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United Cancels Award Ticket 1 week before trip ("ticket had expired")

United Cancels Award Ticket 1 week before trip ("ticket had expired")

Old Aug 29, 18, 1:30 am
  #1  
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United Cancels Award Ticket 1 week before trip ("ticket had expired")

Ok here is some backstory. Last year I booked one of the first class HKG-SYD tickets on Thai Airways for 40k. Originally I had booked it for exactly one year out from my ticketing date; however, I received word of an itinerary change from Thai, so I called United and had it rebooked for a few days later. In January I noticed that the reservation had disappeared from my travel wallet. I called in and spoke with an agent who was very helpful in getting me rebooked. She even followed up with a friendly email to assure me it had been completed. As of earlier this week, my itinerary was still showing a valid ticket number and booking code (I even selected seats at Thai's website). Today I decided to call United and see if it was possible to push my trip back a couple more days, the agent informed me that there wasn't availability in my same class of service that day so I politely asked to keep my reservation the same and said I'd callback in a couple of days to see if availability had opened up. Unbeknownst to me, the agent decided to take it upon herself to cancel and refund my miles because she said my "ticket had expired" despite this having been handled by the agent I had spoken to earlier in the year. I was not notified that my ticket had been cancelled, I had to figure that out for myself when I went online to check on it. Now United is telling me that they can't rebook me unless I pay the addition 25k miles (which I don't have in my account). Also my original flight isn't available any longer. How should I approach this? Anyone else have something similar happen?
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Old Aug 29, 18, 1:39 am
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Originally Posted by poohfighter View Post
Today I decided to call United and see if it was possible to push my trip back a couple more days,
It's a bummer, but you violated a cardinal rule by trying to make changes to a ticket where you'd already been granted exceptions beyond the expiration date. This is similar to calling the airline about a mistake fare. You just don't want to push your luck like that.

If you're very apologetic, and very lucky, it's theoretically possible a kind supervisor might reinstate your ticket (on a date where there is availability), but I suspect the odds of accomplishing that are close to zero.
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Old Aug 29, 18, 1:43 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
It's a bummer, but you violated a cardinal rule by trying to make changes to a ticket where you'd already been granted exceptions beyond the expiration date. This is similar to calling the airline about a mistake fare. You just don't want to push your luck like that.

If you're very apologetic, and very lucky, it's theoretically possible a kind supervisor might reinstate your ticket (on a date where there is availability), but I suspect the odds of accomplishing that are close to zero.
I didn't even realize I had been granted an exception. The agent I had spoken to made it seems as though there was no issue.
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Old Aug 29, 18, 1:44 am
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Originally Posted by poohfighter View Post
Originally I had booked it for exactly one year out from my ticketing date; however, I received word of an itinerary change from Thai, so I called United and had it rebooked for a few days later
How did you book it one year out from your ticketing date? UA only allows ticketing about 330-335 days in advance.

Tickets are good for one year from the date that they're issued. That expiration date should be on your receipt. You should probably double-check, as UA is likely to be somewhat less flexible if what you've described is accurate.

Originally Posted by poohfighter View Post
Also my original flight isn't available any longer.
UA will not be able to reinstate a ticket if there's no availability left to put you into. You should look for alternate dates / routings / etc.

You're likely to get one more change, at most (that's on the assumption that you can find a sympathetic supervisor and your ticket isn't actually past expiration).

Good luck...
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Old Aug 29, 18, 1:44 am
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Originally Posted by poohfighter View Post
I didn't even realize I had been granted an exception. The agent I had spoken to made it seems as though there was no issue.
Ticket is valid one year from date of issue. You got two extensions past that, then asked for a third.
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Old Aug 29, 18, 1:47 am
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Originally Posted by poohfighter View Post
Today I decided to call United and see if it was possible to push my trip back a couple more days
Oh, one other thing -- this was pretty much doomed to failure. While, in the past, UA has allowed people to make use of the old award chart for the duration of the validity of their ticket, this time they declined to do so. Any changes to the ticket would have resulted in the price increase that you were trying to avoid.
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Old Aug 29, 18, 2:03 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Ticket is valid one year from date of issue. You got two extensions past that, then asked for a third.
I only got one "exception", due to a schedule change (from Thai). I don't see where you saw a second exception.
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Old Aug 29, 18, 2:08 am
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Originally Posted by poohfighter View Post
I only got one "exception", due to a schedule change (from Thai). I don't see where you saw a second exception.
Here:
Originally Posted by poohfighter View Post
Originally I had booked it for exactly one year out from my ticketing date; however, I received word of an itinerary change from Thai . . .

(1) so I called United and had it rebooked for a few days later. In January I noticed that the reservation had disappeared from my travel wallet.
(2) I called in and spoke with an agent who was very helpful in getting me rebooked. She even followed up with a friendly email to assure me it had been completed. As of earlier this week, my itinerary was still showing a valid ticket number and booking code (I even selected seats at Thai's website).
(3) Today I decided to call United and see if it was possible to push my trip back a couple more days,
It doesn't matter that #1 was due to a schedule change. You got the ticket extended beyond it's validity. That's an exception. You were lucky to get #2 . Calling and asking for #3 was a bridge too far.

Did you not wonder why the reservation "disappeared" the first time?

Look, I accept this was inadvertent on your part, but there are still agents at UA (and likely every other airline) who take some pleasure in enforcing the rules against passengers. That's why we have unwritten rules about what not to do when you've gotten an exception. There used to an agent at the SFO GFL who was renowned for auditing F tickets of passengers who used the lounge . . . so the unwritten rule was, if there's anything at all funky about your F ticket, DO NOT USE THE SFO GFL.
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Last edited by Kacee; Aug 29, 18 at 2:15 am
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Old Aug 29, 18, 9:12 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Look, I accept this was inadvertent on your part, but there are still agents at UA (and likely every other airline) who take some pleasure in enforcing the rules against passengers. That's why we have unwritten rules about what not to do when you've gotten an exception. There used to an agent at the SFO GFL who was renowned for auditing F tickets of passengers who used the lounge . . . so the unwritten rule was, if there's anything at all funky about your F ticket, DO NOT USE THE SFO GFL.
yeah, too bad for the OP, but United was following rules. The schedule change I can see them make an exception, but beyond that ... not so much. If you want to get the last ticket back, you might get lucky because you had an issued ticket. Making another change ... that won't happen.
GFL was a nono for sure when getting into the F cabin through e.g. irops.
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Old Aug 29, 18, 10:57 am
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Unless UA told you that the agent cancelled your ticket, it may well have been UA's own system which picked up on the "illegal" ticket when it was accessed.

All you can do is call UA back and simply ask to have the ticket reinstated. It's unlikely that anybody you can reach on the phone can do so and even less likely that it can be done on another carrier, Even hard at the "old" price.
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