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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
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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 Aug 3, 16, 1:26 pm
  #91  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
My fear is that .bomb will become like delta.com in which you can search multi-city itineraries but each leg will price cumulatively even if your search is just intended to specify a connecting city (for e.g., LAX-FRA on 08/03, FRA-IST on 08/04 currently prices as one one-way award since the stop would be less than 24 hours in FRA. I suspect that will be gone/disabled...).
Agree it's likely you wont be able to hand feed segments to make a one-way. It'll either be you need to accept the options that .bomb gives you for LAX-IST or call and hopefully they'd be able to create any valid routing one-way.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 1:26 pm
  #92  
 
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Per segment pricing if you want to choose alternative routing?

ETA 1: SHOOT, EWR764 & MatthewLAX beat me to the major concern above! Still leaving it here for my skepticism about correct implementation in Part 2 below..

Originally Posted by anc-ord772 View Post
...
I certainly have concerns about this Excursionist Perk and how layovers are priced, but with such garbage IT I'm sure there will be loopholes...


Couldn't agree more with both parts of this sentence.

First part: How layovers are going to be priced. Two FAQ quotes:
"The Excursionist Perk is not defined by time, while the stopover policy is".
"If you use the multi-city search path to route over a favorite city, you may be charged more miles."

Logically, these statements imply that you have to provide O/D, and take one of the options provided by the computer/agent to avoid additional miles being charged. Offered options could include layovers at connection points, and these layovers could theoretically be over 24 hrs since there is no time concept for characterizing connection types any more.

BUT if you try to get alternative routing through inputting preferred or unacceptable connection points online, or feeding individual segments online or to an agent, they are implying they are going to charge separate award pricing to each selected connection/destination point.

Second part: While that seems to be the theory, can United execute this logic, (and enforce things like the 24hr change restriction on Star partner awards)? Seems unlikely given the IT history. They would have to remove the logic that currently keeps stopovers from charging purely additively for a multi-city, and then include new logic that correctly zeroes out miles only for the first intra-region ExPerk that's outside the starting region, on a roundtrip that has the same starting and ending region. I am guessing there's going to be a lot of implementation pains. Again.

ETA 2: Who the .... came up with this ExPerk name? Confusing, unwelcoming, elitist sounding. What a winner.

Last edited by jigri2003; Aug 3, 16 at 1:44 pm Reason: Beat to the punch (line)!
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Old Aug 3, 16, 1:37 pm
  #93  
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
My fear is that .bomb will become like delta.com in which you can search multi-city itineraries but each leg will price cumulatively even if your search is just intended to specify a connecting city (for e.g., LAX-FRA on 08/03, FRA-IST on 08/04 currently prices as one one-way award since the stop would be less than 24 hours in FRA. I suspect that will be gone/disabled...).
Originally Posted by dlman18 View Post
Agree it's likely you wont be able to hand feed segments to make a one-way. It'll either be you need to accept the options that .bomb gives you for LAX-IST or call and hopefully they'd be able to create any valid routing one-way.
I doubt this will change, actually, if only because it requires more backend changes than I expect them to be capable of. The pricing engine is the same for all tickets (paid and award) and will always attempt to re-price a ticket (even retroactively) using any search method after another segment is added.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 1:39 pm
  #94  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
The current domestic connection cap is 4 hours, so that's not changing.

Traditionally if the next connecting flight is the following day, the required overnight doesn't count as a stopover. So in your example, no, I would not expect it to price as two separate awards.
Actually, I remember now...It does count as a stopover. This year, to keep my status, I'm on an award going over, and purchased a ticket coming home. My family is on an award roundtrip...

For their roundtrip award it was very easy to add the overnight "stopover" at ORD, since one is permitted on a roundtrip. For mine, the great agent actually had to go "upstairs" for a legitimate "one time exception" to add the MBS-ORD flight to my itinerary the night before. They graciously did it for me. The computer wouldn't manually take it--even on a last in, first out flight scenario.

(I originally just grabbed the ORD-HNL segments when I saw them 11 months ahead, and only recently added the hop over to ORD to the tickets).
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Old Aug 3, 16, 1:40 pm
  #95  
 
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this really sucks.

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.
Last year I flew from Yangon-NRT stopover DEN-MCI. So now that wouldn't be allowed?

2 years ago I flew SIN-Seoul stopover SFO-MCI. And that wouldn't be allowed either? My main reason for switching my allegiance from AA to UA was for the stopovers on award tickets. Way to piss off your customers UA.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 1:40 pm
  #96  
 
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
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?
The second I saw the word "enhance" in the email, my immediate thought was, "How is United going to .... me today?"

I was not disappointed.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 1:45 pm
  #97  
 
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
My understanding is that, as long as the system gives you LAX-NRT-CGK as a permissible routing (instead of inputting multi-city LAX-NRT/NRT-CGK separately), it should price at the current 80k level. After October, it will no longer be permissible to force the system to price a single award by feeding a segment-by-segment itinerary.
Would this scenario prohibit a 3 day stopover inJapan on the way to CGK or anywhere else in Asia?
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Old Aug 3, 16, 1:46 pm
  #98  
 
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
My fear is that .bomb will become like delta.com in which you can search multi-city itineraries but each leg will price cumulatively even if your search is just intended to specify a connecting city (for e.g., LAX-FRA on 08/03, FRA-IST on 08/04 currently prices as one one-way award since the stop would be less than 24 hours in FRA. I suspect that will be gone/disabled...).
This is what i'm afraid of.


Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
My understanding is that, as long as the system gives you LAX-NRT-CGK as a permissible routing (instead of inputting multi-city LAX-NRT/NRT-CGK separately), it should price at the current 80k level. After October, it will no longer be permissible to force the system to price a single award by feeding a segment-by-segment itinerary.

Married segment logic/journey control rules the day here, unfortunately.
Thanks, that was my interpretation as well. I wonder what they are going to do with SQ awards not being visible on .bomb.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 1:50 pm
  #99  
 
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Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
Would this scenario prohibit a 3 day stopover inJapan on the way to CGK or anywhere else in Asia?
At least according to what they've announced it will be completely impossible to use the ExPerk in Japan unless your destination is also Japan: "The origin and destination of the Excursionist Perk is within a single MileagePlus defined region". This is because Japan is a region with only 1 country

LAX-NRT, NRT-CGK, CGK-LAX (NRT and CGK are not the same region)

Last edited by dlman18; Aug 3, 16 at 1:51 pm Reason: clarifying
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Old Aug 3, 16, 1:56 pm
  #100  
 
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Originally Posted by dlman18 View Post
At least according to what they've announced it will be completely impossible to use the ExPerk in Japan unless your destination is also Japan: "The origin and destination of the Excursionist Perk is within a single MileagePlus defined region". This is because Japan is a region with only 1 country

LAX-NRT, NRT-CGK, CGK-LAX (NRT and CGK are not the same region)
It doesn't say that your ExPerk has to be in the same region as your destination, just that it can't be in the same region as your origin and the city pair has to be in the same region itself.

So potentially, you could potentially do USA-Japan, China-China, Japan-USA
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Old Aug 3, 16, 1:59 pm
  #101  
 
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Thumbs down

Originally Posted by dlman18 View Post
At least according to what they've announced it will be completely impossible to use the ExPerk in Japan unless your destination is also Japan: "The origin and destination of the Excursionist Perk is within a single MileagePlus defined region". This is because Japan is a region with only 1 country

LAX-NRT, NRT-CGK, CGK-LAX (NRT and CGK are not the same region)
Many of the flights to SE Asian countries pass through either Japan (on UA and ANA flights) or Seoul (on UA or Asiana flights). When I have had award flights like this I try to do a 3-4 day stopover in Tokyo or Seoul as those are some of my favorite cities. Now I won't be able to do that.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 2:01 pm
  #102  
 
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I also wonder if this 'free' one-way award will allow more segments than previously allowed.

Provided the system let me, I used to max out my RT awards at 8 segments (4 each way). I seem to think that this excursion award will allow 4 more segments for the same amount of miles as before.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 2:01 pm
  #103  
 
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Originally Posted by wcalvert View Post
It doesn't say that your ExPerk has to be in the same region as your destination, just that it can't be in the same region as your origin and the city pair has to be in the same region itself.

So potentially, you could potentially do USA-Japan, China-China, Japan-USA
Correct or even: USA-Japan, China-Thailand, Japan-USA
or: USA-Japan, China-Thailand, Johannesburg-USA (obviously you'd pay africa-usa mileage rate for the return).

The only real restriction they've placed on the ExPerk is that it has to start and end in the same region and your total ticket must start and end in the same region.

They didn't say if ExPerk needs to have anything else to do with your other flights.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 2:03 pm
  #104  
 
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Originally Posted by dlman18 View Post
Agreed. Technically:

DEN-LHR, BKK-HKG, JNB-ORD meets their rules as well (with BKK-HKG being the free leg)

"Travel must end in the same MileagePlus defined region where travel originates." DEN and ORD are same region

"The origin and destination of the Excursionist Perk is within a single MileagePlus defined region." BKK and HKG are in the same region south asia...

It'll be interesting to see what the new .bomb will allow
My immediate thoughts would be something like this.

USA-Northern South America, Southern South America-Southern South America, Northern South America-USA.

Would love to do USA-Cusco, but a $60 flight to La Paz, La Paz-Santiago for free (ExPerk), Santiago-Lima for $150ish then Lima home. Would be 40k miles and taxes plus about $200. You'd get unlimited length stops in Cusco, La Paz, Santiago, and Lima.

Another idea would be to do the same thing, but choose a small/exotic airport like fernando de noronha in Brazil. So do same Peru trip above, but do La Paz to Fernando and then use a 12,500 mile one-way award ticket to get back to La Paz.

Also, just had a realization that this kills stopovers when doing a RT within a single region that is non US. You can only do the ExPerk if you are changing regions.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 2:05 pm
  #105  
 
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Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
Many of the flights to SE Asian countries pass through either Japan (on UA and ANA flights) or Seoul (on UA or Asiana flights). When I have had award flights like this I try to do a 3-4 day stopover in Tokyo or Seoul as those are some of my favorite cities. Now I won't be able to do that.
I do the same...Japan and Seoul are my favorite stopover locations...and it'll be very frustrating that you can layover through lots of places that you're now not allowed to have a stopover at...

For this to make any sense they really need to look at their regions (especially the asia regions)
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