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

Fare difference when switching to the same fare class?

Fare difference when switching to the same fare class?

Old Jan 8, 20, 1:06 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: NYC
Programs: UA 1K; IHG Platinum; Hilton Diamond; Marriott Gold; Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 138
Fare difference when switching to the same fare class?

Original flight was HKG-SFO-EWR in V class.

I called the Premier Desk to see if I could return two days earlier.

The agent said there was no change fee for HKG flights (presumably, due to the civil unrest). However, there was a fare difference since the new flights were a higher fare class.

I asked which fare class the new flights were. She said 'V.'

I asked if she could see what my original fare class was. She said the original fare class was V.

"I don't understand. If my original fare class was V and the new fare class is V, why do I need to pay a higher fare?"

The agent got mad at that point, so I just bit my tongue and paid the $47.

My understanding was that you only needed to pay a fare difference when you're changing your ticket to a higher fare class. I called back to ask another agent and the second agent said it's possible to still have to pay a fare difference when you're changing a ticket and the new flight(s) are the same fare class. The agent said I was originally scheduled to leave on a Tuesday, and now I am leaving on a Sunday and "fares on the weekend will always be more expensive than fares on a weekday [even in the same fare class.]" I know there are multiple fares that are filed with the same fare class, but I don't know if that even factors into fare differences when you change your ticket. Maybe I'm confusing ticket changes with SDC, in which the fare class rule applies?

Does this sound right (that it's still possible to have to pay a fare difference when changing your ticket to the same fare class)?
NYC2SGN is offline  
Old Jan 8, 20, 1:11 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 13,706
It sounds right. The fare in a given bucket changes frequently.
ContinentalFan is offline  
Old Jan 8, 20, 1:12 pm
  #3  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 86,988
Is this the return portion of a RT ticket? Changes made after the outbound portion has been flown tend to be treated differently.

Have you found your original and new fare codes and tried to read the fare rules? AFAIK it could even be the same fare code with a surcharge for Sunday travel, just like some fares permit a stopover for an additional fee.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Jan 8, 20, 1:31 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: DL PM, UA Gold, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 11,044
Originally Posted by NYC2SGN View Post
My understanding was that you only needed to pay a fare difference when you're changing your ticket to a higher fare class. I called back to ask another agent and the second agent said it's possible to still have to pay a fare difference when you're changing a ticket and the new flight(s) are the same fare class. The agent said I was originally scheduled to leave on a Tuesday, and now I am leaving on a Sunday and "fares on the weekend will always be more expensive than fares on a weekday [even in the same fare class.]" I know there are multiple fares that are filed with the same fare class, but I don't know if that even factors into fare differences when you change your ticket. Maybe I'm confusing ticket changes with SDC, in which the fare class rule applies?
The second agent was correct, and you are indeed confusing slightly with SDC, which technically should be the same but (a) you usually don't SDC to a different day; it's literally "same day" change, and (b) the way SDC is coded and usually handled, the standard rules check is ignored, probably because as originally envisioned you would not be doing an SDC in a way that could break your existing fare rules.

It's extremely common for international fares to be valid only for certain days of the week, usually with two schedules: W (weekend, higher because business travel usually isn't on a business day when int'l) and X (the other one). For EWR-HKG, template W is for travel Fri/Sat/Sun and template X is for travel Mon/Tue/Wed/Thu in each direction, and the templated fare difference is $50 half-round-trip. Usually, but not always, the same fare family has an X and W version for the standard difference.
NYC2SGN likes this.
findark is offline  
Old Jan 8, 20, 1:34 pm
  #5  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K 1MM; AS 75K; Marriott Ambassador; Hilton Diamond (Aspire); Hyatt Explorist
Posts: 43,457
UA often publishes multiple fares for a given inventory bucket, with different fare rules and pricing.

Also, if you haven't yet flown the outbound, the ticket typically reprices on a change, and may be subject to current rather than legacy fare rules.
Kacee is offline  
Old Jan 8, 20, 1:34 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Houston
Programs: UA Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 11,204
There can be multiple fares that book into the same class, each with different requirements/restrictions, at slightly different prices.

Also even for a given fare, the price can change over time.

Booking class doesn't tell nearly the whole story on what the price is.
mduell is offline  
Old Jan 8, 20, 1:43 pm
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: NYC
Programs: UA 1K; IHG Platinum; Hilton Diamond; Marriott Gold; Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 138
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Is this the return portion of a RT ticket?
Yep. Not sure what the difference would be in this case (in the case of return portion of RT).

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Have you found your original and new fare codes and tried to read the fare rules?
Should have done this but I didn't. I probably still could if I look in the 'Past Travel' section of my itineraries... right?
NYC2SGN is offline  
Old Jan 8, 20, 2:11 pm
  #8  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Gold
Posts: 49,260
Originally Posted by NYC2SGN View Post
....
Should have done this but I didn't. I probably still could if I look in the 'Past Travel' section of my itineraries... right?
No if you did not record the original fare basis / fare code, it is tought to recovery

presently there are 12 different V fares for HKG-EWR
Same have different valid dates, some are RT only, some OW, ....
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Jan 8, 20, 2:18 pm
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: CVG
Programs: UA Silver, AA, DL, Marriott Silver
Posts: 11,799
Could it also be a surcharge tied to the specific new day of travel?

I know US carriers often add an extra charge into fares departing certain peak days - around holidays, long weekends, etc. My understanding is the fare difference shouldn’t apply if one is booked into the same class, but if there is a ‘peak day surcharge’ (for lack of a better term), that might?
emcampbe is online now  
Old Jan 8, 20, 4:22 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: YYZ/MGA
Programs: AA 1MM Lifetime Gold, AA Platinum, WS Gold, Marriott Bonvoy Gold
Posts: 7,585
Originally Posted by ContinentalFan View Post
It sounds right. The fare in a given bucket changes frequently.
You might see 10 variations of VXXXXXX at any time on any airline, to say nothing of the first ticket meeting conditions on the original V which now only meet conditions of new, more expensive V. $47 is not worth an argument unless the original fare was $3.
ricktoronto is offline  
Old Jan 8, 20, 4:28 pm
  #11  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Gold
Posts: 49,260
Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
...My understanding is the fare difference shouldn’t apply if one is booked into the same class, ....
No, not correct for a standard flight change. The exception is SDC. And some waivers.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 8, 20 at 4:57 pm
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Jan 8, 20, 4:32 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: LAX
Programs: UA:1k; MR: PLT; Hilton: Gold
Posts: 1,323
Originally Posted by NYC2SGN View Post
The agent said there was no change fee for HKG flights (presumably, due to the civil unrest). However, there was a fare difference since the new flights were a higher fare class.
Surprised nobody has commented on this part. Right now there is no public waiver for HKG flights, so you should've been charged a change fee. If there was a waiver, then those rules would apply. Some require the same fare class/code to be available, some only require that it be the same cabin.

Originally Posted by NYC2SGN View Post
Yep. Not sure what the difference would be in this case (in the case of return portion of RT).
Sure somebody else can explain this better, but essentially the difference is if you haven't flown any of your trip, any change requires that the WHOLE trip be repriced. Whereas if you've flown the outbound, and you're only changing the return, then only that piece gets repriced (and if I recall, can keep the same rules, advance purchase requirements, etc. of the original purchase).
jmanirish is offline  
Old Jan 8, 20, 4:37 pm
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: DL PM, UA Gold, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 11,044
Originally Posted by jmanirish View Post
Surprised nobody has commented on this part. Right now there is no public waiver for HKG flights, so you should've been charged a change fee. If there was a waiver, then those rules would apply. Some require the same fare class/code to be available, some only require that it be the same cabin.
They either waive the change fee only, or both the change fee and difference in fare. Nothing special about same booking code.
findark is offline  
Old Jan 8, 20, 6:25 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: UA GS, Hyatt Globalist, Virtuoso Travel Agent, Commercial Pilot
Posts: 1,827
Originally Posted by jmanirish View Post
Sure somebody else can explain this better, but essentially the difference is if you haven't flown any of your trip, any change requires that the WHOLE trip be repriced. Whereas if you've flown the outbound, and you're only changing the return, then only that piece gets repriced (and if I recall, can keep the same rules, advance purchase requirements, etc. of the original purchase).
On many fares, you can still use historical fares and measure advance purchase from the ticketing date as long as you don't change the first segment on the itinerary, even if you haven't flown any part of the itinerary.

More or less, any change (except for SDC) requires a reprice, it's just that you usually get more favorable conditions (use historical fares, measure advance purchase by original ticketing date, etc.) if you don't change the first segment. Even for the flown segments you could still end up in a different fare for both the outbound and the return, though, if your change the itinerary so that it no longer meets the original fare rules (e.g. you shorten the trip so it doesn't meet the minimum stay requirements).
Sykes is offline  
Old Jan 8, 20, 6:44 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: ORF, RIC
Programs: UA 1K 2.9 MM; Marriott Platinum; IHG Platinum
Posts: 3,534
Weekend departure to Asia is always more expensive

OP should be aware that the weekend departure to/from Asia is about $50 more expensive than weekday departure if OP does a mock search. This discussion should end at the second post.
Kmxu is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: