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

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

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Old Sep 22, 22, 2:53 am   -   Wikipost
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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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Old Jan 17, 19, 10:22 pm
  #31  
 
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Is O now for premium economy revenue seats? LH 455 SFO - FRA J4 C0 D0 Z0 P0 O4 A0 R0 Y6 B6 M0 U0 H0 Q6 V6 W6 S0 T0 L0 K0
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Old Jan 17, 19, 11:03 pm
  #32  
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Originally Posted by escapefromphl View Post
Is O now for premium economy revenue seats? ..
Yes, ON is EveryDay award, RN is Saver Award -- all Premium Plus / Premium Economy
Decoding the alphabet soup - fare buckets for UA
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Old Jan 18, 19, 10:15 am
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
This is a common problem whether booking through .bomb or otherwise. Hard to find domestic connections in any class that attach to international business class awards(much less F space) - at least that is my experience from SFO.

The best course is just to book what you can find and then possibly change the ticket when additional space opens. Or if you can't find space you can always (do what I did) and book your own convenient connection to the TATL flight.

In an ideal world this would not be a problem but be happy you can find saver C space for the TATL part, which would cost you 2-3x more miles on DL or absurd surcharges of $500+ pp on BA, etc.
Only difference is AA's own metal availability (no surcharges) is very easy to come by with very few exceptions (ICN comes to mind). UA's on the other hand... lol.
DL is a different story though.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 2:23 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by ChiefNWA View Post
Only difference is AA's own metal availability (no surcharges) is very easy to come by with very few exceptions (ICN comes to mind). UA's on the other hand... lol.
DL is a different story though.
Yes, I deliberately skipped AA because it's an unpredictable option. From what I've read, AA periodically opens up business class saver award seat inventory on its own metal - including peak periods - but the timing is unpredictable. In 2016 we snagged 4 C seats @100K each RT from west coast but obviously this is not something that can be done every day. We did not have any trouble snagging the AA connecting flights but I don't know if that's typical.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 10:28 pm
  #35  
 
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Award fare availability

Hi All,

I'm a newbie to all this so please forgive me for the basic question. I have the MileagePlus Club card and have been saving my miles forever for my wife and I's 10 year anniversary. We would like to use our miles to fly business class to Kenya Christmas 2019. There are few Saver Awards available right now 11 months out (mostly Ethiopian Airlines). Should I wait and hope for more saver award options or is it better to book what is available this early? TIA

Last edited by avezzx2; Jan 31, 19 at 10:34 pm
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Old Jan 31, 19, 10:30 pm
  #36  
 
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For holiday travel, I'd recommend jumping on availability as soon as it shows up, if it fits in your schedule. No guarantee more will open up later
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Old Jan 31, 19, 10:38 pm
  #37  
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL View Post
For holiday travel, I'd recommend jumping on availability as soon as it shows up, if it fits in your schedule. No guarantee more will open up later
I agree 100%. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

OP -- you can always monitor for better options and change to them if they become available. The change fee is $75 per ticket, or less if you have status, and can be waived if a schedule change occurs.

ETA: Note: It can be difficult to change award reservations unless there's availability on all partner segments. It may be a good idea to book two one-way flights unless you plan to make use of the Excursionist Perk. That way, you can change your outbound flight without needing to worry about your return, and vice versa. Note that you would have to pay twice as much to cancel the tickets if that became necessary.
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Last edited by jsloan; Jan 31, 19 at 10:47 pm
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Old Jan 31, 19, 10:39 pm
  #38  
 
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Here's a thread for award bookings on Ethiopian: Ethiopian Airlines (ET) award questions / experiences
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Old Feb 1, 19, 12:59 am
  #39  
 
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You didn't mentioned Business class or Economy? For business class, to NBO (and other parts of Africa), often you see SA, LH, and LX available but within 2 weeks of departure, so if you are looking for holiday travel there is no guarantee that will happen. ET is good in Business Class, lower end of average in economy. If you're booking business I wouldn't hesitate to book ET now. Definitely advise the same as an above poster, book it as 2 separate one ways unless you're planning on using the Excursionist Perk. That gives you more flexibility if something more desirable opens up at the last minute, though does subject you to double cancellation fees if it comes to that.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 4:32 pm
  #40  
 
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I was able to book TG IAH-IST-NBO about 6 months out for a trip this past November. Flight/Service was OK. Biggest plus was the fantastic TG lounge in IST. The new Istanbul airport, SAW, should be even better.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 9:22 pm
  #41  
 
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You mean TK, and the new airport ISL.

Agree with your comments on the IST lounge -- I was able to visit once and enjoyed it. I was used to cheese cubes in a domestic UC, and it is a big difference.

Last edited by Taoyuan; Feb 1, 19 at 9:33 pm
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Old Feb 1, 19, 10:06 pm
  #42  
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
Here's a thread for award bookings on Ethiopian: Ethiopian Airlines (ET) award questions / experiences
neither I nor anyone in my family will ever fly Ethiopian again. UA even awarded me some comp miles after I complained about horrible experience (was connecting to UA on ET).

Personally i I would wait - try to find something to Europe on LH and then maybe connect to SAA or another *A carrier. Id even fly AC which is near the bottom of my list. But never ever Ethiopian. Just my 2 cents from someone who has been to Africa a few times.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 10:40 pm
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post


neither I nor anyone in my family will ever fly Ethiopian again. UA even awarded me some comp miles after I complained about horrible experience (was connecting to UA on ET).

Personally i I would wait - try to find something to Europe on LH and then maybe connect to SAA or another *A carrier. Id even fly AC which is near the bottom of my list. But never ever Ethiopian. Just my 2 cents from someone who has been to Africa a few times.
Out of curiosity, what went wrong with your flight?

ET certainly isn't the best outfit out there, but I've had perfectly acceptable experiences in my 50+ flights with them..
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Old Feb 3, 19, 8:49 am
  #44  
 
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Trying to book ORD-DXB biz class with ff miles

I have a question and would like your opinion please. We are with United and want to book biz class next January or February from ORD-DXB. Its too soon to book that now. I am finding some flights for November but for December and January (they only go out to Jan. 6th) its very limited or not available so my question is do you think these limitations are due to Xmas and NY holidays and do you think things will open up for Next Jan. and Feb. as we are past the holiday season? Any input appreciated.
Thank you!
Larry.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 3, 19 at 12:28 pm Reason: moved to relevant thread
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Old Feb 3, 19, 12:34 pm
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Jacketwatch View Post
I have a question and would like your opinion please. We are with United and want to book biz class next January or February from ORD-DXB. Its too soon to book that now. I am finding some flights for November but for December and January (they only go out to Jan. 6th) its very limited or not available so my question is do you think these limitations are due to Xmas and NY holidays and do you think things will open up for Next Jan. and Feb. as we are past the holiday season? Any input appreciated.
Thank you!
Larry.
If you fly low season your chances are pretty good IME. Assume you are planning via FRA/ZRH?
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