Changes on award rules to Oz/NZ/Oceania (eff. 1 Aug 2013)

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Wandering Aramean, Oct 14, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    It would seem that the rules continue to change, and not in our favor. As a follow-on to the April rules change about North America to South Asia via Europe it now appears that a similar rule exists for flights between North America and Australia/New Zealand/Oceania. Agents are citing a 1 August 2013 memo outlining the new rules. Similar to the prior change the new rule claims 3 connections max on a one-way award and four each direction on a round-trip.

    Somewhat entertainingly, the United Twitter team claims that this has always been the rule and that awards must adhere to revenue fare rules and that it has long been that way.

    There are a whole lot of bad things about this change, even for people who haven't focused on stretching awards to the max. Many airports don't have non-stop service to TPAC gateways and award seats on the more direct options are hard to come by (and likely that gets worse as the aircraft are down-gauged).

    A few weeks ago both of these awards would have been considered valid. Now only one is. That's bad news pretty much any way I can figure. :(


    [​IMG]
     
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  2. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    Lame...
     
  3. snod08
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    snod08 Gold Member

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    This sucks
    :(
     
  4. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    All the more reason to use the routing benefits while these still exist. UA's routing and connecting rules on awards have been - with no asterisks or dancing stars - best in class. These particular advantageous possibilities may have been eliminated according to the secret memo. But others still exist, as you know sbm. Use them, because eventually - without doubt - we're going to lose them :eek:
     
  5. Gtitan
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    Gtitan Gold Member

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    Actually my dear RTS, its US with that honor.;)
     
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  6. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    GT, I'm looking forward to using my churn-derived US DM in such juicy ways... you can help out! But as for UA MP I'll have to tell you what I mean, privately. I think you will see my viewpoint ;)
     
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  7. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I don't fly the routes used as examples here, but I find them to be disturbing none-the-less. If an award is advertised to take you anywhere UA or *A flies, and the minimum number of stops required to get there are more than what is going to be allowed, that is a problem.

    Imagine those who have been saving miles for years with a reasonable expectation of using them on one of these routes when their balance grows to the number required. How would they get there? Not that this is the first case of change resulting in devaluation, but it seems that they may be making some trips to served locations impossible. Am I missing something?
     
  8. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    Yes, kind of.

    The same limits haven't been imposed on USA-Australia/NZ routes that don't go through Asia. So if you can find availability on the UA flights to Australia or on AC/NZ then you can get there regardless of how many stops it takes.

    The same is true of the SE Asia limits. They only apply for connections through Europe. So if you can find TPAC availability, you can make as many stops as you need.

    There's no doubt that this reduces the options available and makes it harder to get award tickets. But it doesn't completely foreclose any destination to which a UA partner flies.

    Sent from a place using a fruit thing.
     
  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I'm not so sure that is true.

    Ditto, though I'm not as certain on this one. There is, sadly, a lot of uncertainty in the rules right now. I haven't had the time to go in and find out what actually does or does not work any more.

    There may not be destinations 100% out but I'm willing to bet there are some city pairs where the options are somewhere between slim and none, especially since you need both the flights and award seats to make it happen.
     
  10. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    I'm not sure what any of the rules are at this point. Even the rules change at the heart of this thread is just something people have heard from agents who say there's a memo.

    We haven't heard similar info regarding TPAC routings to Asia or Oceania routings flown directly from North America. Doesn't mean a rule doesn't exist, but assuming it does with no evidence at all doesn't make a lot of sense.

    And you're right that there are probably some places that are now really hard to reach. But that was the case before this change as well.

    I was just responding to Ken's concern that some places might be explicitly closed off due to the rules change. At least so far there's no evidence that is the case.

    Sent from a place using a fruit thing.
     
  11. JetsettingEric
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    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    I wonder if someone will sue UA for this? Their mileage plus program, and their credit cards advertise the number of destinations that it can take you to.

    Especially with credit cards and many state specific regulation, as a resident of Maine, Alaska, or North Dakota, etc may not be able to use Mileage Plus miles for the number of destinations listed, regardless of availability. Well, good luck flying from Delaware, but they usually have business friendly laws. Within the star alliance network, it is really tough to find somewhere within the US where you can not get two Auckland or Sydney within 2 stops.
     
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  12. Thomask

    Thomask Silver Member

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    That is a very good point, quite alarming.
     
  13. PanAm
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    PanAm Silver Member

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    As someone who lives in the eastern U.S. and not at a hub, this is bad news. Especially the one-way connections limit. It's not uncommon for me to only find availability where I would have to connect twice just to get to the west coast from home.
     
  14. JetsettingEric
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    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    PanAm - I just booked a 3 connection hub-to-hub flight on UA to find availability for EWR-LAX... through ORD and another spoke with an overnight. Thankfully it was with US miles and more generous routing rules.
     
  15. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    Interesting change. Aeroplan has always limited award tickets to 10 segments on a return booking. Does the Pacific change still permit travel between NAmerica and Australia/NZ via Asia? And does the earlier change still permit travel to Asia via Europe?
     
  16. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Hmmm..... We haven't heard from UAInsider on this, so it's still just speculation until someone official makes it official. If it is true, however, I'll be very limited as to where I can go from my soon-to-be home of Medellin, Colombia. Since UA doesn't fly into MDE, I'll have to fly to either BOG or PTY just to go north to start the real connection process, so I'll already be down one.

    I never leave the Americas right now, but I do plan to explore more distant lands when time permits (assuming I live that long). MDE is not a cheap place for O/D, so I guess I could hop over to SJO or PTY on cheap mileage tickets to start the trip, then pay my way to North America and book my award travel from there. Sounds like a lot of trouble. I don't like trouble. I like Easy. :D
     

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