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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
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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 Oct 11, 16, 9:33 pm
  #736  
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Originally Posted by whitethunder View Post
For the record my trip is: YEG-YVR-ORD-IST-MLE then MLE-DEL-BKK then return BKK-LHR-YOW
If your destination is BKK, the outbound exceeds the 4 transfer limitation applicable to North America - South Asia award.
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Old Oct 11, 16, 9:38 pm
  #737  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
If your destination is BKK, the outbound exceeds the 4 transfer limitation applicable to North America - South Asia award.
I believe my destination is MLE, a week there then return with a stopover in BKK
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Old Oct 11, 16, 10:06 pm
  #738  
 
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
I've spent (wasted?) the whole day on this, but some of you will be interested to read a potential workaround I found to this:

How to Beat United's Draconian New Routing Restrictions

FT rules require I disclose this is a link to my blog.

Bottom line, the key is to do the best you can online and then call in to add the rest.

There is a serious flaw with the Excursionist Perk I found that may be exploited...
Excellent write up, validates most of the data with reservations I've constructed and with the reps I've spoken to.

I'm a bit curious about the Ex Perk.. I had originally thought that the 'perk' could be used to add in an unrelated flight in a totally different region, and that does seem like it may be the case.

But in your adding of the Hannover segment, even though you had a Biz award, the experk only allowed for Economy; which seems odd since I didn't see that mentioned anywhere in UA's touting of the privilege.

If you picked up on another serious flaw, I'm sure I'll uncover it shortly
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Old Oct 11, 16, 10:16 pm
  #739  
 
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Originally Posted by whitethunder View Post
Well after an exhausting total of 2 Hours and 51 minutes (I have screenshots of my home phone with 1K number to prove the time) I got UA to change the return date on my pre oct 6th reservation

The website that announced the changes says: "The fare rules for the ticket you purchased will apply. Any changes to the first flight will require a reissue of the ticket and new pricing may apply and the stopover will be lost if the first flight is changed."

So my take was as long as the FIRST flight is not changed I should be able to change whatever I want. I even printed the site and asked the agent who made my reservation on october 5th.

All I wanted to do was change my final destination on my honeymoon to USM from BKK (1 hour flight in the same country on the same day with award space open, should be no big deal right) and to change return date to a week later, with award space open.

I get told it's an additional 55K miles PER PERSON hahahaha ...

I explain I can simply re-book the whole thing as 2 one ways for the same price and multiple agents (including supervisors) told me ANY changes now will incur a reprice

This is insanity

For the record my trip is: YEG-YVR-ORD-IST-MLE then MLE-DEL-BKK then return BKK-LHR-YOW
Originally Posted by whitethunder View Post
I believe my destination is MLE, a week there then return with a stopover in BKK
Would not changing the BKK stopover to be in USM still violate the four-transfer-max. rule? Or did you find DEL-USM or USM-YOW flights?
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Old Oct 11, 16, 10:46 pm
  #740  
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Originally Posted by fumje View Post
Would not changing the BKK stopover to be in USM still violate the four-transfer-max. rule? Or did you find DEL-USM or USM-YOW flights?
Yes that's where I was going. If MLE is the destination, then adding USM either violates transfer restrictions or creates an OJ at the stopover (which is rarely permitted).
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Old Oct 12, 16, 1:07 am
  #741  
 
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Originally Posted by pushmyredbutton View Post
I wonder if specifying connection points or connections to avoid on a traditional roundtrip will yield more desirable results that fall under the published award levels vs using multi-city search.
No joy, tried this several times and the routing even showed up in one-way searches - but as soon as you put them into a multi-city itinerary "connecting point" is useless.

Originally Posted by pushmyredbutton View Post
Secondly, I've tried twice today to build an award to CGK using SQ and for agents it keeps pricing as two awards (CA PEK-SIN/SQ SIN-CGK); probably because it's the same multi-city logic that was mentioned upthread, although for SQ there is NO way to have it use a married segment within search results online or via agents.

In a sense, it seems that we can no longer tack on SQ flights to otherwise legal awards without it being split up into two separate awards.
Same here, tried PEK-SIN-BKK-MEL which was perfectly fine beforehand; but as soon as SQ stepped in, the system forced it into two tickets.
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Old Oct 12, 16, 1:45 am
  #742  
 
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SQ

Originally Posted by eamond View Post

Same here, tried PEK-SIN-BKK-MEL which was perfectly fine beforehand; but as soon as SQ stepped in, the system forced it into two tickets.
Same here. Attempted to book for example, SUB-SIN-BNE all on SQ which was fine before. However now, agents all say SQ legs have to be priced as separate awards for this, one for SUB-SIN and another for SIN-BNE. It's a a pain since when you enter it into the search online it returns absolutely nothing for the city pair.
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Old Oct 12, 16, 7:02 am
  #743  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Translation:

We've made award bookings more difficult and in many instances, significantly more expensive. We don't think most of you are smart enough to notice the substantial devaluation of Mileage Plus, and for those who are, we believe that industry consolidation leaves you with no meaningful alternative.
That observation can be applied across many aspects of current airline operations..and not just UA..how conscious management is of oligopolistic/cartel behavior isn't clear. I do believe this ex perq was a half baked attempt on UA's part to not only rein in the really abusive awards but also try to reduce the time that agents were spending on trying to construct these awards..."just got off the phone after 3 hrs." Not sure how valid it is, but read somewhere else on FT from a reader involved in call center business that a norm is 6 customers an hour.
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Old Oct 12, 16, 7:12 am
  #744  
 
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Originally Posted by luckypierre View Post
That observation can be applied across many aspects of current airline operations..and not just UA..how conscious management is of oligopolistic/cartel behavior isn't clear. I do believe this ex perq was a half baked attempt on UA's part to not only rein in the really abusive awards but also try to reduce the time that agents were spending on trying to construct these awards..."just got off the phone after 3 hrs." Not sure how valid it is, but read somewhere else on FT from a reader involved in call center business that a norm is 6 customers an hour.
If they were trying to save agent time on the phone, I think it is safe to say that we know that effort was more than useless...they spend MORE time on the phone now because NOTHING works correctly.
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Old Oct 12, 16, 7:14 am
  #745  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Yes that's where I was going. If MLE is the destination, then adding USM either violates transfer restrictions or creates an OJ at the stopover (which is rarely permitted).
Which I thought of and I decided I was OK with, but after telling me that was a no-go after 20 minutes, it then took a back and forth for over 2.5 more hours to simply change the return journey back from BKK-LHR-YOW from one date to a week later, that was it, with space open. I think the computer now is trying to change me the MLE-DEL-BKK segments even though they were included pre- Oct 6th.
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Old Oct 12, 16, 7:20 am
  #746  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
I've spent (wasted?) the whole day on this, but some of you will be interested to read a potential workaround I found to this:

How to Beat United's Draconian New Routing Restrictions

FT rules require I disclose this is a link to my blog.

Bottom line, the key is to do the best you can online and then call in to add the rest.

There is a serious flaw with the Excursionist Perk I found that may be exploited...
From your blog "He added that "we are having a round-table meeting on this next week" and promised to push for more agent power to override the system, again apologizing over how "ridiculous" the new system was."

I hope they really are going to give agents override super power!
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Old Oct 12, 16, 7:59 am
  #747  
 
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Originally Posted by IamHungry View Post
I hope they really are going to give agents override super power!
Fat chance. Dream on.
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Old Oct 12, 16, 9:07 am
  #748  
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Originally Posted by luckypierre View Post
I do believe this ex perq was a half baked attempt on UA's part to not only rein in the really abusive awards but also try to reduce the time that agents were spending on trying to construct these awards..."just got off the phone after 3 hrs." Not sure how valid it is, but read somewhere else on FT from a reader involved in call center business that a norm is 6 customers an hour.
"Half-baked" is a good word for it.

Most of the time I ever spent on the phone booking awards was because (i) the system was slow (how many times have you heard that one - "sorry the system is really slow today"), or (ii) the computer failed to autoprice an itinerary that was well within the rules, resulting in lengthy back and forth with the rate desk.

I have no problem with UA killing the stopover at origin or imposing reasonable transfer restrictions. As usual, they picked an incredibly messed-up way of fixing the perceived "problem."

Last edited by Kacee; Oct 12, 16 at 9:42 am
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Old Oct 12, 16, 9:28 am
  #749  
 
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I am seriously considering just purchasing a coach seat to the hub cities to be able to get the J seat Ion the flights I want of a European vacation next October. I need to get to BCN from MCI and return from VCE. There are plenty of J saver award seats on the various TATL flights to/from ORD, EWR, IAH, and IAD but never any saver awards o the domestic UA flights to/from MCI that hook up with the int'l flights.

The other option I may use is instead of transferring in the UR points to United I may transfer to ANA and book through them to get the *A flights I need. The ultimate irony, you can't get award seats on UA flights through their own program but you can through partners. I don't know yet if ANA would require more miles than UA for North America to Europe in J. And I haven't used that plan for 5 years to redeem awards and am not too familiar with it.

Or I may try to use AA or DL by transferring SPG points.

Last edited by susiesan; Oct 12, 16 at 10:11 am
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Old Oct 12, 16, 10:15 am
  #750  
 
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
I too simply did not expect that they would do this. As far as I can tell, it forces a fare break whenever multi-city is used and overrides the back-combination logic above. This is really troubling since agents report that their systems have changed too.
Given that the new system also hides the fare basis for awards (it now shows "Dynamic Award Saver Miles Only"), I think the new system is putting the infrastructure in place for the next devaluation, viz. award charts will no longer be published and we will pay whatever the website says the price is.

In retrospect, it's not a surprise. DL is already there...
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