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How to make United.com list ALL possible flights for a search?

How to make United.com list ALL possible flights for a search?

Old Apr 16, 14, 10:47 pm
  #1  
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How to make United.com list ALL possible flights for a search?

Hi,

I have lots of restrictions for an upcoming flight from SFO to ORK (cork).

1) I'll need lots of time to transit in LHR since LHR->ORK is with Aer Lingus in a different terminal.
2) I want to try to fly the Dream Liner IAH->LHR
3) I want to leave no earlier than 3pm
4) etc.

The problem is that united.com doesn't list down all the possible flights and connections. I know this because if I change the "time" option I get a different set of flights each time. Some times the flights will match 1) other times 2) ...

What I want is for united.com to list *all* the possible flights even if there are 50 of them and let me choose.

Is there any way of doing this?

Thanks!
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Old Apr 16, 14, 10:49 pm
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Originally Posted by inpd View Post
Hi,

I have lots of restrictions for an upcoming flight from SFO to ORK (cork).

1) I'll need lots of time to transit in LHR since LHR->ORK is with Aer Lingus in a different terminal.
2) I want to try to fly the Dream Liner IAH->LHR
3) I want to leave no earlier than 3pm
4) etc.

The problem is that united.com doesn't list down all the possible flights and connections. I know this because if I change the "time" option I get a different set of flights each time. Some times the flights will match 1) other times 2) ...

What I want is for united.com to list *all* the possible flights even if there are 50 of them and let me choose.

Is there any way of doing this?

Thanks!
Not that I know of. Your best bet is to determine your most-restrictive/important requirement, find that manually, then build the itin around it using multi-city booking.
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Old Apr 16, 14, 10:52 pm
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The most effective way to search connections is to use an alternative search engine, such as ITA Matrix or hipmunk. You can also use .com to search by segment, though this can be laboriously slow.

united.com's award booking engine is particularly poor at showing you all possible connecting options. Which is why the EF shutdown was such a disaster.
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Old Apr 16, 14, 10:59 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
The most effective way to search connections is to use an alternative search engine, such as ITA Matrix or hipmunk. You can also use .com to search by segment, though this can be laboriously slow.

united.com's award booking engine is particularly poor at showing you all possible connecting options. Which is why the EF shutdown was such a disaster.

The benefit of using hipmunk (or Google Flights) is that if you find what you want, you can usually click through, and it will give it to you on united.com ready to buy.

I had a similar issue recently where I needed one of the less optimal connections for upgrade purposes, and I needed W to boot, I ended up calling in and having an agent do it.
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Old Apr 16, 14, 11:33 pm
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Originally Posted by inpd View Post
Hi,

I have lots of restrictions for an upcoming flight from SFO to ORK (cork).

1) I'll need lots of time to transit in LHR since LHR->ORK is with Aer Lingus in a different terminal.
2) I want to try to fly the Dream Liner IAH->LHR
3) I want to leave no earlier than 3pm
4) etc.

The problem is that united.com doesn't list down all the possible flights and connections. I know this because if I change the "time" option I get a different set of flights each time. Some times the flights will match 1) other times 2) ...

What I want is for united.com to list *all* the possible flights even if there are 50 of them and let me choose.

Is there any way of doing this?
United.com is the wrong tool for you; it's not the worst airline website fare search I've used, but it's dismal compared to the independent tools. None of the tools will actually list all of the options, but two tools will get you what you want on a shiny 016 ticket: ITA Software's Matrix (matrix.itasoftware.com) and Hipmunk (hipmunk.com).

Start at itasoftware, multi-city search, and click "Advanced routing codes" so it gives you the extra box for options.
- For flight 1, the origin is "SFO", the routing code is "ua" (a single flight on United), and the destination is "IAH". Pick your date, choose preferred times to limit the departure to the time range you want.
- For flight 2, the origin is "IAH", the routing code is "ua :: / aircraft t:787", and the destination is "LHR". Pick your date.
- For flight 3, the origin is "LHR", the routing code is "o:ei" (a single flight operated by Aer Lingus - we do the o: operated by notation to allow codeshares), and the destination is "ORK". Pick your date (the next day, when you arrive in LHR).

Do the same to build up your return and hit search. When you get to the results, click on Individual flights or, my preference, Time bars. Pick your first flight at the time you want, pick the dreamliner flight for the second segment (and note it's arrival time, about noon typically), then pick the flight you want from LHR to ORK (looks like there's a 2p and a 6p). Pick your return segments to get to the final itinerary details page. ITA Software doesn't sell tickets, so we have to head over to the chipmunk now.

On hipmunk, you can use parts of the ITA route language (but not all of it), so we'll use the flight numbers you already found to constrain the search. In the from box enter "SFO :: UA1211 IAH UA4 LHR EI715" or whatever flights you found for your outbound, and in the to box enter "ORK :: whatever you found for the return". Pick your dates, search, pick your flights (they may throw in some weird options with like 26 hour layovers, just pick what you wanted), and then click on the "Book at United" button in the popup at the end. This drops you into the United.com booking process so you can purchase your ticket from United and get PQDs.

See this flyerguide page, this hackmytrip page, and this google faq for more details on the ITA advanced route language.

That said, you have some impossible requirements unless you take an overnight stay. The 787 IAH-LHR leaves around 9p, which means you need to be at IAH no later than 8p, which requires leaving SFO about 2p.
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Old Apr 17, 14, 12:28 am
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Extremely useful layout, mduell! Many thanks!
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Old Apr 17, 14, 9:11 am
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Thanks for the tips. Great info and knowledge as usual.

But, unfortunately, it turns out united.com WAS listing just about all the flights! They must be only releasing routes until they fill up and the introducing new ones.

For example, the central part of my flighht (flying SFO to LHR) can be done many ways:direct, via IAH, LAX, IAD etc. but only the direct and some of the IAH show up. Those have plenty of capacity which brought me to my conclusion.
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Old Apr 17, 14, 9:23 am
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Originally Posted by inpd View Post
Thanks for the tips. Great info and knowledge as usual.

But, unfortunately, it turns out united.com WAS listing just about all the flights! They must be only releasing routes until they fill up and the introducing new ones.

For example, the central part of my flighht (flying SFO to LHR) can be done many ways:direct, via IAH, LAX, IAD etc. but only the direct and some of the IAH show up. Those have plenty of capacity which brought me to my conclusion.

I wouldn't necessarily agree with that conclusion. Use the ITA logic to force the flights and connections you want, as described above.
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Old Apr 17, 14, 9:27 am
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Yes, thanks for the detail MDuell! It's great when someone on here actually "does the work" and provides such detail in a post.

I had a similar requirement recently, but only used UA.com which is pretty good but quite laborious (?) compared to the sites you mention. I also wanted to try the Dreamliner, but only managed to get SFO->IAH for that new bird.

PS: You will really like the 787 (especially in C of course)!
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Old Apr 17, 14, 9:37 am
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Originally Posted by inpd View Post
Thanks for the tips. Great info and knowledge as usual.

But, unfortunately, it turns out united.com WAS listing just about all the flights! They must be only releasing routes until they fill up and the introducing new ones.

For example, the central part of my flighht (flying SFO to LHR) can be done many ways:direct, via IAH, LAX, IAD etc. but only the direct and some of the IAH show up. Those have plenty of capacity which brought me to my conclusion.
This isn't the way it works. If a routing well be valid tomorrow, it's probably already valid today.

Put together a logical way of getting there and back with connections of less than 24 hours. Put that into the multi-destination search.

You can build itineraries yourself of you understand the rules - no need to rely on what UA or even ITA offers you.
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Old Apr 17, 14, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by StingWest View Post
Yes, thanks for the detail MDuell! It's great when someone on here actually "does the work" and provides such detail in a post.

I had a similar requirement recently, but only used UA.com which is pretty good but quite laborious (?) compared to the sites you mention. I also wanted to try the Dreamliner, but only managed to get SFO->IAH for that new bird.

PS: You will really like the 787 (especially in C of course)!
So you managed to catch the single 767 flight? yikes. If you can leave a little earlier you can catch the 5PM 787 flight from IAH as well.
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Old Apr 17, 14, 11:49 am
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Originally Posted by inpd View Post
But, unfortunately, it turns out united.com WAS listing just about all the flights! They must be only releasing routes until they fill up and the introducing new ones.

For example, the central part of my flighht (flying SFO to LHR) can be done many ways:direct, via IAH, LAX, IAD etc. but only the direct and some of the IAH show up. Those have plenty of capacity which brought me to my conclusion.
This is because they're only showing you the lowest fare routes. You can use ITAsoftware to force a connection at LAX or IAD and see the price.
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Old Apr 17, 14, 12:45 pm
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why dont you try otp
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Old Apr 17, 14, 1:13 pm
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Often .bomb tries to push you to partner flights, leaving out many UA-metal options. It'd be nice to have an option to request "UA-operated flights only".
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Old Apr 17, 14, 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by cesco.g View Post
Often .bomb tries to push you to partner flights, leaving out many UA-metal options. It'd be nice to have an option to request "UA-operated flights only".
Like
United Airlines Flights Only
in advance search?
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