Switching Return Flight

Old Mar 24, 17, 12:28 pm
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Switching Return Flight

I have a round trip ticket AUS-PEK,PEK-AUS in United First and United Polaris business. If I need to change the return trip what is the procedure? They are all P fares and I downloaded the fare rules.
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Old Mar 24, 17, 12:32 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyGirl001 View Post
I have a round trip ticket AUS-PEK,PEK-AUS in United First and United Polaris business. If I need to change the return trip what is the procedure? They are all P fares and I downloaded the fare rules.
You can go to your reservation online, change the current flights to what you want and it will display what you will have to pay in fare differential and the (probably) $300 change fee. You can back out before committing to the change. Or just call United.
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Old Mar 24, 17, 12:36 pm
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Change fee will probably be $450 on P fare. If you want to change to date closer to original return, hope and pray for SDC

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...7-forward.html
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Old Mar 24, 17, 12:50 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
You can go to your reservation online, change the current flights to what you want and it will display what you will have to pay in fare differential and the (probably) $300 change fee. You can back out before committing to the change. Or just call United.
How is the fare differential calculated. Is the difference between the original and a round trip with a new return date?

Is the change going to price out close to as if two one ways purchased originally?

Last edited by FlyGirl001; Mar 24, 17 at 1:09 pm Reason: More questions
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Old Mar 24, 17, 1:22 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyGirl001 View Post
How is the fare differential calculated. Is the difference between the original and a round trip with a new return date?

Is the change going to price out close to as if two one ways purchased originally?
That depends upon the fare construction* and fare rules. In many cases, if you are only changing the return flight and there is inventory available in the original fare bucket (P), you may not need to pay a fare difference at all. In other cases, it will be the difference between what you paid and the current price for a round-trip (it depends upon the specific wording regarding advance purchase restrictions in the ticket).

If you initiate the change after flying the outbound -- that is, from PEK -- the difference will be half the round-trip price between the P fare you paid and the fare class you actually flew (Z, D, C, J), if different. You will not have to worry about advance purchase restrictions or the current fare on the route, just the fare-bucket availability. In other words, 9 times out of 10, this is your best bet. You can call 800 #s for free using Skype.

It will not price out as two one-ways.

* This is particularly complicated, but essentially -- it will be simpler if your ticket was priced as a AUS-PEK through fare. It's possible, however, that you actually purchased a ticket with a fare break at SFO -- meaning that you paid for AUS-SFO and then SFO-PEK separately. In that case, the AUS-SFO flight would actually be an "instant upgrade" fare, which could complicate the inventory search; you would need to find a flight with P inventory plus inventory in whatever coach bucket the fare is tied to. The same basic principles apply, but it would be harder to tell in advance what the cost of the change would be.
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Old Mar 24, 17, 4:14 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
In other words, 9 times out of 10, this is your best bet.
Yes, you are nearly always better changing the return after you've flown the outbound.
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Old Mar 26, 17, 6:07 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
That depends upon the fare construction* and fare rules. In many cases, if you are only changing the return flight and there is inventory available in the original fare bucket (P), you may not need to pay a fare difference at all. In other cases, it will be the difference between what you paid and the current price for a round-trip (it depends upon the specific wording regarding advance purchase restrictions in the ticket).

If you initiate the change after flying the outbound -- that is, from PEK -- the difference will be half the round-trip price between the P fare you paid and the fare class you actually flew (Z, D, C, J), if different. You will not have to worry about advance purchase restrictions or the current fare on the route, just the fare-bucket availability. In other words, 9 times out of 10, this is your best bet. You can call 800 #s for free using Skype.

It will not price out as two one-ways.

* This is particularly complicated, but essentially -- it will be simpler if your ticket was priced as a AUS-PEK through fare. It's possible, however, that you actually purchased a ticket with a fare break at SFO -- meaning that you paid for AUS-SFO and then SFO-PEK separately. In that case, the AUS-SFO flight would actually be an "instant upgrade" fare, which could complicate the inventory search; you would need to find a flight with P inventory plus inventory in whatever coach bucket the fare is tied to. The same basic principles apply, but it would be harder to tell in advance what the cost of the change would be.
Thanks for the information.

I have AUS-BJS P PKW03EM5, BJS-SFO P PLX0ZMM9; SFO-AUS P TAA2AGFN.

If I can see a flight from PEK-SFO and SFO-PEK both in P for some other day then I can pay the re-ticketing fee (or whatever) and switch to that flight?

If flights are only available in another fare class I still have to pay the re-ticketing fee and the difference in fares if more expensive? How do they determine the value of the remainder of my ticket? Is it the price they quoted when I originally bought the ticket for the return flight? How do they determine the price of the new non P return ticket? Is it what the ticket would have cost if it were purchased as part of the round trip originally?

Sorry for all the questions.
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Old Mar 26, 17, 10:48 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyGirl001 View Post
... I have AUS-BJS P PKW03EM5, BJS-SFO P PLX0ZMM9; SFO-AUS P TAA2AGFN.

If I can see a flight from PEK-SFO and SFO-PEK both in P for some other day then I can pay the re-ticketing fee (or whatever) and switch to that flight? ...
for a change, even if fare class is available, the ticket has to be re-priced. Plus the change fee.

For SDC (changes within 24 hours of departure), the repricing and change fee are waived and a fee based on status is charged.

Originally Posted by FlyGirl001 View Post
... If flights are only available in another fare class I still have to pay the re-ticketing fee and the difference in fares if more expensive? ...
yes, yes

Originally Posted by FlyGirl001 View Post
...How do they determine the value of the remainder of my ticket? Is it the price they quoted when I originally bought the ticket for the return flight? How do they determine the price of the new non P return ticket? Is it what the ticket would have cost if it were purchased as part of the round trip originally? ...
The remaining value is determined in a bit of airline black magic, best just to ask. In the case of a straight swap, it will be essentially the same as was originally quote but any changes other than dates (even that in some cases) could significantly change that. You get deep into fare rules and fare combinability. More details than you care to know, just ask.

It is just best to call and ask, it would literally take hours / days to become proficient and still in the end UA will tell you a number. There is no harm and asking a hypothetical .
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Old Mar 27, 17, 12:19 am
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Originally Posted by FlyGirl001 View Post
I have AUS-BJS P PKW03EM5, BJS-SFO P PLX0ZMM9; SFO-AUS P TAA2AGFN.

If I can see a flight from PEK-SFO and SFO-{AUS} both in P for some other day then I can pay the re-ticketing fee (or whatever) and switch to that flight?

If flights are only available in another fare class I still have to pay the re-ticketing fee and the difference in fares if more expensive? How do they determine the value of the remainder of my ticket? Is it the price they quoted when I originally bought the ticket for the return flight? How do they determine the price of the new non P return ticket? Is it what the ticket would have cost if it were purchased as part of the round trip originally?

Sorry for all the questions.
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
The remaining value is determined in a bit of airline black magic, best just to ask. In the case of a straight swap, it will be essentially the same as was originally quote but any changes other than dates (even that in some cases) could significantly change that. You get deep into fare rules and fare combinability. More details than you care to know, just ask.
I agree with what WineCountryUA said. Briefly: you have a broken fare from PEK to AUS; that is, your fare was constructed by combining the P fare for PEK to SFO with a "P" fare from SFO to AUS. Note that your SFO-AUS fare class starts with "T." That means you have an "instant upgrade" fare from SFO-AUS; it's a way that UA does differential pricing, ensuring that the lowest-available F-cabin fare is always higher than the lowest-available Y-cabin fare; it books into the first class cabin but requires inventory in the T economy fare bucket also. This complicates your search for a replacement flight; on the SFO-AUS leg, you will likely need both T and P inventory in order to avoid a fare difference.

If you make a change before flying the outbound, the fare difference calculation is simple -- it's (current fare for the flights you want) minus (amount you paid). You then add the change fee on top of that. If the new price is lower, you'll get a credit for the difference (but you can't apply that credit toward the change fee).

If you make a change after flying the outbound, the fare recalculation will occur as specified in your fare rules. This will normally be (historical price of the flights you want as of the date you booked) minus (amount you paid), but that isn't guaranteed; the fare rules govern all.

Because your fare is broken at SFO, you must fly via SFO or reprice the ticket. P availability on, e.g., PEK-ORD, won't help you, as your fare covers "transportation to San Francisco, and then continuing transportation to Austin," rather than "transportation to Austin." You do have the option of spending up to 24 hours in San Francisco without creating a stopover, which may be useful if you're having a hard time finding T and P inventory on the SFO-AUS leg.
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Old Mar 27, 17, 3:09 am
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
If you make a change before flying the outbound, the fare difference calculation is simple -- it's (current fare for the flights you want) minus (amount you paid). You then add the change fee on top of that. If the new price is lower, you'll get a credit for the difference (but you can't apply that credit toward the change fee).
Although I try not to muck around with changes, I am fairly certain that you can do an even exchange before departure. If your original booking code is available on all segments of the new itinerary (including unchanged segments), and the new itinerary meets all the rules of the original fare (measuring advance purchase from the original ticket date), then you can transfer the coupon to the new flights and pay only the change fee.

If a new fare basis is required, usually changed segments require fares in effect at the time of the change, but all of this is spelled out explicitly in the fare.

Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
You do have the option of spending up to 24 hours in San Francisco without creating a stopover, which may be useful if you're having a hard time finding T and P inventory on the SFO-AUS leg.
The fare break should allow you to spend an (almost) unlimited amount of time in SFO if you wish.
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Old Mar 27, 17, 8:00 am
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
Although I try not to muck around with changes, I am fairly certain that you can do an even exchange before departure. If your original booking code is available on all segments of the new itinerary (including unchanged segments), and the new itinerary meets all the rules of the original fare (measuring advance purchase from the original ticket date), then you can transfer the coupon to the new flights and pay only the change fee.

If a new fare basis is required, usually changed segments require fares in effect at the time of the change, but all of this is spelled out explicitly in the fare.
Good point, provided that you're not changing the first flight coupon and inventory can be revalidated. If you're changing the first flight, the fare has to be recalculated. My mistake. :-)

Originally Posted by findark View Post
The fare break should allow you to spend an (almost) unlimited amount of time in SFO if you wish.
Another good point. I shouldn't post when I'm tired. :-) The only limit would be the maximum stay rule on the original ticket. I was worried about introducing a stopover, but that would only be an issue on a through fare.
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