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Help! Any solutions for this MileagePlus award ticket debacle?

Help! Any solutions for this MileagePlus award ticket debacle?

Old Jun 12, 2013, 9:20 pm
  #1  
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Help! Any solutions for this MileagePlus award ticket debacle?

Ok, so I've been painstakingly researching saver award space for a honeymoon trip over the past few weeks. I finally pieced it all together and called up United to construct it for me (it had too many segments for the online system). I explained to the rep that there are 2 people travelling and we'd be ticketing out of 2 seperate MP accounts. You know the drill from here, you spend 45 mins on the phone getting it to work out perfectly and they put it on hold for you. She confirms that it will be 280k total + taxes. I check the itinerary online and find it to be perfect, just the way I described it. I then logged into Chase and transfer the points to top off the two accounts so that we each have 140k.

I called back into United, made one small change and then told the rep I was ready to ticket. He comes back and says that he's unable to split the itinerary into seperate reservations because the way it was originally priced as 1 reservation with 2 people and that sometimes they can do this if its all legs on United but because there are so many segments on partner airlines it wouldn't be possible. I'm then presented with my choices:

  • Transfer another 140k into one of the accounts -- Won't work because I already burned all of my extra Chase points on the first transfer
  • Cancel the reservation as it is and try to reprice it as 2 individual reservations -- they warn that there is a good chance that once they cancel the current res that the seats I had held will never reappear in the inventory

The dilemma, please correct me if my thought process is incorrect: To me neither option sounded acceptable. I mean the issue here is that a UA employee made a mistake by pricing out the award ticket with 2 passengers on the same reservation and not separately.

I suggest that there is a 3rd option, and that is for United to find a way to transfer the points between accounts since it was their fault and just hours before I had the option of transferring the Chase points into one account but had already instructed the phone agent that I was ticketing from 2 accounts. The rep of course says that to transfer 140k points will cost $2,100 and can only be done on the website by me. I stayed on the phone for awhile reiterating that this was their problem and that they needed to find an acceptable solution. After they "allegedly" called numerous supervisors they hit finally told me they reached the end of the line and couldn't do anything to help.

Is there not a way that United can transfer points between accounts without charging the outrageous $2,100 fee. This is, after all, their mistake.

On the trip we'll be able (or would have been able) to fly Thai Airways First class on A380, Singapore Air First class, business cabins on Air Canada, Lufthansa, Thai, Turkish and SWISS to Bali and the Maldives.

Any suggestions on what to try next??

Last edited by jmgriffin; Jun 12, 2013 at 11:11 pm
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Old Jun 12, 2013, 9:38 pm
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by jmgriffin
I check the itinerary online and find it to be perfect, just the way I described it. I then logged into Chase and transfer the points to top off the two accounts so that we each have 140k.
Unfortunately when you checked, it wasn't quite "Perfect' as both reservations were on ONE itinerary, and the miles were going to come out of two different accounts (which is verboten) after you topped them both off. Just because the first agent screwed up probably doesn't mean that UA can correct this problem as you are requesting flights on partner airlines and the rules are quite stringent.

Call back now and AND see if they can help you, if that fails then you are probably going to start all over doing it correctly, if the flights are somehow still available for both of you.

Nothing is final until, you get a confirmation, and good luck!^

Btw, the first agent couldn't have confirmed your 2 tickets on one reservation even if you had enough miles to pay for your flights as miles from 2 accounts need to be booked separately, which you found out the hard way.

Last edited by LilAbner; Jun 12, 2013 at 9:46 pm
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Old Jun 12, 2013, 10:12 pm
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by LilAbner
Unfortunately when you checked, it wasn't quite "Perfect' as both reservations were on ONE itinerary, and the miles were going to come out of two different accounts (which is verboten) after you topped them both off.
But, had the original agent done their job properly, it's likely that the OP would have wound up with two separate reservations as desired, unless someone happened to swoop in at exactly the wrong time an nab one of the segments.

Just because the first agent screwed up probably doesn't mean that UA can correct this problem as you are requesting flights on partner airlines and the rules are quite stringent.
Sure they can. I agree with you that they can't force a partner airline to release additional award inventory, even if the passenger would have had access to it had UA not made a mistake. But in this case, the OP has a ticket on hold, with exactly the flights they want and all the partner inventory already confirmed and set aside from them. And, the two passengers have enough miles to ticket it - just not in the correct accounts as needed because of UA's mistake.

It seems to me that it's simply a matter of someone with enough authority at UA to realize that it costs them nothing to make an accounting adjustment to the two accounts to move the miles, and that by "waiving" the normal $2100 fee they're not really losing $2100 of revenue or even really providing something that they value at $2100 - it's just a technicality in order to address the UA agent's mistake.

My recommendation: contact UA Insider and see what he can do.
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Old Jun 12, 2013, 10:58 pm
  #4  
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This is just yet another scenario where CO's computer systems can't handle what UA's computers used to, and the customer is stuck holding the bag.

UA could issue a multi-pax PNR with award miles pulled out of different accounts, no problem.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 12:27 am
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I'm just throwing this out there...why did you transfer Chase points to two accounts. If you're related you're not violating TOS for UR. If you're not related, Chase almost never stops first time offenders. Should've just dumped 280k in one account and been done. Also, you found SQ F? Really?
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 12:44 am
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Try the long shots (UA Insider, Twitter, etc). After that it's time to find a new set of flights, and make it clear to the agent this time you need separate PNRs.

Originally Posted by dparkinson
I'm just throwing this out there...why did you transfer Chase points to two accounts. If you're related you're not violating TOS for UR. If you're not related, Chase almost never stops first time offenders. Should've just dumped 280k in one account and been done.
He didn't have 280k UR, he had enough to "top off" two UA MP accounts.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 1:55 am
  #7  
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OP, please just hang up and call again. Don't bother contacting Aaron.

See this:

Splitting a Record Is Always Possible

Trust me, I've heard the same "must be all UA to split" crap dozens of times. You can get this split.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 2:11 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by jmgriffin
On the trip we'll be able (or would have been able) to fly Thai Airways First class on A380, Singapore Air First class, business cabins on Air Canada, Lufthansa, Thai, Turkish and SWISS to Bali and the Maldives.
SQ in F using UA miles?
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 2:14 am
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Originally Posted by RTW1
SQ in F using UA miles?
Try Jakarta-Singapore.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 2:31 am
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX
Try Jakarta-Singapore.
Nice joke.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 8:41 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Steve M
It seems to me that it's simply a matter of someone with enough authority at UA to realize that it costs them nothing to make an accounting adjustment to the two accounts to move the miles, and that by "waiving" the normal $2100 fee they're not really losing $2100 of revenue or even really providing something that they value at $2100 - it's just a technicality in order to address the UA agent's mistake.
^Exactly, that is what I kept insisting to UA. I kept asking to speak to supervisors but every single one told me "that it's impossible". The most frustrating part was the lack of, "we screwed up and will find a way to make this right" attitude. Guess that's pretty par for the course with UA support...

Originally Posted by dparkinson
I'm just throwing this out there...why did you transfer Chase points to two accounts. If you're related you're not violating TOS for UR. If you're not related, Chase almost never stops first time offenders. Should've just dumped 280k in one account and been done.
That's the other very frustrating part, I could have done that but had already instructed the agent that I would be ticketing from 2 sep accounts so I didn't want to deviate from the plan. Also, it was my pref to just "top off" the account so that I could preserve Chase UR points for a Hyatt award redemption later.

Originally Posted by RTW1
SQ in F using UA miles?
Originally Posted by MatthewLAX
Try Jakarta-Singapore.
Originally Posted by invisible
Nice joke.
Haha, caught me. I never said it was a long flight but it is in SQ First cabin. That still counts right?
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by jmgriffin
Haha, caught me. I never said it was a long flight but it is in SQ First cabin. That still counts right?
Not really. SQ's planes on regional routes are drastically different comparing to their long haul one.

Think about UA's RJ. You'll get an idea.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 12:08 pm
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OP, please let us know what happens.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by jmgriffin
I kept asking to speak to supervisors but every single one told me "that it's impossible". The most frustrating part was the lack of, "we screwed up and will find a way to make this right" attitude. Guess that's pretty par for the course with UA support...
Right you are. The only approaches I can suggest at this point are:

1. It's unclear from your reply whether this all took place on one call. But if so, as someone else already suggested you could try calling back two or three more times to see if you can find a helpful, knowledgeable CSR who will be able to do what you want.
2. I'm also unclear on how you pieced together the itinerary to begin with. But one good tool to use if you have to find out about availability all over again is awardnexus.com, which as an FT member you have some initial, limited use of for free. Then for $50 more you can use it more extensively plus sign up for email alerts to let you know if certain routes open up for award space down the line.

Hope it all works out. Do keep us posted.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 2:27 pm
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While UA should really be able to think outside of the box, I find it hard to believe the OP didn't have a red flag when only one PNR was given.
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