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another devaluation: e-certificate applicability next to zero

another devaluation: e-certificate applicability next to zero

 
Old Jan 6, 09, 4:41 pm
  #1  
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another devaluation: e-certificate applicability next to zero

tried to use an elite choice $ 50-off e-certificate for lax-sfo. flight is far out in the future, no availability issues.

the result: well, not entirely zero... only 1 out of 13 flights is eligible (mid-day, go figure). i never had this situation in the past - not sure what others' experiences are.

this is similar to last year's 10%-off promotions which seem to result in a re-setting of the base price, negating any discount.

probably legal, but borderline deceptive. and certainly insulting to (premium) customers (this was an elite choice reward).

i am sure we will eventually see a harvard business school case study on the dumbest approach to customer loyalty building. it will probably called "friends of glenn, and other horror stories".

Last edited by travelcomments; Jan 6, 09 at 5:03 pm Reason: clarification
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Old Jan 6, 09, 4:44 pm
  #2  
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If it's the one from Elite Choice, it's only good on W fares and higher and was very clearly stated so as well. It just happens that the route you want has cheaper sub-W fares.

Never accept a certificate until after you've read the T&C and agree with them.
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Old Jan 6, 09, 4:50 pm
  #3  
 
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Never had a problem using ecerts. Just used one yesterday in fact.
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Old Jan 6, 09, 4:53 pm
  #4  
 
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You can't blanket statement "e-certificates" as a devaluation.

Each E-Cert has its own T&C's which are INDEPENDENT of each other.

The E-Cert that travelcomments is trying to use, probably has much more stringent T&C's than the E-Cert that UAX_Brasilia is using.

Recommend that the title be changed to "Elite Choice E-Certificate Applicability Next to Zero" as the current title is mis-leading.
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Old Jan 6, 09, 4:56 pm
  #5  
 
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me too

Same thing happened to me a few months back w/ choice award. A relatively far out itin w/o using 'award' was only $10 more on .bomb (not $50). I booked w/ 'award' anyway (hey $10 is $10); later yapta sent me a fare notice & I refared for $75 less than fare booked using 'award'. Thus, 'award' was insultingly meaningless & a waste of time.
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Old Jan 6, 09, 5:00 pm
  #6  
 
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Used S*PMO/WEBDOLLAR a few weeks ago without any problem.
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Old Jan 6, 09, 5:02 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by warreng24 View Post
Recommend that the title be changed to "Elite Choice E-Certificate Applicability Next to Zero"
And even that's false if you just follow the T&C. Maybe the title should be "United has fare buckets cheaper than W on some routes".
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Old Jan 6, 09, 5:12 pm
  #8  
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clarified the elite choice issue in the text intro.

but no matter - this is misleading and unworkable online. .bomb does not allow to search for fare buckets. there's, for example, econ (lowest and refundable). fare buckets are even not displayed when pricing out a tix. how is one supposed to know the fare class?

in this case the one eligible tix prices out at a mere $ 10 than the non-eligible tix (i.e. the difference between w and whatever else is not eligible is really minor - but the non-eligible flights cannot be forced into a w bucket online). moving to refundable econ (again, not sure which fare bucket) raises the price by more than 80%.

ah, and the certificate can only be used on .bomb so calling the 1k desk does not work.

mahasamatman - it's easy to lecture on t&c but please tell me again how this works from a customer standpoint.
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Old Jan 6, 09, 5:18 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by travelcomments View Post
this is misleading and unworkable online.
It is not either one. Your failure to understand your certificate is your fault, not United's.

Originally Posted by travelcomments View Post
fare buckets are even not displayed when pricing out a tix. how is one supposed to know the fare class?
Select your flights. It will tell you exactly what fare basis it would book you under.

You seem to care an awful lot more about using your certificate than about getting the lowest fare. They're trying to give you the lowest fare, yet you insist you want to pay more just to have the satisfaction of using your certificate. If you really want to do that, UA will let you (call web support), but you're in the minority.

Originally Posted by travelcomments View Post
tell me again how this works from a customer standpoint.
Customer gets cheapest fare. That may or may not involve using the certificate. End of story.

Have you ever heard of the term "informed consumer"?
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Old Jan 6, 09, 5:24 pm
  #10  
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Mmm...travelcomments, if it's any consolation, sub-W inventory (S,T buckets etc.) on UA are becoming increasingly rare as UA continues to hike prices and reduce the number of low-cost seats available. So, with any luck, perhaps all the cheap UA fares will be wiped out soon and your e-cert will work on all the available fares (since everything left will be expensive). Not a good outcome IMO, but at least it solves your problem of wanting your cert to apply to the cheapest available fare at all times...

Last edited by EsquireFlyer; Jan 6, 09 at 5:42 pm
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Old Jan 6, 09, 5:28 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by CollegeFlyer View Post
sub-W inventory (S,T,U buckets etc.)
I don't think you meant to include U in that list. U is a pretty high bucket.
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Old Jan 6, 09, 5:42 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
I don't think you meant to include U in that list. U is a pretty high bucket.
sorry, got the airlines confused. S and T then.
Is K a cheapo bucket on UA?
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Old Jan 6, 09, 5:46 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by CollegeFlyer View Post
sorry, got the airlines confused. S and T then.
Is K a cheapo bucket on UA?
I have never seen K on any flights.
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Old Jan 6, 09, 5:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Benny8444 View Post
I have never seen K on any flights.
K is deep discount economy. Occasionally seen on int'l fares. Don't recall seeing one domestically.

IME, e-certs are great ^. I'm going to use another one today actually.
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Old Jan 6, 09, 5:54 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by 90minfromJFK-CDG View Post
K is deep discount economy. Occasionally seen on int'l fares. Don't recall seeing one domestically.
On the routes offering K, it falls even below T, right?
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