standby or upgrade on award travel

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Old Aug 12, 19, 4:38 pm
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standby or upgrade on award travel

I booked a family trip from WAS to LIH, on award travel. I booked in Economy (22,500 miles each way) because there was no F Saver Award space. I have two questions:

First, would it be typical for us to get a "purchase upgrade" offer when we do OLCI? Or do they not typically do that to Hawaii and/or for award travel? I would like to get at least two of us into F if we had the option at a reasonable price.

Second, on our return we have a 5 or 6 hour layover at LAX. For twice as many miles (45k rather than 22.5k) we could have booked a 1.5 hour connection at LAX rather than the 5-6 hour connection. I did not do that mostly because I am a cheap, even when it comes to miles (and also because who knows whether our LIH-LAX flight will be on time). But if our LIH-LAX flight arrives on time, such that we could make the earlier LAX-IAD flight, is UA likely to allow us to stand by for the earlier LAX-IAD flight?

Thanks.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Aug 12, 19 at 4:43 pm Reason: Using symbols, spaces or other methods to mask vulgarities is not allowed.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 4:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Chamor View Post
...
First, would it be typical for us to get a "purchase upgrade" offer when we do OLCI? Or do they not typically do that to Hawaii and/or for award travel? I would like to get at least two of us into F if we had the option at a reasonable price. ...
It can happen even on award flights at check-in but for that route best not to have too high of hope for an offer or a reasonable offer.

Originally Posted by Chamor View Post
...on our return we have a 5 or 6 hour layover at LAX. For twice as many miles (45k rather than 22.5k) we could have booked a 1.5 hour connection at LAX rather than the 5-6 hour connection. But if our LIH-LAX flight arrives on time, such that we could make the earlier LAX-IAD flight, is UA likely to allow us to stand by for the earlier LAX-IAD flight? ...
Yes and there is only a fee if successful and not Gold or high. The seating choices may not be great.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 7:36 pm
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Thanks. I am not looking forward to the long trip in Economy. Especially the outbound IAD-HNL leg. But 22,500 miles each way in Y or 95,000 miles each way in F, times 4 people, is a pretty big difference....
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Old Aug 12, 19, 8:09 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Yes and there is only a fee if successful and not Gold or high. The seating choices may not be great.
While not published policy (publicly, anyway), practice has been to waive fees for everyone when shortening a connecting at the connecting point unless this has changed very recently. You may be able to make this change on the app or phone as early as when you board the plane at LIH, after your LIH-LAX boarding passes have been scanned. Of course, you may prefer to wait until LAX. See the SDC thread for details and examples.
UA Same-Day Travel Change (SDC) Fees/Questions (with Wiki)
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Old Aug 12, 19, 8:16 pm
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Thanks, LAX UA 1K. I suppose there could be a complication if we have checked baggage? If we were to make the change on the UA app, before take off from LIH, maybe that would change the routing of our already-checked baggage too?
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Old Aug 12, 19, 8:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Chamor View Post
Thanks, LAX UA 1K. I suppose there could be a complication if we have checked baggage? If we were to make the change on the UA app, before take off from LIH, maybe that would change the routing of our already-checked baggage too?
You are allowed to do SDC with baggage as long as the change is made one hour before the relevant original and changed flights. But I don't know if the app works in that case (the SDC experts should know). If you have Gold or higher status, try to do it in advance for free. If not, try asking nicely at the check-in counter if there is any way to shorten the connection before you check your bags.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 8:45 pm
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Originally Posted by LAX UA 1K View Post
While not published policy (publicly, anyway), practice has been to waive fees for everyone when shortening a connecting at the connecting point unless this has changed very recently. ...
Good point (it takes a village to get all the options revealed )

Originally Posted by Chamor View Post
Thanks, LAX UA 1K. I suppose there could be a complication if we have checked baggage? If we were to make the change on the UA app, before take off from LIH, maybe that would change the routing of our already-checked baggage too?
With check bags, the app will not be an option (locked out) -- only with an agent and there needs to be at least one hour in advance of both the old & new flight

Also, the app can only do a confirmed change, not standby.

More about SDC / Standby is covered in UA Same-Day Travel Change (SDC) Fees/Questions (with Wiki)
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Old Aug 12, 19, 8:49 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Also, the app can only do a confirmed change, not standby.
With checked luggage, most agents won't do standby either.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 8:55 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
With checked luggage, most agents won't do standby either.
Of course, what's maddening is that your bags will likely already be on the earlier flight.

Unlike international travel, bags don't need to travel with you.

If you want to standby at your connection, is it possible to tell the agent that at check-in? Not sure if there is a tag they can put on it to make it easier to retrieve?
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Old Aug 12, 19, 8:57 pm
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Originally Posted by ryman554 View Post
.... If you want to standby at your connection, is it possible to tell the agent that at check-in? Not sure if there is a tag they can put on it to make it easier to retrieve?
I heard of doing that at your origin city but not at a connection city.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 8:59 pm
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Originally Posted by ryman554 View Post
Of course, what's maddening is that your bags will likely already be on the earlier flight.

Unlike international travel, bags don't need to travel with you.

If you want to standby at your connection, is it possible to tell the agent that at check-in? Not sure if there is a tag they can put on it to make it easier to retrieve?
Usually, but not always, the bag will make the earlier flight, and, yes, there's no positive passenger-bag match for domestic flights. However, UA still doesn't like to separate you from your luggage, because they end up paying somebody to deliver it to you when it arrives.

Yes, there is a standby tag that they can attach to a bag that, in theory, makes it easier to find later, and, yes, the check-in airport would be the place to do it. However, agents really don't like doing this. If OP were willing to sign a delivery waiver, that might increase the chance that UA would cooperate -- then, if the bag didn't arrive when OP did, OP would need to return to the airport to pick it up.
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Old Aug 13, 19, 12:25 am
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how many in your family are traveling.. that might be an issue in trying to get on an earlier flight
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Old Aug 13, 19, 8:57 am
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Originally Posted by fotographer View Post
how many in your family are traveling.. that might be an issue in trying to get on an earlier flight
Three people (there's a fourth, but he's taking a different return flight).
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Old Aug 13, 19, 9:18 am
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Originally Posted by Chamor View Post
Three people (there's a fourth, but he's taking a different return flight).
Can the fourth check the bags under their reservation? That would free you up a bit more.
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Old Aug 13, 19, 9:36 am
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Originally Posted by Chamor View Post
Three people (there's a fourth, but he's taking a different return flight).
I think getting 3 people on a single flight might be tough... wish you luck
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