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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 Feb 3, 19, 11:16 pm
  #61  
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Originally Posted by YVR guy View Post
.... and no Saver Awards 1-3 months out? ....
That is probably the worst timeframe to look for awards. Awards are generally more available if looking further out or closer in. Any early award space is long gone by 3 months and in the 1-3 month dead zone, UA's interest is finding ways to sell space for hard cash. Getting closer to departure and if UA does not see the space selling out, then more space may be released.

There is no fixed amount of award space released for any flight. There is likely a rough percentage across the system and some targets for various routes, but if cash sales are running ahead of expectations, there will be less likelihood of award space being release. And if cash sales are running behind, UA will first open up lower cost fare inventories and then perhaps more award space.
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Old Feb 4, 19, 1:13 am
  #62  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
There is no such "special" 1K benefit.
The real benefit for 1K is the ability to change flights without fee, which thus also includes the ability to waitlist.

Book the 1-stop, call and waitlist the non-stop (you should be able to do 2 of them). If it doesn't clear, keep an eye on it within the day or so before flight to see if space opens and call and either reboot or SDC.
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Old Feb 4, 19, 6:31 am
  #63  
 
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Thanks everyone for the helpful advice. With this new education, I now understand the strategy and how to work within the system.
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Old Feb 5, 19, 7:51 pm
  #64  
 
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business class availability with points

I've never flown to Europe in business class using points, mainly because I have 3 kids. This time I am going by myself to london for work....Im having a hard time finding business class flights from phx to lhr in early may that are reasonable. They want 155k points for a one way ticket. I know some about points, but certainly not as much as some people here. Am I doing something wrong? Should I wait last minute to book? I want to fly from phx to lhr around 5/2 and CDG to PHX 5/13-14
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Old Feb 5, 19, 8:36 pm
  #65  
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Originally Posted by elhombre View Post
... They want 155k points for a one way ticket. I know some about points, but certainly not as much as some people here. Am I doing something wrong? Should I wait last minute to book? I want to fly from phx to lhr around 5/2 and CDG to PHX 5/13-14
Award tickets come in different flavors
-- Saver awards have the lowest mileage requirement (60K for business) but also limited inventory availability
-- Saver awards with partner airline flights are a bit higher mileage requirement (70K)
-- EveryDay awards are the highest (variable) mileage price (up to 155K) but greater availability

To get saver awards, every segment needs to be available as a saver type. So from PHX, you will be connecting to a gateway city (IAH, ORD, EWR, SFO, LAX, DEN or potential some Canadain airports). One approach is to look from the gateway airports to Europe /LHR, first and if successful then work of figuring out how to connect from PHX. However, the truth is business savers at this point (3 months out) are going to be very rare.
Fixed dates are not helpful, mid-week is better.
You can waitlist for business if you book an economy saver but the risk is it never clears.
You can wait to book because the EveryDayaward is already maxed out and if you have elite status or the right Chase MP credit cards, available is always an option.This is probably going to take so effort but it is not impossible. There are many examples in this thread of folks finding a solution (but not all).
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Old Feb 8, 19, 11:17 am
  #66  
 
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Question about award calendar....

A few days ago I was able to see some (very few but some) business award seats available from Feb into April from west coast (SFO/LAX) to Prague/Vienna via Munich/Frankfurt either with Lufthsaas or United...however, when I am looking at it today, nothing shows up on the calender even going to Aug and beyond...Is this normal? Is the site down or is there currently a glitch?

This is my first time-ish looking to book award seats through star alliance. Thanks!
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Old Feb 8, 19, 2:45 pm
  #67  
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Originally Posted by greenteamuimui View Post
....A few days ago I was able to see some (very few but some) business award seats available from Feb into April from west coast (SFO/LAX) to Prague/Vienna via Munich/Frankfurt either with Lufthsaas or United...however, when I am looking at it today, nothing shows up on the calender even going to Aug and beyond...Is this normal? Is the site down or is there currently a glitch?

This is my first time-ish looking to book award seats through star alliance. Thanks!
While there are present some problems with SQ, TH & TP bookings, not aware of any recent issue with either UA or LH award bookings using UA miles,

One truism of award bookings -- award available comes and goes without warning. There are many other folks also looking and booking; and as paid sells increase of decrease, the airlines may change availability. It is dynamic and can / does change.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 11, 19 at 4:32 pm Reason: split post
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Old Feb 8, 19, 2:55 pm
  #68  
 
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Originally Posted by greenteamuimui View Post
Question about award calendar....

A few days ago I was able to see some (very few but some) business award seats available from Feb into April from west coast (SFO/LAX) to Prague/Vienna via Munich/Frankfurt either with Lufthsaas or United...however, when I am looking at it today, nothing shows up on the calender even going to Aug and beyond...Is this normal? Is the site down or is there currently a glitch?

This is my first time-ish looking to book award seats through star alliance. Thanks!
Yes, its normal, at least in my experiences. Just be patient and keep checking. Its quite possible that itll show up again.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 1:37 pm
  #69  
 
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Another option I discovered is to go ORD-DEL. Presently there are flights on biz with good connections on ANA and from DEL DXB is a short flight, about 3.5 hrs. I hope when our time comes I can get one of those flights and then we can stay over in DEL for a fee days too. We booked a cruise out of DXB embarking Feb 3 2020. When those times become available I hope the ANA option is open like it is now for a Dec. 2019 booking
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Old Feb 9, 19, 9:22 pm
  #70  
 
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Close in biz class award space

How close to a departure date does UA open up biz class award space? Expertflyer shows biz class availability. I've never waited to book a flight so trying not be concerned.
Thank you,
Joe
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Old Feb 9, 19, 9:26 pm
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Joe Perniciaro View Post
How close to a departure date does UA open up biz class award space?
UA may or may not open saver award space at any time. There are no specific windows, and certainly no guaranty it will ever open, even on a wide open flight.
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Old Feb 14, 19, 8:36 am
  #72  
 
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IAH to Lim 2/15

Looks like tomorrow's flight is ZN9. I'm hoping to get saver business seats for the flight tomorrow and I'd like to think they'd open saver space given how empty the flight is. What time of day does United release seats typically? 24 hours before the flight or 12 Central? Appreciate any advice.
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Old Feb 14, 19, 8:54 am
  #73  
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Originally Posted by DRC1985 View Post
Looks like tomorrow's flight is ZN9. I'm hoping to get saver business seats for the flight tomorrow and I'd like to think they'd open saver space given how empty the flight is. What time of day does United release seats typically? 24 hours before the flight or 12 Central? Appreciate any advice.
There's no set schedule. It could happen at any time. Note that with PN0 PZ0, it's possible that there are any number of upgrades waitlisted.

If you have a saver economy award on this flight, why not call and waitlist for business?
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Old Feb 14, 19, 9:34 am
  #74  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
There's no set schedule. It could happen at any time. Note that with PN0 PZ0, it's possible that there are any number of upgrades waitlisted.

If you have a saver economy award on this flight, why not call and waitlist for business?

Thanks for your help. As for WL'ing, I'd rather just pay the standard award price instead of risking enduring coach in united : )
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Old Feb 24, 19, 9:28 am
  #75  
 
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SFO HNL award availability in business class

Looking for 3 tickets in J on United on SFO-HNL route. How likely it is that UA would open such availability close to departure date? From what I have seen, they are initially offering only Y when availability window opens up... Thanks
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