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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 Jul 10, 2023, 4:41 pm
  #166  
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Join Date: Feb 2009
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Always looking LAX-EZE /vice versa Polaris inventory; found 1 single day/time for 80K

Not complaining, but i constantly check inventory as I am planning on going to Buenos Aires next month

Lo and behold, ONE date/time on that route showed up.

For the entire period, JULY, AUGUST, SEPTEMBER

Its the only one i found for 80K points

Why would only a single day's inventory open at the lower saver aware redemption level
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Old Jul 10, 2023, 4:50 pm
  #167  
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Originally Posted by caseminole
Why would only a single day's inventory open at the lower saver aware redemption level
Because that day, and only that day, was selling below projections.
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Old Jul 10, 2023, 10:16 pm
  #168  
 
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Originally Posted by cfischer
45/50 and 34/50 is a different beast altogether. 5 seats left with current level of irops ... yeah, that won't be likely to happen.

IME, I or IN doesn't matter at T-24, UA either levels booking classes or they don't. EF checks regularly, but I don't know the exact frequency, sorry.
Originally Posted by fumje
I think 2a day of is more likely time for it to open. Not sure what effect waiver might have; could be that it suppresses. Good luck.
it went from P9 R5 PN0, 33+4/50 booked at 8pm CT to J0 O0 46+4/50 at 10pm CT 🙄 looks like I'll have to tough it out in econ. I had I on the same flight but changed the return so had to book into X.

some group decided to all go to europe within 20 hours of departure

also inventory did not change at T-24


*EDIT: actually it might be them intentionally zeroing out all J inventory since the seat map has all the seats left at 33/50. Either an entire group didn't select seats or UA is holding them (but it's not shown as blocked so idk)

*EDIT2: well it's at Y9 so maybe it's actually sold out... sigh...


*EDIT3: now it's back to J6 P5 O2, 40+4/50 but still PN/IN0 at 11pm. I don't really understand what's going on

Last edited by leftysauce; Jul 10, 2023 at 11:15 pm
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Old Jul 11, 2023, 12:57 am
  #169  
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Could be dealing with potential a/c swaps w/ some planes still out of place. Or trying to reaccomodate IRROPs pax.
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Old Jul 11, 2023, 2:47 am
  #170  
 
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH
Could be dealing with potential a/c swaps w/ some planes still out of place. Or trying to reaccomodate IRROPs pax.
that's what I thought but the flight today went out fine and the incoming plane seems to be on schedule.

Good new tho - it became P7 PN7 PZ5 IN/I4 at 2:43am
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Old Jul 20, 2023, 7:26 pm
  #171  
 
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Lack of Business Class MP Awards in Oct 23?

Has anyone else noticed a distinct lack of business class award seats in October this year?

We looked at multiple international destinations and lots of not available on the 30 day grid. Or is that just a glitch in the matrix and there are plenty of seats?
the 30 day grid really helps when looking for best values.
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Old Jul 20, 2023, 8:54 pm
  #172  
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Originally Posted by steviebas
Has anyone else noticed a distinct lack of business class award seats in October this year?

We looked at multiple international destinations and lots of not available on the 30 day grid. Or is that just a glitch in the matrix and there are plenty of seats?
the 30 day grid really helps when looking for best values.
looks normal to me
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Old Jul 22, 2023, 12:18 pm
  #173  
 
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Originally Posted by steviebas
Has anyone else noticed a distinct lack of business class award seats in October this year?

We looked at multiple international destinations and lots of not available on the 30 day grid. Or is that just a glitch in the matrix and there are plenty of seats?
the 30 day grid really helps when looking for best values.
UA has very little incentive to release J seats until the very last minute. Either they will sell them for cash, or someone will use UG instruments, or someone will pay the Standard Award price. I don't know your destination but you can usually find something to Europe most days, but if trying to go to Australia, Singapore, etc (the 12+hr flights) it might be harder.

My advice:
If must travel do one of the following:
-Book saver fares in Economy (X/XN) (if available) and wait-list for I (make sure to read the entire thread on that)
-Book JN fare (Standard Award), if you have enough miles, and watch daily at award prices and cancel and rebook if the fare drops or saver is released (either on UA or partners), if you are going to Europe IME partners (LH/SN/TP/TK) often release before UA.

​​​​​Also make sure to search each leg individually. For instance if you are flying CLE-CDG it may only show you the Standard Award because there is no X or I on CLE-ORD/IAD/EWR even though there may be I space on ORD/EWR/IAD-CDG. I have often found the TATL leg with space and then booked a cash ticket to position for that flight.
​​​​
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Old Jul 25, 2023, 5:23 pm
  #174  
 
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I’m wondering how Star Alliance partners feel about the fact that UA has zero I availability on international flights. And what they might do about it. Will they stop giving UA access to their award seats in retaliation?

I’m trying to use 430k ANA points before they expire in March (canceled Japan trip from 2020 and 2021). We could fly economy but would still not use them up and don’t have the time to take multiple international trips. It’s really frustrating.
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Old Jul 25, 2023, 5:25 pm
  #175  
 
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Originally Posted by Stgermainparis
Im wondering how Star Alliance partners feel about the fact that UA has zero I availability on international flights. And what they might do about it. Will they stop giving UA access to their award seats in retaliation?

Im trying to use 430k ANA points before they expire in March (canceled Japan trip from 2020 and 2021). We could fly economy but would still not use them up and dont have the time to take multiple international trips. Its really frustrating.
i just flew IAD-MUC/BER-IAD on United in the past two weeks booking through NH three weeks ago 🤷
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Old Jul 25, 2023, 5:47 pm
  #176  
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Originally Posted by Stgermainparis
...And what they might do about it. Will they stop giving UA access to their award seats in retaliation?..
What makes you think UA (or any *A carrier) is required to provide I awards? I believe the only requirement is that UA provides award seats.
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Old Jul 25, 2023, 6:00 pm
  #177  
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Originally Posted by Stgermainparis
Im wondering how Star Alliance partners feel about the fact that UA has zero I availability on international flights.
"Zero" is an overstatement. Regardless, I doubt any of UA's *A partners care how much I space UA releases. For years, NZ business class was essentially unbookable on miles. SQ doesn't release any long-haul premium space to most of *A programs. And speaking of NH, they're not exactly known for generous premium cabin award releases.
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Old Jul 26, 2023, 8:31 am
  #178  
 
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Originally Posted by Stgermainparis
Im wondering how Star Alliance partners feel about the fact that UA has zero I availability on international flights. And what they might do about it. Will they stop giving UA access to their award seats in retaliation?

Im trying to use 430k ANA points before they expire in March (canceled Japan trip from 2020 and 2021). We could fly economy but would still not use them up and dont have the time to take multiple international trips. Its really frustrating.
Are you wanting to fly a specific route or just use the miles? The first two route I searched I found I fares (IAD-FRA tomorrow at 22:15 has I2 and is J9 and SFO-HND tomorrow which is I9). If you are trying to book CDG for spring break next year you aren't going to see seats right now, but there is often availability you just need to be flexible on your dates and destination (or don't mind taking a connection)
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Old Jul 28, 2023, 9:55 am
  #179  
 
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Thought I would share my experience of booking flights to Europe in business for 4 people.

I started my search back in February for a July trip. I found that there was no inventory on any business class flights. I used expertflyer to check on award space seating for the dates and just booked into economy until the seats opened up. The flights going to Europe opened up a few weeks before the trip on Swiss, and about two weeks before on Lufthansa. As for United, no seats ever opened up. On the way back, no business seats opened up for any airline until about 2 days prior. I also noticed that for some reason these seats were only available during certain times of the day (like in the middle of the night US time). The only airlines that opened up for the return flight was Swiss.

All in all, there is no specific Pattern and just best to use expertflyer to wait for seats to open up. I also feel like seats will always open up even if its just two days before

Also, if for some reason they mess up your reservation (they booked a middle segment with revenue fare) then expect to wait on hold for a minimum of 1 hour each time when making changes regardless of who you speak to

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jul 28, 2023 at 5:36 pm Reason: merged consecutive posts by same member
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Old Jul 28, 2023, 6:34 pm
  #180  
 
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Are there ever any saver-awards in business from sfo to Auckland, NZ?

we have a cruise booked Jan 2025. Doing a search for same dates in 2024 , I see none. I have United Gateway card. . Wife has xplorer card. Have not checked using her card. I could apply for the explorer card if you think I might see any saver awards availability .

standard awards are 250-300,00 mikes one way. We have a lot of miles but not enough for a rt at a standard rate. Our plan is to buy one of us two one ways using both accounts and then buying the other person a cash ticket.
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