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

Old Jan 19, 2017, 10:23 pm
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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 Jun 26, 2023, 1:05 pm
  #421  
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Originally Posted by ezefllying
Is United withholding the nonstops? Or is Lufthansa? I thought United might be withholding LH nonstops on routes UA also serves (IAD-FRA, IAD-MUC), but only Austrian serves IAD-VIE.
LH group is.

Originally Posted by ezefllying
Is there a way for a United ticket agent to see, and ticket, long-haul LH/OS flights even if the online search engine fails to return them? If not, what would happen if I booked a one-way (say, IAD-MUC-BER) and then called to cancel the MUC-BER segment?
No. LH is not interested in offering those flights as nonstop awards for exactly the same reason that you want them to do so -- because they're more convenient than connecting flights, which therefore means LH can often charge more for them.
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Old Jun 26, 2023, 1:14 pm
  #422  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Programs: UA Premier Platinum, DL Platinum
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Originally Posted by jsloan
LH group is.


No. LH is not interested in offering those flights as nonstop awards for exactly the same reason that you want them to do so -- because they're more convenient than connecting flights, which therefore means LH can often charge more for them.
I suppose I'm a little confused by the theory. Obviously, if this were a revenue ticket, LH would just charge a premium for the nonstop. Perhaps, if United allowed dynamic pricing on wholly-partner awards, LH would demand something equivalent to "JN" for the nonstop. But if LH is already offering IAD-FRA-XXX as an award (which means they probably don't expect to sell the IAD-FRA seat for revenue, at least in a high booking class), what is their economic theory for withholding the segment as a standalone award ticket, for which they would still earn revenue from United? I assume that LH is hoping I'll pay for the ticket in cash. If that's the thinking, I'd be curious to know whether LH's refusal to offer nonstop awards is actually generating enough in cash ticket sales to offset the revenue they're giving up from selling award tickets to United.
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Old Jun 26, 2023, 1:21 pm
  #423  
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Originally Posted by ezefllying
what is their economic theory for withholding the segment as a standalone award ticket, for which they would still earn revenue from United? I assume that LH is hoping I'll pay for the ticket in cash. If that's the thinking, I'd be curious to know whether LH's refusal to offer nonstop awards is actually generating enough in cash ticket sales to offset the revenue they're giving up from selling award tickets to United.
That is precisely the theory. While they're willing to let you have the award when used as part of a less-profitable route, they're not willing to let it go when they might convince you to pay cash instead.
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Old Jun 26, 2023, 1:34 pm
  #424  
nsx
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Originally Posted by jsloan
That is precisely the theory. While they're willing to let you have the award when used as part of a less-profitable route, they're not willing to let it go when they might convince you to pay cash instead.
This is the same reasoning as for hidden city ticketing. It's simply market pricing. We want the convenient itinerary while paying the lower market price of the inconvenient (or even inapplicable) routing.

I don't like it any more than anyone else, but I understand it.
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Old Jun 26, 2023, 2:09 pm
  #425  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: NY Metro Area, HK
Programs: UA Silver, Hyatt Globalist
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Hi all, have a question about a UA award ticket.

I have a Wednesday 6:30pm flight from EWR-SFO-HKG with a 2h connection in SFO. 1 checked luggage. Given the weather situation I want to be able to same-day change (within 24hours) to a confirmed earlier flight in case of delays to give myself some more buffer time in SFO. Is this possible given I am United Silver? I know for cash ticket I could do that but unsure if that's possible for free along with my checked bag making it on the SFO-HKG route. Thunderstorms are in effect in the NYC Metro area until Thursday so I am a bit worried.

Anyone have experience with this? Essentially want to get on an earlier EWR-SFO flight to make sure I catch the 2nd leg SFO-HKG.
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Old Jun 26, 2023, 5:27 pm
  #426  
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Originally Posted by wongbr
Hi all, have a question about a UA award ticket.

I have a Wednesday 6:30pm flight from EWR-SFO-HKG with a 2h connection in SFO. 1 checked luggage. Given the weather situation I want to be able to same-day change (within 24hours) to a confirmed earlier flight in case of delays to give myself some more buffer time in SFO. Is this possible given I am United Silver? I know for cash ticket I could do that but unsure if that's possible for free along with my checked bag making it on the SFO-HKG route. Thunderstorms are in effect in the NYC Metro area until Thursday so I am a bit worried.

Anyone have experience with this? Essentially want to get on an earlier EWR-SFO flight to make sure I catch the 2nd leg SFO-HKG.
Yes, not a problem, but you need XN available to use SDC. Currently there is a waiver till tomorrow ... check if they extend it because then you only need an available seat in any booking class to change to an earlier flight.
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Old Jun 26, 2023, 6:13 pm
  #427  
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Posts: 3
Hi everyone,

Have a quick question about the UA Excursionist Perk. Found availability for BRU-YYZ in business (I) and trying to use the excursionist perk for EWR-SAN in business (JN). Third leg is ZRH-BRU. United website isn't triggering the excursionist perk - is this because "I" and "JN" are different fare classes? Even if they're both business?
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Old Jun 26, 2023, 6:42 pm
  #428  
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Originally Posted by adobatac
Hi everyone,

Have a quick question about the UA Excursionist Perk. Found availability for BRU-YYZ in business (I) and trying to use the excursionist perk for EWR-SAN in business (JN). Third leg is ZRH-BRU. United website isn't triggering the excursionist perk - is this because "I" and "JN" are different fare classes? Even if they're both business?
Yes. You'd need I availability, or IN if you're Platinum or higher. It'll be very difficult to find on that route.
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Old Jun 26, 2023, 9:47 pm
  #429  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: NY Metro Area, HK
Programs: UA Silver, Hyatt Globalist
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Originally Posted by cfischer
Yes, not a problem, but you need XN available to use SDC. Currently there is a waiver till tomorrow ... check if they extend it because then you only need an available seat in any booking class to change to an earlier flight.
Yeah so it got extended to Wednesday, but absolutely all flights are full and only giving me the option to change the entire itinerary and not just the EWR-SFO portion. Looks like I'll be calling in
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Old Jun 27, 2023, 4:27 pm
  #430  
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Originally Posted by wongbr
Yeah so it got extended to Wednesday, but absolutely all flights are full and only giving me the option to change the entire itinerary and not just the EWR-SFO portion. Looks like I'll be calling in
yes, if you only want to change part of the itinerary youll have to call, but phone lines will be crazy
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Old Jun 27, 2023, 9:57 pm
  #431  
 
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oy ... I booked my niece CMH-DEN-SFO-AKL (all on UA) and got the HUA on Polaris trans-pac. The CMH-DEN had a mechanical & would misconnect in SFO so after 3.5 hours on hold + talking to agent -- basically the entire time she was flying from CMH-DEN, the agent rebooked her DEN->LAX-AKL on NZ5. UA does not fly any routes to CONUS->AKL on Wednesdays. Anyways, I asked about the seating on NZ & was told rebooking was in M class (econ). But I could call NZ and ask about how I could upgrade her (either $ or *A UG) to at least PX. I was skeptical, but the Manila call center supervisor was insistent. Otherwise I would have held my line on rebooking through SYD or MEL in PZ then NZ trans-Tasman.
Beware: NZ said no way I can upgrade the seats - not even with cash b/c its a UA tix and they shouldn't have told me that. So now I'm back on hold w/UA (70 mins ++). Grrr. Cross fingers I get a US call center. I thought the Manila call center was for regular customers not MM *G. What gives?
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Old Jun 27, 2023, 10:48 pm
  #432  
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Originally Posted by suzy1K
I thought the Manila call center was for regular customers not MM *G. What gives?
UA is swamped, and as part of that they're putting some Premier calls into the queue for non-Premier agents to reduce the waiting time.

When I called Sunday night, there was a message saying exactly that, although I ended up with an onshore agent anyway.
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Old Jun 28, 2023, 5:57 am
  #433  
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Originally Posted by suzy1K
oy ... I booked my niece CMH-DEN-SFO-AKL (all on UA) and got the HUA on Polaris trans-pac. The CMH-DEN had a mechanical & would misconnect in SFO so after 3.5 hours on hold + talking to agent -- basically the entire time she was flying from CMH-DEN, the agent rebooked her DEN->LAX-AKL on NZ5. UA does not fly any routes to CONUS->AKL on Wednesdays. Anyways, I asked about the seating on NZ & was told rebooking was in M class (econ). But I could call NZ and ask about how I could upgrade her (either $ or *A UG) to at least PX. I was skeptical, but the Manila call center supervisor was insistent. Otherwise I would have held my line on rebooking through SYD or MEL in PZ then NZ trans-Tasman.
Beware: NZ said no way I can upgrade the seats - not even with cash b/c its a UA tix and they shouldn't have told me that. So now I'm back on hold w/UA (70 mins ++). Grrr. Cross fingers I get a US call center. I thought the Manila call center was for regular customers not MM *G. What gives?
You can upgrade NZ flights on UA tickets; that must have been booked under an NZ flight number during irops. Did you try and request an upgrade online? If booked as a UA codeshare then yeah ... that's not easy to upgrade
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Old Jun 29, 2023, 1:48 pm
  #434  
 
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Award flight with excursionist perk change question... I have a complex multicity award flight with 3 segments, one of them using the excursionist perk, all under the same PNR for 2 people:

IAD-BRU-BCN
FCO-MUC-TSR (free flight)
TSR-FRA-MUC-IAD

I want to change the first segment to leave 2 days earlier and change it to the non-stop IAD-BCN flight. I attempted to do a mock change and the website asks me for just 14k additional miles for the change. I originally booked the first segment with 33k miles and, after devaluation, now the saver award is 40k miles per person (which makes sense for the 14k difference). I know for sure there are no saver awards anymore for the 2nd and 3rd segments that I do not want to change (these are on Lufthansa), and maybe not even availability, and the website lists those 2 segments as no change. Do I risk anything if I attempt to make the change? Like losing the original reservation if something goes wrong and forcing me to pay the devalued amount for all flights that may not even be available anymore? It is my understanding the a change would reprice all segments and would need availability in the same class... but I may be wrong based on what the website shows on the mock change?
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Old Jun 29, 2023, 2:31 pm
  #435  
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Originally Posted by dannysporea
... Do I risk anything if I attempt to make the change? Like losing the original reservation if something goes wrong and forcing me to pay the devalued amount for all flights that may not even be available anymore? It is my understanding the a change would reprice all segments and would need availability in the same class... ....
yes, yes & yes

Want does a new booking from scratch price out as? Is it available? (appears not)

If all the partner segments are available (appears not), a good agent can retain the unchanged UA segments.

Some partners will (many will not) allow retaining unchanged segments. LH can be OK with this

And yes it will reprice and yes it will attempt to validate the ticket change with all involved carriers.

Honestly this is a roll of the dice, a chance it will work, a chance it will not

It is impossible to provide a definitive answer. Not sure I would take the word of an agent, they can do this.
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