Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

UA still charging me $75 for SDC when asking for potential volunteers on my flight

UA still charging me $75 for SDC when asking for potential volunteers on my flight

Old Jul 30, 19, 11:33 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Programs: UA
Posts: 324
UA still charging me $75 for SDC when asking for potential volunteers on my flight

I dont get it. Currently at Mexico City airport. Earlier flight to IAH with seats available going at 1250pm. Im on the 305pm. Asking for bids them to compensate me for giving up my seat, but when I effectively bid $0 to do so by asking to go on a flight that will leave with empty seats, they want to charge me to do so.
TominLazybrook is offline  
Old Jul 30, 19, 11:37 am
  #2  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: CT/NY
Programs: UA Gold/MM, Marriott LT Titanium, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 4,468
They do not know whether they need to do a VDB until an hour prior to the flight. However, if you talk to an agent, they can look at the load and see if they can accomodate you.
PTahCha is offline  
Old Jul 30, 19, 11:38 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: SNA, LAX
Programs: UA Plat
Posts: 2,931
Asking for volunteers does not mean they will actually bump people from the flight. It is a precautionary measure to gauge how many are willing to be bumped. Flight loads are dynamic. With bad weather out East your flight might not even be full when it leaves the gate.
jsloan and princeville like this.
ual744777sta is offline  
Old Jul 30, 19, 11:46 am
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Programs: UA
Posts: 324
Yea, but had I taken the earlier flight theyd automatically have 1 more seat regardless of the load factor.

My flight is on time but the following one is already in a delay. Its highly possible someone could have used that seat.

I suspect the gate agent was just being lazy. No biggie, 2 hours to grab lunch at the airport.

Either way 50k more miles to MM.
iluv2fly likes this.
TominLazybrook is offline  
Old Jul 30, 19, 11:53 am
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 13,502
Originally Posted by TominLazybrook View Post
Yea, but had I taken the earlier flight theyd automatically have 1 more seat regardless of the load factor.
You could make that same argument on any flight at any time. UA has decided to charge $75 to change to an earlier flight, presumably because they've found either (a) people are willing to pay it, or (b) people are less willing to book a flight they don't want, planning to SDC/standby to the (presumably more expensive) flight they actually do want.

You're reading way too much into the fact that they're asking for volunteers in the app. Your flight is J1 Y5. It's not oversold; they won't be moving anybody.

Originally Posted by TominLazybrook View Post
I suspect the gate agent was just being lazy.
No, the gate agent was following policy.
writerguyfl and Often1 like this.
jsloan is offline  
Old Jul 30, 19, 11:57 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: UA 1K, AA, DL, LH, VX, HA
Posts: 5,869
I agree it's goofy. At some level, any airline should be willing to move a passenger to an open seat on an earlier flight for free, at least on a standby basis, instead of letting the seat go out empty, because it frees up a seat they have more time to sell or use.. But they don't, because a general policy of allowing that would mean may fliers could circumvent various limitations (whether advance purchase, or lower fares for later flights), reducing profitability. Of course, UA provides a limited exception through SDC, but they apparently have decided that leaves them with enough control.
drewguy is offline  
Old Jul 30, 19, 12:00 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: DL PM, UA Gold, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 11,252
Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
I agree it's goofy. At some level, any airline should be willing to move a passenger to an open seat on an earlier flight for free, at least on a standby basis, instead of letting the seat go out empty, because it frees up a seat they have more time to sell or use.. But they don't, because a general policy of allowing that would mean may fliers could circumvent various limitations (whether advance purchase, or lower fares for later flights), reducing profitability. Of course, UA provides a limited exception through SDC, but they apparently have decided that leaves them with enough control.
Right, it's a balance against people who would book less expensive flights knowing they can usually SDC to a better time plus people who need to make the change and will pay $75 to do it anyway. Same reason they don't offer walk-up $1 fares on seats that are about to fly empty.
jsloan likes this.
findark is online now  
Old Jul 30, 19, 12:05 pm
  #8  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 46,687
It is entirely sensible and the GA followed UA's published policy (presuming that you are not Gold or above). All available to you on the website: Free SDC is a benefit of Gold-GS

https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...ay-change.html

A very small percentage of overbooked flights are actually oversold and the solicitation you saw is not asking you to volunteer, it is asking whether you would volunteer.
Often1 is offline  
Old Jul 30, 19, 1:23 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,963
Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
I agree it's goofy. At some level, any airline should be willing to move a passenger to an open seat on an earlier flight for free...But they don't, because a general policy of allowing that would mean may fliers could circumvent various limitations (whether advance purchase, or lower fares for later flights), reducing profitability.
The whole thing is very strange to me because I imagine that 99% of people trying to SDC are frequent flyers. Most families and one-off leisure travelers buy a plane ticket and then fly as ticketed because that's what they're used to. Even when same-day standby was free for everyone, I don't think many kettles took advantage of it.

It seems like UA (and other legacies) are charging the population that is not likely to do this, and allowing the people most likely to do this (experienced business travelers who got out of their meeting early) to do it for free.
threeoh is offline  
Old Jul 30, 19, 1:32 pm
  #10  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 46,687
These are small ways to build loyalty. SDC is largely cost-free to UA, but it becomes a reason to fly your favored carrier. Particularly for regular fliers on routes with a lot of frequencies. The fee is not really there to capture the occasional traveller, it is there to retain the frequent flier who has at least a steady spend. For UA it does not kick in until Gold, so it is not for bottom tier "elites".
Often1 is offline  
Old Jul 30, 19, 1:50 pm
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Programs: UA
Posts: 324
Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
YYour flight is J1 Y5. It's not oversold; they won't be moving anybody.
.
You might want to check the flight again. Zero seats avail. And remember the next one is a UA at fault delay.
TominLazybrook is offline  
Old Jul 30, 19, 1:53 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Maui
Programs: UA Gold (.85 MM), HH Diamond, SPG Platinum (LT Gold), Hertz PC, National EE
Posts: 2,919
Meanwhile I once got UA to transfer a ticket to Delta because of a delay , I left my luggage in the UA club (behind the counter with my favorite agent) take the train to C concourse to simply check in for the Delta flight, and the Delta agent asked if I would like to catch the earlier flight leaving in a few minutes. I was bummed that I didnít have my stuff me, as he was pretty quick to offer a seat to a DL nobody like me. If Delta was more practical out of DEN for my destinations I would consider a switch, as this isnít the first time they have treated me well. But not practical for direct flights out of DEN or COS.

i donít care about certificates for future flights, I donít care about VDB options at the time, but in the past GAís had flexibility, now they donít at UA. I mostly travel for work, want to grind out client meetings and come home. If UA would prefer that seats go out empty now, with no idea what might happen later that is silly. But that is UA now...
COSPILOT is online now  
Old Jul 30, 19, 2:02 pm
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 13,502
Originally Posted by TominLazybrook View Post
You might want to check the flight again. Zero seats avail. And remember the next one is a UA at fault delay.
They cleared five standby passengers. The flight was not oversold; nobody got a voucher.

And they're expecting a 20 minute arrival delay on the next flight. That's not something they're going to be scrambling trying to re-accommodate people for.
jsloan is offline  
Old Jul 30, 19, 2:05 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Outside of Cleveland Ohio
Programs: UA *G. DL ̶G̶O̶L̶D̶ Member, Hilton/SPG Gold, Hertz PC
Posts: 362
As far as UA asking who would volunteer and for what price I suspect that they are working at improving their data on what to offer VDB. Meaning that each day they are adding loads of data points to their sample of how much VDB costs them and will allow their analytics to further improve revenue for overselling flights/routes moving forward. After all if UA can pay you $400 to VDB but can sell that seat for $401 over what you paid it's a win from revenue management. Also as is well known a significantly non zero percent of the vouchers will never be redeemed so that is another bump for the airline. At the end of the day UA will have some really great systemic data on how many people are willing to VDB at what $$ and will use that information to be more competitive in the market.
AceReport is offline  
Old Jul 30, 19, 2:21 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: DAY
Programs: Rapid Rewards, Skymiles, Hilton HHonors, SPG/Marriott Rewards
Posts: 1,775
Originally Posted by AceReport View Post
As far as UA asking who would volunteer and for what price I suspect that they are working at improving their data on what to offer VDB. Meaning that each day they are adding loads of data points to their sample of how much VDB costs them and will allow their analytics to further improve revenue for overselling flights/routes moving forward. After all if UA can pay you $400 to VDB but can sell that seat for $401 over what you paid it's a win from revenue management. Also as is well known a significantly non zero percent of the vouchers will never be redeemed so that is another bump for the airline. At the end of the day UA will have some really great systemic data on how many people are willing to VDB at what $$ and will use that information to be more competitive in the market.
Maybe. I wonder if what people say in the app and what people are really willing to take when push comes to shove are one in the same?
Cledaybuck is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: