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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, 2:46 pm
  #31  
 
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Originally Posted by mduell
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.



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.
Exactly! A lot of award inventory can be cached and for one reason or another someone in the revenue department did not update the seat So there are 20 seats at Saver Award and I happen to be seat number 21 I would more than likely be denied and ask to pay the higher award amount or request another itinerary .

The same goes for online booking using cash when you see "Only 1 left at that fare" it means that if you book 2 the 2nd passenger would end up paying a higher fare or both of you would roll over to the higher fare hence why you would want to look at booking seperate itineraries to save the money in case one fare is not available due to low or no inventory in that fare basis.

Its normal for people to think that these transactions are in real time but in reality there are archaic systems but not as archaic as the old lazy susan approach where whenever a ticket was sold you would pull it from the wheel. Now thats old! When the Computer Reservation Systems were first introduced it was manual and a tedious process entering the codes. The old token networks airports would use were not as smart as today as everything was printed on physical ticket stock.

I even remember my Father and I had to go up to San Francisco to the Air France ticket office to get our tickets changed to return later. We had to bring our old paper tickets and they had to reissue them and this was in 1998. The agent had to call the AF Fare department f and Travel Agent for the reissue. Were talking in the day and age of the internet a City Ticket Office which today does not exists.

I can guarantee you that the kids of today won't know for the most part what an Airline City Ticket Office is let alone paper tickets.

Hence if you lost the physical paper ticket as the computers were not synced up like they are today to the airline central reservation you would be asked to purchase new tickets. Airline agents would put stickers on your boarding pass for your seating assignment. Not like today with seat maps online for you to chose. It was a first come first served basis you got what was left and lines would be longer and take a longer time to check in.

I remember as recent as 2003 I had a paper EL AL ticket but after than they were all phased out for the most part. You would also have an MCT for paying for luggage etc.

Even today Sabre is not what it could be. Airlines still use the old OKI Data Daisywheel printers! I mean now that is old! This goes to show you how some of the archaic technology is still be used. I wonder how they maintain those old OKI Data printers.
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Old May 9, 2018, 3:00 pm
  #32  
 
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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.
I agree and disagree at the same time. I agree that the 24h confirmation period is disclosed adequately, but I also think that there is a reasonable chance that the DOT intends to prohibit this kind of practice (through a combination of the full fare advertising rule and the prohibition on post-purchase price increases). There's no doubt in my mind that it is deceptive to advertise an itinerary and price that isn't actually available (although I don't think that is United's intent).

Unfortunately, if the DOT did decide to drop the hammer on this kind of thing, it's probably bad news for us because United would probably just pull the inventory from united.com and require a phone call.
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Old May 9, 2018, 3:08 pm
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by omaralt
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
LH and UA have a TATL joint venture which IIRC means that their systems 'talk' in a more direct manner (among other things). That is not true for all *A partners. Though from what I have read on FT the LO issues are probably something beyond normal delays in processing.
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Old May 9, 2018, 3:17 pm
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by danielonn
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!
You perhaps missed the point that OP transferred miles from Chase to make the booking, Once they're transferred, they're transferred. Perhaps, he might not have transferred them if there was a reasonable possibility that LOT might not accept the booking,
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Old May 9, 2018, 3:25 pm
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Sykes
I agree and disagree at the same time. I agree that the 24h confirmation period is disclosed adequately, but I also think that there is a reasonable chance that the DOT intends to prohibit this kind of practice (through a combination of the full fare advertising rule and the prohibition on post-purchase price increases). There's no doubt in my mind that it is deceptive to advertise an itinerary and price that isn't actually available (although I don't think that is United's intent).
I don't think the DOT would apply that rule, since they already gutted it (allowing for "errors") and UA is not offering the OS flights at higher price.
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Old May 9, 2018, 3:43 pm
  #36  
 
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That's just the way to cookie crumbles. Yes it sucks but it's a common occurrence. Better to find out now versus the day of.

It's not really different from if you transferred at noon and the space disappeared at 12:05. And UR transfers are not strictly one way so you can certainly beg Chase to reverse as a courtesy.

My guess is you never had a valid ticket (just a PNR) and that's why UA isn't willing to open I space for you. Try try again...
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Old May 9, 2018, 3:44 pm
  #37  
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Originally Posted by mduell
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.

...
it shouldn't be a risk.. if partner inventory is uncertain then customers should be able to request those seats without miles in their account and transfer/purchase when space is confirmed
btw in my history of countless redemption across many programs it is only ua (or perhaps *A) that seems to have this "maybe" inventory.. it's hard for me to believe that LO only updates award space once a day - surely revenue tix inventory is managed real time so there is no reason for awards to be any different
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Old May 9, 2018, 3:55 pm
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Scott Endress
To clarify, I am most upset/frustrated that I transferred a ton of Chase Points to UA to purchase this business class flight. And since there is not a seat on this flight, I am now left with these points stuck in my UA account since you can't transfer them back to Chase.
My suggestion is that you call UA, have them look at the record (give them the confirmation number). Then, when they explain that it couldn't be ticketed, ask them if they could annotate your record such that a free change will be allowed if business class inventory opens on that route. You may need to get a supervisor to do that.

Then, watch for inventory and call back if you find some.

Alternatively -- look to see if you can find flights from other domestic gateways - e.g., DTW-FRA-MUC. If you find that space, call up and say "Hey, I found DTW-FRA-MUC; is it possible for you to open up space on ORD-DTW, even in economy?" They may still say no, at which point your options would be to buy a separate cash ticket to get to the gateway or give up and try again -- but at least you'd have options.

Good luck!
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Old May 9, 2018, 4:24 pm
  #39  
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Originally Posted by azepine00
btw in my history of countless redemption across many programs it is only ua (or perhaps *A) that seems to have this "maybe" inventory.. it's hard for me to believe that LO only updates award space once a day - surely revenue tix inventory is managed real time so there is no reason for awards to be any different
No, outside of a few special relationships, 24-72h to confirm is the standard for interline ticketing.
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Old May 9, 2018, 4:25 pm
  #40  
 
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Originally Posted by omaralt
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
Not wrong. It's not real time inventory. Read the dozens of posts in this thread, any other thread, etc. That's not how interline tickets work. Sorry.

Unfortunately, it wasn't ticketed. He didn't 'purchase' anything. He got an email stating something around the lines of needing to give the partner 24 hours time to confirm the ticket and it didn't confirm, hence no purchase.
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Old May 9, 2018, 4:36 pm
  #41  
 
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maybe im off base but didnt united offer a reasonable alternative?
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Old May 9, 2018, 4:44 pm
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by azepine00
it's hard for me to believe that LO only updates award space once a day - surely revenue tix inventory is managed real time so there is no reason for awards to be any different
LOT probably updates the middleman - whoever it is - many times a day - maybe even many times an hour. But, the software that processes the updates (which isn't LOT) needs to process the batch which can take time (usually sent in a text message like format).

If you get a revenue ticket via United on LOT - that isn't real time either. What airlines do in these cases is take on more risk - as in, you go to purchase a ticket for $1,000 on LOT via United. That ticket probably cost $1,000 - but when actually ticketed the cost may have gone up or down and the airlines absorb the fluctuations in price. They aren't willing you to buy you a revenue ticket though for an award that may not be available when ticketed.

I should also note - UA and other airlines can't fix this on their own - it comes down to GDS/middleman software talking to each other - it is easier to solve if both airlines are on lets say Sabre - Sabre offers real time partner availability to airlines within its own system - for a hefty price.
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Old May 9, 2018, 4:47 pm
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by mduell
No, outside of a few special relationships, 24-72h to confirm is the standard for interline ticketing.
Do they have a special relationship with LH? I've book many itineraries with LH legs and they seem to ticket immediately.
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Old May 9, 2018, 4:52 pm
  #44  
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Originally Posted by swiftaw
Do they have a special relationship with LH? I've book many itineraries with LH legs and they seem to ticket immediately.
[MENTION=863640]AceReport[/MENTION] claims they do upthread.
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Old May 9, 2018, 4:53 pm
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by mduell
[MENTION=863640]AceReport[/MENTION] claims they do upthread.
Ah, missed that post.
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