United employee with a clipboard taking note of HND transit passengers - there must have been at least 25 people connecting.
Now I just need to do it again and stop on Pohnpei and Chuuk for Nan Madol and wreck diving…
ncorman, moondog, jsloan and 9 others like this.

Last edited by cmsanbos; Jul 8, 2024 at 7:17 pm Reason: Added photos
cmsanbos is offline  
Old Jul 8, 2024, 3:20 am
  #1403  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Delaware
Programs: UA Mileage Plus, Amtrak Guest Rewards
Posts: 1,429
Originally Posted by seahawksjoe
Did award pricing just go haywire on the island hopper? Was literally about to book UA154 on 11/11 via Aeroplan and no longer see any partner availability. UA is pricing everything in YN class at 125k miles instead of 45k. Can't find X class anywhere.
It did. J pricing to/from HNL is now 400K each way per person. Using miles. it's now cheaper to go Mainland USA-GUM via the hopper than HNL-GUM. If you start Mainland, you'll probably have to schedule a connection at one of the hopper stops, to force the routing. Even with the extra miles paid for the virtual connection, it's still cheaper.

Example: HNL-GUM is 400K each way per person in J.
EWR-PNI can be found for 200k-250k, plus 70k PNI-GUM. (EWR-GUM direct will force you either on the nonstop HNL-GUM or to NRT and down).
phkc070408 is offline  
Old Jul 8, 2024, 7:19 am
  #1404  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: DL PM, UA Gold, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 14,715
Originally Posted by cmsanbos
Now I just need to do it again and stop on Pohnpei and Chuuk for the Nan Madol ruins and wreck diving
Highly recommend KSA if you go back!

I'm amazed you got the segments split, how much work did that take?
Intl359Widget and cmsanbos like this.
findark is online now  
Old Jul 8, 2024, 6:09 pm
  #1405  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: PHL, NYC, DC
Posts: 9,724
Originally Posted by findark
I would also ask whether they are trying to enforce it. When I flew the Hopper there was an announcement for through pax to stay on the plane, but we got off anyway. The FA didn't seem to mind - we had no bags and could get on and off quickly. Would be different if everyone and their carryons tried to deplane.
My experience in March 2024 was a honor system (discouraged but not enforced).
Was also cool to chat w the pilot using their ipad to look at WX.
N515CR likes this.
global happy traveller is offline  
Old Jul 8, 2024, 6:13 pm
  #1406  
 
Join Date: Dec 2022
Programs: UA1K
Posts: 527
Originally Posted by findark
Highly recommend KSA if you go back!

I'm amazed you got the segments split, how much work did that take?
I called 30 plus times and no one was able to do it for me. Im incredibly impressed, although wonder if the fare rules may have allowed it to begin with on the posters ticket.
uanj likes this.
unitedwildcat is offline  
Old Jul 8, 2024, 7:13 pm
  #1407  
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: SAN, LGA
Programs: AA, AS, UA, CX, JL, Bonvoy, Hyatt
Posts: 25
Originally Posted by unitedwildcat
I called 30 plus times and no one was able to do it for me. Im incredibly impressed, although wonder if the fare rules may have allowed it to begin with on the posters ticket.
I think I got lucky. My ticket went through three iterations:
  1. I originally booked HNL-GUM for 45,000 miles departing 7/12
  2. My travel plans changed and I wanted to make it past GUM, so I changed my ticket on the UA website to HNL-GUM-HND-FUK departing 7/3 which cost me an additional 2,500 miles. Same PNR but was issued a new eTicket number.

  3. I then called to split my segments. I was routed to a senior stateside agent who was able to re-ticket the entire HNL-FUK itinerary. My original receipt showed my MileagePlus number, credit card, and miscellaneous document as forms of payment, and had a eTicket number ending in 553. It showed UA 132 as one segment. After my call with the agent, I was issued a new email receipt which contained a new ticket number ending in 136, and showed each segment individually. My PNR stayed the same this entire time. Maybe someone here has more insight into what she did behind the scenes?

Intl359Widget likes this.

Last edited by cmsanbos; Today at 6:43 am
cmsanbos is offline  
Old Jul 8, 2024, 7:53 pm
  #1408  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: EDI/GLA
Programs: DL 2 MM Unobtainum | UA 1.1MM Gold | MR Bonvoy Titanium
Posts: 2,327
Originally Posted by cmsanbos
I think I got lucky. My ticket went through three iterations:
  1. I originally booked HNL-GUM for 45,000 miles departing 7/12
  2. My travel plans changed and I wanted to make it past GUM, so I changed my ticket on the UA website to HNL-GUM-HND-FUK departing 7/3 which cost me an additional 2,500 miles. Same PNR but was issued a new eTicket number.

  3. I then called to split my segments. I was routed to a senior stateside agent who was able to re-ticket the entire HNL-FUK itinerary. My original receipt showed my MileagePlus number, credit card, and miscellaneous document as forms of payment, and had a eTicket number ending in 553. It showed UA 132 as one segment. After my call with the agent, I was issued a new email receipt which contained a new ticket number ending in 136, and showed each segment individually. My PNR stayed the same this entire time. Maybe someone here has more insight into what she did behind the scenes?

I am amazed that you got upgraded on a XN award as a Silver but good on you! I've done the Island Hopper westbound before and it was an incredible journey.
Intl359Widget is offline  
Old Jul 8, 2024, 8:29 pm
  #1409  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: New England
Programs: American Gold, Marriott Gold, Hilton Silver
Posts: 5,715
Maybe it was easier for the agent to separate the segments since it's an award, and XN inventory was available on every leg? Most refusals I've seen are either because they're revenue tickets, or the agent looked at it and didn't even bother to try.
jsloan, cmsanbos and unitedwildcat like this.

Last edited by diburning; Jul 9, 2024 at 5:19 pm
diburning is offline  
Old Jul 9, 2024, 7:18 am
  #1410  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: DL PM, UA Gold, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 14,715
Originally Posted by cmsanbos
I then called to split my segments. I was routed to a senior stateside agent who was able to re-ticket the entire HNL-FUK itinerary. My original receipt showed my MileagePlus number, credit card, and miscellaneous document as forms of payment, and had a eTicket number ending in 553. It showed UA 132 as one segment. After my call with the agent, I was issued a new email receipt which contained a new ticket number ending in 136, and showed each segment individually. My PNR stayed the same this entire time. Maybe someone here has more insight into what she did behind the scenes?
It's actually relatively simple - you drop the HNL-GUM segment, add each Hopper segment individually, and force ticketing as an even reissue (overriding inventory, pricing, and/or other checks). The main problem is convincing a human to override the computer far enough to accomplish this.

I agree with diburning that this might be easier to accomplish on an award ticket with XN space on each segment, but even that is far from certain. The agent would need to overriding the pricing logic which specifically bars piecing together an award like this ("hi, can you manually price this award for me" is now a steep ask all by itself) and I'm not actually sure if a US to Japan award allows five transfers in Oceana under the old, hidden award fare rules. My memory wants to say no.

Originally Posted by Intl359Widget
I am amazed that you got upgraded on a XN award as a Silver but good on you! I've done the Island Hopper westbound before and it was an incredible journey.
The Hopper almost always has unsold J seats on some of its segments due to difficulties selling a flight like this, and the actual customers who aren't FTers sightseeing are usually not Premiers. Also, you basically can't be CPUed on a direct flight, so no one is going to be upgrade eligible unless they split segments or fly only one. When I flew the Hopper, there were empty J seats on several of the interior segments. I had cleared as a 1K with a GPU (and split segments) everything except GUM-TKK.
jsloan, SPN Lifer, uanj and 2 others like this.
findark is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.