Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

Denied Seat on Award Flight (Partner Airline did not confirm booking)

Denied Seat on Award Flight (Partner Airline did not confirm booking)

Old May 9, 2018, 12:03 pm
  #16  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: PHX
Programs: AS 75K; UA 1MM; Hyatt Globalist; Marriott LTP; Hilton Diamond (Aspire)
Posts: 57,147
Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer
It isn't that it is a problem (I define the problem as you stated as something that is supposed to work but doesn't).

With rare exceptions - airlines don't talk to each other in real time. You need real time availability to work in order to ticket immediately.

Airlines typically use an intermediary system (such as ITA) that they message rough fare and award availability and airlines update the intermediary system at different time frames (seconds, minutes, or even hours). This isn't just an issue with award seating - it is an issue with airfare also when booked on another airline.

UA polls ITA (or some other system) - and that system, yep - at the last time it was updated there is availability. You say - I'll take it. Who knows when the intermediary system was updated or if other airlines or passenger were trying to grab the seat. Regardless, UA sends a message to the other airline - they simplistically say - yep, you got it - or no. Hence the lag.
All irrelevant. What's going on with LO awards is not ordinary course. There is currently an extremely high level of LO bookings being rejected.
Kacee is offline  
Old May 9, 2018, 12:15 pm
  #17  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: HNL
Programs: UA GS4MM, MR LT Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 6,447
Originally Posted by Kacee
All irrelevant. What's going on with LO awards is not ordinary course. There is currently an extremely high level of LO bookings being rejected.
It is totally relevant - LO isn't updating the intermediary system in a more timely manner and since airlines don't talk real time inventory to each other - that is the issue. Maybe LO updates once a day. Who knows.

That is the issue.
kevinthirtykevin likes this.
HNLbasedFlyer is offline  
Old May 9, 2018, 12:22 pm
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2018
Programs: United Airlines
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by AceReport
It's definitely not ideal and unfortunately is one of the downsides of transferring points, There are rare cases where a partner will agree to send the points back to Chase but that is exceptionally rare and usually only in circumstances where the airline thinks they are somehow at fault. I don't think that your case would rise to that level.



Was going to be my exact suggestion. Wait-listing for saver J space is probably the best bet given the circumstances. If this is far enough in advance there is a decent chance that some will open up. Or even find a routing through Frankfurt (FRA) where there is a 2nd UA operated non-stop to ORD daily potentially increasing space available. If you regularly check the UA flights for I space you can pay the change fee to switch to the other flight and get the J seat for the long flight.

Thank you for the suggestions.

I was under the impression that you could not upgrade the fareclass on travel purchased with award points? If I purchase the economy fare for 30K points, how do I specifically waitlist the upgrade? Will I know right away how much the upgrade will cost, beyond the 30K initial points shelled out (i.e., how much $ or how many points)?
Scott Endress is offline  
Old May 9, 2018, 12:32 pm
  #19  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,526
Originally Posted by Scott Endress
.....I was under the impression that you could not upgrade the fareclass on travel purchased with award points? If I purchase the economy fare for 30K points, how do I specifically waitlist the upgrade? Will I know right away how much the upgrade will cost, beyond the 30K initial points shelled out (i.e., how much $ or how many points)?
Waitlisting for an award in a higher cabin can be done, you need to call and ask specifically to be waitlisted for I when you have an economy award (the earlier referenced Consolidated "Waitlist for Award Seats Questions/Issues" covers this is more detail). The mileage needed will be the normal amount for the higher award.

Two key points
-- you can only waitlist for UA operated flights
-- some agents are unfamiliar with the process, so you may need to try a different agent or request supervisor help
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old May 9, 2018, 12:44 pm
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by Scott Endress
Thank you for the suggestions.

I was under the impression that you could not upgrade the fareclass on travel purchased with award points? If I purchase the economy fare for 30K points, how do I specifically waitlist the upgrade? Will I know right away how much the upgrade will cost, beyond the 30K initial points shelled out (i.e., how much $ or how many points)?
Do not use the word upgrade. It will only confuse customer service agent. As WCUA said, the correct phrase is waitlist for I class award.
nycflyer1565 is offline  
Old May 9, 2018, 12:50 pm
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: New York NY
Programs: UA Gold, CO Plat, CO Million Miler
Posts: 2,624
Originally Posted by Scott Endress
Thank you for the suggestions.

I was under the impression that you could not upgrade the fareclass on travel purchased with award points? If I purchase the economy fare for 30K points, how do I specifically waitlist the upgrade? Will I know right away how much the upgrade will cost, beyond the 30K initial points shelled out (i.e., how much $ or how many points)?
You will be charged an additional 30K for the Saver Business (total of 60K). There might be some small additional $ costs for changes in airport fees (non UA related) and perhaps a $25 telephone service fee "for contacting them by phone" but they would likely waive that, especially if contacted within 24 hours of making the economy reservation.

And I second winecountry, if the agent is unfamiliar with the process, ask for a supervisor or politely hang up and call again (HUCA). Here's the relevant section of UA's Award Rules. And the operative word is you want to WAITLIST for a Saver Business, NOT UPGRADE.

"You may use miles for travel in United Polaris first class, United First, United Business or United Polaris business class, even if the space is not available. In these cases, United Economy in the same award type must be confirmed, and the front cabin will be waitlisted. If the courtesy waitlist does not clear, it will expire 24 hours before itinerary departure, and you will automatically be added to the airport upgrade standby list upon check-in. In these cases, you will be confirmed on a space-available basis by a United airport representative at the gate once the flight has closed for check-in. For United Polaris business class and United Business travel awards, the difference in miles will be refunded when the United Polaris business class or United Business class segment of the trip could not be confirmed. Waitlist requests may only be made over the phone with your local United Customer Contact Center"
hughw is offline  
Old May 9, 2018, 12:59 pm
  #22  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: LAX
Posts: 10,940
Originally Posted by mduell
I believe UA discloses that partner flights take up to 24h to confirm, so there's no bait and switch here.
but it requires miles to be available at the time of request so it is deceptive..
what if ppl purchase miles to make this reservation that comes back rejected?
azepine00 is offline  
Old May 9, 2018, 1:00 pm
  #23  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Honolulu Harbor
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 15,192
Originally Posted by Kacee
That's not what's going on. There have been multiple reports of LO itineraries not ticketing over the past week or two. There's clearly a problem but as usual any fix seems to be very low priority.
Logic 101 fail

A problem with some (reported) itineraries does not definitively mean that all itineraries suffer the same problem.
IAH-OIL-TRASH is offline  
Old May 9, 2018, 1:37 pm
  #24  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 776
Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer
It is totally relevant - LO isn't updating the intermediary system in a more timely manner and since airlines don't talk real time inventory to each other - that is the issue. Maybe LO updates once a day. Who knows.

That is the issue.
and why the hell should we care? that is not the OPs fault. he found a ticket on the united website and purchased it. they need to work on the back end part; thats not our concern. if there is a problem with LOT then united needs to address it or remove the ability to book award tickets until they can resolve it. as a business owner if somebody purchases something directly from me and it's not as advertised, i dont blame the supplier/warehouse/whatever. they buy from me and i deliver.
coolbeans202 likes this.
omaralt is offline  
Old May 9, 2018, 1:40 pm
  #25  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 50,262
The bottom line is that no carrier guarantees a reservation on an interline booking, although some carriers such as AA-BA are close to instant.. *A give a better service guarantee than the IATA standard of 72 hours. If LO would not confirm the space than UA cannot ticket it. Filing a DOT complaint will do nothing because UA at least met the advertised service standard.

While UA cannot force LO to do anything, UA is able to force space on its own metal and might do so here if UA asks. UA flies nonstop MUC-ORD and via EWR as well.
Often1 is offline  
Old May 9, 2018, 1:50 pm
  #26  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: HNL
Programs: UA GS4MM, MR LT Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 6,447
Originally Posted by omaralt
he found a ticket on the united website and purchased it. they need to work on the back end part; thats not our concern. if there is a problem with LOT then united needs to address it or remove the ability to book award tickets until they can resolve it.
Work on the back end? Huh? There isn't anything to "work on" - airlines (with very rare exceptions) aren't connected with real time inventory availability.

The ticket wasn't purchased. Unless the op got an actual confirmation and ticket number it wasn't purchased - an itinerary does not make a purchase until confirmed. This isn't a United Airlines issue. It is an airline industry issue and how they conduct business.
HNLbasedFlyer is offline  
Old May 9, 2018, 1:52 pm
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Programs: AA Plat, UA 1K>Plat>moving to Silver
Posts: 2,129
It is annoying that there are so many things like this with the airlines that most flyers don't know about, and that you have to spend time acquiring the "secret knowledge" how to work the system. But that is the way it is. Thank goodness for FT. And at least the OP has his or her miles back. They may not be where the OP wants them, but I find they get used. Don't let them expire due to inactivity.
Artpen100 is offline  
Old May 9, 2018, 2:09 pm
  #28  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 776
Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer
Work on the back end? Huh? There isn't anything to "work on" - airlines (with very rare exceptions) aren't connected with real time inventory availability.

The ticket wasn't purchased. Unless the op got an actual confirmation and ticket number it wasn't purchased - an itinerary does not make a purchase until confirmed. This isn't a United Airlines issue. It is an airline industry issue and how they conduct business.
really? so you missed the part where this seems to be an issue with LOT tickets particularly?

and you're wrong btw. this is real time inventory. i purchased an LH first class award ticket and when my friend went to search 5 mins later it was gone.. so how isn't that real time? the website will literally tell you "4 tickets remaining". thats real time. make all the excuses you want, but this is no way to conduct business. i understand stuff happens, but when it does united should fix the situation by opening up inventory for a similarly priced J ticket
omaralt is offline  
Old May 9, 2018, 2:19 pm
  #29  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Houston
Programs: UA Plat, Marriott Gold
Posts: 12,738
Originally Posted by azepine00
but it requires miles to be available at the time of request so it is deceptive..
what if ppl purchase miles to make this reservation that comes back rejected?
Yes, that's a risk you take when booking partners that have 24h to confirm if you need to transfer points to make the booking.

Originally Posted by Artpen100
It is annoying that there are so many things like this with the airlines that most flyers don't know about, and that you have to spend time acquiring the "secret knowledge" how to work the system.
I think the problem is more of users having 2018 expectations of online/realtime availability/transactions, and the airlines still working with 19xx levels of integration with offline/caching/batch process.

For any ticket, award or revenue, booking on one carrier for travel on another has been subject to confirmation by the other airline since the dawn of interline ticketing AFAIK.
mduell is offline  
Old May 9, 2018, 2:29 pm
  #30  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Traveling the World
Posts: 6,104
OP I am sorry this happened to you. I have booked an award ticket on Partner Flights using United Miles for a Lufthansa ticket. When going through the booking I got the message that it can take up to 24 hours for partners to confirm the ticket and that this is not a ticket but just merely a reservation.

What I do whenever I book a ticket is to call to the airline(Partner Airline) and ask them if it has been ticketed, ask for their PNR# and request seats and other requests soon after booking. I will also ask them if they see its been ticketed or is pending a ticket. If it has been ticketed I will as for the ticket# ad write it down on my itinerary for reference.

This could have been avoided if the OP called LOT soon after booking using the miles and then 24 hours after booking to confirm that it has been ticketed. If the OP went online to the LOT website and entered in the PNR# they would have sen a status OK or HK(HoldingKonfirmed) along with the ticket# and Form Of Payment. A lot of the times its automated but there are times that the award inventory needs to be manually taken out of inventory to check for any overbookings etc. Its very important to have a seat assignment before departure or one at online checkin to avoid being denied boarding.

Sometimes seats are left for airport assignment and the OP could have looked at the LOT seat map to see what happened. If within the 24 hours the partner could not ticket I would have been on the phone with Mileage Plus to ask for other options under the Business Saver Award. Like others have stated the OP is not out anything because if the partner does not confirm their ticket they do not have to accept the award even if it shows up on the United System For whatever reason the OP was not ticketed and confirmed.

Just a reminder that with partner airlines and even with United you are "requesting" the award miles to be booked and until its ticketed and confirmed you have nothing but a piece of 10 cent paper until a ticket# has been assigned.

Request means that someone is asking if there is space and a seat available vs confirmed meaning yes we have space and can accept your booking and will enter into the contract and assign you a ticket#. Hence why tickets go into a request queue and then enter the ticketed queue ready for airport checkin.

Just my 2 cents!

Last edited by danielonn; May 9, 2018 at 2:35 pm
danielonn is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.