Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

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

Old Jan 29, 2017, 12:59 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
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?

Previous Thread -- United Saver Award/Upgrade Inventory (& partners) - when is it released? [Archive]
Print Wikipost

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

Old Nov 27, 2023, 8:50 am
  #226  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: PHX
Programs: AS 75K; UA 1MM; Hyatt Globalist; Marriott Ti, LTP; Hilton Diamond (Aspire)
Posts: 56,057
Originally Posted by qofmiwok
Isn't that unusual to be wide open 6 months out?
No. It will fill over the next six months. The odds of getting a saver award west coast - Europe in late May is very very low.

The first time I ever applied GPUs (predecessor of PlusPoints), I booked SFO-CDG in W about eight months out with an absolutely empty J cabin and then slowly watched it fill up. When it became clear the upgrade was hopeless, I bought up to a discounted P fare SFO-LHR instead. A timeless lesson learned all the way back in 2013.
jsloan, SPN Lifer, Boraxo and 1 others like this.
Kacee is offline  
Old Nov 27, 2023, 9:39 am
  #227  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: IAH
Programs: Former UA1K transitioning to WFBF mentality
Posts: 761
Originally Posted by Kacee
[...] The odds of getting a saver award west coast - Europe in late May is very very low. [...]
Saver I can be done. YYC-FRA on 4Y is widely available - even I9 - in 5/2024. Some days YVR-IST on TK as well. But no UA metal.
marks88 is offline  
Old Nov 27, 2023, 3:16 pm
  #228  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Danville, CA, USA;
Programs: UA 1MM, WN CP, Marriott LT Plat, Hilton Gold, IC Plat
Posts: 15,584
Originally Posted by marks88
Saver I can be done. YYC-FRA on 4Y is widely available - even I9 - in 5/2024. Some days YVR-IST on TK as well. But no UA metal.
I don't think she meant to include Canada. From major west coast US airports (SEA, SFO, LAX) it is near impossible on UA metal except on the rare occasion when UA accidentally releases space or perhaps adds a new route. Slightly better odds finding partner space, esp. if you are willing to make a positioning flight to DEN, ORD and possibly IAH.

TK used to pop up frequently as an option so good to see that is still the case though unfortunately no longer at 77k for OW biz.
Boraxo is offline  
Old Nov 27, 2023, 3:35 pm
  #229  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: IAH
Programs: Former UA1K transitioning to WFBF mentality
Posts: 761
Originally Posted by Boraxo
I don't think she meant to include Canada. From major west coast US airports (SEA, SFO, LAX) it is near impossible on UA metal except on the rare occasion when UA accidentally releases space or perhaps adds a new route. Slightly better odds finding partner space, esp. if you are willing to make a positioning flight to DEN, ORD and possibly IAH.

TK used to pop up frequently as an option so good to see that is still the case though unfortunately no longer at 77k for OW biz.
Fair, but YYC/YVR is easy hop from SFO/other US West Coast on AC and UA.

Using one of the data aggregators (not naming names), there is IN on the SFO/LAX-Europe nonstops on UA ... but with a big gap between second week of March until October 2024! Last dates westbound to SFO are in Feb 2024.
SPN Lifer and Boraxo like this.
marks88 is offline  
Old Nov 27, 2023, 9:06 pm
  #230  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K - 0.995 MM (but who's counting?), Marriott LT-Plt, Hyatt Glb
Posts: 137
I have been looking for a return from Europe to the West Coast in the last week of August. A few days ago the LIS-SFO flight on TAP showed some Biz sub 80k. That went away quickly and is the best I've seen. Even on the East Coast I rarely see true Saver awards, but often see 70-80k.

For Y there are regularly seats on Air Canada transiting in YYZ or YVR from LHR/CDG/FRA for less than 40k Aeroplan.

The strategy that has worked before for me is:
  • Book a cheap miles biz ticket Europe to East Coast/Midwest that has includes a connecting flight to somewhere west of the entry point
  • Check obsessively for saver tickets, even in economy from the entry point to the west coast and if they pop up, call 1k desk to switch the endpoint
  • Check obsessively for schedule changes (the secret miracle worker) and if they show up, try to turn it into a nonstop to the West Coast
  • SDC if all else fails (I imagine this last part, I haven't ever done it, tell me if I'm wrong about it being available as a last resort)
One of these days I'm going to end up spending an unwanted night at IAD/IAH/EWR/ORD, but I haven't yet, and I've done this successfully more than a handful of times - most common outcome has been a nonstop home. And of course you may replace check obsessively with pay a service to do it for you, which I often do.
The Man in Seat 9A is offline  
Old Nov 27, 2023, 9:54 pm
  #231  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 20,945
Originally Posted by The Man in Seat 9A
  • Book a cheap miles biz ticket Europe to East Coast/Midwest that has includes a connecting flight to somewhere west of the entry point
  • Check obsessively for saver tickets, even in economy from the entry point to the west coast and if they pop up, call 1k desk to switch the endpoint
When has this worked for you? Piecing together awards in that fashion hasn't been allowed under the rules for close to a decade.

Originally Posted by The Man in Seat 9A
  • SDC if all else fails (I imagine this last part, I haven't ever done it, tell me if I'm wrong about it being available as a last resort)
SDC requires inventory in the same fare class that you're ticketed in. The only advantage to using SDC vs. using the regular award change is that they won't collect any additional miles, which is quite nice in YN/JN but not as useful for "saver" awards.
SPN Lifer likes this.
jsloan is online now  
Old Nov 28, 2023, 8:57 am
  #232  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: United Premier 1K 1MM; AA Plat Pro; Hyatt Globalist; Marriott Platinum; Avis President's Club
Posts: 2,527
It appears UA is still blocking NZ award availability. I'm seeing Y space from AKL-RAR in February on AC and the NZ website but nothing on UA and the agents can't see it either. I know UA said it was a "technical" glitch but no fix yet. Anyone else have a similar experience?
mh3265a is offline  
Old Nov 28, 2023, 9:42 am
  #233  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K - 0.995 MM (but who's counting?), Marriott LT-Plt, Hyatt Glb
Posts: 137
Originally Posted by jsloan
When has this worked for you? Piecing together awards in that fashion hasn't been allowed under the rules for close to a decade.


SDC requires inventory in the same fare class that you're ticketed in. The only advantage to using SDC vs. using the regular award change is that they won't collect any additional miles, which is quite nice in YN/JN but not as useful for "saver" awards.
Thanks for the clarification on SDC.

Thanks for the rules clarification. I'm not sure I've ever been told by the agents who helped me that it was against the rules.

Not quite the full experience I listed above but my most recent experience is this fall. In August I booked a March '24 flight MAD-EWR-MSP for 90k on the date I needed in JN. In October MSP-SFO opened JN and I changed to MAD-EWR-MSP-SFO. When a schedule change broke the MSP connection I changed to MAD-EWR-SFO. I don't think that SFO flight would have opened up at that level. That itinerary is for my wife. I booked MAD-EWR-SFO as a paid ticket and am hoping for a P+ upgrade.

In 2019 I booked OSL-ZRH-ORD for 70,000 miles. I changed to OSL-ZRH-ORD-SFO when ORD-SFO opened up XN. I changed to OSL-FRA-SFO (all business) based on a schedule change.

I did similar shenanigans last March, where SFO-MUC-AMS became RDU-IAD-FRA-BCN when BCN was the target all along, but looking through the receipts I'm not positive it wasn't a simple award change. Edited to add: The confirmation number remained the same throughout.
jsloan and SPN Lifer like this.
The Man in Seat 9A is offline  
Old Nov 28, 2023, 11:00 am
  #234  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 20,945
Originally Posted by The Man in Seat 9A
Thanks for the clarification on SDC.

Thanks for the rules clarification. I'm not sure I've ever been told by the agents who helped me that it was against the rules.
Well, at a minimum they're supposed to reprice the itinerary based upon the point-to-point price. Basically, if you find AAA-BBB-CCC via searching for AAA-BBB and BBB-CCC, but not via an AAA-CCC search, they're supposed to charge you for AAA-BBB plus BBB-CCC. This happened when they introduced the Excursionist Perk as a replacement for the free stopover (not sure when that was, exactly, but I see references in a quick Google search going back to 2017, if not before).

I'm glad it's been working for you, but don't be surprised if it stops.
jsloan is online now  
Old Nov 28, 2023, 11:43 am
  #235  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Danville, CA, USA;
Programs: UA 1MM, WN CP, Marriott LT Plat, Hilton Gold, IC Plat
Posts: 15,584
Originally Posted by mh3265a
It appears UA is still blocking NZ award availability. I'm seeing Y space from AKL-RAR in February on AC and the NZ website but nothing on UA and the agents can't see it either. I know UA said it was a "technical" glitch but no fix yet. Anyone else have a similar experience?
Maybe so but not entirely, at least not for TPAC. As of yesterday you could find saver award biz class TPAC inventory from LAX-AKL and other gateways (albeit at 110k!! one-way). I snagged 4 seats on peak dates so this wasn't phantom space.
Boraxo is offline  
Old Nov 28, 2023, 11:52 am
  #236  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BOS/EAP
Programs: UA 1K, MR LTT, HH Dia, Amex Plat
Posts: 31,591
Originally Posted by Boraxo
Maybe so but not entirely, at least not for TPAC. As of yesterday you could find saver award biz class TPAC inventory from LAX-AKL and other gateways (albeit at 110k!! one-way). I snagged 4 seats on peak dates so this wasn't phantom space.
yeah, the new 110k stings Better than 200k on UA in JN, however
cfischer is offline  
Old Nov 28, 2023, 12:27 pm
  #237  
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: SEA/NYC/IAD
Programs: UA 1K, Marriott Titanium, Hyatt Explorist
Posts: 1,898
What are the chances 80/88/100k return, or are we stuck with 110k as the floor for a J redemption?
Polytonic is offline  
Old Nov 28, 2023, 2:49 pm
  #238  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BOS/EAP
Programs: UA 1K, MR LTT, HH Dia, Amex Plat
Posts: 31,591
Originally Posted by Polytonic
What are the chances 80/88/100k return, or are we stuck with 110k as the floor for a J redemption?
TPAC? It's 100-110k.
cfischer is offline  
Old Nov 28, 2023, 3:40 pm
  #239  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: DL PM, UA Gold, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 14,181
Originally Posted by cfischer
yeah, the new 110k stings Better than 200k on UA in JN, however
As long as cash prices remain insane, it's hard not to grudgingly admit it's still a deal.
findark is offline  
Old Nov 28, 2023, 5:41 pm
  #240  
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Location: LAX
Programs: UA
Posts: 1,515
Originally Posted by Polytonic
What are the chances 80/88/100k return, or are we stuck with 110k as the floor for a J redemption?
100k for UA saver awards, 110k for partner J awards, and 121k for partner F as the floor for ConUS TPAC awards. For people on the west coast, Hawaii TPAC awards price differently. HNL-Japan is 88.5k in J and 93.5k in F if I remember correctly.
angetenar is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.