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UA Saver Award/Upgrade Inventory (& partners)-when is it released? Ever any business?

Old Jan 29, 2017, 12:59 pm
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
Years ago, there was a pattern of release award space at begin-of-schedule, some 330+ before travel. That is not longer the default situation. There may be some released at that time and a few weeks later but just as common for airlines to wait to see how the flight is selling versus historical data. Then if sales are falling behind, they may release some seats. If sold seats are on historical trends or better, the likelihood of awards space is less. Some airlines are more sophisticated than others and some like UA for their flights tend to hold onto space until closer to departure.

So in summary, predictable patterns are few and award space is getting harder to find.

Business award space for some routes can be nearly impossible to find and generally is never easy. BUT it can happen with some flexibility and perseverance.

A couple of suggestions for finding space
== Avoid peak travel periods -- seasons, days --- midweek tends to be better than weekends, be flexiable -- fixed dates are a killer
== Look early, look late, look all the time
== Partner space tends to be more available than UA space for international flights
== For those not starting at a hub, first look for "gateway" non-stop space to Europe or Asia. Find the long haul flight possibilities first and then build from there (or separate ticket to the gateway -- with plenty of buffer time)

What does "Advance seat assignments are restricted for this flight" mean?

What time (and time zone), how many days out does UA release awards for booking?

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UA Saver Award/Upgrade Inventory (& partners)-when is it released? Ever any business?

Old May 24, 2019, 2:07 pm
  #136  
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Originally Posted by R2134
I haven't booked a reward flight in a while, looking to fly to Europe end of June and return mid July. Was hoping for Lufthansa biz saver, would be fine with sas biz also, but right now it seems slim pickings compared to trying to book in previous years. ....
In the best of years, summer Saver Bussiness to Europe would be pretty slim at the end of May and this year is not the best of years. So if you find anything, grab it. And you will need to be very, very flexibility on dates and routes -- and still, you may be unsuccessful

Related threadTrying to book a Business Saver ticket to Europe
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Old May 24, 2019, 2:20 pm
  #137  
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This really needs to be labeled as a Pre-2019 devaluation thread as I expect we are already seeing radically higher pricing for all flights after November 2019. Query whether the term saver award even makes sense now that award charts are gone.
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Old Jun 7, 2019, 2:46 pm
  #138  
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Originally Posted by jjmoore
As for award tickets, the way to book in the future is to book as far in advance as possible for the best deals. If there is excess inventory close-in to departure, you may be able to get miles refunded if the deep discount saver awards show up close-in.
FWIW, I just had success doing this ~30 minutes ago. Back in March I booked the iapetus jrs. LAX-LHR on June 11 for 55K each, having just missed out on the 30K award inventory by ~1 day (). I looked again today and found that at least two more seats in the 30K award inventory had opened up. So I called UA and got 50K miles refunded.
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Old Jun 7, 2019, 5:17 pm
  #139  
 
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Originally Posted by iapetus
FWIW, I just had success doing this ~30 minutes ago. Back in March I booked the iapetus jrs. LAX-LHR on June 11 for 55K each, having just missed out on the 30K award inventory by ~1 day (). I looked again today and found that at least two more seats in the 30K award inventory had opened up. So I called UA and got 50K miles refunded.
Can you look up the award inventory? I used to find 35k TACL MOST of the time, now it seems MOST is 75k. Not to mention crap like 55k to fly to say Denver!!!! makes the accumulation of miles almost useless, that's why I now put all my spend on my Hilton card instead of Explorer.
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Old Jun 23, 2019, 10:15 am
  #140  
 
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No Star Alliance Business Class availability

Anyone know what has been going on with *A business class availability last few weeks. Cannot find anything (even in coach) on any *A partner using UA miles (or Aeroplan). Is there an IT problem or just no more availability? Interested to hear if anyone has any insight.
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Old Jun 23, 2019, 10:17 am
  #141  
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I see lots of avaliability on the routes I travel. It all depends when and where you're traveling.
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Old Jun 23, 2019, 10:19 am
  #142  
 
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There is basically nothing available (even last minute the day before) from anywhere east coast to a hub in Europe. Sometimes I see LH release 1st class an hour before a departure which is impossible for me to do obviously. No economy either so I am thinking there is an IT issue, but not sure.
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Old Jun 23, 2019, 10:28 am
  #143  
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Originally Posted by frugaltraveler10012
There is basically nothing available (even last minute the day before) from anywhere east coast to a hub in Europe.
That makes perfect sense to me. This is high season to Europe, and planes everywhere are full. Definitely not an IT issue.
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Old Jun 23, 2019, 10:29 am
  #144  
 
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman
That makes perfect sense to me. This is high season to Europe, and planes everywhere are full. Definitely not an IT issue.
Ok it's just I have done the same trip the last 3 years around this exact time for two people and never had an issue with LX/LH availability so my first hunch was IT issue.
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Old Jun 23, 2019, 11:20 am
  #145  
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Same with some asian routes for July and August.
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Old Jun 23, 2019, 11:25 am
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Or maybe not IT issue and they are just restricting availability...something has changed year over year...dynamic pricing maybe...
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Old Jun 23, 2019, 11:40 am
  #147  
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There has been a long downward trend in award availability and I would agree it has now reached new lows.

Combination of increased demand (more people with more miles hoping to redeem) and decreased supply (strong demand for paid seats and airlines reducing releases of award seats).
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Old Jun 23, 2019, 11:50 am
  #148  
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Originally Posted by frugaltraveler10012
Or maybe not IT issue and they are just restricting availability...something has changed year over year...dynamic pricing maybe...
Yes, availability has decreased over the years. The airlines have done a better job of matching the paid demand, leaving less excess seats for awards. Additionally, the airlines have created better pricing structures, so they are able to "sell" to space versus filling seats with award flyers. And finally, travel demand is up.

So, the net of the above are few award seats and especially for TATL few empty seats.

Can seats still be found, yes but this close-in to travel, it will be last second availability and indirect routes.
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Old Jun 23, 2019, 12:44 pm
  #149  
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In my case (asia) atleast, only July and August are unavailable. June and Sept and onward are wide open.
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Old Jun 23, 2019, 1:16 pm
  #150  
 
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Many Star Alliance partners restrict award flights to their *A partners, keeping more awards for their own FF program members. If you have a M&M FF membership, availability TATL is a lot better than when checking for LH/LX award availability on UA's website.
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