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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 Oct 29, 2023, 1:58 pm
  #211  
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Originally Posted by berkeleysquirrel
Has United been holding back saver business for Europe lately, coinciding with the star alliance crack down on brokers? I haven't seen any I or IN awards for CDG-SFO, FRA-SFO, MUC-SFO or LHR-SFO the whole past month. I remember during the summer they would still release close in. I was going for CDG-SFO on Weds 11/1 and there's 25 open seats in Polaris on the seat map (not the best approximate I know). Seems unlikely they'd fill all of it with upgrades but it's currently still going for 158k as a JN award.
huh, I am seeing a ton of IN available right now, including routes that are usually difficult. Plus they fixed the XN/IN combo problem.
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Old Oct 29, 2023, 2:06 pm
  #212  
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Originally Posted by berkeleysquirrel
I haven't seen any I or IN awards for CDG-SFO, FRA-SFO, MUC-SFO or LHR-SFO the whole past month. I remember during the summer they would still release close in. I was going for CDG-SFO on Weds 11/1 and there's 25 open seats in Polaris on the seat map (not the best approximate I know). Seems unlikely they'd fill all of it with upgrades but it's currently still going for 158k as a JN award.
SFO has been difficult for many, many years. 158k for JN is not a bad deal. I'd book that and keep checking for I/IN.

Originally Posted by escapefromphl
I think there some big summit or something in SF 2nd week of November, probably more available to other cities.
APEC. It's gonna be a mess with street shutdowns. Unlikely it's impacting TATL availability though.
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Old Oct 29, 2023, 2:07 pm
  #213  
 
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Originally Posted by cfischer
huh, I am seeing a ton of IN available right now, including routes that are usually difficult. Plus they fixed the XN/IN combo problem.
It looked unidirectional to me, at least on the west coast. I see a good amount of I/IN going to Europe but none coming back. Premium plus is decent though at 50k.
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Old Oct 29, 2023, 2:39 pm
  #214  
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Originally Posted by berkeleysquirrel
Premium plus is decent though at 50k.
That's a screaming deal.
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Old Oct 29, 2023, 6:19 pm
  #215  
 
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Has anyone ever redeemed for domestic Thailand flights?

I used 8.8k miles for an SYD-MEL 1-way flight on another trip.

But I'm looking for BKK-CNX and CNX-HKT flights.

I see 8.8k for the BKK-CNX, a very short flight. The TG cost is about $83 but not sure what it will be after fees and maybe paying for baggage? Does Star Alliance Gold get baggage allowance without paying on TG?

Hmm, looks like TG doesn't offer CNX-HKT, nonstop or connecting. Doesn't even show up for pay in Google Flights.
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Old Nov 2, 2023, 12:35 pm
  #216  
 
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Expert Flyer alerts for domestic F booked via partner miles?

I've seen some recent blog articles about using Turkish Miles to book Domestic F on United for significantly less than UA charges with United Miles.
IF I'm correct, there's a certain bucket (?) that UA makes available for partners to book?
And if so, what would that be if I wanted to setup an Expert Flyer alert?

I understand that it's a "saver" award, but the levels vary even with that with UA itself? (ie: may be between a certain range of miles required)?

Thanks in advance
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Old Nov 2, 2023, 2:08 pm
  #217  
 
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Originally Posted by hurnik
I've seen some recent blog articles about using Turkish Miles to book Domestic F on United for significantly less than UA charges with United Miles.
IF I'm correct, there's a certain bucket (?) that UA makes available for partners to book?
And if so, what would that be if I wanted to setup an Expert Flyer alert?

I understand that it's a "saver" award, but the levels vary even with that with UA itself? (ie: may be between a certain range of miles required)?

Thanks in advance
Only I space should available to book on Turkish. You wont see the J/JN dynamically priced awards.
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Old Nov 2, 2023, 2:54 pm
  #218  
 
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Does United offer paid upgrade at checkin options for people booked on award tickets?
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Old Nov 2, 2023, 7:06 pm
  #219  
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Originally Posted by skatefriday
Does United offer paid upgrade at checkin options for people booked on award tickets?
Sometimes, fairly common.
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Old Nov 3, 2023, 10:19 am
  #220  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
Sometimes, fairly common.
And not just at check-in. UA's delighted to sell those upgrades out from under elites at pretty much any time now.
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Old Nov 3, 2023, 1:50 pm
  #221  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee
And not just at check-in. UA's delighted to sell those upgrades out from under elites at pretty much any time now.
So I went ahead and booked a one way award ticket, 47k, in economy for Jan 4 from LAX to NRT, and was immediately presented with an offer to upgrade to Premium Plus for $300 or Polaris for $3200.

The PP upgrade seems like a good deal given one way on that flight on that day is $2041.

However, I'd much rather take a Polaris upgrade, but not yet at that price, but the PP insurance is tempting. I presume this is exactly what United is trying to pressure people into. Are the odds good that I will be presented with at least a similar offer for a PP upgrade at a later date? What are other experiences here?

Edited: Back on the manage trip page the upgrade for cash offers still exist. There's also an option to buy into Economy Plus for $297 which seems kind of silly if they are offering Premium Plus for $300.
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Old Nov 3, 2023, 2:47 pm
  #222  
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Originally Posted by skatefriday
Are the odds good that I will be presented with at least a similar offer for a PP upgrade at a later date? What are other experiences here?
It's not predictable. If the load is light, UA will likely discount. If not, the price will remain high. The price is set by an algorithm and UA's goal is to maximize revenue. High demand=high prices, low demand=lower prices.
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Old Nov 4, 2023, 8:41 pm
  #223  
 
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I just status matched to Premier Plat, I'm not sure if I'm able to see the "IN" fare buckets now.

How often are IN fares actually available? I'm trying to fly to Europe next fall, and I can't find a single saver fare in UA from anywhere in the US to several cities in Western Europe, whether it's an I or IN fare.
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Old Nov 4, 2023, 10:01 pm
  #224  
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Originally Posted by sfflyer415
I just status matched to Premier Plat, I'm not sure if I'm able to see the "IN" fare buckets now.
You have access. You can also check Expert Mode if you like.

Originally Posted by sfflyer415
How often are IN fares actually available? I'm trying to fly to Europe next fall, and I can't find a single saver fare in UA from anywhere in the US to several cities in Western Europe, whether it's an I or IN fare.
Much more often than they used to be, but I suspect its way too early to find much inventory for next fall. (Heck, the latest date currently open for awards is around October 1st). UA tends to hold its inventory until it has a better idea of what routes are selling and what arent.
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Old Nov 26, 2023, 9:41 pm
  #225  
 
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I got a full price mileage ticket that includes LAX-LHR 5/29/24. I was curious how full business class was as of now, wondering the odds saver seats will open up. As of now United is showing now seats taken except ours. Isn't that unusual to be wide open 6 months out?
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