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Discover London Starting at $547 - How to do it from cities with bad fares?

Discover London Starting at $547 - How to do it from cities with bad fares?

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Old Feb 13, 18, 6:09 pm
  #1  
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Question Discover London Starting at $547 - How to do it from cities with bad fares?

I got an e-mail from UA that says "Discover London for as low as $547" and clicking on the link shows me the prices from a bunch of US cities.

Strange thing is, for example:

CLE-LHR-CLE $1113
ORD-LHR-ORD $598

PHX-LHR-PHX $1107
LAX-LHR-LAX $569

I know this is airline pricing so there is no logic. However, I wonder what would be the best way to book this if one starts in CLE or PHX. If you book in 1 PNR, would married segment control (MSC) take over and price it higher? If you book in 2 PNRs, that has a whole other set of issues. You might be able to book 1 PNR and break the fare rules (e.g. > 24 hour stay in ORD or LAX) to force 2 fares but that is not optimal either.

Thanks.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 6:12 pm
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I would personally fly to the origin city on Southwest the night before (or early day of if the INtL flight is late in the day)
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Old Feb 13, 18, 6:16 pm
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Code:
FROM/TO EUROPE
DOUBLE OPEN JAWS NOT PERMITTED.
END-ON-END NOT PERMITTED. SIDE TRIPS NOT PERMITTED
It isn't a married segment issue so much as you cannot add additional trips to the super cheap fares. So you have to buy it as separate PNRs.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 6:16 pm
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Originally Posted by username View Post
If you book in 1 PNR, would married segment control (MSC) take over and price it higher? If you book in 2 PNRs, that has a whole other set of issues. You might be able to book 1 PNR and break the fare rules (e.g. > 24 hour stay in ORD or LAX) to force 2 fares but that is not optimal either.

Thanks.
It would have nothing to do with married segments, but, yes, it would be priced higher. UA pretty much universally disallows end-on-end construction on its discount international fares. CLE-ORD-LHR is going to price as CLE-LHR, because that's going to be much cheaper than it would be to price it as CLE-ORD+ORD-LHR. (If you don't believe me, try it -- you can specify the fares you want to use via ITA Matrix). Adding a stopover in ORD or LAX won't help you, because that's not the problem. (You don't need a stopover to get a fare break). The only way to get the discounted fares you're seeing is to do it on two PNRs.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 6:17 pm
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Programs: BA Silver, United 1K, HH Gold, SPG Platinum, Marriott Platinum
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I got the same advertisement. That $547 fare was from BOS to LHR. I'm a thousand miles to BOS so why do they advertise that price? To remind me that I would be happier in BOS?
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Old Feb 13, 18, 7:45 pm
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What are the dates?
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Old Feb 14, 18, 3:17 am
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Code:
FROM/TO EUROPE
DOUBLE OPEN JAWS NOT PERMITTED.
END-ON-END NOT PERMITTED. SIDE TRIPS NOT PERMITTED
It isn't a married segment issue so much as you cannot add additional trips to the super cheap fares. So you have to buy it as separate PNRs.
Thanks. I never knew what these 2 things meant so I guess that is what it means

Some of the concerns with 2 PNRs:

1 - delays/cancellations - I guess UA sort of has moral obligation to handle anyway, especially for elites?
2 - checked bags - would it be possible to through check USA Origin-USA Gateway-LHR? Coming back it is less an issue since you have to claim at gateway anyway

What else?

Thanks.

Originally Posted by mmack View Post
What are the dates?
Does not say: https://www.united.com/CMS/en-US/con...to-london.aspx

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 14, 18 at 9:34 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Feb 14, 18, 10:16 am
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Join Date: Oct 2001
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Originally Posted by username View Post
Thanks. I never knew what these 2 things meant so I guess that is what it means

Some of the concerns with 2 PNRs:

1 - delays/cancellations - I guess UA sort of has moral obligation to handle anyway, especially for elites?
2 - checked bags - would it be possible to through check USA Origin-USA Gateway-LHR? Coming back it is less an issue since you have to claim at gateway anyway

What else?

Thanks.
No, there's no "moral obligation" to handle delays or cancellations. They're offering you carriage from CLE to LHR for $1113. If you'd rather save money by purchasing separate tickets, that's your right, but it doesn't create an obligation on UA.

That said, UA actually seems to be pretty good in this regard. There are multiple reports of people being accommodated by UA when traveling on separate tickets, even though UA wasn't contractually obligated to do so. I'd just give yourself an extra long time to make the transfer, especially on the way out. (There are a lot more options to get from ORD to CLE on short notice than from ORD to LHR.

Yes, it's possible to check bags through on two UA itineraries. However, it's a complicated process that often causes headaches for the check-in agent and may require a call to the help desk. Plan to arrive an extra 30+ minutes early in order to give them time to get it done properly.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 10:20 am
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My dad got this email and called me to ask "So, is this a good deal?"
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Old Feb 14, 18, 10:32 am
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
That said, UA actually seems to be pretty good in this regard. There are multiple reports of people being accommodated by UA when traveling on separate tickets, even though UA wasn't contractually obligated to do so.

Yes, it's possible to check bags through on two UA itineraries. However, it's a complicated process that often causes headaches for the check-in agent and may require a call to the help desk. Plan to arrive an extra 30+ minutes early in order to give them time to get it done properly.
I regularly have no problems have UA accommodate me on multiple itineraries (my US mainland flights are company paid - my flights to/from Hawaii are paid personally) - while it may not be a policy on United.com, personal opinion it is policy to re-accommodate in the event the first itinerary can't get you to your destination on time for the second itinerary.

I also have experience with with checking bags on multiple itineraries - however, if the second itinerary is sold out - they can't do it (at least it has never worked for me) - it was explained to me they need to manually onload you on to the second itinerary to fake out the system to print the bag tag - but if the flight is sold out they can't manually onload you on....
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Old Feb 14, 18, 10:42 am
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Join Date: Oct 2001
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
I also have experience with with checking bags on multiple itineraries - however, if the second itinerary is sold out - they can't do it (at least it has never worked for me) - it was explained to me they need to manually onload you on to the second itinerary to fake out the system to print the bag tag - but if the flight is sold out they can't manually onload you on....
This is half-correct. That is a correct description of the process that they use. However, they can force you onto a sold-out flight. They may need to work with the help desk and/or revenue management team in order to do it, but it's possible.
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