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Updates to UA MP Multi-City Award Travel & Award Fee Changes (Post Oct 2016){Archive}

Updates to UA MP Multi-City Award Travel & Award Fee Changes (Post Oct 2016){Archive}

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Old Feb 4, 19, 4:25 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: WineCountryUA
Wiki Link
United's Announcement and FAQ

Kacee's Interpretation

Main Impact Since October 6
  • Fee Changes such as platinum members are subject to various award fees
  • No more free stopover - replaced with Excursionist Perk
  • Agents no longer have the ability to find routings that do not show up on united.com
  • Manually constructing trips using multi-city search results in multiple award fares being charged
  • Changing any segment MIGHT require current availability for all existing Os&Ds in the PNR (as if a brand new booking is made) - YMMV
  • Singapore Airlines segments are priced separately (add-ons)

Useful Links
This is an archive thread, the active thread is Award booking questions/ issues/ routing/ excursionist problems / help
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Old Aug 3, 16, 9:11 am
  #16  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Looking at some of the details. I think this is new. Appears that any itinerary with Star Alliance Partner flights have to be changed at least 24 hours before departure.

When flying with one of our Star Alliance partners, changes must be made at least 24 hours before departure
Also this note, which I don't have any experience with...so don't know if it is different then current:

1 Changes to tickets for flights within Japan (with no international connections) operated by ANA (All Nippon Airways) must be made at least four days prior to departure.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 9:11 am
  #17  
 
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Sad day for Platinums.
(which is where I will end this year).
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Old Aug 3, 16, 9:13 am
  #18  
 
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I don't mind if the frequent-flyer program decides that they have been too generous and they need to cut costs by offering worse service for the same "price". That's totally fine.

But I am a little upset to see them position this change as a positive change for travelers. If you're going to behave oligopolistically and use your strong market position to cut services because you can, you should at least have the guts to admit that what you're doing is a bad thing.

The UA marketing material here - http://mileageplusupdates.com/mileag...english/miles/ - says

More flexible and intuitive award booking?
You've got it.

Now on united.com you will have the ability to build customized multi-city MileagePlus® award flights and use your miles for the trip you want – even if you start in Los Angeles, hang out in London, visit family in Germany, then return to Los Angeles. Plus, our search filters make it easy to focus your search.
I just wish someone would tell the truth and say -- yes, we're making it worse. We know we're making it worse. What are you going to do? Flee to another carrier? Heh, in 80%+ of markets you don't have a real choice. Look, you people allowed these mergers that let us get away with this stuff, and if you were a shareholder you would love this cost-cutting stuff. Why don't you just figure out how much value you're "losing" as a result of this change and buy that amount of NYSE:UAL? We promise you'll make it up. You're going to like where we land.

I do definitely appreciate the heads-up from the social media people to the community here -- and the community is certainly smart enough to help one another understand the real meaning of these service cuts. But it would feel a little nicer if the message were a little less relentlessly positive and a little bit more honest about what is being done.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 9:13 am
  #19  
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Originally Posted by goodeats21 View Post
Looking at some of the details. I think this is new. Appears that any itinerary with Star Alliance Partner flights have to be changed at least 24 hours before departure.

Also this note, which I don't have any experience with...so don't know if it is different then current:
Those have always been there. The first has not been enforced. No experience with the second.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 9:14 am
  #20  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Thumbs down

Will NA to Asia via Europe without a stopover still be allowed, or will that now need NA-Europe plus Europe-Asia award?

With the announcement of these "enhancements", I'm not going to put any extra effort into getting to Platinum instead of Gold this year…

Last edited by travelingman79; Aug 3, 16 at 9:18 am Reason: edited to clarify "without a stopover"
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Old Aug 3, 16, 9:18 am
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Those have always been there. The first has not been enforced. No experience with the second.
Thanks. Didn't realize it was a restriction previously.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 9:20 am
  #22  
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Originally Posted by travelingman79 View Post
Will NA to Asia via Europe without a stopover still be allowed, or will that now need NA-Europe plus Europe-Asia award?

With the announcement of these "enhancements", I'm not going to put any extra effort into getting to Platinum instead of Gold this year…
Isn't it amazing how organized and thorough UA is when announcing cuts like this (they have an entire website up and running!) but the program to roll out enhancements - like a free drink or snack for their best customers - is a bloody disaster! Shows what UA really focuses on doesn't it???!
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Old Aug 3, 16, 9:21 am
  #23  
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Originally Posted by travelingman79 View Post
Will NA to Asia via Europe still be allowed, or will that now need NA-Europe plus Europe-Asia award?
You just nailed a huge downgrade. The routing is likely still valid, but they have just killed the stopover in Europe on the way to or from Asia. Stop must be in same region as destination. Want to stop in Tokyo on your way to Thailand? That's now a three award ticket.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 9:25 am
  #24  
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The Platinum fee waiver was THE motivating factor for my reaching 2MM.

That said, by reading this thread, I anticipated a horrible fee. But $50 within 60 days isn't as bad as u thought it would be.

Still, most changes I make ARE within a few days, as that's when additional inventory is released.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 9:27 am
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
You just nailed a huge downgrade. The routing is likely still valid, but they have just killed the stopover in Europe on the way to or from Asia. Stop must be in same region as destination. Want to stop in Tokyo on your way to Thailand? That's now a three award ticket.
I do this ALL the time and was just posting it when I saw yours - - it's still a huge downgrade no matter how you justify it...

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Aug 3, 16 at 1:22 pm Reason: Discuss the issues, not the posters
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Old Aug 3, 16, 9:27 am
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
You just nailed a huge downgrade. The routing is likely still valid, but they have just killed the stopover in Europe on the way to or from Asia. Stop must be in same region as destination. Want to stop in Tokyo on your way to Thailand? That's now a three award ticket.
Wow a major devaluation. Just recently went on a trip originating in NYC to Austria and then Maldives on business class itenarary for 80k UAL miles each way, and wont be possible to book after October.

Looks like the only games transferrable by some credit card partners that still allow such flexibility will be some asian carriers like Singapore Krisflyer or Korean Skypass, but those can impose heavy fuel surcharges
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Old Aug 3, 16, 9:27 am
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
You just nailed a huge downgrade. The routing is likely still valid, but they have just killed the stopover in Europe on the way to or from Asia. Stop must be in same region as destination. Want to stop in Tokyo on your way to Thailand? That's now a three award ticket.
This also kills the Asia stopover en route to Australia which is a particularly annoying since most available routings to Australia go via Asia. The stopover was a nice way to break up the trip.

And this just as a I was giving UA another chance spurred on my increased travel and the RDMs for PQDs promo.

I'll hold off full judgment until implementation but definitely changes 2018 Australia trip plan.

24 hour deal, if implemented, will impact LH F the most.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 9:29 am
  #28  
 
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Can only guess the reason for the Plat. $$ change at T-60 is mentioned in the FAQs about fees (bolding mine):

Why did you change the window from 21 days to 61 days for reduced fees?

A reduced fee is applied for members making changes to awards 61 or more days prior to original departure date instead of 21 days to encourage members to maintain their travel plans closer to departure. When a customer changes or cancels a ticket closer to departure date, it reduces the chance for that seat to be used by another customer.


SL
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Old Aug 3, 16, 9:33 am
  #29  
 
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When flying with one of our Star Alliance partners, changes must be made at least 24 hours before departure
Does change equal cancellation? I've cancelled *A award flights at T-6 on line in the past with no problem. Is this also going away?

Where is that pendulum - must be closer to swinging the other way!
I think zebranz has confused a pendulum with an ax! They both swing, but the effects are rather different.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 9:36 am
  #30  
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Originally Posted by mherdeg View Post
I don't mind if the frequent-flyer program decides that they have been too generous and they need to cut costs by offering worse service for the same "price". That's totally fine.

But I am a little upset to see them position this change as a positive change for travelers... I just wish someone would tell the truth and say -- yes, we're making it worse.
Calling a cutback an "enhancement" or "modification" is now so firmly embedded in airline communications culture -- with no apparent cost to the airlines -- they have no incentive to shift to honest language. They've been on this track for fifteen years, and they're making more money than ever. Why change now?
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