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Partner flight discontinued / canceled route on UA award ticket, what are my options?

Partner flight discontinued / canceled route on UA award ticket, what are my options?

Old Jun 13, 16, 1:57 pm
  #1  
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Partner flight discontinued / canceled route on UA award ticket, what are my options?

So I have an award booking that included a stopover in Beijing (PEK) and onward flight to Siem Reap. It was a non-stop and I essentially built my itinerary off it, hotels and stuff booked. I check my itinerary today by chance, and this leg was missing. I called United and they said Air China discontinued this route, though United gave me no notification of any flight changes. It turns out they can no longer get me to Siem Reap on their partner airlines. The only option they gave me on the phone was to get me closer to Siem Reap, and then I'd have to find my way there on a different flight.

I also paid a change fee of $200 (2 tickets) to add this Siem Reap leg over a month ago.

Do I have any options to try to get anything out of United this unfortunate event? At least my change fees back? Or do I have to just bite the bullet and either pay for expensive flights to Siem Reap or start canceling all of my hotel reservations to book at different dates? Thanks in advance.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 2:02 pm
  #2  
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*A should be able to get you to VTE, likely from BKK. From there to REP isn't so bad. The boat trip up the Tonle Sap can be nice if you're feeling adventurous; I did it in December and enjoyed the ride.

Otherwise UA doesn't owe you much other than a refund, excluding the change fee, though you can try to argue that one.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 2:07 pm
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O r try Bangkok which is a cheap flight away. You could also request a refund of the change fees as a courtesy.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 2:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Flamenguista View Post
It turns out they can no longer get me to Siem Reap on their partner airlines. The only option they gave me on the phone was to get me closer to Siem Reap, and then I'd have to find my way there on a different flight.
What about routing through ICN on Asiana?
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Old Jun 13, 16, 2:31 pm
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Getting to REP from PEK is not going to be possible on *A unless you go through ICN on OZ.

However, REP is a dirt-cheap flight most dates from BKK on Bangkok Airways or AirAsia, and is less than an hour in the air. If you can get them to refund the $200 change fees, and get you to BKK, you're almost certainly going to end up (financially) ahead buying BKK-REP as a separate ticket, though the pain-in-the-butt factor compared to your original itinerary is, of course, still disappointing...
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Old Jun 13, 16, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by aza72 View Post
What about routing through ICN on Asiana?
I just tried this, but it every award flight from ICN to REP tries to route through PEK (the discontinued route). There doesnt seem to be a bookable ICN to REP route.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 2:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Flamenguista View Post
I just tried this, but it every award flight from ICN to REP tries to route through PEK (the discontinued route). There doesnt seem to be a bookable ICN to REP route.
You didn't mention your dates, but the OZ flight isn't daily, year-round. I think it's only 3 days per week during non-peak. But it definitely still exists, in general.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 2:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Darlox View Post
Getting to REP from PEK is not going to be possible on *A unless you go through ICN on OZ.

However, REP is a dirt-cheap flight most dates from BKK on Bangkok Airways or AirAsia, and is less than an hour in the air. If you can get them to refund the $200 change fees, and get you to BKK, you're almost certainly going to end up (financially) ahead buying BKK-REP as a separate ticket, though the pain-in-the-butt factor compared to your original itinerary is, of course, still disappointing...
Yeah, this is my last option if I can't pull a rabbit out of my hat. It wouldn't be that bad if there wasn't a need to switch airports though, which is a pain. It blows up a whole day of my trip as that PEK to REP nonstop was perfect for me.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 3:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Darlox View Post
You didn't mention your dates, but the OZ flight isn't daily, year-round. I think it's only 3 days per week during non-peak. But it definitely still exists, in general.
It may also be that OP is searching during an OZ blackout period on UA. There are now an awful lot of those.

While I wouldn't call the Bangkok Air flights cheap, that's still the best option in many instances.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 4:05 pm
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Can they get you to SGN?
From there you can take Angkor Air or Vietnam Airlines on a cheap ticket? I'm thinking of going in the fall and have looked at flights between REP and BKK, SGN, KUL, SIN and doesn't seem like a problem at all to get there.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by JVPhoto View Post
Can they get you to SGN?
From there you can take Angkor Air or Vietnam Airlines on a cheap ticket? I'm thinking of going in the fall and have looked at flights between REP and BKK, SGN, KUL, SIN and doesn't seem like a problem at all to get there.
No availability for my dates in December.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 4:56 pm
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What sucks is I originally booked to fly into Kuala Lumpur, and was going to take the very cheap Air Asia flight to Siem Reap first thing in the morning. But I made the change fee when I discovered the nonstop PEK to REP which staged the very long flight from RDU and cut my travel time. Now I'm out $200 and my original RDU-KUL award availability is gone.

I don't think I have any choice but to fly from PEK-BKK and then DMK-REP with Air Asia. A whole day wasted because the times aren't great having to factor in the airport switch.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 5:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Flamenguista View Post
What sucks is I originally booked to fly into Kuala Lumpur, and was going to take the very cheap Air Asia flight to Siem Reap first thing in the morning. But I made the change fee when I discovered the nonstop PEK to REP which staged the very long flight from RDU and cut my travel time. Now I'm out $200 and my original RDU-KUL award availability is gone.

I don't think I have any choice but to fly from PEK-BKK and then DMK-REP with Air Asia. A whole day wasted because the times aren't great having to factor in the airport switch.
What about Air China to SGN, and then purchasing a ticket on Air Vietnam? Still would come out ahead if the change fee is refunded. Since it was Air China that canceled the route, perhaps they would accommodate you on this alternative even if award space is not available?
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Old Jun 13, 16, 6:59 pm
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Before giving up on the *A routings for lack of award availability, I would call UA and ask UA to contact the relevant *A carrier with a request that the carrier force award space on OP's behalf. This is a manual process and will take a few days, but unless OP's travel is immediate, it is well worth it.

UA can't force another *A carrier to do anything, but carriers routinely do this. Call during regular business hours and ask to speak with a supervisor. Do this when you have some time.

If that fails, then proceed to the ticket purchase backup. OP should certainly send a note to UA requesting a refund of the $200, but I doubt that UA will do this ant, at best UA may may issue a credit or some miles. Don't link the refund request to ticketing discussions as it will confuse the issues. Make it a separate submission via webform once your new routing is confirmed or when you return from your trip.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 7:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Flamenguista View Post
No availability for my dates in December.
You can get to SGN all on UA maybe given the circumstances they'll open the space for you? Have you tried calling in that or just searching online?
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