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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 Sep 3, 19, 2:46 pm
  #1  
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UA Same-Day Travel Change (SDC) Fees/Questions -Free STBY for all, SDC for all elites

I seem to recall reports that the App will no longer allow us to continually roll a departure over multiple days; that it's now basically once and done. Is that correct? And if so, is calling in for a second SDC (to the following day) still viable?
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Old Sep 3, 19, 3:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
I seem to recall reports that the App will no longer allow us to continually roll a departure over multiple days; that it's now basically once and done. Is that correct? And if so, is calling in for a second SDC (to the following day) still viable?
Experience from this recent trip: App letting you pick some unique routings early on in my itinerary, was on LAX-SFO-HNL-GUM-HKG. Called to get redeye LAX-IAH leaving the day before. HNL-Rest was the same. Once I boarded in IAH it gave me HNL-SFO-HKG but didn't take that up.

On my return (HKG-GUM-HNL-SFO-LAX) I rolled my HNL-SFO-LAX to 2 days later and HNL-IAH-LAX.

Last IAH-LAX leg would only give me other non stop IAH-LAX but I was able to see departures for the next day.
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Old Sep 3, 19, 3:27 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by thejaredhuang View Post
On my return (HKG-GUM-HNL-SFO-LAX) I rolled my HNL-SFO-LAX to 2 days later and HNL-IAH-LAX.
Using the App? Excellent.
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Old Sep 3, 19, 3:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Using the App? Excellent.
Yeah used the app for ex-HNL. HNL always seems to have availability. Good luck.
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Old Sep 4, 19, 10:35 pm
  #5  
 
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SDC Saver Business First award

Hi all -- I apologize if the current answer is within the forum, but having spend a good part of an hour looking, I cannot decipher what is current and not.

Question:

If I am a UA Gold and book saver award business/first transcon and want to confirm a change to an earlier or later flight on the same day in business/first, does it have to be in the same saver fare basis or can it be any open business first seat?

Thank you very much.
Former GS MM who has been on UA 3 times since merger.
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Old Sep 4, 19, 10:41 pm
  #6  
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I believe the fare class must be the same for SDC.

But the actual problem is by the time you can SDC, the F/J cabin should have been full.

So it would be practically impossible for you to do SDC.
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Old Sep 4, 19, 11:09 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by cyber1k View Post
....
If I am a UA Gold and book saver award business/first transcon and want to confirm a change to an earlier or later flight on the same day in business/first, does it have to be in the same saver fare basis or can it be any open business first seat?.....
SDC requires the same fare class, so you will need saver business

Just as if you were on P, you need P -- J will not work.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 2:32 am
  #8  
 
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same calendar day change?

Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
I seem to recall reports that the App will no longer allow us to continually roll a departure over multiple days; that it's now basically once and done. Is that correct? And if so, is calling in for a second SDC (to the following day) still viable?
The App behaved the same way as before as far as options from another calendar day are concerned. Any available flight within 24 h period is now shown up on App. For SFO-IAD, the last segment of my trip this week, only nonstop was shown on App. No connection options were given, however. For my outbound last week, I was also given IAD-SFO-SIN options on a later date.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 4:05 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Kmxu View Post
The App behaved the same way as before as far as options from another calendar day are concerned. Any available flight within 24 h period is now shown up on App.
I was offered very limited options for SFO-EWR yesterday, in particular none of the LAX routings showed, so I had to call to make a change.

It may have something to do with the fact my ticket is a complete mess now.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 5:09 pm
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UA XN Reward Question

Hello I’m looking to fly EWR- LAX One-Way In about two weeks or so

I’m a UA platinum and a UA explorer card holder.All the 12,500 mile awards that I see have a connection and are all XN

My question is if I book one of those now can I do same-day change to a non-stop, on the day of travel? Or would I only be able to do same-day change to a connecting flight?

Not sure this is been asked before, I searched but I couldn’t find the answer

thanks in advance
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Old Sep 5, 19, 5:58 pm
  #11  
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Yes, you can SDC to a non-stop; however, there must be XN space on that flight.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 6:19 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
SDC requires the same fare class, so you will need saver business

Just as if you were on P, you need P -- J will not work.
Originally Posted by findark View Post
Yes, you can SDC to a non-stop; however, there must be XN space on that flight.
Isn't there something about all fare classes becoming available within a few hours of departure?
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Old Sep 5, 19, 7:14 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by FlyingHighlander View Post
Isn't there something about all fare classes becoming available within a few hours of departure?
That is happening less and later, if at all, and has not neccessarily included award inventory space.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 9:46 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by FlyingHighlander View Post
Isn't there something about all fare classes becoming available within a few hours of departure?
Five years ago you could count on that. Today it is not the practice.
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Old Sep 5, 19, 9:56 pm
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If XN is unavailable on the direct flight you can also standby for the flight you want at the airport.
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