Anyone Have Experience With OLCI Problems For Int'l Travel?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Pizzaman, Aug 21, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    I'm starting to see a trend and I'm not sure how to fix it. When I travel with my family, I can't seem to get OLCI for our int'l itineraries. Each of the last 3 times we've traveled to Canada we haven't qualified for it. And, even though passport information is entered correctly in all our profiles the website still asks for all the info again.

    For each of these last 3 trips I called UA web support to see if they had any answers. We've verified that passport and nationality are correct for all passengers and that our kids are not listed as infants/lap children. Also, all of our family have GE. It's not a huge deal but a bit of an annoyance for early morning flights.

    Any suggestions?
     
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  2. COFreqFlyer
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    COFreqFlyer Gold Member

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    I had this issue when I received my new passport. What resolved it is going to the airport, checking in at the kiosk, and scanning my passport at the kiosk. Once it was scanned in, I've been able to OLCI since then.
     
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  3. Pizzaman
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    Interesting. I know all the passports have been through an agent's hands and I *assume* scanned, but maybe I'll try that tomorrow. Thanks!
     
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  4. rggale
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    rggale Gold Member

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    Try using a kiosk, that way you know it's scanned.
     
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  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Do you have a 100% name match between the passport and ticket/MP account? Middle name and such.
     
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  6. Pizzaman
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    Looking at them in the profiles I can see in my account, yes.
     
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  7. Seacarl
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    OLCI on international trips only works about 1/3 of the time for me, and I've never been able to figure out the rhyme or reason for when it does and doesn't work. And when OLCI doesn't work, sometimes the kiosk works, but usually I get a big yellow circle and an agent needs to read the TIMATIC crap to clear it. When I asked about it I was told that scanning my passport would make it work in the future, but it hasn't really cleared it up. NB: I have a non-USA passport, though one that allows me into many more countries visa-free than a USA passport, and allows GE participation.
     
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  8. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    OLCI to Canada not working is just silly but not surprising because the whole system is designed to "err" on the side of inconveniencing the travelers to make sure that someone does not wind up in a country that would deny them entry because they do not have the right papers. However, every time that intl OLCI has not worked for me, it has always told me why. Usually it would be because I was traveling to a country (e.g. PRC) that requires a visa and my docs had to be physically checked by an agent to make sure that all is kosher. Just last week, OLCI to EZE failed and it told me exactly why:

    NOCKEZE.png

    For intl travel, especially if a visa is required, plan on OLCI not working...;)
     
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  9. tommy777
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    Don't plan on it working -- period. And if your SWU hasn't cleared, be prepared to drop a few spots on the upgrade list since you can't check in online and Southwest yourself with Grandma on the 24 hour mark.

    The funny part is that United (as the ONLY US carrier) check EVERYONEs passport again at the gate, even if you've showed it at check in just a few minutes before, so this bs is totally unnecessary
     
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  10. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Untrue, assuming you mean flying to/from Canada. American and all other carriers to/from the U.S. are required to check IDs. You can thank Transport Canada for that rule. Heck, when you fly domestic in Canada, regardless of to/from, you have to show ID as you board.

    As for OLCI when going to/from Canada, I don't even bother. I just check-in with a human, because whether you check in with OLCI or at a kiosk, you're going to have to have a human check your Passport at the gate prior to boarding (and then they check it again during boarding).
     
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  11. Pizzaman
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    That's true. But, in a situation like my home airport of IAD, it creates one of two different inconveniences. If I'm checking bags, because I'm not checked in I can't use curbside check-in because it flags them to send me inside. If I don't have bags to check I have to go to the opposite end of the main terminal to see an agent instead of heading straight to PreCheck. Neither is a major inconvenience, but both annoying.

    FWIW, this time at check-in it was my passport that required ticket agent assistance. We verified everything together (it all matched my profile just fine) and she okayed us to move on. Took about a grand total of 15 extra mins.
     
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  12. HubletUAFlyer

    HubletUAFlyer Gold Member

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    If check on that. Your position on the UG list should revert one checked in. The chances are that anyone checking in ahead of you and clearing ahead of you, would have cleared ahead of you anyway.

    That's the way it was always explained to me, as I have a terrible time with olci much of the time. Flying exclusively internationally it is one of my biggest gripes with United
     
  13. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    There is no correlation whatsoever between UG and OLCI successes/failures. My UG success rate is 100% this year and better than 95% overall, and, yet, seldom am I able to OLCI when traveling internationally.
     
  14. Pizzaman
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    I think Tommy was referring to those times where the upgrade hasn't cleared and you can't get to the airport to check-in early.
     
  15. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Suppose I am in a remote village in Katmandu and cannot OLCI, does that mean that I will be skipped over on the DM list in favor of those who are able to OLCI? In other words, are we sure that check in time is even a factor in prioritizing the order on the DM list? Shouldn't the booking date/time be more important than when one actually checks in...
     
  16. Pizzaman
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    Guessing, again, but likely Tommy is pointing out an issue that isn't supposed to happen. Kinda like OLCI not working when it's supposed to. :)
     
  17. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I am not sure what you are referring to but these are comments that I am addressing.
    To which I responded:
    There is no correlation whatsoever between UG and OLCI successes/failures. My UG success rate is 100% this year and better than 95% overall, and, yet, seldom am I able to OLCI when traveling internationally.
    then
    Suppose I am in a remote village in Katmandu and cannot OLCI, does that mean that I will be skipped over on the DM list in favor of those who are able to OLCI? In other words, are we sure that check in time is even a factor in prioritizing the order on the DM list? Shouldn't the booking date/time be more important than when one actually checks in...
    Also, it is not true that UA checks everyone's passport at the gate UNLESS the flight is leaving the US soil.
    EWR-LIS: passport checked at gate because flight is leaving the US soil.
    JFK-IAD-FRA: passport checked at gate only when boarding for FRA
     
  18. TravelerRob
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    I just got hit with this BS. First time ever. I've had my passport for 6 years and travel internationally plenty of times each year. Tomorrow I'm doing SEA-IAD-FRA-xxx with a connection on LH out of FRA. My data is correct and matches between passport and ticket on United but when I checked in I got the screenshot someone above shared telling me I'm not checked in. WTH?

    It's not like it really matters because I have no chance of an upgrade on SEA-IAD but I do wonder where I'd fall on the list. Now I won't know until I get to the airport.

    Note: Lufthansa.com and United.com both show the same seat assignment for my FRA-xxx long haul leg. But when I pulled up the reservation during OLCI it shows no seat assignment for FRA-xxx. Is that normal? I have a window towards the front which I want to keep. Guess I'll try checking in separately to Lufthansa.com (or via their mobile app) tomorrow 24 hours before that leg.

    Thanks,
    Rob
     
  19. Wandering Aramean
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    Does the onward connection require a visa or other documentation checks?
     
  20. TravelerRob
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    Nope. The FRA-xxx leg is to a different continent but doesn't require any visa.

    Note: this is the first time I'm flying UA with a connection to LH where the LH flight is to a different country outside of mainland Europe. I wonder if that's causing the issue? I doubt it. I suspect when I get to SEA tomrw I will only get BPs for SEA-IAD-FRA and they will tell me to see the transfer desk when I get to FRA for my onward BP. I'll find out tomrw.

    Thanks,
    Rob
     
  21. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Intl OLCI is very finicky. I recently traveled to SYD (JFK-SFO-SYD). Within the 24-hr window, I tried to OLCI but could not. The message was that I had to see an agent at the airport. Then I realized that I would need an ETA (electronic travel authority) to travel to Australia. It takes just a minute to apply for it online so I did and another minute later I got an email:
    I then tried OLCI'ng again and it worked, including sending the BPs below to my phone. However, while I used the BP for JFK-SFO just fine, I got to SFO and it was announced that everyone with an electronic BP had to go and get a paper BP because eBPs were not allowed for the SFO-SYD flight. You go figure, but it really does not take much for Intl OLCI to be denied.

    BPs.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2014

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