Can't Book Award Online

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Mountain Trader, Apr 26, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Mountain Trader
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    Mountain Trader Silver Member

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    I've been trying to book a fairly simple award (CDG-FCO (stop)-DEN-CDG. Two months ago I did several dummy bookings and I always got a final itinerary with a 50k award in C. Now I get error messages each time I try.

    I don't want to, and shouldn't have to, pay the $25 phone fee. Since I am outside the USA, even the 24 hour cancellation rule is not certain.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Maybe because it's a backtrack? I don't know.
     
  3. redwoman

    redwoman Silver Member

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    Could this be because of the schedule changes announced in March to FCO routes? I haven't researched it because it doesn't affect me, but I thought I saw a thread on TOBB about that. Have you looked at the UA timetable to see if the city pairs you are trying to find on the dates in question are available?
     
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  4. Mountain Trader
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    Mountain Trader Silver Member

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    On UA.com award search I entered cities and dates. For each leg, the site brought up flights with award availability and I chose one on the ones offered for each leg. So far, so good.

    When I had chosen all of the legs, I continued to the next screen, which said there was an error and listing a phone number to call. Do not pass go, pay $50 phone fee.

    This is the old CO award search engine, which used to be a dream-what happened?

    On another point, the UA site showed only 1 combo of flights to go CDG-FCO. The ANA site shows many dlight combos for that day. Are they Starnet blocking piddly inter-Europe flights now? And why show one combo of flights on One airlines and ignore all the other flight combos on the same airline. Even the old Starnet blocking logic seems to hold no water there.
     
  5. LizzyDragon84
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    LizzyDragon84 Gold Member

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    If you can't book the award online, you might luck out and get an agent to waive the phone fee for that reason. I don't think it's official UA policy, but I've had more then one agent waive the fee without me even having to ask.
     
  6. Mountain Trader
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    Mountain Trader Silver Member

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    An update:

    If I just enter Paris-Rome (stop), Rome-Denver, Denver to Paris and pick available Saver flights in Coach, it prices out at 60k miles' which is correct. This also supports that the itinerary itself is valid as a Europe RT.

    If I do the same thing, but select available Saver flights in C, I get an error message.

    It seems pretty clear that the award engine is broken.

    UA should offer to waive phone booking fess in cases like this until they get the website fixed.
     
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  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Maybe call and ask for web support? They seem to be competent and willing to book without fee if it's due to a bug of the website.
     
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  8. redwoman

    redwoman Silver Member

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    Oooh, be careful with that. My brother was directed to web support, and the person helping him there booked it over the phone for him. He got hit with 2 $25 fees for booking each ticket that way, and he wasn't told that there would be a fee. He's a GM, so perhaps that was the problem, I'm not certain about it.
     
  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Dispute them with the credit card company. He didn't authorize the charges.
     
  10. Mountain Trader
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    Mountain Trader Silver Member

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    I booked my trip. The website continued to show an error so I called and asked if they would show me how to book online since I din't want to pay the fee. The (India based) CSR said she would book it wothout a fee. She did (and did it well) but when I got the email with the itinerary, it showed two $25 fees.

    However, my credit card has only been charged for the fees without the two $25 fees, so if things stay where they are, i'm ok. If not, I will write UA since in my view, they already agreed to the waiver and any further discussion is about a billing error not reflecting the price I was quoted over the phone.
     
  11. LizzyDragon84
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    LizzyDragon84 Gold Member

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    I had the same situation in Feb. where I had to call in after being unable to book online. The online receipt showed a booking fee, but the amount charged to my card didn't include it. I wouldn't worry about it- they didn't try to charge my card again. I guess it's just a quirk of the system that it shows waived fees.
     
  12. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    So what else is new? Phantom availability, inability to book flights that are available - changes I (don't) like:(
     
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  13. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    Try calling the web support line and explaining the situation that you can not make the booking online even though the separate legs appear. This should be reasonable cause to waive the ticketing fee. You should be able to Skype the call for free to the US help line. If you call during US day time hours 8 am CDT-8 pm, you are likely to get a US based agent. Calls after this time are likely to reach the ICC where YMMV.
     

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