Help with GPU-eligible fare to SGN

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Old Sep 8, 18, 5:43 pm
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Help with GPU-eligible fare to SGN

Hi folks -

I'm in the early stages of planning a trip to SGN in January. Looking to use GPUs to upgrade and ideally I'd like connect through HKG or TPE and then have a quick hop to SGN. I'm able to find published fares via SFO and then connecting in HKG on either CX or HX, but I cannot for the life of me construct an itinerary in W or better to apply the GPUs on the UA flights. Worst case scenario, I'll get a separate ticket from HKG-SGN, but I'd appreciate any guidance.

For reference, I'm looking at UA2123 AUS-SFO, UA869 SFO-HKG (both 1 Jan) and then HX538 HKG-SGN on 2 Jan - the UA legs are both showing W9. Thanks!
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Old Sep 8, 18, 5:57 pm
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Not sure if this helps. I booked this trip in July (2018) on a W fare: SAN-SFO-HKG-SGN-NRT-SFO-SAN.

As you note, the HKG-SGN leg was on HX. The SGN-NRT leg was on NH.

My NRT-SFO leg got cancelled and ended up NRT-IAH.

All UA flights I was able to use GPU.

There is also EWR-HKG flight connecting to HX for HKG-SGN - someone else on my HKG-SGN flight had caught that flight.

So a number of alternatives for getting to SGN from the USA.

Good luck.
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Old Sep 8, 18, 6:56 pm
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Originally Posted by timezone_trooper View Post
Hi folks -

I'm in the early stages of planning a trip to SGN in January. Looking to use GPUs to upgrade and ideally I'd like connect through HKG or TPE and then have a quick hop to SGN. I'm able to find published fares via SFO and then connecting in HKG on either CX or HX, but I cannot for the life of me construct an itinerary in W or better to apply the GPUs on the UA flights. ...
Not sure I understand the problem. Is it UA is not providing a W fare to HKG but rather lower fare classes?

If so, have you tried forcing a W fare or calling I asking an agent to force W?

Or used Google flights to force a W fare?

Or is the problem something else? A routing issue? Needing to use multi-city?
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Old Sep 8, 18, 7:02 pm
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I see a one-way AUS-SGN fare WLX3OUJC that prices out just fine in Sabre with those flights:

Code:
1 UA 2123 W 01JAN T AUS SFO 0745A 0944A 738 0 /E
1 UA 869 W 01JAN T SFO HKG 0110P 0820P 77W 0 /E
1 HX 538 M 02JAN W HKG SGN 1030P 1210A 320 0 /E
1ADT 656.80
If you can't get the website to give that pricing to you, you should be able to call UA (or any travel agent).

Last edited by amislove; Sep 8, 18 at 7:04 pm Reason: wrong itinerary
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Old Sep 8, 18, 8:50 pm
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I have no problem getting united.com to return a W for this routing, either round-trip or one-way.

Are you searching by fare class? You need to enter Y, B, M, E, U, H, Q, V, W in the dialogue box.
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Old Sep 8, 18, 9:09 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Are you searching by fare class? You need to enter Y, B, M, E, U, H, Q, V, W in the dialogue box.
The problem with doing that is that the non-UA flights might not be in one of those fare classes, which means they will not be found (or potentially found at a higher fare class than is needed).

In this case it works as the HX flights are class M, so it's in your list - but that's likely luck more than anything.

In theory the better way to search would be to use the "Upgrade" option in advance search, but that has issues with non-UA itineraries too, and frequently fails outright for them.

The only alternative I've found is to use ITA matrix (see ITA Software Matrix Airfare Search Consolidated Information and Help Thread) which will allow you to set the booking class for each leg individually, and will generally be able to at least find itineraries like this - although booking them would be a different story...
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Old Sep 8, 18, 9:19 pm
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I bought LAX-SIN/SGN-NRT-LAX upgraded with a GPU and then cashed in miles for the SIN-SGN hop. I was never able to get the RT to price so I went with the open jaw.
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Old Sep 8, 18, 10:00 pm
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Thanks everyone - this looks like a situation that I'll need to call and book. It's likely an issue with the website not returning results for the non-UA flights; once my GPUs land I'll call to book. Also need to brush up on my ITA Matrix syntax usage
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Old Sep 8, 18, 10:03 pm
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Originally Posted by docbert View Post
The problem with doing that is that the non-UA flights might not be in one of those fare classes, which means they will not be found (or potentially found at a higher fare class than is needed).
Wow, that's extremely disappointing. There's no reason for this when it's a through fare -- even though the RBD of the HX segment is M, it's still covered by the W fare and so still should meet the search criteria -- but I just tried it myself and found the same thing. Even multi-city search doesn't seem to work, at least for that particular itinerary.

You should be able to book this kind of fare by calling, but it's absolutely critical to know what the fare should be before you call, because not all agents will understand how to price it (e.g., it wouldn't work if the agent tried to force W class on the HX flight). If the agent comes back with an incorrect quote, HUCA.
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Old Sep 8, 18, 10:17 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Wow, that's extremely disappointing. There's no reason for this when it's a through fare -- even though the RBD of the HX segment is M, it's still covered by the W fare and so still should meet the search criteria -- but I just tried it myself and found the same thing. Even multi-city search doesn't seem to work, at least for that particular itinerary.

You should be able to book this kind of fare by calling, but it's absolutely critical to know what the fare should be before you call, because not all agents will understand how to price it (e.g., it wouldn't work if the agent tried to force W class on the HX flight). If the agent comes back with an incorrect quote, HUCA.
Yeah for whatever reason the website doesn't want to put something together. Here's another question for the group's collective wisdom: using ITA I was unable to put together a full round trip with the necessary fare classes, but I was able to put together two one-ways. How do I go about booking this?

I've got a WLX3OUJC fare on the outbound and WLRCVAO on the return - do I need to book two one-ways? Is there a way to combine these into one PNR; I'm assuming user error on my part trying to get this together.
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Old Sep 8, 18, 10:28 pm
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Originally Posted by timezone_trooper View Post
Yeah for whatever reason the website doesn't want to put something together. Here's another question for the group's collective wisdom: using ITA I was unable to put together a full round trip with the necessary fare classes, but I was able to put together two one-ways. How do I go about booking this?

I've got a WLX3OUJC fare on the outbound and WLRCVAO on the return - do I need to book two one-ways? Is there a way to combine these into one PNR; I'm assuming user error on my part trying to get this together.
What is the return date and routing? It's certainly possible that there's something in those fare rules that causes them not to be mutually bookable.
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Old Sep 8, 18, 10:43 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
What is the return date and routing? It's certainly possible that there's something in those fare rules that causes them not to be mutually bookable.
The return is SGN-HKG-SFO-AUS on 13 Jan (HX539/UA862/UA701) which gives me a WLRCVAO fare when searching o/w. I've been toying with forcing a r/t in ITA via SFO/HKG but I can't seem to make it work on one itin.
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Old Sep 8, 18, 10:51 pm
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Originally Posted by timezone_trooper View Post
The return is SGN-HKG-SFO-AUS on 13 Jan (HX539/UA862/UA701) which gives me a WLRCVAO fare when searching o/w. I've been toying with forcing a r/t in ITA via SFO/HKG but I can't seem to make it work on one itin.
I get a roundtrip fare of $1383.21 on ITA Matrix, using WLX3ZUJG on the outbound and WLW05UJA on the return.

The search I did was:
UA SFO UA HKG HX // f bc=w on the outbound, and
HX HKG UA SFO UA // f bc=w on the return.
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Old Sep 8, 18, 10:56 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
I get a roundtrip fare of $1383.21 on ITA Matrix, using WLX3ZUJG on the outbound and WLW05UJA on the return.

The search I did was:
UA SFO UA HKG HX // f bc=w on the outbound, and
HX HKG UA SFO UA // f bc=w on the return.
Incredible - thanks so much! I'm in AUS as well - happy to buy you a drink any time!
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Old Sep 8, 18, 11:00 pm
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To get some more options, you can also use :

AUS:: UA+ ? /f bc=w|bc=v|bc=q
SGN:: ? UA+ /f bc=w|bc=v|bc=q

This will show you some routing via ORD, as well as some options on NH.

Occasionally you'll find V fares that are cheaper than W, so it's worth including it in the searches, although his time it does look like W is the lowest.

Last edited by docbert; Sep 8, 18 at 11:10 pm
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