Award vs. Paid Fare Flexibility

Old Feb 28, 21, 3:51 pm
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Award vs. Paid Fare Flexibility

I want to buy a roundtrip economy international ticket (booked directly on UA / UA operated / JFK-PPT). I can pay in either miles or $ (the value equivalents are the same). What has more flexibility? Award or paid fare? I have no status with United. Rules keep changing and fine print is frustrating. The flight is in August, but borders might or might not be open. I just want to make sure I choose the option that allows me most flexibility (rescheduling, etc.). Thanks.
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Old Feb 28, 21, 4:36 pm
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Originally Posted by a7m View Post
I want to buy a roundtrip economy international ticket (booked directly on UA / UA operated / JFK-PPT). I can pay in either miles or $ (the value equivalents are the same). What has more flexibility? Award or paid fare? I have no status with United. Rules keep changing and fine print is frustrating. The flight is in August, but borders might or might not be open. I just want to make sure I choose the option that allows me most flexibility (rescheduling, etc.). Thanks.
All else being equal, the award ticket would be more flexible. Either way, you'd be allowed to make a change without paying a change fee (but would be responsible for any increase in fare / miles required). However, with an award ticket, you can get a free redeposit 31+ days prior to travel. With a non-refundable cash ticket, you'd be limited to accepting flight credit unless the change was due to an action by UA -- you wouldn't be able to get a refund.
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Old Feb 28, 21, 5:55 pm
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Both will be pretty flexible (and I'm sure you know there's a good chance that no part of that itinerary will remain as currently booked).

In terms of getting your payment back, the award ticket is somewhat more flexible than the paid ticket for the reason noted by jsloan, while a paid ticket will likely be easier to rebook.
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Old Feb 28, 21, 6:49 pm
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Note you can also refund an award ticket and buy a cash ticket if things change, but not the other way around.
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Old Mar 1, 21, 4:40 am
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
All else being equal, the award ticket would be more flexible. Either way, you'd be allowed to make a change without paying a change fee (but would be responsible for any increase in fare / miles required). However, with an award ticket, you can get a free redeposit 31+ days prior to travel. With a non-refundable cash ticket, you'd be limited to accepting flight credit unless the change was due to an action by UA -- you wouldn't be able to get a refund.
Hi would this be true for a one way award from MUC to KRK in Dec 2021 for a free redeposit if we can not make trip?
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Old Mar 1, 21, 8:11 am
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Originally Posted by thepla View Post
Hi would this be true for a one way award from MUC to KRK in Dec 2021 for a free redeposit if we can not make trip?
Yes, as long as you cancel with 31 days' notice. See the wiki here: Award tkt change/cancellation/redeposit/fees Q&As: no fees up to 31 days pre-travel
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Old Mar 1, 21, 5:03 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Yes, as long as you cancel with 31 days' notice. See the wiki here: Award tkt change/cancellation/redeposit/fees Q&As: no fees up to 31 days pre-travel
Thanks

Ended up MUC->KRK from 8800 miles and around $50 bucks. Was $100 paid but this is due to end of cruise to get to visit Poland but wanted flexibility to cancel, if needed.

As a silver do I get any free checked bags or perks on Lufthansa? Thanks again,
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Old Mar 1, 21, 7:30 pm
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Originally Posted by thepla View Post
... As a silver do I get any free checked bags or perks on Lufthansa? ...,
Nothing to speak of, perhaps elite check-in at a few airports
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Old Mar 2, 21, 12:54 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Nothing to speak of, perhaps elite check-in at a few airports
Hi I went to Lufthansa website it seems as Silver (Star Allliance Silver) I get 1 free checked and one carryon. That was main concern. We have seats together and it's only an hour flight. I have Priority pass so maybe a lounge. Coming from Passau (cruise) via bus or something.
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Old Mar 2, 21, 2:47 pm
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Originally Posted by thepla View Post
Hi I went to Lufthansa website it seems as Silver (Star Allliance Silver) I get 1 free checked and one carryon. That was main concern. We have seats together and it's only an hour flight. I have Priority pass so maybe a lounge. Coming from Passau (cruise) via bus or something.
LH Silver, yes
*A Silver???
Can you post the link saying non-LH Group Silver get a bag, that must be new

Your ticket (MUC-KRK?), no status includes a checked bag, carry bag and a personal item for economy award ticket
*A Silver adds nothing more
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Old Mar 2, 21, 4:52 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
LH Silver, yes
*A Silver???
Can you post the link saying non-LH Group Silver get a bag, that must be new

Your ticket (MUC-KRK?), no status includes a checked bag, carry bag and a personal item for economy award ticket
*A Silver adds nothing more
See attached

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Old Mar 2, 21, 5:15 pm
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Originally Posted by thepla View Post
See attached
And with no status

you get the same results -- *A Silver did nothing



You are see the standard ticket bag allowance and as *S you are getting no additional benefit

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Mar 2, 21 at 5:20 pm
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Old Mar 2, 21, 5:24 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
And with no status

you get the same results -- *A Silver did nothing

I guess they always give a free bag or a bug on their website. To me it would seem to get no benefit for any elite status is ridiculous. I do have sliver from my lifetime Titanium Marriott. I was 1K and EXP at same time years ago and read Flyertalk every day. Not so much lately. Someone that flies 25K and certain amount of money is loyal enough for a free bag. Don't they give free bags here in US for having a $100 AF credit card so for actually earning it should get something.

Sorry I did not see your end of post... So I do get bag just not part of status, that's OK.
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Old Mar 2, 21, 5:30 pm
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Originally Posted by thepla View Post
I guess they always give a free bag or a bug on their website. To me it would seem to get no benefit for any elite status is ridiculous. ....
As a UA Silver, you get benefits went flying UA. To get benefits on a partner flight, you need to be UA Gold or higher. That is the way the Star Alliance is set up. Silver (Frequent Traveler) on LH does not get anything special from UA.

Your Marriott benefit helps on UA but not on *A partners.
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