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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 Jan 5, 2023, 4:14 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2017
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UA award booking, change questions / issues / routing / excursionist problems / help

I have some a couple award tickets that keep showing the following errors when I try to change:

We are unable to process your request. Please see the message below for details.
Both tickets have excursionist legs (w partners). First ticket already flown excursionist leg (so I just want to change the return leg), second ticket has not been flown at all (want to change excursionist leg).

Does anyone know if there's something special you need to do to to get the online change feature to work properly? I don't want to call because from experience it's a giant pain to get UA to change any award tickets.
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Old Jan 5, 2023, 5:31 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by kevflyer
I have some a couple award tickets that keep showing the following errors when I try to change:

Both tickets have excursionist legs (w partners). First ticket already flown excursionist leg (so I just want to change the return leg), second ticket has not been flown at all (want to change excursionist leg).

Does anyone know if there's something special you need to do to to get the online change feature to work properly? I don't want to call because from experience it's a giant pain to get UA to change any award tickets.
partially flown ticket changes you need to call. Not sure why the 2nd ticket doesn't allow an online change, but with partner awards and excusionist perk ... calling is always advised.
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Old Jan 13, 2023, 1:45 am
  #3  
 
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I was just trying to change an award ticket, from Singapore to Vancouver to Sinapore to Los Angeles.

I needed the same Sinapore to Tokyo leg on All Nippon but just a change to LAX rather than YVR also on All Nippon.

The agent said she can't change it unless NH shows availability through Singapore to LAX, and she can't just replace the second segment to be All Nippon. Is that accurate? I'm led to believe it isn't, but before I HUCA, I wanted to double check this.
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Old Jan 13, 2023, 8:13 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by aviationp
The agent said she can't change it unless NH shows availability through Singapore to LAX, and she can't just replace the second segment to be All Nippon. Is that accurate? I'm led to believe it isn't, but before I HUCA, I wanted to double check this.
"Can't" is a strong word, but what you're asking is against policy and I wouldn't expect HUCA to be successful.
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Old Jan 13, 2023, 9:33 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2017
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Originally Posted by aviationp
The agent said she can't change it unless NH shows availability through Singapore to LAX, and she can't just replace the second segment to be All Nippon. Is that accurate? I'm led to believe it isn't, but before I HUCA, I wanted to double check this.
This is correct. Agents aren't supposed to piece meal construct itineraries on a segment by segment basis. Do some do it? Yes. Are they supposed to? Nope. By policy inventory needs to be available on the desired routing when searching for the origin through to the destination.
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Old Jan 13, 2023, 12:57 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by aviationp
I was just trying to change an award ticket, from Singapore to Vancouver to Sinapore to Los Angeles. ....
Just to double check, this is a UA issued award, correct?
UA requires on changes for the entire new itin to be available. Just as if you were booking a new ticket. The only exception is already booked UA award space.

A change of destination is going to be a new ticket, at new pricing.
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Old Jan 20, 2023, 8:13 am
  #7  
 
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I am going to release three Turkish awards from DFW-IST-DPS on March 10th. If anyone is interested PM me and we can time the release, assuming the go back into award inventory.
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Old Jan 20, 2023, 1:37 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by jmail1
assuming the go back into award inventory.
That assumption is not correct
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Old Jan 22, 2023, 12:42 pm
  #9  
 
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Excursionist Perk not applicable when changing flight?

Hi, first time posting here.

I have the following itinerary booked and ticketed by UA (all business class): LAX-TPE, TPE-ICN, and ICN-LAX. I originally booked it online as a multi-city trip, so I got the TPE-ICN for free from the Excursionist Perk.

Today, I talked to a UA agent over the phone and tried to change the date of the TPE-ICN flight. The UA agent quoted me extra miles corresponding to the one-way ticket miles plus taxes, instead of free of charge as I had assumed. The agent further clarified that in order for the Excursionist Perk to apply, I had to book all three flight tickets at the same time (just like I originally did); any later change of flight is subject to extra miles and taxes.

Is that true? Can I no longer change my second flight without losing the Excursionist Perk benefit? Or maybe a HUCA will change things?

Thank you in advance for reading and answering my question.
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Old Jan 22, 2023, 1:08 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by BlackBear
Hi, first time posting here.

I have the following itinerary booked and ticketed by UA (all business class): LAX-TPE, TPE-ICN, and ICN-LAX. I originally booked it online as a multi-city trip, so I got the TPE-ICN for free from the Excursionist Perk.

Today, I talked to a UA agent over the phone and tried to change the date of the TPE-ICN flight. The UA agent quoted me extra miles corresponding to the one-way ticket miles plus taxes, instead of free of charge as I had assumed. The agent further clarified that in order for the Excursionist Perk to apply, I had to book all three flight tickets at the same time (just like I originally did); any later change of flight is subject to extra miles and taxes.

Is that true? Can I no longer change my second flight without losing the Excursionist Perk benefit? Or maybe a HUCA will change things?

Thank you in advance for reading and answering my question.
Welcome to FlyerTalk (posting).

Sounds like a typical MOLA (Mistaken or Lying Agent). Assuming your new itinerary still qualifies, you should be able to change the ExPerk flight for zero additional miles, although if there is a difference in taxes, that would still apply. Note that you may need current availability on any un-flown partner segments, even if they're not being changed, in order to make the change successfully.

I once made an online change to an ExPerk, and it did charge me extra miles; and, then when I later had to change the final segment, it refunded me the miles that it had charged me for the ExPerk originally. 🤷‍♂️
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Old Jan 22, 2023, 1:31 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by BlackBear

Thank you in advance for reading and answering my question.
Just take a free refund and re-book. All segments need to be available anyway to make this change and if they are ... you should be able to just re-book the entire ticket online. Does that work? Change all segments and re-select the first and the third?
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Old Jan 22, 2023, 1:50 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan
Welcome to FlyerTalk (posting).

Note that you may need current availability on any un-flown partner segments, even if they're not being changed, in order to make the change successfully.
Thanks for a prompt response!

I see where another issue would be in my case now. There is no current availability for the other two flights (LAX-TPE, ICN-LAX) on my originally selected dates. I assume it means that the agent wont be able to change the second flight for me, even if the Excursionist Perk is still applicable? Or does it apply here, since my flights are non-consequtive stopovers because the time between each flight is over 24 hours?

Thanks!

Originally Posted by cfischer
Just take a free refund and re-book. All segments need to be available anyway to make this change and if they are ... you should be able to just re-book the entire ticket online. Does that work? Change all segments and re-select the first and the third?
I read previous replies in this thread, and got an impression that even if I cancelled my current booking, there is no guarantee that the same award seat would be released back to the inventory for future booking.

I am hesistant to cancel and re-book since my original trip is booked in all business class, and I am worried that I would not be able to get them back once I cancel them. (Which I admit would not be the end of the world)

Thanks!

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 22, 2023 at 2:49 pm Reason: merged consecutive posts by same member
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Old Jan 22, 2023, 2:14 pm
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Originally Posted by BlackBear
I see where another issue would be in my case now. There is no current availability for the other two flights (LAX-TPE, ICN-LAX) on my originally selected dates. I assume it means that the agent wont be able to change the second flight for me, even if the Excursionist Perk is still applicable?
If those are nonstop segments, then, yes, that's likely to be a problem for you. Current policy is to prohibit you from making that change, because UA occasionally has problems getting updates pushed to the partner airlines. When that happens, the partners see the original ticket as refunded, no new ticket to match the booking, and cancel their portion of the itinerary. Some agents -- and, sometimes, the website -- may make the change anyway, but be warned that this is a real possibility. If you're able to make this change, you should get a new ticket number (starting with 016) from UA. Go to each of the partner airlines' websites -- or call them if necessary -- and make sure the they have the new ticket number, not the old one.

Originally Posted by BlackBear
Or does it apply here, since my flights are non-consequtive stopovers because the time between each flight is over 24 hours?
It applies to all award flights that include partner segments. What seems to be happening is that the new process the agents are supposed to use works as if you were creating an entire new booking -- hence the need for the current inventory space on all legs. For UA-operated segments, this is not an issue because there's nothing to get out of sync.

Originally Posted by BlackBear
I read previous replies in this thread, and got an impression that even if I cancelled my current booking, there is no guarantee that the same award seat would be released back to the inventory for future booking.
Correct.

Originally Posted by BlackBear
I am hesistant to cancel and re-book since my original trip is booked in all business class, and I am worried that I would not be able to get them back once I cancel them. (Which I admit would not be the end of the world)
I think the thinking here is, if you're flying an all-partner inventory, given that you need fresh availability on all legs, there shouldn't be any difference between cancelling and rebooking vs. trying to make a change. I would somewhat disagree, in that it's at least possible to change a flight with unavailable partner segments, subject to the risks I've outlined above. It's just, the agent may refuse to do it.
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Old Jan 22, 2023, 2:44 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan
If those are nonstop segments, then, yes, that's likely to be a problem for you. Current policy is to prohibit you from making that change, because UA occasionally has problems getting updates pushed to the partner airlines. When that happens, the partners see the original ticket as refunded, no new ticket to match the booking, and cancel their portion of the itinerary. Some agents -- and, sometimes, the website -- may make the change anyway, but be warned that this is a real possibility. If you're able to make this change, you should get a new ticket number (starting with 016) from UA. Go to each of the partner airlines' websites -- or call them if necessary -- and make sure the they have the new ticket number, not the old one.


It applies to all award flights that include partner segments. What seems to be happening is that the new process the agents are supposed to use works as if you were creating an entire new booking -- hence the need for the current inventory space on all legs. For UA-operated segments, this is not an issue because there's nothing to get out of sync.


Correct.


I think the thinking here is, if you're flying an all-partner inventory, given that you need fresh availability on all legs, there shouldn't be any difference between cancelling and rebooking vs. trying to make a change. I would somewhat disagree, in that it's at least possible to change a flight with unavailable partner segments, subject to the risks I've outlined above. It's just, the agent may refuse to do it.
Thank you for your thorough response. These are all very valuable points to consider.

I will perhaps give it a call again and see if another agent would help me change the TPE-ICN flight and get a new ticket number, and hopefully the new agent would figure out a way to honor the Excursionist Perk instead of trying to charge me for 25,000 more UA miles.

Or, Ill just wait for new availability and then cancel/re-book the trip.

In any case, thank you again for responding to my question in a short amount of time!
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Old Jan 22, 2023, 3:15 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan

I think the thinking here is, if you're flying an all-partner inventory, given that you need fresh availability on all legs, there shouldn't be any difference between cancelling and rebooking vs. trying to make a change.
Sorry, but I just came up with another related question. Lets 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 availability on all legs 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?
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