Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

UA award booking, change questions / issues / routing / excursionist problems / help

Old Jan 19, 17, 11:23 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: WineCountryUA
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}
Print Wikipost

UA award booking, change questions / issues / routing / excursionist problems / help

Old Feb 11, 20, 11:38 pm
  #1561  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 17,815
Originally Posted by ali7204 View Post
should I call and see if there is an availability issue OR would I be making life difficult for an agent?
I would call. While that itinerary is unusual, it doesn't seem abusive, so I don't suspect the agent will be intentionally unhelpful.
jsloan is offline  
Old Feb 12, 20, 1:09 am
  #1562  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: PHX/SFO
Programs: AA EXP; AS 75K; WN A List; UA 1K 1MM; Hyatt Globalist; Marriott AMB; Hilton Diamond (Aspire)
Posts: 52,238
Originally Posted by findark View Post
It's not a change to the computer, just a change to what agents are willing to do (and possibly which system they see first).
Right. UA's systems are absolutely able to do it. Some agents are better than others and/or have access to better tools.
Kacee is online now  
Old Feb 13, 20, 9:17 am
  #1563  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Programs: Marriott BonvAnnoyed
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Right. UA's systems are absolutely able to do it. Some agents are better than others and/or have access to better tools.
That's absolutely true. In my case, I just had wonderful agent who went above and beyond to grab the seats which are not visible on UA.com and she didn't even charge the $25 telephone booking fees. It was for 5 J pax from South American to USA so I was fully expecting to hear the united phantom award space issue and indeed she mentioned it first but then after holding and continually working for more than 30 minutes, she was able to grab 5 J seats.
ali7204 is offline  
Old Feb 13, 20, 9:27 am
  #1564  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: DFW
Programs: AA 1M
Posts: 30,793
Originally Posted by UA Fan View Post
I'm trying to book a DFW-India award with a stopover in Europe. When I search for DFW-Europe alone I can get a DFW-IAH segment with the expanded award availability from having the credit card, but if I use the multiple city option the DFW-IAH segment is not shown as an option, thus increasing the cost.

Sometimes, even an extra segment within Europe does not show. For example, I can get availability from IAH to IST to FRA, but not when searching from DFW. If I search DFW-IST an option with the DFW-IAH on expanded UA awards and the IAH to IST on TK comes available.

Any workaround ?
I booked both segments (not the ones I wanted) and then called to change. Spent more than one hour on two calls with their supervisors also and could not get anything done. Sigh.

Originally Posted by ali7204 View Post
I am trying to add the following to my already ticketed award (EWR-BOG), a one way flight and I am doing it within 24 hour cancellation window.

Excursionist perk( IGU-EZE) same region and it is coming out at 0 miles and taxes

last leg: taking a return flight from IST/LIS- NYC later this year for another trip.

Eveyrthing is calculating fine except when I go to last page for payment, the website bombed.

should I call and see if there is an availability issue OR would I be making life difficult for an agent?

ETA: I was able to get it ticketed online.
One can make changes online after booking a flight?

How did you manage to get it ticketed online? One of my choices had the same issue and after two tries I went with another option.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 13, 20 at 10:32 am Reason: merged consecutive posts by same member
UA Fan is online now  
Old Feb 13, 20, 10:33 am
  #1565  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Programs: Marriott BonvAnnoyed
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by UA Fan View Post
One can make changes online after booking a flight?

How did you manage to get it ticketed online? One of my choices had the same issue and after two tries I went with another option.
After a 3rd or 4th try, I still got an error but it was a different error. Something like "please call united to confirm the changes" so I called and agent looked at it and everything is fine on united end.
I can look up the reservations details on Azul website for my EP leg.
ali7204 is offline  
Old Feb 13, 20, 10:36 am
  #1566  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 61,975
Originally Posted by UA Fan View Post
....
One can make changes online after booking a flight? ....
While change flights can be done online, it is dangerous if a partner flight is involved, you can end up in a state where the change fails but the original flights are lost and UA can not restore them.
jsloan likes this.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Feb 21, 20, 12:08 pm
  #1567  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Programs: UA
Posts: 12
A funny thing happened to me last night with UA's award system.

After months of planning it was finally time to book our trip to Indonesia next year. I found the flights we wanted to take, there was saver award availability in J the whole way (IAD-IST-BKK-CGK) and we had the points. Everything looked good. I transfer the necessary UR points to my UA account, go through the booking process, click "purchase." UA's site gives me an error.

I thought I might have gotten screwed by phantom award availability so I call up UA's support number. The woman on the phone was very helpful. It turns out there was award inventory in J from IAD-IST-CGK without the unnecessary stop in BKK. Additionally this itinerary will only cost me 70,000 miles for for some reason. I ask if there are two seats available since my wife and I are traveling together and indeed there are. As of this morning we have an email saying the itinerary is ticketed and confirmed and we have a confirmation number with TK.

Obviously this worked out well for us but I have to ask, what the heck happened? How was there a cheaper, more convenient itinerary available that never showed up on UA's search engine?
P__Squared is offline  
Old Feb 21, 20, 12:30 pm
  #1568  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 61,975
Originally Posted by P__Squared View Post
.... Obviously this worked out well for us but I have to ask, what the heck happened? How was there a cheaper, more convenient itinerary available that never showed up on UA's search engine?
There are a number of things that may have happened
-- Award inventory is dynamic and what wasn't there 10 minutes can now be available and the reserse is equally true.
-- It may have been there but wasn't ranked at the top, the UA search engine ranks offerings based on a number factors (not publically known -- they probably include convenience factors {trip time, layover times, time of day, ...} and cost is there also -- but unclear how all this rolls together) -- you can force the lowest cost or least stops to the top (clicking on the column) to override UA's ranking
-- UA search engine "stops" after finding X results (200?) so potential solutions are missed
-- Lousy search
-- ....

For paid flights you can have the same issues and many use Matrix / Google Flights to a different / better set of results/ Not all search engines are created equal or work the same.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Feb 21, 20, 1:04 pm
  #1569  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Programs: UA
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
There are a number of things that may have happened
-- Award inventory is dynamic and what wasn't there 10 minutes can now be available and the reserse is equally true.
-- It may have been there but wasn't ranked at the top, the UA search engine ranks offerings based on a number factors (not publically known -- they probably include convenience factors {trip time, layover times, time of day, ...} and cost is there also -- but unclear how all this rolls together) -- you can force the lowest cost or least stops to the top (clicking on the column) to override UA's ranking
-- UA search engine "stops" after finding X results (200?) so potential solutions are missed
-- Lousy search
-- ....

For paid flights you can have the same issues and many use Matrix / Google Flights to a different / better set of results/ Not all search engines are created equal or work the same.
I looked up the same route on UA's website today and what do you know, saver award availability on the IAD-IST-CGK itinerary is the first thing that pops up. The IAD-IST-SIN-CGK itinerary is no longer there.

What I still can't figure out is why we were charged only 70k miles each for a J class ticket from the US to SE Asia.
P__Squared is offline  
Old Feb 21, 20, 6:36 pm
  #1570  
LRD
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: DFW
Programs: MVP 100K, AA LT Plat/6MM, Marriott LT Titanium, IHG Diamond
Posts: 3,222
I don't understand the taxes for a trip I'm planning. Pricing as individual awards:

#1 intra-Japan, $0 taxes
#2 intra-Europe, $52 taxes
#3 intra-Japan, $0 taxes

But the taxes, when booked together (with the intra-Europe flight as my "free"/excursionist), totals $105.

Does this seem right? Is there a way to get a tax-breakdown before I purchase?
LRD is offline  
Old Feb 22, 20, 2:28 pm
  #1571  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Programs: Statusless and proud
Posts: 7,154
Here's a new one. I had my brother-in-law and sister-in-law booked SEZ-ADD-(LFW)-IAH in C. I was checking on seating assignments for them on the ADD-IAH sector and noticed it said that the flight left at 8:30 in the morning. When I pulled up the itinerary on united.com, it showed that flight left at 21:30. So, essentially there was a schedule change and ET hadn't notified UA so I never got an alert. This was going to make them misconnect. So, I scrambled for options, found two saver seats on ADD-LHR and then I called UA and they were nice enough to open up C space on LHR-DEN-IAH.

Their final destination is actually SLC, but I couldn't get the agent to change the destination because it was over 1,000 miles away from IAH (new one for me). I asked if she could just change the final destination to DEN then, and then she told me it couldn't be over 500 miles away. Not sure why the policy changed in those 30 seconds. Either way, I'll just have them collect their luggage in DEN (if they check any) and then no-show for the IAH flight. My apologies for anyone flying on the flight that they're not taking as they have two seats in First booked.

Chris

Last edited by JayhawkCO; Feb 22, 20 at 2:52 pm
JayhawkCO is offline  
Old Feb 23, 20, 6:55 pm
  #1572  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Between AUS, EWR, and YTO In a little twisty maze of airline seats, all alike...
Programs: CO, NW, & UA forum moderator emeritus
Posts: 33,309
Originally Posted by P__Squared View Post
What I still can't figure out is why we were charged only 70k miles each for a J class ticket from the US to SE Asia.
Is that one-way or round trip? If round trip, are you sure that any/all of the segments are in J? I'd double check that.
Xyzzy is online now  
Old Feb 24, 20, 9:11 am
  #1573  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: DL PM, UA Gold, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 13,215
Originally Posted by LRD View Post
Does this seem right? Is there a way to get a tax-breakdown before I purchase?
The final itinerary screen should let you break down the taxes.
findark is offline  
Old Feb 24, 20, 11:21 pm
  #1574  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Boston
Programs: UA 1MM 1K, Hyatt Something-ist, Marriott Gold, SPG Gold
Posts: 101
Originally Posted by P__Squared View Post
After months of planning it was finally time to book our trip to Indonesia next year. I found the flights we wanted to take, there was saver award availability in J the whole way (IAD-IST-BKK-CGK) and we had the points. Everything looked good. I transfer the necessary UR points to my UA account, go through the booking process, click "purchase." UA's site gives me an error.[...]

Obviously this worked out well for us but I have to ask, what the heck happened? How was there a cheaper, more convenient itinerary available that never showed up on UA's search engine?
Most recently, I have seen the online award booking engine determine number of seats available based only on the first segment -- that is, if 1 seat is available all the way through and 3 are available on the first segment, it thinks there are 3 seats available all the way through. This will fail when attempting to complete the purchase.

It's very frustrating, so now I check all segments for individual availability. This works for long-haul segments, but strangely short-haul is a bit more dicey -- I've seen availability for LHR-MUC-BOS, for example, without LHR-MUC being available.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 25, 20 at 12:10 am Reason: repaired quote
JeredF is offline  
Old Mar 7, 20, 7:03 pm
  #1575  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 68
Mixed Cabin booking not showing, even though available

I'm trying to book a flight from Rome to Los Angeles in business class. I have found FCO-ZRH-LAX. The first leg is available as economy saver, and the second leg is available as business saver, but only if I search separately. They do not show up as mixed cabin if I search FCO-LAX. I figured I could call United, and they would be able to book the mixed cabin award for me, at 70k miles, however when I called they said they can't book them as one award, that they have to book the first leg at 8000 miles, and the second leg at 70000 miles.

Is this normal for United? With American they were easily able to see that saver space was available on both, and make the mixed cabin booking for me. I asked to speak with a supervisor, and she said the same thing, because it doesn't show up as a mixed cabin booking in their system, they have to book it as two separate bookings.

Thanks for the help.
toade is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread