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Moving a ticket (within 24hrs of purchase) from Y -> F, reliably, online?

Moving a ticket (within 24hrs of purchase) from Y -> F, reliably, online?

Old Jul 12, 19, 2:34 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: RDU, NC, USA
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Moving a ticket (within 24hrs of purchase) from Y -> F, reliably, online?

My use case: we're required by corporate to book tickets in Y. I want to fly up front and am fine paying that difference out-of-pocket. In an ideal world, I would be able to have corporate book the ticket in Y, then go online and change it to F (really meaning the domestic upgraded coach fare that lands in Z/C/P), and pay the fare difference. Of course, I want the PQM/PQD bonuses that come with being on a Z/C/P fare. Here's where the problems start:

- I've tried doing this via the online "upgrade flight" process, but when I do it this way I do *not* reliably get rebooked into P/Z/C, which means losing out on the incremental miles/segments/PQD. For a domestic transcon that's another 5k PQM, which is enough to matter to me. I've done this a couple of times where it DID book into the Z/C/P and earn the bonuses, but most of the time it does not. I haven't found any way to know in advance, so if I try this and it doesn't work I have to call UA anyway and have them re-work the whole thing, which sucks.

- I've tried doing this by calling our corporate travel agency, and having them "re-ticket" into F. But they seem to have a hard time making this happen - maybe they're confused by the difference between "re-issuing" and "upgrading". Plus, they want to charge yet another transaction fee for doing the re-issue, which seems a bit usurious. Which sucks.

- I've tried doing this by calling UA directly. I can (usually, eventually) get someone at the 1K desk who comprehends what I want to do, but often when they price it, the corporate discount doesn't get applied and they want me to pay the difference between our discounted corporate fare and what it would cost to book the original thing in Z/C/P... if I'm on a rockbottom fare the discount isn't enough to matter, but if we're up into M/H territory the discount component becomes significant. Which sucks.

Does anyone have a suggestion on how to do this that would not suck? Or suck less? I'm trying to give UA more money here, but the combination of airline and agency seems to be making it hard for me to do that. ;-)
ljwobker is offline  
Old Jul 12, 19, 2:43 pm
  #2  
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Unfortunately, I think you have successfully identified all the possible approaches and their drawbacks. If you are at a smaller company, perhaps you can ticket directly in F and submit a receipt for Y as reimbursement (after clearing this with your employer) -- this is what I did in a past job. But this is unlikely to work in a large or bureaucratic company. Upgrading for the "fee" cost will never earn PQD/RDM, and upgrading directly with United will almost always price to the public First fare and not your corporate rate. By the time you want an agent to ignore the agency takeover issue, understand GG BUYUP, and ticket you a private fare you're asking way too much for luck of the draw.
findark is offline  
Old Jul 12, 19, 2:48 pm
  #3  
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The only reliable way online to a ticket change, upgrade options are not reliable if you want PQMs and/or PQDs.
I have never had a UA agent hesidate when I call to "up fare" (not "upgrade") but the corprorate discount will be a problem as they are not aurthorize to apply them -- only the agency can.

You have the added complexity of corprorate discounts, which require using your corprorate agents. Perhaps developing a relationship with a specific coprorate agent and having a direct number might work but such personalized service may violate the agency or your corproration raid / corruption practices.

BTW, there is annoying change made by UA in the past year. You can not online change from economy to domestic first for the same flight. It is ":not available". Have to call or switch flights.
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Old Jul 12, 19, 7:58 pm
  #4  
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This is all easily resolved through your employer and, in turn, through its TA. Many now permit an employee to keep a second personal CC on file and for the TA to directly issue the ticket into the appropriate fare basis which obtains an F seat. The corporate account is charged the appropriate amount and any balance is charged to the personal CC. A note is made as to what the Y are would have been and the entire transaction is handled in the background with not much extra work and easy accounting.
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Old Jul 14, 19, 2:09 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
This is all easily resolved through your employer and, in turn, through its TA. Many now permit an employee to keep a second personal CC on file and for the TA to directly issue the ticket into the appropriate fare basis which obtains an F seat. The corporate account is charged the appropriate amount and any balance is charged to the personal CC. A note is made as to what the Y are would have been and the entire transaction is handled in the background with not much extra work and easy accounting.
We work for very different employers... or at least ones that use very different travel agencies. When I attempt to do this, it usually requires me explaining multiple times exactly what I'm trying to accomplish, exactly how I want it done, the difference between a "reissue" (to get the miles) versus a "buy up" -- then they always have to call UA to get the discount stuff straightened out, then they have to do something else to waive the change fee ... it's a mess.
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