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Lifemiles had more award space than UA for a UA flight! (and is this any risk?)

Lifemiles had more award space than UA for a UA flight! (and is this any risk?)

Old Mar 23, 21, 3:02 pm
  #1  
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Lifemiles had more award space than UA for a UA flight! (and is this any risk?)

This is kind of strange .... so wanted to ask the experts here if I have any risks or concerns ... I was looking to book a domestic F flight on UA metal. UA showed only mixed cabin awards on their own site for the entire travel day I wanted to fly, so I decided that's fine to sit in coach for one segment and went to book with a stash of Lifemiles that I didn't get to use thanks to COVID. Anyways, when I went to look up the flight on the Lifemiles site, LM had F availability for both flights, and actually, they had two options! UA had only mixed cabin awards for the entire day. After quadruple checking I input the right date on LM, I hesitantly tried to book it, assuming I would get some error message, but it went through and was ticketed (I confirmed the 202-X ticket number shows on UA site and was able to select seats in F for both segments).

How is it possible that Lifemiles had more award space than UA for UA metal? I'm certainly not complaining, but it just seems so strange. Aeroplan had only mixed cabins and Turkish had only economy (because their #@($* search engine won't ticket mixed cabin awards).

The flight isn't until May, do I need to constantly babysit this reservation, or should it be alright?
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Old Mar 23, 21, 3:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Boston Elite View Post
... How is it possible that Lifemiles had more award space than UA for UA metal? ...
No

Are you really looking at the same flights? As the search engines are different the UA search may be missing a combination -- it happens. If you search the two flights you found separately on UA, did the space show (unfortunately once you booked, the space may be gone)

The May schedule isn't solid yet but that is not the issue here.
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Old Mar 23, 21, 5:41 pm
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congrats on booking I-class 2-segment domestic flight! That's very rare these days. Should not really be better availability with AV, but united.com is sometimes having strange issues ...
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Old Mar 23, 21, 6:29 pm
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
congrats on booking I-class 2-segment domestic flight! That's very rare these days. Should not really be better availability with AV, but united.com is sometimes having strange issues ...
Married vs. segment-by-segment? Seems strange, but this is united.

Did you check expert mode to see if there was really I availability and you just weren't able to book it on .com?

--Ryan
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Old Mar 24, 21, 12:37 pm
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Ua website issue?
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Old Mar 24, 21, 7:09 pm
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It's not that uncommon. UA sometimes releases either more or less award inventory to partners than it does through its own program. I've seen this particularly frequently when searching for KF awards - sometimes KF offers flights that UA does not, and sometimes flights available through UA Mileage Plus are not available through KF.
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Old Mar 24, 21, 7:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
It's not that uncommon. UA sometimes releases either more or less award inventory to partners than it does through its own program. I've seen this particularly frequently when searching for KF awards - sometimes KF offers flights that UA does not, and sometimes flights available through UA Mileage Plus are not available through KF.
Are you saying there is UA award space available via KF while on UA those flights are X0/I0 -- or just don't show in a search?
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Old Mar 24, 21, 9:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Boston Elite View Post
How is it possible that [AV] Lifemiles had more award space than UA for UA metal? I'm certainly not complaining, but it just seems so strange. [AC] Aeroplan had only mixed cabins and [TK] Turkish [Miles & Smiles] had only economy (because their #@($* search engine won't ticket mixed cabin awards).

The flight isn't until May, do I need to constantly babysit this reservation, or should it be alright?
Thank you for highlighting this issue.
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Old Mar 25, 21, 7:33 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Are you saying there is UA award space available via KF while on UA those flights are X0/I0 --
Yes. The inventory releases are different. Sometimes more, sometimes less.
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Old Mar 25, 21, 10:49 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Yes. The inventory releases are different. Sometimes more, sometimes less.
It would be interesting see if you happen to observe this again in the future -- am suspecting there is a deeper reason as this does not seem to be logical.
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Old Mar 26, 21, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
It would be interesting see if you happen to observe this again in the future -- am suspecting there is a deeper reason as this does not seem to be logical.
I've assumed it's just another output of the algorithm they use to release award inventory.
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Old Mar 26, 21, 12:46 pm
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I've never seen this anywhere and would have guessed a married segment issue. I find it incredibly implausible that UA would release more space to partners, but @Kacee has a lot of credibility in my book so I'll have to investigate further.
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Old Mar 27, 21, 9:31 am
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I used to see this with some frequency when comparing SQ/KF to UA; of course, this was back in the day when searching for awards meant something more than trying to book SFO-OGG one-way in JN for under 90k

I don't find it implausible that UA would offer award inventory to partners that it's not offering through MP. One of the goals of UA's inventory management is not to give away seats they think they can sell. Selling discount inventory through other channels is one way that retailers can unload excess inventory without impacting demand/price through their direct channel. That's exactly how I view this practice - UA may well view making awards available through KF as a means of generating some revenue without impacting their domestic demand and pricing.
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