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UA Same-Day Travel Change (SDC) Fees/Questions -Free STBY for all, SDC for all elites

UA Same-Day Travel Change (SDC) Fees/Questions -Free STBY for all, SDC for all elites

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Old Jan 17, 20, 3:01 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: raehl311
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This wiki was created to distill SDC (and related standby) down to a set of rules in the hopes of benefiting others.

The official "rules" can be found here. In practice, some of the rules almost always apply, and some are more flexible.

Note there have been reports of SDC to one segment removing confirmed CPU upgrades on downline segments. If maintaining the confirmed upgrade is important then these changes should be handled with care.

Most Frequently Asked Question: When do I call/go online to make the change?
Follow this flowchart:
Question 1: Are you within 24 hours of your currently scheduled UA(*) operated flight that you're trying to change off of? If yes, continue to Question 2. If no, continue to answer 1.
Question 2: Are you within 24 hours of the first UA operated flight you're trying to change on to? If yes, continue to Answer 2. If no, continue to Answer 1.
Answer 1: No, you cannot call/go online yet to make an SDC.
Answer 2: Yes, then you can call/go online to make an SDC.

General Baseline Rules

These are the general rules that usually apply to SDC's; falling outside these rules usually requires payment of a full change fee and the fare difference:
  • Not available for Basic Economy (N class) tickets
  • The departure time of the first segment of the old itinerary and the departure time of the first segment of the new itinerary must both be within 24 hours of the moment that the change is made.
  • Only applies to UA/UX operated flights, domestic or international. Changing from a non-UA operated to UA operated may be possible.
  • Must 016 UA ticket stock
  • The ultimate origin and destination airports must remain the same.
  • Routing can be changed (addition, deletion, or change of connection points) but the routing rules of the original fare usually apply.
  • All remaining unflown segments in a single fared itinerary are considered together (i.e., if you're flying WWW-XXX-YYY-ZZZ, you can go to a kiosk at XXX and potentially fly XXX-AAA-ZZZ or XXX-ZZZ direct).
  • SDC can be done an unlimited number of times, and can, therefore, be used to extend a trip indefinitely (pending availability).
  • SDC costs $75 for Members and Silvers - the fee is waived for Golds and up (plus any applicable fare difference, see below). *G's may also get free SDC, although there is no mention of this in the official rules. Once in-route, fees for an earlier connecting flight may be waived per GG SDC Line 118.
  • Non-elites on the same PNR benefit from any waived fees for SDC.
  • No fare difference is charged so long as there is availability on all of the new segments in the originally ticketed fare class. Fare class availability in all classes often opens up after T-24 and almost always opens up at T-3 unless the plane is very full.
  • SDC on bulk tickets, including United Specials, is not permitted.
  • SDC is permitted on both domestic and international itineraries.

How to SDC

SDC can be accomplished in a few different places (in rough order of likelihood of being able to get the rules bent):
  • United mobile app
  • Kiosk
  • Phone
  • On united.com, right now only the "Search Other Flight Options" button during On-Line Check-In (OLCI) works. This has spotty availability, particularly if the change would involve paying an additional fare due to fare bucket non-availability.
  • Counter/Gate (although reports are that most airport agents are not familiar with the SDC policy and may not allow you to SDC to a valid itinerary--you can try to direct them to look up GG SDC, but they often won't understand that what you're trying to do is permitted by those rules)
Please note that the United.com “change flight” link before checking in within T-24, is broken. The website may not show all available options and will often attempt to collect the change fee rather than the SDC fee (if any).


NB: An SDC where the original itinerary (in one direction) has three or more segments cannot be done online.


Nuances and Loose Rules

Now for the hard part: figuring out where the flexibility is in the rules. This list is compiled from the responses to people saying "Can I do X?" where X is something that is not clearly permitted by the rules. One's likelihood of success here depends a bit on the method used for the SDC.

For each item, the following codes apply:
Y = officially permitted and possible using any method
A = not permitted but perhaps possible using an agent (phone/counter), perhaps having to HUACA
A* = mixed reports of success with an agent (phone/counter),
N* = possible only if you find a very accommodating agent
N = little or no reported success.
  • Violating various non-routing fare rules (day/time, minimum stay, etc.): Y
  • Change destination to ultra-close airport (see the old S*FAR/STANDBY): A
  • Change destination to a co-terminal: N*
  • Change destination to an entirely different place: N
  • Change itinerary at the beginning to include illegal layovers (> 4 hours): N*
  • Change itinerary at the layover point (using kiosk, app, or agent) to create an otherwise illegal layover: Y
  • Change itinerary at the beginning to add a layover point not permitted by the routing rules: N*
  • Change itinerary at a layover point to add another layover not permitted (either in terms of number of segments or routing rules) by the routing rules: Y
  • Change to a flight exactly 24 hours before or after the original flight: N*
  • Change to a flight exactly 24 hours before the original flight, if the previous day's flight has been delayed: Y (based on one report)
  • Change to a flight exactly 24 hours after the original flight, if the original flight has been delayed: Y (at least in the app)
  • Combining separately-fared segments to do SDC (e.g. XXX-YYY+YYY-ZZZ -> XXX-ZZZ): A
  • Change UA-codeshare, non-UA-metal segment to UA metal: A*
  • Change from UA metal to UA-codeshare, non-UA-metal segment: N (see post 1813 for one exception)
  • Change from UA-codeshare, non-UA-metal segment to a different UA-codeshare, non-UA-metal segment: ??
  • Change on a non-UA ticketed segment: N* (with potentially dire consequences)
  • Change from an upgraded flight into Y on the new flight: Y
  • Change from a GPU-upgraded flight into J/F on the new flight: A
  • Change from a CPU-upgraded flight and get confirmed into available R space on the new flight: N*
  • Change from an instrument-upgraded flight and get confirmed into available R space on the new flight: A*
  • Non-elite on different PNR benefiting from Elite's waived-fee SDC: A
  • Change at origin airport after tendering a checked bag: A - 60 minutes prior to both flights required
  • Change at layover airport when a bag has been checked: A - 60 minutes prior to both flights required
  • Change a bulk fare: A*
  • Stand-By to later flight, then SDC after original flight departs to flight within 24-hours of new Stand-By flight: Y

If you encounter issues with an agent (phone or counter/gate), you can ask the agent to reference GG SDC. Additionally, GG SDC line 61 specifically references that fare classes are supposed to level out 3.5 hours before departure, so you might be able to use that to your advantage if fare classes have not leveled out and you're trying to ask an agent to open up the correct inventory or force you onto the flight.

Note -- as of 11/27/2017: A datapoint indicates that UA may have updated its GG rule regarding leveling out to state the following:

Code:
EVERYDAY AWARD AND REVENUE BUCKETS ARE TO LEVEL OUT WITHIN 2H OF DEPARTURE
Standby
For fare classes other than Basic Economy (N class) you may stand by if seats are not available in the purchased fare class. In these cases, the same-day change fee will apply, but will not be charged unless you are assigned a seat on your alternate flight. Changes in routing are not allowed when standing by. Standby may be requested on the day of departure at an airport kiosk or with a United representative at the airport. Once you are added to the flight standby list, you can check your real-time standby status at united.com/flightstatus or on your mobile device at mobile.united.com/info.

Instead of paying a same-day change discounted fee, can I stand by for my desired flight for free?
No. The only time you may standby for free is when the fare does not have any penalties for making changes, or when standing by involuntarily due to a flight irregularity.

Can I pay the same-day change discount fee with cash?
Cash will only be accepted by a United airport representative when the change is available to be confirmed, not for standby travel.

Standby Nuances and Loose Rules

All nuances assume request is made within 24 hours of scheduled departure to a flight within 24 hours of the request.

For each item, the following codes apply:
Y = officially permitted and possible using any method
K = Perhaps not officially permitted, but kiosk will allow.
A = not permitted but perhaps possible using an agent (phone/counter), perhaps having to HUACA
A* = mixed reports of success with an agent (phone/counter),
N* = possible only if you find a very accommodating agent
N = little or no reported success.
  • To a flight the previous calendar day: A*/N*
  • To a flight after your ticketed flight, on the same calendar day: Y
  • To a flight the following calendar day: N*
  • Request Standby at an airport other than departure airport: ?
  • Make request calendar day before scheduled flight to flight same day as scheduled departure: K
original posting by mgcsinc, initiated by jackal

Mileage Credit after SDC

SDC is considered a voluntary change, so your credited PQM & PQS will be credited based on the route you actually fly. Your PQDs should not change and therefore for your RDMs will not change. Occasionally if you fly a fewer number of segments, your PQD will credit wrong, but a call to MPSC should correct that.

Previous threads:
UA Same-Day Travel Change (SDC) Fees/Questions (with Wiki) {Archive}
UA Same-Day Travel Change (SDC) Fees/Questions *now with WikiPost* {pre-2015 Archive}
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Old Aug 11, 20, 6:36 pm
  #496  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Houston/DC
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 522
Originally Posted by shadoworb View Post
Well good to know that fare bucket leveling is not reliable...

HUCA didn't work unfortunately. Still was worth a try though. Desired flight was fairly full and agent said my broken fare (1 segment in G, 1 segment in K CPUed to PZ) was not helping.
Yes, broken fares can be a pain for sure. But getting the upgrade into PZ has always (lately) taken away any SDC options for me unless PZ is available. In your situation, I might tell the agent to downgrade me & then I go back into the App & see many SDC options even with the broken fare.
It doesn't always work out, but sometimes you can fool the automated systems to get what you want instead of going thru a live agent.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 2:10 pm
  #497  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Gold
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Change Fees Are Gone For Good
Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
....
Additionally, United is giving customers more flexibility to change their flights on the day of their travel so they can head home if a meeting ends earlier or enjoy a few more hours on vacation. With the ability to list for same-day standby for free, customers will now have an option to take a different flight with the same origin and destination airports as their original itinerary if space is available at departure. This enhanced option will be available to all customers for travel within the U.S. and to and from international destinations beginning on January 1, 2021. Customers who want to switch flights will be able to add themselves to the standby list through United’s award-winning mobile app, on united.com or at the airport no later than 30 minutes prior to departure for domestic flights and one hour before departure on international flights.
.....
For more information on United’s new flexible travel policies, visithttps://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...hange-fee.html.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Aug 30, 20, 3:31 pm
  #498  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,017
Originally Posted by Doppy View Post
Very customer friendly changes.

Though this cuts into the benefits of being a high tier elite -free confirmed SDC was one of the benefits I valued the most.
Can anyone tell if this is the same as the existing sdc policy?
Existing sdc ​​​ can ​allow route changes? The new policy description provided by United only said standby/confirm seats ?

New policy deacription
Beginning January 1, 2021, if you’re a MileagePlus Premier member, you have even more flexibility and may be able to confirm a seat on an earlier flight for no cost at all. The new flight will need to have the same origin and destination and be within 24 hours of the originally scheduled flight. The same ticketed fare class will also need to be for sale for you to make the same-day change. If the same fare class is not available, you’ll have to pay the difference.
Old SDC https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...ay-change.html
Changes are only available for the same origin and destination airport. Your connection points can be changed if the fare you’ve bought allows for the new routing.

Last edited by paperwastage; Aug 30, 20 at 3:41 pm
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Old Aug 30, 20, 4:13 pm
  #499  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 458
I guess this makes me a little less sad that 2021 will be my last 1K year, but also a little annoyed during that last year to lose that differentiating benefit!
alchemista is offline  
Old Aug 30, 20, 5:05 pm
  #500  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: DCA
Programs: UA LT 1K, AA PPro- LT Gold, Bonvoy LT Titan, Avis PC, Hilton Gold
Posts: 9,082
The current benefit for 1K is + or - 24 hours from original departure time. Meaning you could rebook at evening flight for the following morning or a morning flight the same evening, so I assume that benefits remains. Of course it was still capacity controlled.

The new benefit is only same day change for earlier flight - not a flight later in day. I think rebooking the a later time is a more important benefit than earlier flight. So is the new benefit applicable to any seat availability or still capacity controlled?
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Old Aug 30, 20, 5:24 pm
  #501  
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It reads to me that SDC will only be available for -24 hour flights instead of +/- 24 hour starting 2021. Please tell me I am wrong.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 5:29 pm
  #502  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 5,645
Originally Posted by TerryK View Post
It reads to me that SDC will only be available for -24 hour flights instead of +/- 24 hour starting 2021. Please tell me I am wrong.
I agree. Unambiguous, direct wording has never been United's strong suit, but as publicized this doesn't appear to be a change I will enjoy.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 5:30 pm
  #503  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Gold
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Originally Posted by cova View Post
The current benefit for 1K ...
The prior free program was for Gold and up. All had the same constraints
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Old Aug 30, 20, 6:02 pm
  #504  
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Originally Posted by TerryK View Post
It reads to me that SDC will only be available for -24 hour flights instead of +/- 24 hour starting 2021. Please tell me I am wrong.
I see why you're saying that, but I suspect it may just be UA's typical lousy communication, since they're not really spelling it out as a change. Perhaps UA Insider will be able to clarify, or we'll just see what happens January 1.
jsloan is online now  
Old Aug 30, 20, 6:04 pm
  #505  
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: YVR
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 481
So this will no longer be allowed?


Routing can be changed (addition, deletion, or change of connection points) but the routing rules of the original fare usually apply.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 6:04 pm
  #506  
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Originally Posted by kevflyer View Post
So this will no longer be allowed?
I would not jump to that conclusion.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 6:22 pm
  #507  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 458
I'm not seeing any benefits for 1Ks (or maybe any Gold+), only reduced value of the status.
It's probably a smart business move though because United was definitely skewed in service toward business travelers, and that segment is not going to recover for quite a while.
These changes focus United a little more on regular travelers, which will probably be a bigger mix of their revenue in the foreseeable future.
alchemista is offline  

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