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

UA can't book a reasonably priced cnxn on Star Alliance partners, but Orbitz can?

UA can't book a reasonably priced cnxn on Star Alliance partners, but Orbitz can?

Old Aug 25, 19, 1:24 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: SEA
Programs: 1K 2MM
Posts: 604
UA can't book a reasonably priced cnxn on Star Alliance partners, but Orbitz can?

OK, it happened to me again on this trip to Greece--I tried to book a ticket SEA-SFO-ZRH (on UA) with a connecting flight ZRH-SKG on Swiss. Return route in reverse. To book that on UA the fares were in the $3K plus range, but to book the same ticket on Orbitz was in the $1300 range. United 1K desk couldn't do any better than the $3K range. So I booked separate flights on US and on Swiss, but of course if there's a cancellation then you're not protected like you would be if you booked it all as one itinerary. So, why can Orbitz do that for me, but United can't? And is there a work around with UA that I should know to ask for? Thanks! And while I'm asking, is there a way to book GPU upgradeable fares through Orbitz? Can I ask for a W fare and apply a GPU after ticketing?
tkc98110 is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 1:33 am
  #2  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Gold 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Gold
Posts: 47,628
Originally Posted by tkc98110 View Post
OK, it happened to me again on this trip to Greece--I tried to book a ticket SEA-SFO-ZRH (on UA) with a connecting flight ZRH-SKG on Swiss. Return route in reverse. To book that on UA the fares were in the $3K plus range, but to book the same ticket on Orbitz was in the $1300 range. United 1K desk couldn't do any better than the $3K range. So I booked separate flights on US and on Swiss, but of course if there's a cancellation then you're not protected like you would be if you booked it all as one itinerary. So, why can Orbitz do that for me, but United can't? ...
Without more details, just a guess, but this may be a plating issue. LX may not be allowing UA access to LX's most discount fares but the Orbitz is ticketing on LX ticket stock (so having to LX discount fares).

What ticket stock is Orbitz using?
What are the fare classes for the UA ticket? For the Orbitz ticket?

Also might be a fare combinability issue. Are trying to force a minimum fare on UA (for GPUs?)
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 1:42 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: SEA
Programs: 1K 2MM
Posts: 604
those are more details than I know, or want to try and manage in my brain. I guess my high level bemusement is, shouldn't Star Alliance partners be able to be as flexible and compatible with each other, as a 3rd party is? I know, probably a silly question.
tkc98110 is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 1:45 am
  #4  
Ambassador: Emirates
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Economy, mostly :(
Programs: Skywards Gold
Posts: 7,674
If you book through LX which price do you get?

That's what WineCountryUA's post boils down to
chavala and Often1 like this.
skywardhunter is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 1:49 am
  #5  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Gold 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Gold
Posts: 47,628
Originally Posted by tkc98110 View Post
... I guess my high level bemusement is, shouldn't Star Alliance partners be able to be as flexible and compatible with each other, as a 3rd party is? ....
No, because Orbitz will plate the ticket on the partner's ticket stock and UA can not do that.

However, without those details, it not possible to be conclusive.
Often1 likes this.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 5:39 am
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: ORD
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 15,871
Can you find it on Google Flights and send it to UA?
milepig is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 5:54 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: KSFO/KSQL
Programs: UA Plat, 0.8MM; PPL
Posts: 676
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
No, because Orbitz will plate the ticket on the partner's ticket stock and UA can not do that.

However, without those details, it not possible to be conclusive.
I think per IATA rules, the ticket described by the OP will be plated on UA stock, since the first international segment is UA.

I've personally experienced multiple occasions where united.com wouldn't fare a ticket with a partner segment correctly, but Expedia could. Booking through Expedia resulted in a 016 ticket with the credit card charge coming from United. Received full PQDs.
sincx is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 6:13 am
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BOS/EAP
Programs: UA 1K, MR LTT, HH Gold, Amex Plat
Posts: 24,336
You can book GPU-able fares through OTAs that UA.dumb or over the phone won’t price correctly. With ITA you can set the TATL booking class to W and then use the punch out that some folks here have developed to e.g. purchase from Princeline.
I have done that sucessfully recently for a colleague.
cfischer is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 7:16 am
  #9  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K 1MM; AS MVPG75K; Marriott Titanium; Hilton Diamond (Aspire); Hyatt Refugeeist
Posts: 41,404
Originally Posted by tkc98110 View Post
So I booked separate flights on US and on Swiss, but of course if there's a cancellation then you're not protected like you would be if you booked it all as one itinerary.
You can call it either a plating restriction or a combinability issue resulting from inventory unavailability. UA won't book the flights end-on-end on a single ticket, but only the through fare (which books into a higher fare class, and is thus more expensive).

Just keep in mind that UA is not in business to sell you the cheapest possible ticket. It is in business to make money, and has many effective tools for doing just that.
Kacee is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 7:41 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Programs: Yes
Posts: 822
I'm not quite clear on what OP booked on Orbitz. Did he get separate tickets or all flights on a single ticket? UA has cheap fares on SEA-ZRH, but these definitely have end-on-end fare combination restrictions which you can find in the fare rules --

"END-ON-END NOT PERMITTED. SIDE TRIPS NOT PERMITTED"

This means these fares cannot be combined with other fares on a single ticket no matter who you book it through. The only way to combine them with fares to other destinations is by booking on separate tickets. In order to get all flights on single ticket, you either have to upfare to fares that allows end-on-end fare combinations, or book all segments on a single through fare.
xliioper is online now  
Old Aug 25, 19, 8:09 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SFO
Posts: 2,503
If the ticket is bookable on orbitz as one ticket, why not just book it on orbitz all the way through? Maybe I misread the post.
myperks is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 8:13 am
  #12  
Ambassador: Emirates
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Economy, mostly :(
Programs: Skywards Gold
Posts: 7,674
Originally Posted by xliioper View Post
I'm not quite clear on what OP booked on Orbitz. Did he get separate tickets or all flights on a single ticket? UA has cheap fares on SEA-ZRH, but these definitely have end-on-end fare combination restrictions which you can find in the fare rules --

"END-ON-END NOT PERMITTED. SIDE TRIPS NOT PERMITTED"

This means these fares cannot be combined with other fares on a single ticket no matter who you book it through. The only way to combine them with fares to other destinations is by booking on separate tickets. In order to get all flights on single ticket, you either have to upfare to fares that allows end-on-end fare combinations, or book all segments on a single through fare.
But if they codeshare on the onward European flight OP could book a single fare to the final destination, rather than needing to combine two fares. Too many variables that we don't know
skywardhunter is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 8:36 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 207
I recently ran into a similar situation. Expedia gave us a roundtrip itinerary from Houston to Rome with UA and AC segments for a good price. I could not price the itinerary the same way on either the United or Air Canada websites (which priced almost double), but Expedia gave it and ticketed it just fine. We saved quite a bit of money doing it this way, and I still got all the PQDs (ticket was 016 and first segments were AC). It was for premium economy so don't know if that has anything to do with it.
BearX220, M60_to_LGA and CREN like this.
simmang is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 9:44 am
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: ORD/MDW
Programs: AA, HH, MR elite. Fly mostly AA/WN/B6.
Posts: 18,774
Originally Posted by simmang View Post
I recently ran into a similar situation. Expedia gave us a roundtrip itinerary from Houston to Rome with UA and AC segments for a good price. I could not price the itinerary the same way on either the United or Air Canada websites... but Expedia gave it and ticketed it just fine.
Just had the same thing happen with an Aer Lingus itin. $100 less via Expedia than via EI itself. It's common to see OTAs offer discount fare buckets for sale after they are gone from the airline's captive inventory.
BearX220 is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 10:23 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: San Francisco/Sydney
Programs: UA 1K/MM, TK Elite, DL Gold, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum, IHG Gold, Hertz PC, Avis First
Posts: 6,932
What dates? Without that, it's just a guess as to why you can't buy this ticket on UA.

Looking at some random dates (eg, out Sept 18, Back Oct 2), UA will sell you these flights for $1333 (even less in Basic Economy), priced as a single SEA-SKG "T" fare so no issues with combinability/end-on-end /etc as these only apply when trying to mix fares together.
docbert is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread