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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 3, 19, 8:15 pm
  #1  
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i think this is the right thread, but i'm not entirely sure. i'm perplexed. last night, i saw a saver award on 4/20/19 BWI-YYZ-AMS, via AC 7505 connecting to AC 824. today, AC 7505 is missing entirely. that routing shows me earlier flights, but AC 7505 isn't even listed with non-saver awards. the flight is almost empty. what happened?! will i be able to book this via phone? i've seen saver awards vanish, but never an entire flight.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 8:35 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by xerenthar View Post
i think this is the right thread, but i'm not entirely sure. i'm perplexed. last night, i saw a saver award on 4/20/19 BWI-YYZ-AMS, via AC 7505 connecting to AC 824. today, AC 7505 is missing entirely. that routing shows me earlier flights, but AC 7505 isn't even listed with non-saver awards. the flight is almost empty. what happened?! will i be able to book this via phone? i've seen saver awards vanish, but never an entire flight.
Theres no such thing as a non-Saver award on a partner airline. If AC7505 no longer has Saver inventory, it wont appear in search results.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 1:39 am
  #3  
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Anyone else noticed that TPAC availability (business saver) is close to nil right now? Searching from now to May and I think it's the worst I've ever seen . . . both UA and *A partners.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 7:11 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Anyone else noticed that TPAC availability (business saver) is close to nil right now? Searching from now to May and I think it's the worst I've ever seen . . . both UA and *A partners.
That and TATL. I've been searching for a Polaris 787-10 route (or 77W) for the last 3 months for three dates in May. Not a single seat. I had an award booked to Asia on AC YYZ-ICN, when I was looking for those flights in Sept (for Mar 2019 travel), I also came across 0 UA seats.

I just searched EVERY SINGLE TATL route on May 3rd and 4th from IAD/EWR to EU and there wasn't a single J saver award available on UA. Plenty of LOT availability (oh goody) and Ethiopian. Found one LH flight (booking with ANA so LH is like $600 one way).

I wish availability was more like AA (or even DL lol). Unfortunately, ANA charges 3K points per change and doesn't allow changes to awards 96 hours prior to departure.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 7:34 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Anyone else noticed that TPAC availability (business saver) is close to nil right now? Searching from now to May and I think it's the worst I've ever seen . . . both UA and *A partners.
If memory serves me right, I have never been successful in booking anything decent very early on in the year with United.
They seem to start the year off will full fares only and not much Saver Award choice, and relax this gradually as time goes by.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 4:08 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by ChiefNWA View Post
That and TATL. I've been searching for a Polaris 787-10 route (or 77W) for the last 3 months for three dates in May. Not a single seat. I had an award booked to Asia on AC YYZ-ICN, when I was looking for those flights in Sept (for Mar 2019 travel), I also came across 0 UA seats.

I just searched EVERY SINGLE TATL route on May 3rd and 4th from IAD/EWR to EU and there wasn't a single J saver award available on UA. Plenty of LOT availability (oh goody) and Ethiopian. Found one LH flight (booking with ANA so LH is like $600 one way).

I wish availability was more like AA (or even DL lol). Unfortunately, ANA charges 3K points per change and doesn't allow changes to awards 96 hours prior to departure.
TATL has been rough, was searching for late april departing US and early may returning and looked in the same I-95 corridor you did. i ended up with EI and KLM bookings.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 4:10 pm
  #7  
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UA metal I space is very rare that far in advance. There's a smattering of EWR-MAN for the summer, but better inventory has always been on partners. I stumbled upon an LX SFO-ZRH yesterday and snapped it up, so there is still some good stuff out there.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 5:32 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
I stumbled upon an LX SFO-ZRH yesterday and snapped it up, so there is still some good stuff out there.
Nice score. That gets released totally randomly.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 5:35 pm
  #9  
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Indeed -- after my I1 troubles upthread, it seemed far too good to be true and I was shocked when it ticketed in 3 minutes. The nice-looking SK ARN-ORD inbound seems to be all phantom space though
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Old Jan 4, 19, 6:57 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
Indeed -- after my I1 troubles upthread, it seemed far too good to be true and I was shocked when it ticketed in 3 minutes. The nice-looking SK ARN-ORD inbound seems to be all phantom space though
Maybe you'll get really lucky and CPH-SFO will pop open.
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Old Jan 5, 19, 7:17 pm
  #11  
 
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A happy update -- I was finally able to snag a HKT-BKK-OSL-EWR saver award (90K). A bit of a long trek home, but glad to have found something at least. Curious to try SAS, just hope the infamous LN-RKP won't be in rotation by then.

Originally Posted by jbeans View Post
Thanks! It just felt like the flights were all pulled overnight. One night I was looking at a few different options showing for a few different days, and the next morning nothing was coming up at all. But I shall keep checking, fingers crossed.
Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
It could have been snagged. Award space on desirable carriers to desirable destinations tends not to last long. CA is much less desirable than the other carriers you mention, for a number of reasons.

Note that partner awards are always saver awards. Everyday awards are only offered on UA metal (despite what the website may seem to indicate).

Keep checking, as award space will often come and go. And when you see something you like, grab it.
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Old Jan 5, 19, 7:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Anyone else noticed that TPAC availability (business saver) is close to nil right now? Searching from now to May and I think it's the worst I've ever seen . . . both UA and *A partners.
It's pretty bad, I hope it improves. I searched the entire year and saw one UA saver business seat on HKG-SFO. Funny enough though, I booked SFO-NRT in ANA F via Avianca for late November because I assumed United would release no space, and then it just so happened that once United's booking window opened about a month later on that particular day they did have saver business on SFO-NRT and SFO-HND.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 10:19 am
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I messed up and didn't book our flight back for our honeymoon in July (stilling kicking myself for this) when there was saver award availability on Austrian, Swiss, and Lufthansa in J, flying from ATH to ORD with one stop max. By the time I tried to book, there was no availability, not even in coach. Unfortunately, we can't be flexible with the date, we have to fly back on July 16. I waited over a month, checking over and over, and finally was able to book at saver award in coach on Lufthansa, at least to have some flight home.

I'd be fine paying the fee to switch flights when something else becomes available. I know some airlines release more seats 21 days out, but I can't find much on here or online that talks about Austrian and how they release award space. The seat map for the flight home is pretty empty now, but I know business travel is booked closer to the date. I also have Expert Flyer alert set.

Anyone have any suggestions or thoughts?

Edit: I have to book via United due to miles, hence why I'm posting here.

Last edited by smurov; Jan 7, 19 at 11:43 am Reason: Added info
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Old Jan 7, 19, 12:55 pm
  #14  
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Many options can open up in the last 14 days, even down to the final day. It's worth keeping an eye on things if you have a strong desire to change -- they will open the seats to awards if they think there's a substantial risk of flying empty.
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Old Jan 7, 19, 1:21 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
Many options can open up in the last 14 days, even down to the final day. It's worth keeping an eye on things if you have a strong desire to change -- they will open the seats to awards if they think there's a substantial risk of flying empty.
And mid-July, there is definitely a reasonable chance that seats open.
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