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

Old Jan 19, 2017, 10:23 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: WineCountryUA
Main Impact
  • 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 basically requires current availability for all existing Os&Ds in the PNR (as if a brand new booking is made)
  • 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.


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

Old Jan 22, 2023, 3:43 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by BlackBear
Sorry, but I just came up with another related question. Letís say I cannot change my flight until I fly my first one (LAX-TPE) because there is no desirable/available date, then I assume the ďavailability on all legsĒ would not apply since one of the legs is already flown. In that case, can I still call in and change my flight date for my second (TPE-ICN) and third (ICN-LAX) flight, supposing I can locate availability on united.com?
Correct -- once you're in TPE, that leg is locked in and the "new inventory" rule only applies to the onward flights.
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Old Jan 22, 2023, 5:07 pm
  #17  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: LAS
Posts: 175
Hi,

Iím looking for a one way F award from LAX to BKK and for the past couple of days the ďFirstĒ column has completely disappeared from the search results no matter which day I search. Iíve never seen this before - even if there was no F availability in the past, at least the column was still there with ďNot AvailableĒ showing on every flight row. Bug?

Thanks!
ChrisKSDF is online now  
Old Jan 22, 2023, 5:34 pm
  #18  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Northern California
Programs: I want to be free! Free!
Posts: 3,458
Originally Posted by ChrisKSDF
Hi,

Iím looking for a one way F award from LAX to BKK and for the past couple of days the ďFirstĒ column has completely disappeared from the search results no matter which day I search. Iíve never seen this before - even if there was no F availability in the past, at least the column was still there with ďNot AvailableĒ showing on every flight row. Bug?

Thanks!
YMMV, but in my experience the first bucket won't show if there are zero first awards available from any routing.
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Old Jan 22, 2023, 6:06 pm
  #19  
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Can anyone give me some perspective on a Premium Economy domestic award, and whether it seems to be decent redemption.

just booked 4 of us on CVG-EWR-SFO one-way - first segment in Y and last in PE for 40K OW. For context, would have normally booked regular Y cash, but fares in Y on our date started at ~$360, and only at 6am - we are looking to leave in mid-aft ideally, and anything around there was $400 and even $500+. Cheaper Y award was 31.8k, again, thatís super early morning, though some decently timed connections at 32.5. OW cash fare in PE on our flight was coming in at $1068 - hate to take cost per mile as an outright calc , as Id never pay that kind of cash for a Tcon.

Seems to me given the high cost of both Y awards and flights in cash, regardless of the cash PE cost (which itself itself is pretty high, IMO) thinking itís a decent use of miles. Just checking on some other dates and seems like 40K for PE using EWR-SFO is pretty standard pricing - Iíll obviously keep checking. Also in context, there were 60K redemption on our itin in J, but not anymore. Not sure Id justify it if there were still, especially given the afternoon EWR departure, and the two kids traveling with us.

I know whether these redemptions are in the excellent to poor range are pretty subjective, but anything Iím missing here I should consider or potentially change redemption for. There is a later afternoon Y departure in Y via DEN that is timed pretty well at 32.5, but feel like a 32.5 redemption in Y is just kind of poor, and that PE is worth the 7.5K premium over that.
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Old Jan 22, 2023, 8:31 pm
  #20  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Northern California
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Originally Posted by emcampbe
Can anyone give me some perspective on a Premium Economy domestic award, and whether it seems to be decent redemption.

just booked 4 of us on CVG-EWR-SFO one-way - first segment in Y and last in PE for 40K OW. For context, would have normally booked regular Y cash, but fares in Y on our date started at ~$360, and only at 6am - we are looking to leave in mid-aft ideally, and anything around there was $400 and even $500+. Cheaper Y award was 31.8k, again, thatís super early morning, though some decently timed connections at 32.5. OW cash fare in PE on our flight was coming in at $1068 - hate to take cost per mile as an outright calc , as Id never pay that kind of cash for a Tcon.

Seems to me given the high cost of both Y awards and flights in cash, regardless of the cash PE cost (which itself itself is pretty high, IMO) thinking itís a decent use of miles. Just checking on some other dates and seems like 40K for PE using EWR-SFO is pretty standard pricing - Iíll obviously keep checking. Also in context, there were 60K redemption on our itin in J, but not anymore. Not sure Id justify it if there were still, especially given the afternoon EWR departure, and the two kids traveling with us.

I know whether these redemptions are in the excellent to poor range are pretty subjective, but anything Iím missing here I should consider or potentially change redemption for. There is a later afternoon Y departure in Y via DEN that is timed pretty well at 32.5, but feel like a 32.5 redemption in Y is just kind of poor, and that PE is worth the 7.5K premium over that.
I have not seen PE pricing below 40k for SFO-EWR; it seems like the "saver" rate when it's available. Will leave it to you to decide how you feel about 40k miles + PE vs. the cash cost of econ. 40k for PE vs. 32k for econ is a no-brainer in my opinion, particularly because Y on the same aircraft is miserably cramped.
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Old Jan 23, 2023, 1:35 am
  #21  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: UK/Australia
Programs: BAEC Silver, UA2MM, QF Platinum, VA Platinum., Volare Executive Club
Posts: 2,522
I have an award booking LCA (OS) - VIE (OU) - ZAG (OU) - SPU (OU) - LGW, and Croatia Airlines recently cancelled the VIE-ZAG sector.

So I called reservations to get this fixed up and spoke to an agent in the Manila call centre, who said that nothing could be done as there were no alternative flights available, which she said had to be on the same routing and airline. I didn't think that this was particularly reasonable, as it was the airline that had cancelled the flight, not me.

I HUCA'd and this time got through to a lovely, helpful agent in the US who was able to find me a suitably timed VIE-SPU flight, which I was happy with (I didn't really need to go via ZAG). The revised itinerary was ticketed straight away.

So I'm wondering which of the agents was right?
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Old Jan 23, 2023, 1:47 am
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Grace B
I have an award booking LCA (OS) - VIE (OU) - ZAG (OU) - SPU (OU) - LGW, and Croatia Airlines recently cancelled the VIE-ZAG sector.

So I called reservations to get this fixed up and spoke to an agent in the Manila call centre, who said that nothing could be done as there were no alternative flights available, which she said had to be on the same routing and airline. I didn't think that this was particularly reasonable, as it was the airline that had cancelled the flight, not me.

I HUCA'd and this time got through to a lovely, helpful agent in the US who was able to find me a suitably timed VIE-SPU flight, which I was happy with (I didn't really need to go via ZAG). The revised itinerary was ticketed straight away.

So I'm wondering which of the agents was right?
This new ďsame airlineĒ nonsense has to be coming from somewhere, but I canít imagine where. Itís happening too frequently to be a coincidence, but it also makes no sense at all. I wonder if somebody has mixed up award flight rules with paid flight rules, as the rebooking procedures are different. For award rebooking, you should be able to take any routing that has open award seats.
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Old Jan 23, 2023, 1:12 pm
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Posts: 14
I just tried to book JFK-AKL-SYD on ANZ in Y on 12/23 with UA miles. 44k miles vs. $1000+ cash price, so a decent redemption.

Flight showed as available on UA website, but got a message to call in after clicking "Book". Agent said flight actually was not available, and all of the other dates in late December that showed as available on the UA website were also unavailable. No X inventory on Expertflyer on those flights fwiw.

Sorry for the newbie question, but is this typical? I've not encountered it, but haven't had the chance to do international redemptions in many years. Any workarounds? Is waiting until inside the 330 day window helpful?
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Old Jan 23, 2023, 1:14 pm
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by eznh
I just tried to book JFK-AKL-SYD on ANZ in Y on 12/23 with UA miles. 44k miles vs. $1000+ cash price, so a decent redemption.

Flight showed as available on UA website, but got a message to call in after clicking "Book". Agent said flight actually was not available, and all of the other dates in late December that showed as available on the UA website were also unavailable. No X inventory on Expertflyer on those flights fwiw.

Sorry for the newbie question, but is this typical? I've not encountered it, but haven't had the chance to do international redemptions in many years. Any workarounds? Is waiting until inside the 330 day window helpful?
I feel like phantom availability comes in waves for UA. I won't have any issues for a long time and then for one itinerary, I might find 3 different flights on three different carriers that don't actually exist.
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Old Jan 23, 2023, 1:40 pm
  #25  
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Originally Posted by eznh
....
Flight showed as available on UA website, but got a message to call in after clicking "Book". Agent said flight actually was not available, and all of the other dates in late December that showed as available on the UA website were also unavailable. No X inventory on Expertflyer on those flights fwiw.

Sorry for the newbie question, but is this typical? I've not encountered it, but haven't had the chance to do international redemptions in many years. Any workarounds? Is waiting until inside the 330 day window helpful?
Typical no, not unknown yes. It may be phatnom inventory. Booking 330+ days out is partially a myth and can be problematic

Arline have not reliably released inventory at start of schedule for years and the systems can be quick flaky.that far out. .
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Old Jan 23, 2023, 2:05 pm
  #26  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 85
Hi - hoping I'm putting this question in the right place.

My fiance and I are traveling from Florida to LIH for our honeymoon in the fall this year, and based on connections/timing, it looks like flying UAL into DEN for a DEN-LIH flight is our best option.

I am Gold on UAL, which I understand isn't worth much more than the cost of an E+ seat, but am lucky enough to have a good friend who is 1K and said he would apply his PlusPoints to our YN ticket (which we have not purchased yet).

I know he has the option to apply PlusPoints to our flight, but my question is: does anyone know how that works? It's all a bit fuzzy to me. When would that upgrade window with PlusPoints open? I understand that PlusPoints are ahead of CPUs, but as a Gold with PlusPoints, am I still subject to the normal CPU upgrade window (48 hours)?

As much as we'd love to be in first class for our honeymoon, this seems like the only way we might have a crack at that. Thanks all!
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Old Jan 23, 2023, 2:10 pm
  #27  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Originally Posted by lockman21
.... I am Gold on UAL, which I understand isn't worth much more than the cost of an E+ seat, but am lucky enough to have a good friend who is 1K and said he would apply his PlusPoints to our YN ticket (which we have not purchased yet). ....
Your 1K friend will not be able to apply their PlusPoints to an award ticket. Only GS can do that.

As to the other question, PlusPoints can clear any time from booking til the gate. It will require PZ inventory and does have inventory space available requirement. But does not have the time windows of CPU. DEN-LIH is not an easy upgrade and an early upgrade is rare.

Book as two seperate one-ways and look for I space to become available. That is you best hope of traveling up front. Also look for ON for PremiumPlus alternative
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 23, 2023 at 2:16 pm Reason: Also look for ON for PremiumPlus alternative
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Old Jan 23, 2023, 5:23 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by lockman21
to our YN ticket
Ouch, that's expensive. I am seeing a lot of XN to Hawaii ... any flexibility? Should be a lot cheaper. Or buy a paid ticket and then be able to use the +Ps that were offered to you; that said, upgrades to HI are often very difficult (DEN included)
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Old Jan 23, 2023, 7:02 pm
  #29  
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Originally Posted by aCavalierInCoach
I have not seen PE pricing below 40k for SFO-EWR; it seems like the "saver" rate when it's available. Will leave it to you to decide how you feel about 40k miles + PE vs. the cash cost of econ. 40k for PE vs. 32k for econ is a no-brainer in my opinion, particularly because Y on the same aircraft is miserably cramped.
Thanks.. Yeah, that is what seems to be the case - though I admit to not having done many PE searches outside of for this trip. There is one that is 80K in PE for our date (&#129326 and a couple of midweek at 30K, but unfortunately can't stay an extra day or two. Also checked with other shorthaul connections to EWR-SFO and all are showing 40K also.

And yes on PE vs. Y given the mile ask. Have a hard time justifying 30K+ on a OW award unless there is no other option.
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Old Jan 24, 2023, 6:24 pm
  #30  
 
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Options for changing one segment

Hi all: I find myself needing to modify one segment of an upcoming award itinerary. I've never had to do this before, so have not been paying much attention to the rules for that up until now, and I'm worried I may have now gotten myself in a bit of a bind.

The itinerary is XXX - IAH - SYD. I want to keep the same day, same routing, same IAH - SYD flight, I only want to change the domestic XXX - IAH leg so that we are departing earlier in the day. When I look at the "change" option online, it reprices the entire itinerary to the tune of 150K additional per ticket (300 K total) 😮, which I don't have, and even if I had it wouldn't want to pay. Frustratingly, the price increase clearly has nothing to do with the XXX - IAH flight that I want to change, and everything to do with the IAH - SYD flight that I don't want to change. The flight is about 40 days away.

I'm wondering what my best option would be in this situation:. Obviously I can continue to monitor the award pricing to see if it drops, but I think the chances of that are slim. I'm guessing I could also wait and try to do a SDC, but even if that's possible it's not a gamble I'm willing to take.
  • Is there any chance an agent would be able (and willing) to simply swap out the first segment if I call, or are they bound by the same constraints?
  • Can I drop the first segment from the itinerary without affecting the IAH-SYD leg, and then rebook the first segment separately as either a revenue or separate award fare? (It's a short, cheap hop on its own). Assuming that's possible, I assume we'd have to retrieve and re-check bags at IAH, which is not ideal but which we would now have plenty of time to do.
  • Anything else?
Many thanks in advance for helping to walk me through this!
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