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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 Apr 7, 2024, 3:54 am
  #1201  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: UK/Australia
Programs: BAEC Silver, UA2MM, QF Platinum, VA Platinum., Volare Executive Club
Posts: 2,522
I had an interesting experience last week using an award Y ticket FCO-BRU (SN), BRU-ARN (SN), ARN-MMX (SK).

I was upgraded on the first flight, and then the second flight was delayed by 90+ mins, resulting in my missing the connecting flight to MMX.

This likely mis-connect was obvious while at BRU, but the SN staff would not try to re-accommodate me, saying I would have to sort it out at ARN with SK. Well, at ARN the SK staff said it was SN's responsibility and also would not help. However they pointed me towards SN's handling agent who they said should be able to help

As it turned out, the agent (Aviator) was very helpful and did mange to rebook me on to an ARN-CPH flight, the last one of the day. I was happy with this as my final destination was actually Copenhagen. I booked MMX as this was the only flight available as an award (it's only a 20 minute train ride away from CPH).

The point seems to be, if travelling on a UA award ticket and using multiple partner airlines, your fortunes seem to be in the lap of the gods in the case of IRROPS. I just got lucky, it seems.
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Old Apr 7, 2024, 4:30 am
  #1202  
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 21,602
Originally Posted by Grace B
The point seems to be, if travelling on a UA award ticket and using multiple partner airlines, your fortunes seem to be in the lap of the gods in the case of IRROPS. I just got lucky, it seems.
Both the SN and SK agents were mostly correct; the SK agents more so.

Misconnects that appear to be obvious prior to departure don't always materialize, so whereas the staff at BRU could have redirected you immediately, I'm not surprised that they didn't. The SK agents were correct that upon arrival at ARN, it was the late-delivering carrier's responsibility to handle rebooking, which they then did. The system worked exactly as designed.
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Old Apr 15, 2024, 5:23 pm
  #1203  
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Posts: 22
I am a 1K using miles for the 7am BOI-DEN-IAD with my wife. To be safe on a non SA carrier connection at IAD, I would like to take the 5am flight, but the miles required to change are exorbitant. As we each have a bag to check to IAD, what advice would be the best here?
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Old Apr 15, 2024, 5:34 pm
  #1204  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: San Francisco Penninsula
Programs: Bear Backers
Posts: 953
Go with 7 am and hope for the best

Originally Posted by searchforfulfillment
I am a 1K using miles for the 7am BOI-DEN-IAD with my wife. To be safe on a non SA carrier connection at IAD, I would like to take the 5am flight, but the miles required to change are exorbitant. As we each have a bag to check to IAD, what advice would be the best here?
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Old Apr 15, 2024, 5:34 pm
  #1205  
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 21,602
Originally Posted by searchforfulfillment
I am a 1K using miles for the 7am BOI-DEN-IAD with my wife. To be safe on a non SA carrier connection at IAD, I would like to take the 5am flight, but the miles required to change are exorbitant. As we each have a bag to check to IAD, what advice would be the best here?
Does the 5 AM flight also go through DEN? Standby is permitted along the same routing, but not along a different routing, and can be challenging with a bag.

As a 1K, you may be able to get a bag checked through to a non-*A carrier, although that's against general UA policy, but asking for a standby bag to be given to a non-*A carrier is probably a bridge too far. I'd be keeping my fingers crossed that award inventory will open on the 5 AM and then you can change to it.
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Old Apr 15, 2024, 6:55 pm
  #1206  
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Posts: 22
Originally Posted by jsloan
Does the 5 AM flight also go through DEN? Standby is permitted along the same routing, but not along a different routing, and can be challenging with a bag.

As a 1K, you may be able to get a bag checked through to a non-*A carrier, although that's against general UA policy, but asking for a standby bag to be given to a non-*A carrier is probably a bridge too far. I'd be keeping my fingers crossed that award inventory will open on the 5 AM and then you can change to it.
Thanks; the earlier flight has the same routing. It would be great to pass the time in IAD at out in one of the lounges.
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Old Apr 21, 2024, 8:47 am
  #1207  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: RDU
Posts: 5,287
Trying to confirm miles used for award

I have the basic email receipt and history from the United app. If I have two passengers and there is a separate entry JOE -50,000 miles and SALLY -50,000 miles was the total miles used 50,000 or 100,000? I'm a little confused because I see multiple entries in my history showing AIR TRAVEL AWARD and AIR AWARD REDEPOSIT more than once when I don't recall making changes during that time period. I thought I could just look at my history and it would give me the total but I'm not certain how to interpret what I see.
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Old Apr 21, 2024, 9:13 am
  #1208  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,129
Originally Posted by zitsky
I have the basic email receipt and history from the United app. If I have two passengers and there is a separate entry JOE -50,000 miles and SALLY -50,000 miles was the total miles used 50,000 or 100,000? I'm a little confused because I see multiple entries in my history showing AIR TRAVEL AWARD and AIR AWARD REDEPOSIT more than once when I don't recall making changes during that time period. I thought I could just look at my history and it would give me the total but I'm not certain how to interpret what I see.
I find it useful to dump the UA report to an Excel file (on the web site) and sort the various categories, separating out awards from upgrades from earnings from flight or credit cards. Tends to be clearer when sorted.
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Old Apr 21, 2024, 9:52 am
  #1209  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: RDU
Posts: 5,287
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
I find it useful to dump the UA report to an Excel file (on the web site) and sort the various categories, separating out awards from upgrades from earnings from flight or credit cards. Tends to be clearer when sorted.
Thanks. When I see "-50,000 zitsky" 12 times, I don't think a report will help. I haven't booked an award for a few years and was just expecting to see one transaction for each person. I did check the receipt but I don't see where it shows miles booked. I see cash/credit payments easily.

EDIT: I have my answer after finding my original receipt. The answer is 50,000 per person. The individual miles and total is clearly shown on the original receipt. I'm still confused why I don't see that information on a receipt that I requested 15 minutes ago. I'll look at it more carefully.

Last edited by zitsky; Apr 21, 2024 at 10:02 am
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Old Apr 21, 2024, 10:52 am
  #1210  
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Originally Posted by zitsky
I have the basic email receipt and history from the United app. If I have two passengers and there is a separate entry JOE -50,000 miles and SALLY -50,000 miles was the total miles used 50,000 or 100,000? I'm a little confused because I see multiple entries in my history showing AIR TRAVEL AWARD and AIR AWARD REDEPOSIT more than once when I don't recall making changes during that time period. I thought I could just look at my history and it would give me the total but I'm not certain how to interpret what I see.
I have found that some schedule changes result in redeposit and re-withdrawal. I never initiated anything for those, but the line items show up in my MP activity.

Is it possible you've had some (or several) schedule adjustments?
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Old Apr 21, 2024, 11:07 am
  #1211  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: RDU
Posts: 5,287
Originally Posted by fumje
I have found that some schedule changes result in redeposit and re-withdrawal. I never initiated anything for those, but the line items show up in my MP activity.

Is it possible you've had some (or several) schedule adjustments?
I know of one change but not 5 or 10.
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Old Apr 21, 2024, 4:01 pm
  #1212  
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BOS/EAP
Programs: UA 1K, MR LTT, HH Dia, Amex Plat
Posts: 32,338
Originally Posted by zitsky
I know of one change but not 5 or 10.
One way of finding out is to hit the change flight button' and it will show the miles and $$$ it would apply to the new ticket.
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Old Apr 23, 2024, 9:42 pm
  #1213  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: san jose, CA
Posts: 2,997
United has this statement on its website:

"Better award availability

Premier members have unrestricted access to United Everyday Awards when redeeming miles to book award travel on United- and United Express-operated flights. If there's a United seat for sale, these members can get it with award miles, guaranteed, even if it's the last seat on the airplane."

I have been Silver for the last few years . I don't have a lot of time to spend hunting for low mileage spending business fares to Europe, so for years I would simply go into my account once a year to use my accumulated miles for at least one round trip business class flight from SFO to wherever I wanted to go in Europe, usually via FRA, on UA for the transatlantic and then usually connecting on LH to my final European destination. Planning at least several months ahead of time, and traveling at desirable times for Europe , I would always easily find a booking with only 1 stop using my miles (which my non-premier spouse would not see). Not surprisingly most of the time I would land up paying 2x of what less convenient routings cost in miles. My understanding from online statements and agents was that even as a Silver, unlike my non-elite spouse, I could see any seats available and could choose to to buy them with miles or cash, as long as I was logged into my account when I did my search.

I am still Silver, and still have the same credit card, and when I log on I see I am recognized as myself and that I am Silver.
But this year, trying my usual routine, (but this time, trying to get to Stockholm in September via anywhere UA flies to in Europe), I only see routings with 2 connections, or even 3, using the "pay with miles" option. If I look for the *identical flights* using the "pay with cash" option, I see routings I can buy with only 1 stop (at a huge price).

Is this a glitch on my account , or is it no longer true that "if there is a United seat available, [Premier] members can get it with award miles?" Or perhaps the barrier is the non-United partner connection within Europe to Stockholm? I've talked to a couple agents and all they can tell me is that to use my miles I just have to have 2 or more stops, but if I pay cash I can get a flight with just 1 stop (which I already knew when I called), no explanation.

Thanks in advance for any insights. I've spent the last few hours trying to catch up on the UA forum.
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Old Apr 23, 2024, 10:33 pm
  #1214  
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Originally Posted by ermdjdsj
Is this a glitch on my account , or is it no longer true that "if there is a United seat available, [Premier] members can get it with award miles?" Or perhaps the barrier is the non-United partner connection within Europe to Stockholm? I've talked to a couple agents and all they can tell me is that to use my miles I just have to have 2 or more stops, but if I pay cash I can get a flight with just 1 stop (which I already knew when I called), no explanation.
There's no glitch. That wording does not apply -- and never has -- to flights on partner airlines. And either UA or the partner airline can (and, increasingly, do) limit their award availability based upon connection point.

Also, you're trying to go Stockholm in September. SAS is leaving Star Alliance at the end of August, and they would have been responsible for most of your connecting flights to Stockholm. UA might still sell you cash flights with an SAS leg -- no idea -- but they won't be able to sell award flights on SAS legs in September, as inventory has been zeroed out.
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Old Apr 24, 2024, 8:31 am
  #1215  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 63
If my wife and I are traveling on same itinerary and confirm, and I have to change my flight to return later but not hers, will the change to only my return result in a new confirmation #? I have status and we got economy plus seats, will my change cause her to have to change all of her seats after I make my change?
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