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UA award ticket not changeable when using LH?

UA award ticket not changeable when using LH?

 
Old May 3, 04, 8:38 am
  #1  
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UA award ticket not changeable when using LH?

I am just off the phone with UA MP International Award desk. I was making a reservation TXL - LAX with UA miles and got the information that due to the fact that these flights will be operated by LH no change to the return flight will be possible after starting the trip.
Even though the SR told me that this has been the case for a while it is total news to me. In the past I was always using my MP miles on LH and was changing my return flight all the time.
Did they really change it or was the SR simply wrong?
Thanks!
Axel
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Old May 3, 04, 8:48 am
  #2  
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Its been that way for ages. There are a ton of threads that reiterate this rule.

I've attempted a number of times to change return flights on LH, after my trip started. No joy in advance of day of return flight. I did once get put on an earlier connection into MUC, from another European city. But the CSR made it blatantly clear she was allowing it, because the earlier flight was pretty empty, and the one I was scheduled on was possibly overbooked.
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Old May 3, 04, 9:41 am
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Absolutely true - LH is not flexible at all on changes. A few months ago, my husband was home in Russia for his grandfather's 100th birthday party. My husband was trying to extend his stay for a few days when his grandfather fell seriously ill, but they would not make any exceptions. They said the only option was to buy a new ticket back to the US.
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Old May 3, 04, 9:44 am
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Exclamation United awards vs. Star Alliance awards

Read up on UA award travel here.

There is a difference in the rules between United awards and Star Alliance awards.

Since part of your trip is on LH, the more restrictive Star Alliance award rules prevail. A key difference is that "changes during travel" are "not permitted" per Star Alliance award chart (link above).

To round out the picture, there are also Ted awards and Non-Star Alliance airline partner awards.

(Note: in your Mileage Plus account summary, award redemptions always seem to be listed as Star awards, regardless of whether they are United or Star Alliance awards. Don't be fooled by this.)

P.S.: How long ago were you able to make changes in your Star award itineraries after you began travel? If it was in the last two years or so, maybe you just got lucky -- or you had a compelling reason (such as an emergency) and they made an exception for you.
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Old May 3, 04, 9:51 am
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Originally Posted by timetotravel
Absolutely true - LH is not flexible at all on changes. A few months ago, my husband was home in Russia for his grandfather's 100th birthday party. My husband was trying to extend his stay for a few days when his grandfather fell seriously ill, but they would not make any exceptions. They said the only option was to buy a new ticket back to the US.
Nothing to do with LH being flexible or not.

See my post above re: Star Alliance awards vs. United awards.
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Old May 3, 04, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by KathyWdrf
Read up on UA award travel here.

P.S.: How long ago were you able to make changes in your Star award itineraries after you began travel? If it was in the last two years or so, maybe you just got lucky -- or you had a compelling reason (such as an emergency) and they made an exception for you.
I had it a couple of times. About two years ago I had a ticket and changed my return flight about 4 times. No problems, no change fee, nothing.
To be honest I never even thought this could be a problem.

Once I was pretty lucky as I changed not only my return flight but also the destination from LHR to TXL and the carrier from UA to LH.
The Lady at the ticketing desk (I had to get a printed ticket after changing the carrier as LH wasnt able to access my UA e-ticket) told me that this change was not permitted at all but as the award desk call center had changed it she did everything to get me my paper ticket and I was on the flight.
To be honest this flexibility is the reason why I love flying UA!
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Old May 3, 04, 10:44 am
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Originally Posted by Axelerator
I had it a couple of times. About two years ago I had a ticket and changed my return flight about 4 times. No problems, no change fee, nothing.
To be honest I never even thought this could be a problem.

Once I was pretty lucky as I changed not only my return flight but also the destination from LHR to TXL and the carrier from UA to LH.
The Lady at the ticketing desk (I had to get a printed ticket after changing the carrier as LH wasnt able to access my UA e-ticket) told me that this change was not permitted at all but as the award desk call center had changed it she did everything to get me my paper ticket and I was on the flight.
To be honest this flexibility is the reason why I love flying UA!
But you may have made these itinerary changes BEFORE the Star Award rules went into effect. IIRC, that was about two years ago. (Too lazy/busy to do a search right now.)
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Old May 3, 04, 10:53 am
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Changes to Star Alliance awards can be made after ticketing, and prior to departure, "Permitted before departure if travel is within the same region(s). Subject to applicable fees."

No changes are permitted after travel has begun.

As far as I can remember these rules have remain unchanged since the Star Alliance awards were introduced. I have redeemed awards using UA miles for travel on LH since late 2000.

I have had some luck changing UA-issued award tickets for travel on LH, after travel had begun. I have changed both return dates, with the same routing, and routing changes with no date change. In both cases I was able to pre-confirm the changes. I made these changes directly with LH, always referencing their PNR and not the UA PNR. I have SEN status with LH so that may have helped. (Note that in another case I was able to change a segment from LH to SQ, after ticketing but prior to departure, for FRA-SIN, but I did this through UA.)

Last edited by transpac; May 3, 04 at 10:56 am
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Old May 3, 04, 11:27 am
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Originally Posted by KathyWdrf
Nothing to do with LH being flexible or not.
Agreed. It's UA's ticket number (they are the issuer). If you go to LH, they will refer you to UA to discuss.

I was able to change a return once w/ a doctor's (hospital letterhead) note - it was for the actual passenger. Even this was a fluke luck (which was very appreciated) happening.
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