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How to fix a broken PNR (FareCalc error + MOLA greatest hits)

How to fix a broken PNR (FareCalc error + MOLA greatest hits)

Old Dec 10, 19, 1:55 pm
  #1  
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How to fix a broken PNR (FareCalc error + MOLA greatest hits)

Have a fairly simple round trip itinerary in January (AAA-BBB-AAA) booked as a flexible/refundable C class that I need to look at making more complicated (AAA-BBB as booked, BBB-CCC on date that was originally AAA-BBB, then CCC-AAA two days later). All domestic.

Trying to figure out what those options are un UA.com gets me this glorious bit of error

For pricing 0, unable to parse FareCalculation. Possible problem: There were 4 segments found in the farecalc, but only 3 coupons provided in the query. If the query has been correctly specified, perhaps the missing coupons represent flown segments at the beginning of the journey? Coupons provided: UA AAA-ORD UA ORD-BBB UA BBB-ORD Farecalc segments: UA AAA-CHI UA CHI-BBB UA BBB-CHI UA CHI-AAA
So it seems the PNR is broken (guessing it's detritus from a schedule change where UA's computers thought I'd be happy to take a CR2 instead of the 73G it was when I booked it. Not flying a CR2, and reservations found an alternate that would be acceptable but I digress)

Called the 1K desk and mentioned the error and asked about getting the PNR fixed up so I could see what my options were rather than dragging every possible option out of the agent when I might not even book it

"It will be a $200 change fee plus the fare difference."
"Uh... this is a flexible fare; I didn't think there was a penalty for changes according to the fare rules"
"Well, it was but if you're adding a segment, that means you have to pay the change fee plus the ticket will reprice"
"Um... ok, uh... are you sure about the change fee? I know the ticket will refare but there shouldn't be a change fee?"
"Absolutely, any time you add a city to a ticket you're going to get charged the change fee even if it's a flexible ticket"
"Ek. Oh, well, can you fix up the PNR so that I can at least see what those costs would be?"
"You're honestly going to be better off just forgetting about this ticket and booking a new one... the change fee is going to get you..."
"So nothing you can do to the PNR?"
"Nope... like I said, you should just book a new ticket"

Whaa?

So two questions:
1- How can I get the PNR fixed up so I can actually try to price changes?
2- Is there some rule I've missed about adding a city to a ticket attracting a change fee on a unrestricted ticket? (Again *change fee* vs. repricing the ticket which I expect)

Fare bassis is MAA0AFFY and penalties section is "Exchange - change to 1st ticketed flight coupon or wholly unused ticket -- Residual value may be refunded or applied toward most domestic or international new ticket purchase at current fare levels. Any difference in fare / tax collected/refunded at time of ticket exchange" "No charge or highest fee of only changed fare components" -- which I'm pretty sure means no change fee.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 2:01 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc View Post
1- How can I get the PNR fixed up so I can actually try to price changes?
I don't know but I wouldn't bother.

Originally Posted by lincolnjkc View Post
2- Is there some rule I've missed about adding a city to a ticket attracting a change fee on a unrestricted ticket? (Again *change fee* vs. repricing the ticket which I expect)

Fare bassis is MAA0AFFY and penalties section is "Exchange - change to 1st ticketed flight coupon or wholly unused ticket -- Residual value may be refunded or applied toward most domestic or international new ticket purchase at current fare levels. Any difference in fare / tax collected/refunded at time of ticket exchange" "No charge or highest fee of only changed fare components" -- which I'm pretty sure means no change fee.
No, your understanding is correct. However, unless the MAA0AFFY price has increased since you purchased the ticket (very unlikely) then there is no need to do any of this. The cost to change will be identical to the cost of a new ticket for your desired itinerary less your current basis, whether you change or just book a new ticket and refund the old one.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 2:09 pm
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I had this problem in the past, big mess.

Booked DTW-ORD-SFO-NRT-BKK, changed to DTW-IAH-NRT-BKK; the change in the number of segments for whatever reason pretty much locked me out of any changes when I needed to modify my return. I had to pay the change fee. My error was identical in wording other than the city names.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 2:34 pm
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Often it's cheaper to change a RT ticket after the outbound portion has been flown, but then you risk not having seats available on the new flights you want.

HUCA? It sounds like the phone agent was making up the rule about the $200 change fee to add a city on a flexible fare, but it's hard to be sure without lots of details.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 6:33 pm
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If you're sure the fare rules specify a $0 change fee, pay what the agent quotes and ask Refunds to fix it.

Alternately ask the agent what your fare basis is and could they please read you the PENALTIES portion of your fare rules (doesn't UA show full rules online now?). If they don't know how to do that, send @UNITED a tweet (hi, just talked to a phone agent who quoted a bogus change fee and seemed unable to read fare rules), and call again.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 6:56 pm
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Agent in this case is incorrect. If you have a refundable/flexible fare -- you don't incur any penalties when making a change. Fare difference applies. If you get push back from the agent, ask them to contact the Rate Desk and the agent will be advised the correct rules.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 7:28 pm
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Originally Posted by COGal View Post
If you get push back from the agent, ask them to contact the Rate Desk and the agent will be advised the correct rules.
FWIW, in something like eight or nine occurrences, I have never gotten a reasonable or correct result when an agent puts me on hold "to call the rate desk". I have even had to win an argument with them by pricing a new ticket manually on their website and ticketing it using "pay later" just to prove to them that the fare construction was valid (very impressed I won that argument actually).

MAA0AFFY is a zero-day refundable (without penalty) fare. There is no need for any of this complication; you can simply refund the ticket and buy a new one.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 8:00 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
MAA0AFFY is a zero-day refundable (without penalty) fare. There is no need for any of this complication; you can simply refund the ticket and buy a new one.
I was wondering why this wouldnít be an option - if it is, probably the best one. The only reason I could see it not being one of it is some rare combo where changes donít incur a penalty, but a refund does. And while Iím sure it theoretically possible thatís the case, Iíd guess it is extremely rare.
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Old Dec 10, 19, 9:52 pm
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Originally Posted by mherdeg View Post
If you're sure the fare rules specify a $0 change fee, pay what the agent quotes and ask Refunds to fix it.

Alternately ask the agent what your fare basis is and could they please read you the PENALTIES portion of your fare rules (doesn't UA show full rules online now?). If they don't know how to do that, send @UNITED a tweet (hi, just talked to a phone agent who quoted a bogus change fee and seemed unable to read fare rules), and call again.
This was my frustration -- I wanted to price options online and the PNR is broken. All I really wanted the agent to do was fix the PNR so that I could (look at options to change it on UA.com). [As it turns out it appears to be impossible to get to "CCC" on UA without enduring Air Wisconsin and a CR2 so this will likely be moot-ish -- either different station and driving or AA if it comes to fruition] But yes, you can now pull the fare rules for any reservation from the manage your res page which is helpful (and how I confirmed that there was no change fee in the rules)

Originally Posted by COGal View Post
Agent in this case is incorrect. If you have a refundable/flexible fare -- you don't incur any penalties when making a change. Fare difference applies. If you get push back from the agent, ask them to contact the Rate Desk and the agent will be advised the correct rules.
The agent muttered something about the Rate Desk -- and if I actually knew what I wanted to book (rather than just getting a feel for costs) I would have pushed it but that's really a red herring (that I'm realizing I didn't push hard enough on and let myself be lead astray -- the PNR being broken so it can't be done online is what I really wanted the agent's help with and got distracted by the change fee comments.

Originally Posted by findark View Post
FWIW, in something like eight or nine occurrences, I have never gotten a reasonable or correct result when an agent puts me on hold "to call the rate desk". I have even had to win an argument with them by pricing a new ticket manually on their website and ticketing it using "pay later" just to prove to them that the fare construction was valid (very impressed I won that argument actually).

MAA0AFFY is a zero-day refundable (without penalty) fare. There is no need for any of this complication; you can simply refund the ticket and buy a new one.
Ditto. My experiences with the rate desk have been a challenge. Even "simple" requests that go to the rate desk get bundled. I had one a few years ago (CO days I think) where I needed a ticket in "Y" for some esoteric client reason. Website search by fare class treat(ed, think it still does) "Y" as a generic "lowest Economy" rather than explicitly "Y" bucket. Called reservations, they were getting the same result, called the rate desk claimed they got the PNR set up confirmed it was in Y...got it ticketed over the phone...hung up, got the receipt... and it was ticketed something completely different ("U" or "E" I think). An back into the phone queue... Thankfully I haven't had to try booking a true "Y" in a while.

Fair point on the 0-day -- I got myself stuck in the "need to figure out the cost difference by changing ticket" mindset rather than "figure out cost of new ticket, subtract existing ticket, and refund original if things go that route"


Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
I was wondering why this wouldnít be an option - if it is, probably the best one. The only reason I could see it not being one of it is some rare combo where changes donít incur a penalty, but a refund does. And while Iím sure it theoretically possible thatís the case, Iíd guess it is extremely rare.
Mainly because I wasn't thinking that way Still, also, ultimately would like to get the PNR fixed up because I'm worried about this causing different issues down the road if I keep the PNR but c'est la vie.
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Old Dec 11, 19, 6:02 am
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
FWIW, in something like eight or nine occurrences, I have never gotten a reasonable or correct result when an agent puts me on hold "to call the rate desk". I have even had to win an argument with them by pricing a new ticket manually on their website and ticketing it using "pay later" just to prove to them that the fare construction was valid (very impressed I won that argument actually).

MAA0AFFY is a zero-day refundable (without penalty) fare. There is no need for any of this complication; you can simply refund the ticket and buy a new one.
Yes, I finally learned a few years ago that when they say they need to call the rate desk, what it really means is that I will ultimately be calling again.
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