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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 Dec 9, 19, 2:39 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 2, 18, 3:00 pm
  #1  
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UA Saver Award/Upgrade Inventory (& partners)-when is it released? Ever any business?

Hi,
I don't fly United often, so I wanted to ask you UA experts...

I'm trying to book 2 one-way Business Award flights FCO-LAX (for 70,000 miles each). Not traveling until November, so I have plenty of time. I see some good flights FCO-EWR-LAX, but as of now they are not available for Business Saver redemption. In your experience, will Saver Awards eventually open for this? I have some Expert Flyer alerts set up, but I'm just wondering if I have a chance at this point. Also looking at other Star Alliance flights...it doesn't have to be via EWR, but my main goals are Business Saver and One-stop.

Thanks!

Last edited by cheaptom; Jan 2, 18 at 3:08 pm
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Old Jan 2, 18, 3:31 pm
  #2  
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It's very difficult to speculate on inventory that far out. Generally speaking - maybe, probably not for any given flight. Saver award space on EWR-LAX will be extremely difficult to get.
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Old Jan 2, 18, 3:40 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by cheaptom View Post
... I'm trying to book 2 one-way Business Award flights FCO-LAX (for 70,000 miles each). Not traveling until November....
I have recent experience with SFO-FCO in late October. Knowing the EWR-SFO business saver is nearly impossible, I ignored the occasional FCO-EWR. I think you will have more trouble on the domestic leg than the TATL. That said FCO-EWR is not an easily found option especially on the weekends, a small chance mid-week.

Alternatives using partners via FRA, LHR, ZUR, ... should be on your list. Will be pricier (60K all UA vs 70K partner)
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Old Jan 2, 18, 3:54 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
I have recent experience with SFO-FCO in late October. Knowing the EWR-SFO business saver is nearly impossible, I ignored the occasional FCO-EWR. I think you will have more trouble on the domestic leg than the TATL. That said FCO-EWR is not an easily found option especially on the weekends, a small chance mid-week.

Alternatives using partners via FRA, LHR, ZUR, ... should be on your list. Will be pricier (60K all UA vs 70K partner)
Thank you. I'm definitely looking into those as well, as I'm very willing to fly LH or LX. Nothing available yet, but will set my alerts...
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Old Jan 2, 18, 4:01 pm
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Originally Posted by cheaptom View Post
Thank you. I'm definitely looking into those as well, as I'm very willing to fly LH or LX. Nothing available yet, but will set my alerts...
My best opinions did not show up until 4-8 weeks prior to departure -- booked OWs. You can book Standard awards as a backup but checked daily for weeks , One suggestion, click on the save business column in award search to bring all the options to the top. And watch out for Mixed Awards. We started in FRA (vis LH from LAX) and returned from FCO via ZRH & LX. Good trips but the UA seat is better for sleeping.
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Old Jan 4, 18, 8:45 pm
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Committed the cardinal sin of not grabbing space when it became available a few days ago. Been hemming and hawing the last few days, went to book ORD-AMS tonight only to find that my saver inventory disappeared, along with all other inventory between April and November. Am I wrong in thinking it's uncommon for no saver seats to be available for 6 months, even in the shoulder seasons?
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Old Jan 4, 18, 9:10 pm
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Originally Posted by linglingfool View Post
Am I wrong in thinking it's uncommon for no saver seats to be available for 6 months, even in the shoulder seasons?
You should never be surprised by the absence of saver J availability, especially on UA metal.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 1:40 am
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Trying to find one saver J from SFO - HKG in mid March (weekday), 2ish months out. Anyone notice any space open close to departure for this particular flight recently? I know unfortunately this is probably a hard route to get saver availability.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 7:55 am
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Originally Posted by berkeleysquirrel View Post
Trying to find one saver J from SFO - HKG in mid March (weekday), 2ish months out. Anyone notice any space open close to departure for this particular flight recently? I know unfortunately this is probably a hard route to get saver availability.
It's possible something will open, but it's a tough one as you noted. It's pretty common to find a one stop via TPE with SFO-TPE on either UA or BR. The downside of that is that it will price as the more expensive *A partner award even if you fly SFO-TPE on UA, as TPE and HKG are different regions.
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Old Jan 19, 18, 9:04 am
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X/XN Availability United IAH-HNL

I am looking for a little help with the rhyme or reason for X or XN (saver) award availability on United flights. We have an extended family trip coming up with 10 total travelers. Flying in Aug and when I first checked UA's site there was XN availability on Aug 3rd and X on Aug 9th. That worked perfect since I have 180k American Express miles that I can move to Singapore Air (Star Alliance that charges 17,500 miles each way for IAH to HNL) then I could use UA miles (I have a little over 200k) for the XN miles (Saver for Elite/CC holders) for the Aug 3rd flight. I booked the hotels and then I had to transfer miles from AE to Singapore Air. The next day I went to book the United flight for Aug 3rd and the XN tickets were all gone (XN showed 9 the day before so I doubt they were all redeemed, but it could have happened) and now all they have are standard award tickets that are 45k miles each (opposed to 22.5k on XN). What makes matters worse is that I can't really pay cash for the one way direct flight from IAH to HNL. If I pay cash for the RT flight and not use any miles each leg is about $550 (total ticket $1100) but if I buy a one way on the IAH to HNL direct flight the cheapest option I have is $1200 each.

So really what I have to figure out is if UA randomly places X or XN availability for flights. Should I just check every day and see if these pop up? I have a decent amount of time till the trip so I am not in a huge rush. I have not booked the return flights yet even though they are cheap since I am not sure on the inbound flight. I have tried to make different days work but no luck yet with that option either.
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Old Jan 19, 18, 9:06 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Davidl81 View Post
I am looking for a little help with the rhyme or reason for X or XN (saver) award availability on United flights. .
Sorry, no one can help you there.

Award inventory is dynamic and unpredictable. Check daily. If you see availability, book it.
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Old Jan 19, 18, 9:07 am
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Originally Posted by Davidl81 View Post
So really what I have to figure out is if UA randomly places X or XN availability for flights. Should I just check every day and see if these pop up? I have a decent amount of time till the trip so I am not in a huge rush. I have not booked the return flights yet even though they are cheap since I am not sure on the inbound flight. I have tried to make different days work but no luck yet with that option either.
More or less, yes. They will open or close X/XN inventory based upon overall sales velocity. If the flight is selling better than expected, it can go from X9 to X0 without anyone booking an award seat. If it's selling more poorly than expected, you may see X0 go back to X9 at any time.
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Old Jan 19, 18, 9:09 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Sorry, no one can help you there.

Award inventory is dynamic and unpredictable. Check daily. If you see availability, book it.
Yeah that's kind of what I was afraid of. Its not a big deal I will just keep checking. I'm pretty sure they will show back up since they were there already at one time. If not worst case I just pay cash for the inbound flights and have to make a connection instead of direct.
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Old Jan 19, 18, 9:13 am
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Note also that you cannot book XN inventory through SQ. Only X.

You didn't mention whether you have one of the Chase credit cards that gives access to XN inventory. The difference between X and XN can be substantial. XN can only be booked using United miles, so your AMEX points won't get you there.
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Old Jan 19, 18, 9:16 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Note also that you cannot book XN inventory through SQ. Only X.

You didn't mention whether you have one of the Chase credit cards that gives access to XN inventory. The difference between X and XN can be substantial. XN can only be booked using United miles, so your AMEX points won't get you there.
Sorry, I have a Chase MP Club card and I am Silver status. The plan is to book the Aug 9 flight (X ava) with SQ (using Amex miles) and book the Aug 3rd flight via UA using United miles.
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