Add Domestic Leg to existing Intl Award

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by bucketlist, Jan 10, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. bucketlist
    Original Member

    bucketlist Silver Member

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    The liberal rules re. free domestic stopover for an international award ticket may be changing. This reviews a leg recently added, thanks those on TOBB who went before and graciously shared their knowledge and alerts those who come after of some pitfalls and how to avoid and that this may change soon.

    My original, booked, award trip in Feb was New Orleans to Rome. The trip was a plain vanilla round trip:
    MSY...FCO (in Dom. F, C)
    FCO...iah...MSY (in C, Dom F)

    After reading this thread, realized that a leg to ANC (Anchorage) perhaps could be added. Confirmed, by making a dummy booking - on .bomb, that adding a 3rd leg months later did not change the 100 K miles required.

    The addition in May:
    MSY...clt...ANC (in dom. F)

    First attempt: On-line - afraid to touch an already booked C TATL - gave up

    Second attempt - call to the "Premier Line" got an intl call center agent, who didn't think this was possible and made it clear he didn't want to check. Asked him to please check if his computer would price it out, so I could see cost and availability, mentioned I'd just been able to price it out on ua.com. He did and confirmed that no more miles would be required, but he thought that just wasn't right, it was like a free one way. He decided to check with his supervisor - long wait - then came back and said you can't do that. Said thanks, and hung up.

    Third attempt - call to "Premier Line" actually got a US agent, who cordially agreed to check on this - the computer let her price it out - same # of miles as the original 2 leg trip, $25 change fee per person and trivial taxes. (the miles didn't come from my mile bucket, hence the change fee)

    The new reservation now covers
    Feb: MSY...FCO
    Feb: FCO...MSY
    May: MSY...ANC

    PRACTICE POINTERS:
    This is best done when making the original reservation - you never have to talk to a person.

    If you've already made a reservation and want to add a leg, check availability for the proposed new leg on .bomb, price the miles out and availability there, then call UA.

    If the first agent(s) proves difficult (in my case, the system would allow it, but I was put on hold so his supervisor could make up rules and override it and deny the change!), fume silently, thank profusely and hang up. (You don't want nasty notes being put in your record).

    Call, repeat as necessary.

    Per the original, first and difficult agent, this glitch in the system probably will be "fixed" (w/ Unix programmers?) so that it will no longer possible to generate a new leg like this. If you have any Intl award travel pending, now is the time to think about adding a new leg! This may have been a rogue agent or ??? but for any help it may be, his comment is repeated here.
     
  2. Ygor
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    Ygor Gold Member

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    The rules are clear that an Open Jaw is allowed on any award itinerancy. The agent that refused to do it was a - how do I put this nicely - moron. We all have to play agent roulette ( I have done this many times before. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you call again). The agent that said this will be "fixed" doesn't know what he/she is talking about, because there is nothing to be fixed, unless new rules come out that open jaws are no longer allowed. Glad you got your itinerary to work.
     
  3. Ygor
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    Ygor Gold Member

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    Btw, the stopover can be domestic or abroad. The location of the stopover is irrelevant.
     
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  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The only part which is less easily confirmed these days is having the stopover at the origin city. Many agents are refusing that based on anecdotal evidence. But otherwise the rules have not changed and if agents say they have simply escalate to a supervisor or the rates desk.
     
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  5. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Is there a good place to learn all those intricacies of United Award travel booking?
     
  6. bucketlist
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    bucketlist Silver Member

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    There's a numbing amount of material on TOBB. Link:

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unit...-jaw-stopover-award-flights-consolidated.html


    I posted on my experience, starting with one of the simplest "expansions" of a conventional rt award, as I thought others might be in a similar situation. This stuff gets real complicated, and may be changing if the difficult or rogue agent actually knew what he was talking about (that this glitch, essentially a free one-way trip added on to an award, was going to be eliminated soon).

    UA has, of late, been generous in award availability and liberal in interpreting what can be covered in single award. My son stretched a 2 calendar day repositioning flight, from MSY-RGN (burma), into a 4 calendar day First class adventure, F to FRA in LH, F to Japan in LH F, F to BKK, SIN... eventually to RGN, all on one saver F award, w/ 7 hours or so in the F terminal at FRA, 8 hrs in the Thai F lounge. All for 70K miles (and great flexibility on changes, due to miles coming from a 1K bucket).

    Altho K for several years, was largely ignorant of these possibilities - hope that others will take advantage of this flexibility while it exists.
     
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  7. CGK
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    CGK Gold Member

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    It's not a glitch, just a typical open jaw under the current definition of open jaw.
     
  8. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Great, thanks. I was actually trying to figure out if a one-way TATL award could include a 3-4 day stopover at an intermediate point (or two) -- somewhat similar to your son's adventure. Earlier i was under the impression that any "expansions" with the United awards are only possible for round trips.
     
  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    If you want to stop for longer than a connection - 4 hours on domestic itineraries, 12 hours if Canada is involved or 24 hours for all other international - then you must be on a round-trip award. But you can string together multiple long stops on a one-way trip without too many limitations. I flew ARN-TXL-MUC-LJU-SKP-IST in January 2012.
    [​IMG]

    I had overnight stops in Berlin, Ljubljana and Skopje; each overnight was 20+ hours on the timetable, allowing me to head into town, tour about and sleep in a real bed before continuing on the following afternoon. The entire trip took me nearly 4 days even though I only traveled ~1900 miles in the air (and the route is only 1400 miles direct).

    If you want 3-4 days you need to have a return ticket.
     
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  10. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Don't forget that you can book multiple one-ways, too. That's how it'll price if you have a 3-4 day stopover. It's not as good a mileage deal as a roundtrip, though.

    For example, here's a 60k roundtrip in C:

    [​IMG]

    NRT is start and end
    BKK is < 24 hours
    SIN is the "destination"
    SGN is a stopover almost as long
    PEK is simply transit.

    I did this one last year as two one-ways:

    [​IMG]

    I used OneWorld to fly SFO-HKG (stop) then another ticket for HKG-DXB, both on CX.

    The picture is Swiss and United. I couldn't book it all as one ticket because of the stopover in zurich.
     
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  11. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Thanks Desamo & Wandering Aramean for the help and route examples. I've mostly dealt with AA awards in the past, and slowly getting to learn the United rules now.
     
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  12. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The UA rules are quite a bit more flexible than the AA rules when it comes to stopovers on round-trip flights. The only real advantage AA has in this arena IMO is the ability to put a stopover on a one-way at the US gateway city.
     
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