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UA v. NZ ticketing for Air New Zealand Flight

UA v. NZ ticketing for Air New Zealand Flight

Old Apr 16, 2023, 11:21 am
  #1  
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UA v. NZ ticketing for Air New Zealand Flight

I am considering an economy booking US to Australia and back on Air New Zealand. Since first domestic flight is on UA (DCA-IAH), I have option of booking as an 016 ticket or 086 ticket. Latter is about 3-4% more. Price around 2200 to 2300 USD.

Is there any rule of thumb on whether I should book 016 v. 086 in terms of either miles or, more important, elite credit? I've read the MP page on this and feel I need a slide rule or something to figure it out.

Is there a reliable online calculator that will answer this for me?

Should I just ask chat GPT?

thanks
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Old Apr 16, 2023, 11:31 am
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I would book on 016 just because Im U.S.-based and if I had to cancel, I would have a 016 voucher I could use on another United itinerary.
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Old Apr 16, 2023, 12:11 pm
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Originally Posted by TVStar
I am considering an economy booking US to Australia and back on Air New Zealand. Since first domestic flight is on UA (DCA-IAH), I have option of booking as an 016 ticket or 086 ticket. Latter is about 3-4% more. Price around 2200 to 2300 USD.

Is there any rule of thumb on whether I should book 016 v. 086 in terms of either miles or, more important, elite credit? I've read the MP page on this and feel I need a slide rule or something to figure it out.

Is there a reliable online calculator that will answer this for me?
You can use the following to input your flights, fare class, and calculate expected RDM and PQP.
https://pqp.economiles.com/

If you're flying DCA-IAH-AKL-SYD and on W fare, you would earn at least 1,754 PQP on a 086 ticket. So if you are paying $2,200+ then probably more beneficial to buy 016 ticket to get more PQP.
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Old Apr 16, 2023, 1:25 pm
  #4  
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Some things to think about
  • Compare change / cancellation policies -- UA's is one of the most flexible in the industry.
  • Who customer support is easier to work and more responsive -- do you have any status with either
  • As mentioned, if something does happen, which will be the most useful to you, UA or NZ credit
  • If crediting to UA MP, the ticket does impact the earnings, the previous poster covered that.
  • If you are think about upgrading the NZ flights, being booked as a NZ flight number is better than as a UA codeshare

Assume you are doing this because the all UA routing is more expensive. Any other reasons for using NZ?
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Old Apr 16, 2023, 2:56 pm
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I have not flown NZ for a couple of years but when I did it was always an 086 ticket - this was before the PQP changes.

NZ allows you to bid to "buy up" to the next class. I was never successful but found the coach seat very good for LHR-LAX in the last row as only two seats and Premium Economy LAX-AKL excellent (although better with the old style boomerang seats). Have never flown on their business class seats but the configuration looks somewhat weird to me but when I am asleep I do not care.

If earning PQP is not important to you then look at Google Flights.
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Old Apr 16, 2023, 3:16 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by TVStar
I am considering an economy booking US to Australia and back on Air New Zealand. Since first domestic flight is on UA (DCA-IAH), I have option of booking as an 016 ticket or 086 ticket. Latter is about 3-4% more. Price around 2200 to 2300 USD.

Is there any rule of thumb on whether I should book 016 v. 086 in terms of either miles or, more important, elite credit? I've read the MP page on this and feel I need a slide rule or something to figure it out.

Is there a reliable online calculator that will answer this for me?
Looking to get UA ff miles/status earning a primary consideration?

Destination in Australia? Air NZ fly to many AU airports. Not just SYD/MEL. So Air NZ is good if not going to SYD. The international-domestic shuffle at SYD best avoided if possible. Air side transit at AKL preferable and then to secondary AU airport.

Many airlines fly USA<--->AU: UA, DL, AA, QF, HA, FJ, NZ, AC. Major airports BNE SYD & MEL
A map from the Great Circle Mapper - Great Circle Mapper
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Old Apr 16, 2023, 11:13 pm
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Yes trying to maximze UA status/miles

Couldn't you "buy up" even if on a UA-issued ticket?

Have become disillusioned with UA, so would prefer to try another carrier. Also, the timings happen to work a little better for me.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 17, 2023 at 12:13 am Reason: merged consecutive posts by same member
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Old Apr 17, 2023, 12:08 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by TVStar
Yes trying to maximze UA status/miles
To me ff miles and status are a minor side benefit of travel. Not the reason.
Originally Posted by TVStar
Couldn't you "buy up" even if on a UA-issued ticket?
Air NZ are well know for *not* releasing awards & alliance upgrades to other Star Alliance airlines.
With non USA airlines always expect to travel in the class/seat you buy. They will/do fly with premium seats unoccupied.
Want a higher class - better seat; get your credit out and ready for action.
Originally Posted by TVStar
Have become disillusioned with UA, so would prefer to try another carrier. Also, the timings happen to work a little better for me.
The grass is not greener on the other side. Especially with economy.
Schedule is valid reason for another airline, but if going via AKL expect will add many hours to total trip time.
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Old May 6, 2023, 8:54 pm
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Just came across this on the ANZ Mileage Plus partner page...Anyone know if it is real/enforced?....So If I buy an 016 ticket through Amex Travel, the NZ flights WON'T be credited by fare paid?...In other words, it doesn't matter if the ticket is 016 or 086, unless I can buy the 016 ticket directly from United? (The price on their website isn't comparable.)

<<If your ticket was purchased directly from united.com, by calling the United Customer Contact Center (including a United specialty desk, such as United Groups, United Meetings or the Premier Priority Desk), from a United representative at the airport, or through a United ticket office, you'll earn miles based on the fare footnote1, footnote2 and your MileagePlus status. Please reference the "Ticket number starts with 016" section below. footnote3>>
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Old May 6, 2023, 10:30 pm
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Originally Posted by TVStar
Just came across this on the ANZ Mileage Plus partner page...Anyone know if it is real/enforced?....So If I buy an 016 ticket through Amex Travel, the NZ flights WON'T be credited by fare paid?...In other words, it doesn't matter if the ticket is 016 or 086, unless I can buy the 016 ticket directly from United? (The price on their website isn't comparable.)

<<If your ticket was purchased directly from united.com, by calling the United Customer Contact Center (including a United specialty desk, such as United Groups, United Meetings or the Premier Priority Desk), from a United representative at the airport, or through a United ticket office, you'll earn miles based on the fare footnote1, footnote2 and your MileagePlus status. Please reference the "Ticket number starts with 016" section below. footnote3>>
No. That wording is just to make it clear that those methods of booking always result in 016. Other methods that result in 016 tickets earn by the same rules (assuming they aren't otherwise excluded e.g. bulk tickets).
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Old May 30, 2023, 6:54 am
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In the process of considering either a UA or NZ J class ticket for January from CHC-JFK. This would be a cash ticket as opposed to an award ticket. I would like this to include the AKL-JFK nonstop.

I am seeing this ticket as bookable on either UA or NZ. I am US based.

On United.com it is only bookable as a multi-city trip. Searching a one-way does not bring back any AKL-CHC connections. It is also clear to me that the UA booking is non-refundable but changeable with no penalties. My question on the United booking is are multi-city trips fully protected in case of delays? There are many flights between AKL-CHC but I would like to determine how much time to leave for the connection on a multi-city trip. If it is fully protected then I can cut it closer.

If I book it directly with NZ I really need to know it is mostly refundable as I am US based and if the trip falls thru I wouldn't be able to spend the credit easily before it expires. Part of the fare rule from ITA Matrix is for "Air New Zealand (NZ) JHSVAM90 CHC to NYC" is copied below.

I am understanding this to mean it can be cancelled for a refund of the amount paid less $NZ 250 up to one day before departure. It would only be fully non-refundable and with no value in case of No-Show or cancelled within 24 hours of departure.

The price for booking UA or NZ is almost the same. So that is not a factor.

I assume I can credit mileage to UA either way but would get more RDMs via a UA ticket. I don't care about status qualification on UA although more RDMs is good but not determinative. Refundability or ability to use the credit is my big concern.

The two questions:
1. Is the UA booking via multi-city fully protected?
2. Is the NZ booking really refundable less the $NZ 250 up to 24 hours before departure?

CANCELLATIONS
BEFORE DEPARTURE
CHARGE NZD 250.00 FOR CANCEL/REFUND.
CHILD/INFANT DISCOUNTS APPLY.
NOTE -
APPLIES IF THE TICKET IS CANCELLED ONE DAY OR
MORE BEFORE DEPARTURE. APPLIES PER ONE WAY FARE.
NO REFUND WILL APPLY TO A BOOKING CANCELLED ON
THE DAY OF DEPARTURE. NO CREDIT WILL APPLY TO A
BOOKING CANCELLED ON THE DAY OF DEPARTURE
-----
IN CASE OF TICKET UPGRADE THE ORIGINAL
NON-REFUNDABLE AMOUNT REMAINS NON-REFUNDABLE.
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Old May 30, 2023, 8:43 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by mfFrom35K
1. Is the UA booking via multi-city fully protected?
Yes, anything plated on a single ticket should be equally protected. If you end up fared from CHC to NYC, then there is literally no difference in what you purchase based on what you search; only the fare construction matters.

Originally Posted by mfFrom35K
2. Is the NZ booking really refundable less the $NZ 250 up to 24 hours before departure?
Yes. This is a fairly common tariff rule outside of the United States and Europe. I'm actually more surprised that the UA fare on CHC-NYC is not refundable.
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Last edited by findark; May 30, 2023 at 8:49 am
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Old May 30, 2023, 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by findark
Yes, anything plated on a single ticket should be equally protected. If you end up fared from CHC to NYC, then there is literally no difference in what you purchase based on what you search; only the fare construction matters.



Yes. This is a fairly common tariff rule outside of the United States and Europe. I'm actually more surprised that the UA fare on CHC-NYC is not refundable.
Thank you!!!
I am reading the United text bolded and in red below for the UA rules to mean it is non-refundable but the full value can be used provided it is cancelled before the flight. Agree?

There was a much higher price shown for Business (fully refundable).

NOTE - -- HALF ROUNDTRIP FARE COMBINATION OF NON-REFUNDABLE / REFUNDABLE WITH A CANCELLATION PENALTY / FULLY REFUNDABLE - THE MOST RESTRICTIVE CANCELLATION PENALTY RULE APPLIES TO THE ENTIRE PRICING UNIT FOR WHOLLY UNUSED TICKET - -- NOTE - -- YR / YQ INTERNATIONAL SURCHARGE WILL NOT BE REFUNDED ON NON-REFUNDABLE FARE TICKETS -- TAX / CHARGE - US / ZP / XF - WILL NOT BE REFUNDED ON NON-REFUNDABLE FARE TICKETS -- CANCELLATIONS ANY TIME TICKET IS NON-REFUNDABLE IN CASE OF NO-SHOW/REFUND. NOTE - -- TICKET IS NON-REFUNDABLE FOR REFUND / CANCEL / NO SHOW NON-REFUNDABLE APPLIES TO ADULT/CHILD/INFANT -- RESERVATIONS MUST BE CANCELLED BEFORE TICKETED SCHEDULED FLIGHT OR TICKET HAS NO VALUE IF NO- SHOW -- FULL VALUE OF A WHOLLY UNUSED TICKET MAY BE APPLIED TOWARDS PURCHASE OF A NEW TICKET PRICED AT -CURRENT- QUALIFYING EQUAL OR HIGHER FARE LEVELS AND ANY DIFFERENCE IN FARE / SURCHARGE / TAXES / FEES / CHARGES WILL BE APPLICABLE AT TIME OF EXCHANGE /// SOME EXCLUSIONS APPLY /// -- WHEN PASSENGER CANCELS A WHOLLY UNUSED TICKETED FLIGHT RESERVATIONS PRIOR TO THE TICKETED DEPARTURE TIME / THE TICKET VALIDITY FOR A WHOLLY UNUSED TICKET / TRAVEL MUST BEGIN WITHIN ONE YEAR OF THE ORIGINAL TICKET ISSUE DATE EXCEPTION- FOR TICKETS ISSUED ON/BEFORE 12/31/22 TRAVEL MUST COMMENCE BY 12/31/23. -- THE NON-REFUNDABLE CANCELLATION AMOUNT OF THE TICKET BEING EXCHANGED REMAINS NON-REFUNDABLE AND CARRIED FORWARD IN THE ENDORSEMENT BOX OF THE NEW TICKET -- CHANGES ANY TIME CHANGES PERMITTED FOR REISSUE. NOTE - -- EXCHANGE - WHOLLY UNUSED TICKET / CHANGE TO 1ST TICKETED FLIGHT COUPON -- REPRICE USING CURRENT QUALIFYING FARES 1. UA FARES ARE USED 2. NEW TKT HAS EQUAL OR HIGHER VALUE THAN PREVIOUS TKT 3. ADV RES IS MEASURED FROM REISSUE DATE TO DEPARTURE OF PRICING UNIT -- EQUAL OR HIGHER FARE - REFUND NOT APPLICABLE // ADD-COLLECT FARE DIFFERENCE - IF APPLICABLE -- CHANGE MADE TO OTHER THAN THE FIRST TICKETED FLIGHT COUPON -- TICKETED RESERVATIONS NOT BEING USED ARE TO BE CANCELLED PRIOR TO THE ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FLIGHT OR TICKET HAS NO VALUE FOR NO SHOW -- RETURN RESERVATIONS MAY BE SCHEDULED ANYTIME WITHIN TICKET VALIDITY - TICKET VALIDITY OF A PARTIALLY USED TICKET - TRAVEL WILL BE VALID FOR TRANSPORTATION FOR ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE ON WHICH TRANSPORTATION COMMENCES AT THE POINT OF ORIGIN AS DESIGNATED ON THE ORIGINAL TICKET -- TICKETS MUST BE REISSUED AT TIME WHEN VOLUNTARY CHANGE IS CONFIRMED -- -- IF CHANGES ARE MADE TO OTHER THAN THE FIRST TICKETED FLIGHT THE FARE LEVELS IN EFFECT AT TIME OF ORIGINAL TICKET ISSUE WILL APPLY PROVIDED THE NEW ITINERARY QUALIFIES FOR ALL THE PROVISIONS OF THE ORIGINALLY TICKETED BOOKING CODE FARE / INCLUDING ADVANCE RESERVATION OR TICKETING REQUIREMENTS. -- CERTAIN DOMESTIC REISSUE PROVISIONS MAY BE OVERRIDDEN BY THOSE OF UA INTERNATIONAL FARES -- CHANGE TO OTHER THAN 1ST TKTD FLIGHT COUPON - -- REPRICE USING CURRENTLY TKTD FARE IF RESULTS IN VALID SOLUTION FOR - KEEP THE FARE - SAME BOOKING CODE/SAME FARE BASIS CODE -- PROVIDED ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS ARE MET- -- 1. NO CHANGE TO 1ST FLIGHT COUPON/ NO CHANGE TO FARE BREAKS 2. WHEN NO INTL COUPONS REMAIN - ALL NEW TRAVEL MUST BE DOMESTIC 3. UA FARES ARE USED 4. ALL RULE AND BOOKING CODE PROVISIONS ARE MET INCLUDING ADV RES/TKG 5. ADV RES IS MEASURED FROM ORIGINAL TKT DATE TO DEPARTURE OF PRICING UNIT -- EVEN REISSUE - KEEP THE FARE / SAME BOOKING CODE -- OR -- IF CHANGE RESULTS IN DIFFERENCE BASED ON ORIGINALLY TICKETED BOOKING CODE FARE DUE TO DAY OF WEEK TRAVEL/ SEASONALITY / CHANGE TO FARE BREAK POINT -- -- SAME BOOKING CODE APPLIED RECALCULATE FROM POINT OF ORIGIN - -- REPRICE USING FARES IN EFFECT WHEN TKT WAS ISSUED // HISTORICAL FARES // -- WHEN CHANGE TO OTHER THAN 1ST TKTD FLIGHT COUPON PROVIDED ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS ARE MET- -- 1. NO CHANGE TO 1ST FLIGHT COUPON / CHANGE TO FARE BREAK POINT PERMITTED 2. WHEN NO INTL COUPONS REMAIN - ALL NEW TRAVEL MUST BE DOMESTIC 3. UA FARES ARE USED EXCEPT EOU/ERU 4. ALL RULE AND BOOKING CODE PROVISIONS ARE MET 5. ADV RES IS MEASURED FROM ORIGINAL TKT DATE TO DEPARTURE OF PRICING UNIT -- WHEN CHANGE RESULTS IN FARE DIFFERENCE -- EVEN REISSUE / NO REFUND WILL BE MADE -- ADD COLLECT FARE DIFFERENCE - IF APPLICABLE -- OR -- WHEN CHANGE RESULTS IN FARE DIFFERENCE DUE TO ORIGINAL BOOKING CODE NOT AVAILABLE - RECALCULATE FROM POINT OF ORIGIN TO AN EQUAL / HIGHER QUALIFYING FARE FROM ORIGINAL TICKET ISSUE DATE -- RECALCULATION TO LOWER FARE IS NOT PERMITTED -- REPRICE USING FARES IN EFFECT WHEN TKT WAS ISSUED // HISTORICAL FARES// -- WHEN CHANGE TO OTHER THAN 1ST TKTD FLIGHT COUPON -- 1. NO CHANGE TO 1ST FLIGHT COUPON / CHANGE TO FARE BREAK POINTS PERMITTED 2. WHEN NO INTL COUPONS REMAIN - ALL NEW TRAVEL MUST BE DOMESTIC 3. UA FARES ARE USED EXCEPT EOU/ERU 4. NEW TKT HAS - EQUAL OR HIGHER - FARE VALUE THAN PREVIOUS TKT 5. ALL RULE AND BOOKING CODE PROVISIONS ARE MET 6. ADV RES IS MEASURED FROM ORIGINAL TKT DATE TO DEPARTURE OF PRICING UNIT -- --WHEN CHANGE RESULTS IN FARE DIFFERENCE -- ADD COLLECT FARE DIFFERENCE - IF APPLICABLE --
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Old May 30, 2023, 1:31 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by mfFrom35K
I am reading the United text bolded and in red below for the UA rules to mean it is non-refundable but the full value can be used provided it is cancelled before the flight. Agree?
Yes - "normal" US rules of non-refundable but no change fee. The coupon value can be applied toward other travel ticketed by UA within its validity (usually one year from issue), with special provisions for historical fares in some cases.

I'm just mildly surprised the UA fare isn't also refundable-minus-penalty, as most of their Australia and NZ market fares were and the CHC-NYC table is copied from NZ anyway.
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Old May 30, 2023, 9:05 pm
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Originally Posted by mfFrom35K
There was a much higher price shown for Business (fully refundable).
Originally Posted by findark
Yes - "normal" US rules of non-refundable but no change fee. The coupon value can be applied toward other travel ticketed by UA within its validity (usually one year from issue), with special provisions for historical fares in some cases.

I'm just mildly surprised the UA fare isn't also refundable-minus-penalty, as most of their Australia and NZ market fares were and the CHC-NYC table is copied from NZ anyway.
For whatever reason* the UA website when doing the multi-city search is forcing it into J for fully refundable, when there is a D and C fare filing, refundable/cxl fee, which allows the CHC-AKL flight and the UA codeshare on AKL-JFK. I can get it to price by individually selling the flights in the correct booking code for the fare. I can also get it to construct on ITA matrix forcing the booking code to D on the AKL-JFK flight; however BookWithMatrix only wants to go through to OTA's and not UA's website directly.


The construction is this
CHC NZ X/AKL UA (PA) NYC 5183.33DFEUXEDP NUC 5183.33 END ROE 1.592605 XT 7.56CE 5.20F1 16.93IA 17.81KK 1.84WX 10.80YC 11.60XY 6.40XA 34.90US


Which translates to 8,368.04 NZD (as above), or roughly $5063.25 USD. The fare is available in both POS. OP, my recommendation would be to call UA and explain to them that you're trying to book a specific set of booking codes. Feed them the exact date/city pair/flight numbers you want with the booking codes you want them to put it in (from my example above 8Jan, CHC-AKL NZ546 in Y (ok), now AKL-JFK UA6750 in D, and then price as is - not lowest available). That should price in their system to the above fare which is refundable/cxl fee. You might have to ask them to use their older reservations software (or push the front end agent to get in contact with their pricing desk to do it) as the new one uses the same booking engine as the website and they can't force booking codes in it. Just make clear you're trying to book a specific booking code that isn't necessarily the lowest fare available. If they give you push back on point-to-point, they should be able to search the O/D city pairs and still get the desired flights as long as they use their older reservations software, that they need to be in anyway to force the booking code.

*This is a website limitation in the search. Search will either give you the lowest business fare available (which is a non-refundable Z fare filing), or if you tell it fully refundable, it will give you just that - fully refundable, which the C/D fares aren't since they have a cancel fee. There isn't a search for refundable/cancel fee, unfortunately. This is one you just need to call on (or book with a travel agency) since there doesn't appear to be a way to force united.com to offer it.
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