LH space on UA partner award issue

Old Mar 17, 2023, 2:06 am
  #1  
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Angry LH space on UA partner award issue

Good evening all,

I booked United award travel SFO-MUC-AGP (UA SFO-MUC in Business connecting to LH MUC-AGP in economy,) AGP-LIS (on TP in Business Excursion benefit,) and LIS-EWR-SFO (on UA in economy) using my United miles. It was about 200K miles but since airfares are currently high and I have recently gone down to Silver status I figured I would use the miles for a confirmed upgrade on the long haul overwater flight on the beginning of my trip. I chatted on Twitter with UA requesting that I be added to the waitlist for Business Class on the Lufthansa flight MUC-AGP and was told that they do not waitlist for award space on other airlines but I was welcome to check on my own. I was checking for upgrade space on the United app and noticed 31 days before my flight that the earlier MUC-AGP flight now had coach space in "X" class available which was not previously there. This would reduce my layover in MUC by about 4 hours. I contacted United via telephone and requested to be changed to the earlier MUC-AGP connection. The representative said that she couldn't see the inventory and would waitlist me for it. (This contradicted the previous agent's statement about waitlisting award space on other carriers but I didn't mention it to her.) I checked my PNR the following day and noticed that on the United website that I was waitlisted for the earlier LH flight. On the Lufthansa website, I was showing confirmed for that flight. I called Lufthansa and asked if they showed me as confirmed for that flight and they said I was confirmed for both flights MUC-AGP and I needed UA to reissue the ticket. I called UA Premier line and discussed my situation with the agent. She was pleasant enough but advised me that she showed me as on the waitlist even though I showed the LH booking as confirmed. We had a connection with lots of static and were disconnected. I received a phone call about a minute later from United that had even more static than the previous call and it disconnected. I called the United Airlines Premier number and the menu asked me if I wanted to be contacted by text. I agreed and started communicating my issue to the representative. The representative ultimately asked me if I wanted to change my booking for the later flight for the earlier flight and agree to the change. I responded that yes, I wanted the earlier flight and I wanted to keep all of the other flights. He communicated that it was done as an even exchange. I pulled up my booking and the later Lufthansa flight is now gone and the earlier Lufthansa flight is there in a status of "Wait List." The United booking also shows that I am on the waitlist for the MUC-AGP flight. I am wondering if I should just ask them to undo everything and put me on my original later connection booking because I think that my trip could go horribly wrong if E-Tkts and Ticket numbers and such are not in sync.
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Old Mar 17, 2023, 9:52 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by misterfuss
I chatted on Twitter with UA requesting that I be added to the waitlist for Business Class on the Lufthansa flight MUC-AGP and was told that they do not waitlist for award space on other airlines
This was the correct answer.

Originally Posted by misterfuss
I was checking for upgrade space on the United app and noticed 31 days before my flight that the earlier MUC-AGP flight now had coach space in "X" class available which was not previously there.
When searching from SFO? Does your Excursionist Perk flight still have availability?

Originally Posted by misterfuss
I contacted United via telephone and requested to be changed to the earlier MUC-AGP connection. The representative said that she couldn't see the inventory and would waitlist me for it. (This contradicted the previous agent's statement about waitlisting award space on other carriers but I didn't mention it to her.)
That was your signal to HUCA. The first agent was correct.

Originally Posted by misterfuss
I am wondering if I should just ask them to undo everything and put me on my original later connection booking because I think that my trip could go horribly wrong if E-Tkts and Ticket numbers and such are not in sync.
What does LH say? In this particular case, here’s what you need:

(a) a 016 ticket number that is different from the original one (check your receipts; you should find the ticket number there).
(b) LH has the updated ticket number
(c) LH shows the flight as confirmed.

United.com has a habit of showing “waitlisted” for any situation where the ticket is out of sync. If you’re lucky, all three of the above scenarios will apply, in which case you should be fine even though UA thinks the LH segment is unconfirmed. If not, reply back with the current status on those axes and I’m sure we can come up with the next steps.
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Old Mar 17, 2023, 10:08 am
  #3  
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UA can call LH ... you need to make the case that this is handled properly. 'waitlist' is nonsense for awards w/ LH ... might be space that UA thinks they can't see, but it is available and LH confirms it. Should not be that difficult to solve, but the current state of UA agents is not what it used to be. Sigh.
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Old Mar 18, 2023, 1:27 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by jsloan
This was the correct answer.


When searching from SFO? Does your Excursionist Perk flight still have availability?


That was your signal to HUCA. The first agent was correct.


What does LH say? In this particular case, here’s what you need:

(a) a 016 ticket number that is different from the original one (check your receipts; you should find the ticket number there).
(b) LH has the updated ticket number
(c) LH shows the flight as confirmed.

United.com has a habit of showing “waitlisted” for any situation where the ticket is out of sync. If you’re lucky, all three of the above scenarios will apply, in which case you should be fine even though UA thinks the LH segment is unconfirmed. If not, reply back with the current status on those axes and I’m sure we can come up with the next steps.
The Excursionist flight AGP-LIS still shows available. Actually the SFO-MUC-AGP flight still shows available in Business for 155K miles but for the later connection in coach MUC-AGP. The LIS-EWR-SFO shows available in coach (as I had booked) but for 25K more miles.

My record on Lufthansa now shows that the "X" class for the earlier flight is now confirmed. The United reservation still shows it as "Wait List." I looked at the ticket numbers per your post.
(a) the 016 ticket number is the same on the original ticket as well as the Lufthansa reservation as well as the "revised" United reservation that I had emailed to me after the changes. The email still shows the later LH MUC-AGP flight and not the earlier LH flight.
(b) there is no updated ticket number that I can see
(c) LH shows the flight as confirmed when I go to their website and input the confirmation number that is shown on the UA website.

Originally Posted by cfischer
UA can call LH ... you need to make the case that this is handled properly. 'waitlist' is nonsense for awards w/ LH ... might be space that UA thinks they can't see, but it is available and LH confirms it. Should not be that difficult to solve, but the current state of UA agents is not what it used to be. Sigh.
I definitely agree. I had a few issues when I was a Gold and a Platinum and I recall that my phone calls were directed to agents in the US. This time when I called, I could tell that I was speaking with a representative at an offshore call center. They were very polite but seemed to lack the experience that I received from the domestic agents.

I'm replying to myself and others that are following this post but I want to clarify that I desire the earlier connection to the LH MUC-AGP flight versus the additional 4 hour layover in MUC. Although the LH PNR looks correct, the UA PNR does not and I am worried that we will experience an issue at OLCI or when we connect in MUC. I also don't want the rest of the flights in the PNR to auto-cancel if we show as "no-shows" to the original later flight. I have heard horror stories about mismatched flight coupons and e-ticket problems and want to deal with any potential issues beforehand if possible.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Mar 18, 2023 at 10:45 am Reason: merged consecutive posts by same member
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Old Mar 18, 2023, 2:05 am
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Originally Posted by misterfuss
The Excursionist flight AGP-LIS still shows available. Actually the SFO-MUC-AGP flight still shows available in Business for 155K miles but for the later connection in coach MUC-AGP. The LIS-EWR-SFO shows available in coach (as I had booked) but for 25K more miles.
OK, thats (somewhat) good news. If AGP-LIS were no longer available, you might have lost it entirely. But if SFO-MUC-AGP doesnt appear with the connection you want, it may not be possible to book it, even if MUC-AGP is available by itself. LH puts a lot of married segment restrictions on its award inventory.

Originally Posted by misterfuss
My record on Lufthansa now shows that the "X" class for the earlier flight is now confirmed. The United reservation still shows it as "Wait List." I looked at the ticket numbers per your post.
(a) the 016 ticket number is the same on the original ticket as well as the Lufthansa reservation as well as the "revised" United reservation that I had emailed to me after the changes. The email still shows the later LH MUC-AGP flight and not the earlier LH flight.
(b) there is no updated ticket number that I can see
(c) LH shows the flight as confirmed when I go to their website and input the confirmation number that is shown on the UA website.
(c) is obviously good news but (a) and (b) worry me quite a bit. In general, any change to a partner flight requires reissuing the ticket, and reissuing means a new ticket number. While it is possible that UA and LH have developed a way to revalidate interline tickets that dont change dates or cities (similar to reissuing, but with the same ticket number), the fact that UA is showing the flight as waitlisted makes me think its probably out of sync.

Originally Posted by misterfuss
I'm replying to myself and others that are following this post but I want to clarify that I desire the earlier connection to the LH MUC-AGP flight versus the additional 4 hour layover in MUC. Although the LH PNR looks correct, the UA PNR does not and I am worried that we will experience an issue at OLCI or when we connect in MUC. I also don't want the rest of the flights in the PNR to auto-cancel if we show as "no-shows" to the original later flight. I have heard horror stories about mismatched flight coupons and e-ticket problems and want to deal with any potential issues beforehand if possible.
Sure, thats a perfectly reasonable concern. Personally, I would call UA and say something like this. I called recently to make a change to PNR ABC123, and Im a little concerned, because the flight is showing waitlisted, and I worry that the ticket may not have been reissued properly. Hopefully that uses the right amount of jargon youre not telling the agent how to do her job, but youre indicating that you have enough familiarity with the processes to know what to look for. If you get an experienced agent, anyway
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Old Mar 18, 2023, 4:16 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by misterfuss
My record on Lufthansa now shows that the "X" class for the earlier flight is now confirmed. The United reservation still shows it as "Wait List." I looked at the ticket numbers per your post.
(a) the 016 ticket number is the same on the original ticket as well as the Lufthansa reservation as well as the "revised" United reservation that I had emailed to me after the changes. The email still shows the later LH MUC-AGP flight and not the earlier LH flight.
(b) there is no updated ticket number that I can see
(c) LH shows the flight as confirmed when I go to their website and input the confirmation number that is shown on the UA website.
It is the operating carrier's system that matters for the flight status, if it is showing confirmed in the LH PNR, then the messaging back to UA probably got lost confirming the space. Call in, have them look up the LH PNR themselves (or call LH) to confirm that LH shows the segment confirmed, they can then have their support desk manually confirm the space in the UA PNR and reissue the ticket so LH gets the updated eTicket number valid for the flights you are confirmed on.

Something along the lines of "My UA PNR is showing the segment waitlisted however LH shows it confirmed in their PNR and needs the ticket reissued to match the flights. Can you review the LH PNR with them and then confirm the space in my UA PNR to match what is shown in the LH system and reissue the ticket?"
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Old Mar 20, 2023, 3:14 pm
  #7  
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Thank you to everyone for your replies. As an update to my situation, I messaged via Twitter and United responded that my Lufthansa flight would not be confirmed since the minimum connection time at MUC was not met because the MCT is 60 minutes. So, I was put back on my original connection. Although I actually don't believe that this was a truthful response, I'm glad to see that the "flight waitlisted" status is now gone. I don't believe the MCT issue since the LH website showed both flights as confirmed and I also tried booking the ticket with money and I was able to get the earlier flight. I can't believe that someone flying on a mileage ticket would have a longer MCT than someone who paid using money. So, I believe it is probably an issue with married segments as [MENTION=8598]jsloan[/MENTION] mentioned. Either way, I'm glad to have it resolved even though I will spend more time in the lounge.
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Old Mar 20, 2023, 3:25 pm
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Originally Posted by misterfuss
I don't believe the MCT issue since the LH website showed both flights as confirmed and I also tried booking the ticket with money and I was able to get the earlier flight. I can't believe that someone flying on a mileage ticket would have a longer MCT than someone who paid using money.
Youre correct, although MCT at MUC is quite complicated.

But, as a practical matter I would not book a connection shorter than one hour at MUC for US to Schengen transit anyway. Youll need to go through immigration (and possibly security) at MUC. Its possible youd be through and to your gate in less than an hour, but its not something Id count on.
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Old May 10, 2023, 1:32 am
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Following up on my trip

So, at 14 days out Lufthansa canceled our MUC-AGP segment completely. Until this point, we never had our ticket reissued. I chatted via Twitter and got the deleted flights restored. I then noticed that I could have SFO-MUC-AGP all in business class. (Of course, the previous United Airlines agent lied to me about MCT.). I asked via Twitter to be rebooked in business class on the earlier routing and they did so and reissued my ticket (which they didnt do previously.). Although we had a short connection, we were able to make it in Munich.
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