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Interesting way to get an Award seat for HKG-SFO Polaris Business...

Interesting way to get an Award seat for HKG-SFO Polaris Business...

Old Nov 13, 17, 6:20 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: SFO
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Talking Interesting way to get an Award seat for HKG-SFO Polaris Business...

Back in June I booked a business saver award flight for my honeymoon flight back home from HKG to SFO. This flight was a mixed class EVA Air ticket, economy to TPE and J to SFO.

When I booked this I figured I would keep an eye for availability and pay a change fee to switch to something better for us if it came available. I've heard amazing things about BR J class, but a few things about this flight I didn't like. First off it left at 7:30am... meaning our last day of our honeymoon we would have to get up super early, only had an hour in TPE so no real time exploring the lounges, and obviously the economy flight from HKG to TPE.

This past week I saw an OZ J class availability pop up that I felt might be better timing wise... but with the increase in miles required (now 90k vs 80k that I paid) made me hesitate. Then as I was checking my current flight on United I got a flight change notification. Only for 5 min though, but it said to call for options so I thought what the hell... lets see what comes of this.

Before I called I knew enough to check what are options if they asked me what I would prefer to do. All along I had my eye on UA862... Want to try the new Polaris Business seat (even though soft product isn't as good as BR or OZ) and it was non-stop with a 11:15 departure which is perfect for us.

So I make a call and speak to a rep who was friendly enough... he mentions that it's only a 5 min change... no big deal... but then gives me what I saw as a huge opening. He goes "So your layover is now 1:05, which is still pretty short". I said yeah, I've been worried about that. The rep then says that because of the change in the flight I could make a change for free... BINGO! He starts listing off options for me and after a few I pull up the united flight and say hey, I see UA862 has a lot of J availability. But when he checks it he stats that there isn't saver availability so he can't do a swap. I end up asking if he can note my account that I can do a change and I need to talk over the options with my fiancé. He says he'll "add the authorization for change" to my account and I hang up.

30 min later I call again, this time speak with a rep who was not having any of this. It was just no, no, no to everything I asked. I told her the name of the first rep I spoke with and about the auth and she claims it wasn't on my account. So I take note of her name and hang up again. At this point I was thinking to myself, oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained and forgot about it.

Later that day it was bothering me how the second rep treated me and said there wasn't any notes on the account. So I called again. I immediately asked to speak with a supervisor. The rep asked why and I explained the situation. Said It wasn't a big deal if they couldn't make a change because I understood it was such a small time change to the flight... but what made me upset was I was promised a "change authorization" and then the second rep said no. He totally understood and immediately started looking at other flight options for me. After a few I suggested the UA862 again, thinking it was a long shot. He asked to put me on hold, and after 10 minutes comes back and tells me I'm all set. I was a bit confused... and said "set with what?". He saids "I got a supervisor to do a manual override and got you and your companion on UA862", I say "In business", he goes "yes, in Business". Couldn't believe it was that easy. This flight does not have saver availability and would have been 180k miles each. I get off the phone and immediately hope on my account... sure enough, UA862 is on there. Go in picked my seats... good to go! Glad I took the opportunity to call!!!
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Old Nov 13, 17, 6:47 pm
  #2  
 
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Classic case of HUCA. Congrats!
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Old Nov 13, 17, 6:55 pm
  #3  
 
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Good for you! Happy that you persevered. I must say that I have had many more positive experiences in my interactions with UA CSA's than negative. In that regard, they are stellar, especially the 1K line.
Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials. May your union be enduring and filled with happiness.
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Old Nov 13, 17, 7:16 pm
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Happy ending, that's great!!!
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Old Nov 13, 17, 8:26 pm
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Happy Honeymoon!
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Old Nov 13, 17, 9:16 pm
  #6  
 
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Always great when you get an unexpected benefit after dealing with customer service!
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Old Nov 13, 17, 10:08 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Print Out Your New Itinerary So That You Have Something To Use As Evidence When They Take It Back Off You For Some Reason Or Another.
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Old Nov 13, 17, 10:32 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by CO_Nonrev_elite View Post
Print Out Your New Itinerary So That You Have Something To Use As Evidence When They Take It Back Off You For Some Reason Or Another.
should also get a print out of the wedding vows, very similar situation!
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Old Nov 13, 17, 10:46 pm
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I'm glad this worked out for the OP but stories like this make me mad sometimes. There was absolutely no compelling reason to override availability for saver award in J HKG-SFO when the time change created a *longer* layover in TPE, not shorter. Oh well.

OP, the BR business seat is still far better than the new Polaris seat on United. The new Polaris seat on United is leaps & bounds better than the old J seats on United but that's about it. It still doesn't compete with many carriers in terms of business seat.

Enjoy the flight in Polaris. And I agree with others...get a copy of your itinerary and receipt showing you're in "I" or "IN" class for the HKG-SFO flight.

-RM
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Old Nov 13, 17, 11:06 pm
  #10  
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You paid partner J rates for UA metal? A real flyertalker would get the price adjustment!
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Old Nov 13, 17, 11:10 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by RobOnLI View Post
I'm glad this worked out for the OP but stories like this make me mad sometimes. There was absolutely no compelling reason to override availability for saver award in J HKG-SFO when the time change created a *longer* layover in TPE, not shorter. Oh well.

OP, the BR business seat is still far better than the new Polaris seat on United. The new Polaris seat on United is leaps & bounds better than the old J seats on United but that's about it. It still doesn't compete with many carriers in terms of business seat.

Enjoy the flight in Polaris. And I agree with others...get a copy of your itinerary and receipt showing you're in "I" or "IN" class for the HKG-SFO flight.

-RM
First thing I did was print out the receipt showing I for the class.

And I know the seats on BR are supposed to be better... but after a 18 day honeymoon we really prefer a direct flight. Also my fiancé and I will be right next to each other on the flight, unlike on BR herringbone seats where there is a good amount of distance between middle seats.

Thanks for the congrats everyone! We're so excited!

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Nov 13, 17 at 11:41 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Nov 13, 17, 11:48 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by kaskade916 View Post
Thanks for the congrats everyone! We're so excited!
^

The new seats are great. Enjoy the flight and your honeymoon!

Originally Posted by mduell View Post
You paid partner J rates for UA metal? A real flyertalker would get the price adjustment!
A smart flyertalker waits until the ticket is flown to request the refund
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Old Nov 14, 17, 12:09 am
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by kaskade916 View Post
First thing I did was print out the receipt showing I for the class.

And I know the seats on BR are supposed to be better... but after a 18 day honeymoon we really prefer a direct flight. Also my fiancé and I will be right next to each other on the flight, unlike on BR herringbone seats where there is a good amount of distance between middle seats.

Thanks for the congrats everyone! We're so excited!
Congrats to your nuptial and the change to the flights. true a direct flight and the timing works better. Yup you never know what you get sometimes, but the 1K line has been wonderful.

I had called in to switch one of my friend's flight (she has no status) within 24 hours to take advantage of "R" class for RPU. There was several calls made before I got it changed but they have erroneously charged me the $200 fee rather than $75. The last agent that I spoke with no only refund the $200 but also waive the $75 SDC fees.
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Old Nov 14, 17, 1:04 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
^

The new seats are great. Enjoy the flight and your honeymoon!



A smart flyertalker waits until the ticket is flown to request the refund
^
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Old Nov 14, 17, 1:16 am
  #15  
 
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Good on the OP for keeping on calling. And congratulations

My SOP for getting things done with UA phone agents: if I get an agent that gives me an answer that I know to be blatantly wrong, hang up and try again later.
Maybe I have a tolerance for putting up with these people but I've called back up to 4-5 times in order to get some of my issues resolved.
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