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schedule change for a middle of the trip connection (SYD-MEL within a USA-SYD RT)

schedule change for a middle of the trip connection (SYD-MEL within a USA-SYD RT)

Old Feb 4, 18, 7:01 am
  #1  
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schedule change for a middle of the trip connection (SYD-MEL within a USA-SYD RT)

At present I have RDU-IAH-SYD-MEL as my "outward" leg, and then SYD-SFO-RDU as the return leg.. this routing qualified for a round-trip at a reasonable fare so I was just going to figure out the mel-syd part later... but my real question is this: instead of spending the first weekend I'm there in MEL, I'd like to figure out a way to stay in SYD. (And before you pounce, I know it "doesn't work this way") -- from a strictly schedule standpoint, all I really want to do is change just the SYD-MEL segment by a couple of days. Complicating things somewhat is that both of those very long UA segments are cleared via GPU, which I want to protect almost at all costs.

Is there any practical way to move (or just drop) that SYD-MEL segment without it impacting the rest of the trip? I can't seem to decipher the receipt on the ticket itself: there are two different record locators (which usually means nothing) but there *are* two different ticket numbers: both on 016 stock.
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Old Feb 4, 18, 11:02 am
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Since UA does not fly between MEL and SYD the second record locator is for that flight, either QF or VOZ .

I suspect you will incur a change fee for the changing the date. I suspect something similar if you drop the leg (which would probably change the fare as you note you got RTW fare).

is the second ticket just for the SYD-MEL leg?

If the GPU has already stuck for the UG then the agent on the call desk should be able to protect this for you, as long as you are not changing the date for the GPU flights. I would also take a screen shot of the R legs.

Good luck and interested to hear what happens.
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Old Feb 4, 18, 11:27 am
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I don't know but I am curious:

1 - are there 2 PNRs on the UA side or 1 UA + 1 for SYD-MEL on another airline?
2 - is it 2 fares RDU-SYD/MEL-RDU + SYD-MEL or a through fare RDU-MEL-RDU?
3 - if it is a through fare, does the rule allow a stopover in SYD?

...and it is not a "schedule change" as that usually refers to when the airline changes the schedule on you.
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Old Feb 4, 18, 1:03 pm
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Originally Posted by username View Post
I don't know but I am curious:

1 - are there 2 PNRs on the UA side or 1 UA + 1 for SYD-MEL on another airline?
2 - is it 2 fares RDU-SYD/MEL-RDU + SYD-MEL or a through fare RDU-MEL-RDU?
3 - if it is a through fare, does the rule allow a stopover in SYD?

...and it is not a "schedule change" as that usually refers to when the airline changes the schedule on you.
Questions 2 and 3 are going to be the determining factors. In order to make this change, OP will need to pay the change fee, if any, on the itinerary (typically $300 for an international, discount economy fare), plus any difference in fare. If it is two fares already, the difference in fare will be minimal if the current fare class is available on the desired flight. The same will be true if it is a through fare, which I suspect, and it allows a stopover.

I did a quick search and it appears that RDU-MEL fares do allow a stopover at SYD: "2 STOPOVERS PERMITTED ON THE PRICING UNIT - 1 IN EACH DIRECTION AT USD 100.00 EACH ONLY AT THE GATEWAY IN AREA 3." If this is the case for the OP's flight, the total cost of the change will be about $400.

Alternatively, if you'd rather drop the segment, you should be able to do that for the change fee plus any difference in fare between RDU-MEL and RDU-SYD. If RDU-MEL is more expensive than RDU-SYD, you'd pay $300 and get an ETC for the difference. A competent UA agent should be able to preserve the upgrades for you.

OP: Don't be tempted just to skip SYD-MEL without paying the change fee. As soon as the operating carrier reports you to UA as a no-show, your SYD-RDU flights will be cancelled.
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Old Feb 4, 18, 1:25 pm
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OP - why not fly to MEL, and then return right away on a cheap MEL-SYD o/w?

As you're leaving from SYD, maybe you can find a way to stash bags if the layover is long enough to not have to check them in at MEL.
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Old Feb 4, 18, 1:37 pm
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Short of a schedule change or some other way to get a "free" change, then this
Originally Posted by aacharya View Post
OP - why not fly to MEL, and then return right away on a cheap MEL-SYD o/w?....
While a little more flying, the separate OW will be well under $100, far less than an international flight change

Or purchase the RT as you want to get back to Melbourne.

One point, while have not done this, others have reported switching between international and domestic flights at SYD is a pain.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 4, 18 at 2:52 pm Reason: SYD, not MEL
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Old Feb 4, 18, 2:28 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
One point, while have not done this, others have reported switching between international and domestic flights at MEL is a pain.
Switching between international and domestic at MEL is trivial - unlike at most Australian airports they are both in the same building.

I presume you mean in SYD (which is what the OP is doing), but in that direction it's not all that much of pain as long as you're connecting to either Qantas or Virgin - although it does require re-collecting you baggage, and a short walk, and a (free) bus trip between terminals.
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Old Feb 4, 18, 2:54 pm
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Originally Posted by docbert View Post
... I presume you mean in SYD (which is what the OP is doing), ....
Yes, corrected the original post.

Thanks for the additional info.
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Old Feb 4, 18, 3:30 pm
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OP - Why not price out the cost of the change vs. the cost of the cheapest MEL-SYD you can find?

What "usually" us the case is not necessarily the case on the specific fare rules for your ticket.

Once you have the two costs in hand you can then make a rational decision as to which one, if any, to do.
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Old Feb 4, 18, 4:20 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
OP: Don't be tempted just to skip SYD-MEL without paying the change fee. As soon as the operating carrier reports you to UA as a no-show, your SYD-RDU flights will be cancelled.
I'm not all that bright, but I'm bright enough not to no-show for an itinerary where I have 30 hours of GPU cleared across two segments.. ;-)

Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Short of a schedule change or some other way to get a "free" change, then this While a little more flying, the separate OW will be well under $100, far less than an international flight change

Or purchase the RT as you want to get back to Melbourne.

One point, while have not done this, others have reported switching between international and domestic flights at SYD is a pain.
Yeah, I think the "worst case" is just doing yet another leg that day. Which really isn't all THAT bad, but I'm looking for optimizations that don't involve me flying RDU-IAH-SYD-MEL-SYD all in one shot. If it comes down to that vs several hundred bucks and not losing an upgrade... well... that should be obvious. ;-)

And the INTL->DOM trasnfer in Sydney is not really all THAT bad... there are certainly airports where it's better, but also a ton where it's a lot worse.

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
OP - Why not price out the cost of the change vs. the cost of the cheapest MEL-SYD you can find?
If I can just drop/change the segment, this saves me at least four hours of flying back and forth with zero actual value added. If it comes down to it, I'll do that anyway... but I'm trying to determine whether or not there are reasonable options that don't involve me playing Australian ping-pong. ;-)

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 4, 18 at 7:18 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Feb 4, 18, 10:36 pm
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Originally Posted by ljwobker View Post
I'm not all that bright, but I'm bright enough not to no-show for an itinerary where I have 30 hours of GPU cleared across two segments.. ;-)
I didn't mean to imply otherwise. It's just that, every couple of months, somebody asks if airline XX will really tell UA about them no-showing, or if UA would even care. It's an entirely reasonable question.
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