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Award booking questions/ issues/ routing/ excursionist problems / help

Award booking questions/ issues/ routing/ excursionist problems / help

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Old Apr 23, 19, 5:16 pm   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
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United's Announcement and FAQ

Kacee's Interpretation

Main Impact Since October 6, 2016
  • Fee Changes - for example, 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 or build itineraries 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
EveryDay Awards - UA MP award changes 1 Nov 2017 (Everyday award/dynamic price, No RTW, No Show fee,..)
principle change - Standard awards being replaced by "EveryDay Award" with variable pricing

What is the Excursionist Perk?
The Excursionist Perk is a free one-way award within select multi-city itineraries. Members who book an itinerary with three or more one-way awards will be eligible to receive one of those one-way awards for free, if it meets all of these conditions:
The Excursionist Perk cannot be in the MileagePlus defined region where your travel originates. (For example, if your journey begins in North America, you will only receive the Excursionist Perk if travel is within a region outside of North America.)
  • Travel must end in the same MileagePlus defined region where travel originates.
  • The origin and destination of the Excursionist Perk is within a single MileagePlus defined region.
  • The cabin of service and award type of the free one-way award is the same or lower than the one-way award preceding it.
  • If two or more one-way awards qualify for this benefit, only the first occurrence will be free.


Previous thread -- Updates to UA MP Multi-City Award Travel & Award Fee Changes (Post Oct 2016){Archive}
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Old Feb 10, 19, 9:00 am
  #841  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Programs: Hyatt Explorist, MLife Gold, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, SPG Gold, Amex Plat
Posts: 2,951
If Iím trying to book what may be phantom award space, at what point in the online ticketing process will it become obvious? Iím not quite ready to finalize but want to confirm actual space.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 9:31 am
  #842  
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Originally Posted by Stgermainparis View Post
If Iím trying to book what may be phantom award space, at what point in the online ticketing process will it become obvious? Iím not quite ready to finalize but want to confirm actual space.
When the purchase fails, or the ticket fails to issue.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 10:04 am
  #843  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Programs: Hyatt Explorist, MLife Gold, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, SPG Gold, Amex Plat
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
When the purchase fails, or the ticket fails to issue.
So I have to go all the way through adding my cc to the booking request and possibly end up with ticketed awards? Or potentially book and then awards donít get ticketed a day or two later?

I went ahead and booked the AC flights as awards on UA. Got the "it's processing and we'll send you an eTicket soon" email. I'll update when it's all done (good or bad!) for the next person who may be dealing with this.

UPDATE: Well, that was fast. Two minutes after that email, I got another saying "eTicket Itinerary and Receipt" with our ticket numbers and seats listed. I honestly did not think this would work. And what it tells me is that UA gets more AC space than NF and EF. I assume that if I have ticket numbers, I can relax, yes?

Last edited by Ocn Vw 1K; Feb 14, 19 at 9:25 am Reason: Combine consecutive posts of same member on same topic.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 3:32 pm
  #844  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Programs: Hyatt Explorist, MLife Gold, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, SPG Gold, Amex Plat
Posts: 2,951
New question: I’ve now got a one way international award booked on UA with AC flights. If I call in, what are the chances they can reticket as a round trip with excursionist perk? I’m within 24 hours of one way booking.

EDIT: I didn't want to risk the clock running out so I called. CSR could have made the change except that the 5 one way tickets would have to be canceled and then the whole thing rebooked. He couldn't guarantee that the AC seats would go back into their inventory. So I left as is.

Last edited by Stgermainparis; Feb 10, 19 at 5:09 pm
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Old Feb 13, 19, 9:00 am
  #845  
RNE
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: AKC
Programs: UA Electrum, Crown&Anchor Diamond, CaptainsCircle Platinum
Posts: 7,865
Originally Posted by Stgermainparis View Post
CSR could have made the change except that the 5 one way tickets would have to be canceled and then the whole thing rebooked. He couldn't guarantee that the AC seats would go back into their inventory. So I left as is.
I often book just when award windows open. I used to wait for the return to open before booking a RT, but I got burned a couple of times: the outbound was gone or only offered less-desirable options. (This is especially likely with scant BF seats!) Nowadays, I book one-ways to and from. Yes, if I need to cancel I get hit with double redeposit fees, but I don't cancel often and the fees are minimal anyway. Plus, there's always the chance a schedule change gets me a fee-free redeposit.

RNE, placing high value on getting just the right flights in the cabin I want.
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Old Feb 13, 19, 9:22 am
  #846  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: ORD
Programs: AA, UA, GE
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Originally Posted by RNE View Post
I often book just when award windows open. I used to wait for the return to open before booking a RT, but I got burned a couple of times: the outbound was gone or only offered less-desirable options. (This is especially likely with scant BF seats!) Nowadays, I book one-ways to and from. Yes, if I need to cancel I get hit with double redeposit fees, but I don't cancel often and the fees are minimal anyway. Plus, there's always the chance a schedule change gets me a fee-free redeposit.

RNE, placing high value on getting just the right flights in the cabin I want.
+1

It sounds like we both do it the same way and for the same reasons. I usually only book awards for high value premium cabin flights for very long distance destinations. The difference between a preferable and a not so preferable option can be an additional 10 - 18 hours of travel time and this can really shorten your actual time at the destination by at least a day.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 3:25 pm
  #847  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Bay Area
Programs: DL SM, UA MP.
Posts: 9,395
Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
Been looking for J saver awards to either VRN (first choice) or VCE (second choice) for late August, early September. Originating from SFO.

There is some good award availability to either location via LH or OS TATL to about March 26 and then nothing. In August, there are some awards to VCE on LOT but they're like 20 hours or more outbounds, some approaching 30 hours so a long layovers in WAW.

Is there reason to hope that within 2 months of my target travel dates (last week of August or first week of September for the outbound) there would be more options, especially the more rational travel times of around 15 hours via LH?

Or am I only seeing awards on LH metal for close-in dates and/or because it's winter and they're unlikely to be available in late August or early September, which are still in peak season for TATL flights?
So I noticed as I keep checking, more saver awards show up.

Now for instance, there are J saver awards for April 1, 2 and 3, a week after March 26. So maybe they're releasing some J savers gradually, so that there's always a moving window of 8-10 weeks out from when you search?

Is that a typical pattern for releases of awards?
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Old Feb 19, 19, 7:10 pm
  #848  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Programs: United Mileage Plus
Posts: 3
I'm flying SMF to FRA in mid June to early July. I've got 250K miles. I'd love Business Class both ways but no Business savers are available. So I thought I'd take the economy tickets at 70K each and buy the economy plus option. But that seems expensive too at $300 a leg. I called in about the Premium Plus and I can get that for 240K for both flights. I'm a Premier member and could wait to see if there are Plus seats available 24 hours before departure - but what are the odds of that happening. Can someone advise me the best method to get the most comfortable seats?
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Old Feb 19, 19, 7:20 pm
  #849  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 7,922
Originally Posted by mkbug View Post
I'm a Premier member and could wait to see if there are Plus seats available 24 hours before departure - but what are the odds of that happening.
You mean that you are Silver Premier and can select Economy Plus at check-in, correct? Premium Plus will not be available automatically regardless of Premier level.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 7:22 pm
  #850  
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Originally Posted by mkbug View Post
I'm flying SMF to FRA in mid June to early July. I've got 250K miles. I'd love Business Class both ways but no Business savers are available. So I thought I'd take the economy tickets at 70K each and buy the economy plus option. But that seems expensive too at $300 a leg. I called in about the Premium Plus and I can get that for 240K for both flights. I'm a Premier member and could wait to see if there are Plus seats available 24 hours before departure - but what are the odds of that happening. Can someone advise me the best method to get the most comfortable seats?
I see availability on LH via DEN on July 8. I also see DEN-FRA available on July 7 and 11, but no domestic connector SMF-DEN. You could book a separate ticket SMF-DEN if one of those dates works for you. You could follow the same strategy on other routes. LH often opens J space from SEA, DTW, BOS. ORD, EWR, and IAD are also possible.

Note also that award availability is dynamic. If you search daily, you have a decent chance of finding something that works.

Personally I would not pay the "Everyday" award price; it's not a good redemption value. But if you don't have a better use for the miles . . . .
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Old Feb 19, 19, 7:49 pm
  #851  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: HND, NRT
Programs: UA 1K
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Originally Posted by mkbug View Post
I'm flying SMF to FRA in mid June to early July. I've got 250K miles. I'd love Business Class both ways but no Business savers are available. So I thought I'd take the economy tickets at 70K each and buy the economy plus option. But that seems expensive too at $300 a leg. I called in about the Premium Plus and I can get that for 240K for both flights. I'm a Premier member and could wait to see if there are Plus seats available 24 hours before departure - but what are the odds of that happening. Can someone advise me the best method to get the most comfortable seats?

By
Originally Posted by mkbug View Post
I'm a Premier member and could wait to see if there are Plus seats available 24 hours before departure - but what are the odds of that happening. Can someone advise me the best method to get the most comfortable seats?
"Plus seats" you mean Economy Plus rather than Premium Plus, right? And by "Premier member" you mean Premier Silver, right? You could watch the seat map daily or at least somewhat frequently. If the Economy Plus seats look like they're filling up, you could fork over the $300 but I think some will be available at check in. Just be sure you check in at T-minus 24 so you have the most options. Even then, keep checking the map. If some folks get upgraded or whatever, you can recheck in and change seats after you've checked in the first time.

Premium Plus seats are a lot nicer than regular economy/Economy Plus seats (similar to domestic first). And the PP service, when it launches, is supposed to be much better as well. Whether it's worth it for you is another question.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 9:37 pm
  #852  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Programs: United Mileage Plus
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Originally Posted by Kannai View Post
By "Plus seats" you mean Economy Plus rather than Premium Plus, right? And by "Premier member" you mean Premier Silver, right?.
Yes on both counts. Silver and Economy Plus.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 8:51 am
  #853  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Iím not sure if this is the right place for my question but here goes. I booked UA saver award for 5 pax via ANA (USA-CUN). UA is showing United Economy as service class. Does this mean one carryon is free? Bc when I click on baggage info, it says Basic Economy tix are not allowed carryon and must pay to check. I donít know if this is just a generic warning.

If we donít have a free carryon and I end up getting a UA cc, will that fix the issue? I obviously would not have used that cc for the award booking fees. And in this scenario, could we just check the bag? Does it apply to all pax on same PRN?

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Old Feb 21, 19, 8:55 am
  #854  
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Originally Posted by Stgermainparis View Post
I booked UA saver award for 5 pax via ANA (USA-CUN). UA is showing United Economy as service class.
You're booked in X. That is not basic economy. You're subject to the normal carry-on rules.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 8:55 am
  #855  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
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Originally Posted by Stgermainparis View Post
I’m not sure if this is the right place for my question but here goes. I booked UA saver award for 5 pax via ANA (USA-CUN). UA is showing United Economy as service class. Does this mean one carryon is free?
Yes. Award tickets don't book into Basic Economy (yet; you never know what the future may bring).
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