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

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

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Old Jul 27, 22, 12:42 am   -   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 Jul 7, 22, 11:58 am
  #2026  
O62
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 190
Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL View Post
Yes and no. The support staff were correct that LH is not supposed to reissue the ticket because they did not cause the IROPS - SK could reissue the ticket to any routing (since they were the operating carrier that caused the IROPS) and UA could reissue the ticket (because they issued the original ticket, but they would be subject to available award inventory). If you could find an SK representative at the airport, they probably could've reissued the ticket with your preference of reroute. Alternatively, you could've flown the LH segments as ticketed and had SK reissue your ticket once you arrived in OSL.
Leaving it until getting to OSL seems like the worst case as you'd be dealing with a scarcity of flights and baggage re-routing woes. Sounds like the LH people did well to rebook us all at once and check bags on the new itinerary.

Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
Q1: OAL on non-*A is extremely difficult. With LH not causing the issue and a UA ticket ... the support was right not wanting to touch this. SK's problem
Q2/3: UA needs to fix this before it goes to airport control at T-24 at which point they can, but technically it is the problem of SK. UA can open any seats on their flights, but they need X/I inventory on partners. SK at the airport should rebook into any available seat ... but that can become difficult given the current situation at SK. I would try UA first
Finding any award space last minute in J from SVG seems nearly impossible. SAS's ability to flexibly rebook seems like the better choice if it can be done.
O62 is offline  
Old Jul 25, 22, 2:24 pm
  #2027  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: RDU
Posts: 4,644
RDU-IAH-SCL-EZE-IAH-RDU 155,000 miles? Dec 2023/Jan 2024

So not traveling until December 2023 and I think I should book in January 2023? I was playing with the website trying to get *some* idea of schedule for this year but it looks like everything is booked. At least I didn't see results trying to "book" with miles. Schedule is not great. One connection from RDU in IAH only had slightly more than 1 hour connection. I wouldn't mind an early flight if the connection was not bad, and it wasn't a 2 connection flight. Are business class tickets to South America still around 155,000 miles?
zitsky is offline  
Old Jul 27, 22, 2:37 am
  #2028  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Programs: UA 1K MM,Marriott platinum,ihg spire
Posts: 134
difficult award booking

Hi,

Yesterday, I tried to book following award for two persons on UA
28/12 : BRU - LHR (on SN) - BKK (on TG)
03/01 : BKK - MNL (on TG, excursionist perk listed at 0 miles and $20 tax)
15/01 : MNL-BKK (on TG) - MUC (on TG) - BRU (on LH)

Everything went through to the payment page (about $280 taxes needed to be paid).
It went through and got the PNR, but no eticket

Looking at the reservation, the segment MNL-BKK was listed twice, one of them was saying segment is cancelled, the other one looked ok.

As this could not be resolved online, I called the 1K line
First; the lady saw the incorrect segment and removed it. Then she said the MUC-BRU on LH segment appeared to be waitlisted (although online it looked ok, and on LH website it said confirmed)
Anyway, she did some things, and after about 25 minutes , the itinerary looked all OK with all segments confirmed.
She then said she needed to contact the rate desk, as it did not ticket automatically, she believed the BKK - MNL segment was not allowed and breaking tickiting, told that this was allowed on awards.
She put me on hold trying to contact the rate desk
for the next hour, I had the united hold music , every 15 minutes or so she told me she was still on hold with the rate desk

after that hour, the music stopped and no more updated from the lady, but the call did not disconnect
half an hour alter, somebody from the rate desk came on the call, saying that she would normally not deal directly with customer. She was surprised that the first lady of the 1K line was not on the call anymore
Anyway,she did decide to look at it
first thing she said, is that she needed to reconstruct the itinerary.
Took her about 20 minutes, then she said itinerary is OK for the same amount of miles as it was on the website
then she needed to calculate the taxes, but she did in USD . Because of that ticketing failed again as I was using Belgian credit card and address, so ticketing required it to be in Euro.
Took her about 15 minutes minutes to convert into Euro , just to come to the exact same amount of taxes as the online booking showed.
Eventually she was able to generate the etickets.
Only took 2,5 hours on the phone to get this fixed, for what seemed a straight forward multi-city award booking on the UA website.

Looked up all reservation on the thai website , and SN and LH websites. All looked OK, except that the UA frequent flyer card is not showing on thai , SN and LH (I will need this as i need the extra luggage as a star gold)
Will need to contact TG for this I guess, or wait till checkin
Was able to get seats only via the SN mobile app, as all other websites and apps (TG and LH) said I could not select seats
The seats I selected are now showing on SN, TG and LH reservations, so all looks OK.

Hopefully , this reservation will now stay intact till departure in 5 months.
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erwin123 is offline  
Old Jul 27, 22, 9:00 am
  #2029  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Programs: UA 1K, MM
Posts: 337
Originally Posted by erwin123 View Post
Hi,

Yesterday, I tried to book following award for two persons on UA
28/12 : BRU - LHR (on SN) - BKK (on TG)
03/01 : BKK - MNL (on TG, excursionist perk listed at 0 miles and $20 tax)
15/01 : MNL-BKK (on TG) - MUC (on TG) - BRU (on LH)

Everything went through to the payment page (about $280 taxes needed to be paid).
It went through and got the PNR, but no eticket

...She put me on hold trying to contact the rate desk
for the next hour, I had the united hold music , every 15 minutes or so she told me she was still on hold with the rate desk

after that hour, the music stopped and no more updated from the lady, but the call did not disconnect
half an hour alter, somebody from the rate desk came on the call, saying that she would normally not deal directly with customer. She was surprised that the first lady of the 1K line was not on the call anymore
Anyway,she did decide to look at it
first thing she said, is that she needed to reconstruct the itinerary.
Took her about 20 minutes, then she said itinerary is OK for the same amount of miles as it was on the website
then she needed to calculate the taxes, but she did in USD . Because of that ticketing failed again as I was using Belgian credit card and address, so ticketing required it to be in Euro.
Took her about 15 minutes minutes to convert into Euro , just to come to the exact same amount of taxes as the online booking showed.
Eventually she was able to generate the etickets.
Only took 2,5 hours on the phone to get this fixed, for what seemed a straight forward multi-city award booking on the UA website.

.
Wow! A testament to the power of perseverance. Thanks for posting the story, as inspiration to not give up. Though knowing in advance that it can take the rates desk a couple hours to fix something relatively straightforward can be daunting. I recently took about 1-1/2 hours to resolve something seemingly straightforward on a paid ticket (how much to upgrade the outbound on a paid ticket with cash? I was waitlisted with PPs, so it stopped showing me a buy-up price).
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lancelot21 is offline  
Old Jul 27, 22, 10:28 am
  #2030  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BOS/EAP
Programs: UA 1K, MR LTT, HH Dia, Amex Plat
Posts: 28,106
Originally Posted by lancelot21 View Post
Wow! A testament to the power of perseverance. Thanks for posting the story, as inspiration to not give up. Though knowing in advance that it can take the rates desk a couple hours to fix something relatively straightforward can be daunting. I recently took about 1-1/2 hours to resolve something seemingly straightforward on a paid ticket (how much to upgrade the outbound on a paid ticket with cash? I was waitlisted with PPs, so it stopped showing me a buy-up price).
what the OP describes is far from straightforward if we want to be honest. The USD/EUR conversion alone is not something that is just SOP.
cfischer is offline  
Old Jul 27, 22, 1:50 pm
  #2031  
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: 59,916
Originally Posted by erwin123 View Post
Hi,

Yesterday, I tried to book following award for two persons on UA
28/12 : BRU - LHR (on SN) - BKK (on TG)
03/01 : BKK - MNL (on TG, excursionist perk listed at 0 miles and $20 tax)
15/01 : MNL-BKK (on TG) - MUC (on TG) - BRU (on LH)

....
Hopefully , this reservation will now stay intact till departure in 5 months.
Not to be a downer but 4 TG flights and 1 SN, 5 months in advance will be a minor miracle to stay intact. The LH MUC-BRU also could change but LH will like have multiple options.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Jul 27, 22, 2:07 pm
  #2032  
O62
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 190
Originally Posted by lancelot21 View Post
Wow! A testament to the power of perseverance. Thanks for posting the story, as inspiration to not give up. Though knowing in advance that it can take the rates desk a couple hours to fix something relatively straightforward can be daunting. I recently took about 1-1/2 hours to resolve something seemingly straightforward on a paid ticket (how much to upgrade the outbound on a paid ticket with cash? I was waitlisted with PPs, so it stopped showing me a buy-up price).
Pretty much any change I've had to make with award flights (especially when I had lap infant tickets) required similar amounts of patience and insistence. Partner award itineraries require a special dedication.
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Old Jul 28, 22, 2:10 pm
  #2033  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Programs: Statusless and proud
Posts: 6,858
I have a fun one going on right now too. Originally booked DEN-MIA-MGA with AA miles, but AA stopped flying to Managua (along with all the other US legacies). Since no OW airlines fly there, I canceled and rebooked DEN-IAH-SAL-MGA on UA/AV. Then Avianca stopped flying from IAH on Wednesdays. So then I changed the itinerary to DEN-DFW-SAL-MGA. Then Avianca stopped flying from DFW on Wednesdays (about a week later).

Yesterday I called in hoping they'd piecemeal me an itinerary together, DEN-IAH-PTY-MGA since I saw an itinerary including PTY-MGA for low miles (which previously had all been 40k+). Despite seeing saver inventory on everything, the agent couldn't book it. I told her I was still seeing DEN-CUN-PTY-MGA online for low miles, and she said she couldn't reproduce that. She told me that if I could book it online, to do so, and I did.

Unfortunately, I was unaware that Mexico doesn't have sterile transit, and so I'd much prefer sticking on UA for the first two flights. But now, since I booked a new itinerary, I can't get any agents to help out with the schedule change issues because the current itinerary hasn't been schedule changed (yet). I was hoping by calling within 24h, I could get someone to change it without too much headache, but alas, it's proving to be one.
JayhawkCO is offline  
Old Jul 28, 22, 2:27 pm
  #2034  
O62
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 190
Originally Posted by JayhawkCO View Post
I have a fun one going on right now too. Originally booked DEN-MIA-MGA with AA miles, but AA stopped flying to Managua (along with all the other US legacies). Since no OW airlines fly there, I canceled and rebooked DEN-IAH-SAL-MGA on UA/AV. Then Avianca stopped flying from IAH on Wednesdays. So then I changed the itinerary to DEN-DFW-SAL-MGA. Then Avianca stopped flying from DFW on Wednesdays (about a week later).

Yesterday I called in hoping they'd piecemeal me an itinerary together, DEN-IAH-PTY-MGA since I saw an itinerary including PTY-MGA for low miles (which previously had all been 40k+). Despite seeing saver inventory on everything, the agent couldn't book it. I told her I was still seeing DEN-CUN-PTY-MGA online for low miles, and she said she couldn't reproduce that. She told me that if I could book it online, to do so, and I did.

Unfortunately, I was unaware that Mexico doesn't have sterile transit, and so I'd much prefer sticking on UA for the first two flights. But now, since I booked a new itinerary, I can't get any agents to help out with the schedule change issues because the current itinerary hasn't been schedule changed (yet). I was hoping by calling within 24h, I could get someone to change it without too much headache, but alas, it's proving to be one.
Unfortunately since you cancelled the other ticket, they have no obligation to offer you extra accommodation with your new ticket until (a) you find new availability or (b) the schedule changes substantially. In hindsight, I would have hung up and tried a different agent (or try a chat agent) to try to get the ticket changed to the desired itinerary that has availability, knowing they can open up DEN-IAH-PTY on their metal without problem, you just need space in the PTY-MGA segment.
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Old Jul 28, 22, 2:32 pm
  #2035  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Programs: Statusless and proud
Posts: 6,858
Originally Posted by O62 View Post
Unfortunately since you cancelled the other ticket, they have no obligation to offer you extra accommodation with your new ticket until (a) you find new availability or (b) the schedule changes substantially. In hindsight, I would have hung up and tried a different agent (or try a chat agent) to try to get the ticket changed to the desired itinerary that has availability, knowing they can open up DEN-IAH-PTY on their metal without problem, you just need space in the PTY-MGA segment.
Yeah, in retrospect. But I'm almost wondering if it's a married segment thing with CUN-PTY-MGA having saver space but not the flights individually. Every CM flight I had looked at since I booked this ticket originally (back in April) had always been 40k miles. The only 19.3k mile trips (which I paid) always had AV's SAL-MGA as the last leg.

I was in a hurry to get this one booked as a) it was the only itinerary I could find that didn't have an overnight flight and b) it got in a half an hour before the AV flight. I have 3:10 in CUN, so I'm hoping that should be plenty of time on a Wednesday to clear immigration in both directions and switch terminals. If not, that's what travel insurance is for, right?
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Old Jul 28, 22, 2:52 pm
  #2036  
O62
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 190
Originally Posted by JayhawkCO View Post
Yeah, in retrospect. But I'm almost wondering if it's a married segment thing with CUN-PTY-MGA having saver space but not the flights individually. Every CM flight I had looked at since I booked this ticket originally (back in April) had always been 40k miles. The only 19.3k mile trips (which I paid) always had AV's SAL-MGA as the last leg.

I was in a hurry to get this one booked as a) it was the only itinerary I could find that didn't have an overnight flight and b) it got in a half an hour before the AV flight. I have 3:10 in CUN, so I'm hoping that should be plenty of time on a Wednesday to clear immigration in both directions and switch terminals. If not, that's what travel insurance is for, right?
Could be! I've redeemed and searched for quite a lot of partner award trips over the past few years and award space is a weird, cryptic world that seemingly requires reading tea leaves to understand sometimes.

As to your connection, CUN is definitely a O&D focused airport but is usually decently efficient.
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