Fare code Question and Miles

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by habsfan, Feb 15, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. habsfan

    habsfan Active Member

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    Hi All,

    I have a question regarding fare codes. I recently took a trip using, in part, Swiss Airlines (I'm a Continental Onepass member). My return trip, entirely on Swiss, posted correctly in my Onepass account. My outbound trip, on a combination of United and Swiss, posted correctly for United, but not for Swiss. I submitted the missing mileage request and spoke to Continental, who told me that Swiss had rejected the request because the fare class was in "L" and not eligible for miles.

    I booked the trip through Orbitz - where can I find the fare class that I booked my ticket in? I've looked on the receipt, but there is only an "Orbitz Record Locator" and "Airline Record Locator." Is it normal for flights on the same itinerary to be booked in different fare classes?

    Thanks!
     
  2. progapanda

    progapanda Silver Member

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    Yes, this is quite common I'm afraid.

    You can also call Orbitz to confirm that your fare/booking class indeed was 'L', which in fact accrues no mileage to OnePass.
     
  3. habsfan

    habsfan Active Member

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    Thanks - is there any way to know the fare code before booking a flight? I may have looked into a different itinerary, had I known I would not be able to accrue any miles!
     
  4. progapanda

    progapanda Silver Member

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    You can try to look up the fare and itinerary you are considering purchasing on the airline's own website or an engine like ITA Matrix- that should tell you more about the fare class and rules.

    IME, OTA's like Orbitz generally do not make fare class information easily comparable, but you can always call them to make sure the fares will accrue miles before purchasing.
     
  5. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    At least for UA, you can determine your fare code by looking at your reservation.
    E.g.:

    United 896 HKG 11:00 AM ORD 11:16 AM Fare basis code HKE0OUMD
    Booking class NC
    Business

    Fare basis code QA3KN
    Booking class NF
    First

    The first letter in the alphanumeric number is the fare code. In the first example above the fare code is "H" or "Q" in the second example. On SWISS, the following fare codes do not earn mileage credit:

    No Mileage Credit L K X N O I R 0% 0%
     
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  6. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    During the booking process on Orbitz on the very last page where you enter your CC information there is a link that reads: "You agree to the fare rules and restrictions applicable for this fare." If you click on the "fare rules and restrictions" hyperlink there it will pop up a window that shows you the fare basis that you are ticketed on. As NYCUA1K notes above, the first letter in that fare basis is what matters for your mileage earning.

    You then need to cross-reference that against the earning rules for the program to which you want to credit the flight. While a Swiss L fare does not earn in the CO, UA, US, AC or ET programs, they do earn in the OZ, A3, TP & LH/LX programs.
     
  7. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    It becomes more complicated with codeshares because then, after finding the fare class for your ticket, you must find out what fare class your codeshare fare class is mapped to in the list of fare codes for the operating carrier. This constitutes yet another reason why it is better generally to avoid code shares when you can.
     
  8. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    It depends on the program. While operating carrier code is what matters in Star Alliance there are cases in oneworld and SkyTeam where the marketing code is what the credit is based on. There is no single answer in that sense.
     
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  9. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    True, but this thread seems to be exclusively about *A carriers and programs, so I was commenting from that perspective.
     
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  10. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I believe that the situation is exactly the same as for non-codeshared flights: in either case, one must know what the code fare basis is. Once you have that information, it is straightforward to find out whether or not a *A carrier awards mileage credit for it: http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6722,1177,00.html
     
  11. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    That page is great for figuring out if United's Mileage Plus program will issue credit for the particular fare.

    Or you can compare all of these at once here: http://www.wandr.me/tools/Frequent_Flier_Mileage_Earning_Options.aspx.
     
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  12. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    The info is on the UA website but it provides the info for all the *A members, and I suspect that you if you compare the information, you will find it to be consistent across the alliance. There are, however, two things to always keep in mind:

    • If you purchase a ticket on a flight that is marketed by a *A carrier but operated by another airline (known as a code-share flight), the operating airline determines how many miles you earn for your flight.

    • Note that the booking class that appears on your ticket may differ from the booking class that the operating airline uses to determine flight miles earned.
     
  13. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    And I can assure you that it is not consistent across the alliance.

    The information you are citing is specific to the Mileage Plus program and the rates for earning in THAT PROGRAM. It does not apply if one chooses to credit the flights to other programs. Here's a specific example: EWR-LAS on Continental booked in the G fare bucket. It will credit to the various programs (assuming no elite status) as follows:

    Code:
    Program		Status			Base 	Elite 	Reward 
    A3		General Member		2227	1114	1114
    AC		General Member		2227	2227	2227
    BD		Blue			2227	2227	2227
    CO		General Member		2227	2227	2227
    ET		ShebaMiles Member	2227	2227	2227
    LH		General Member		2227	1114	1114
    OZ		General Member		2227	2227	2227
    TP		Miles Winner		2227	2227	2227
    UA		General Member		2227	2227	2227
    US		General Member		2227	2227	2227
    
    As you can see from this example, crediting the flight to Miles & More or Aegean will earn fewer points than crediting to other programs.

    Here's another one that is even more dramatic: FRA-MUC on a Lufthansa W fare.

    Code:
    Program		Status			Base 	Elite 	Reward 
    AC		General Member		250	125	188
    CO		General Member		187	187	187
    A3		General Member		200	200	200
    LH		General Member		500	500	500
    BD		Blue			600	300	300
    ET		ShebaMiles Member	500	500	500
    OZ		General Member		500	250	250
    TP		Miles Winner		187	94	94
    UA		General Member		187	187	187
    US		General Member		187	94	94
    Each program has its own rules for the number of points earnt on every flight, even within Star Alliance.
     
  14. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It is not surprising at all that it is not consistent, since we are not talking about the same things. You are down into the specific miles awarded, which are determined by the operating airline, but we were discussing the fare codes that are eligible for mileage credit [the topic of this thread].

    It is evident that the actual miles will be different. For instance, to take a simple but clear example, LH and UA award a minimum of 500 miles for elites, whereas AC and US award the actual miles flown. So, we are not talking about the same things at all. The chart on the UA website that I had pointed to simply provides the info about fare codes that are eligible for mileage credit and COS/elite bonuses for all *A carriers. That info is consistent across the alliance. If it is not, then it might have changed but not yet been updated. The specific miles will definitely be different, which is, again, why one must keep the following in mind:

    • If you purchase a ticket on a flight that is marketed by a *A carrier but operated by another airline (known as a code-share flight), the operating airline determines how many miles you earn for your flight.

    • Note that the booking class that appears on your ticket may differ from the booking class that the operating airline uses to determine flight miles earned.
     
  15. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    The problem is that you must know the fare class for the operating carrier. The fare class that appears on your ticket, boarding pass, itinerary or whatever is the fare class for the marketing carrier. These are not necessarily the same and it can be difficult to determine the operating carrier's fare class for a codeshare.
     
  16. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    That is a given for all non-codeshares or codeshares:
    • Note that the booking class that appears on your ticket may differ from the booking class that the operating airline uses to determine flight miles earned.
    I had posed the question over at FT as to why the airline industry makes it so hard. Why not just print the fare code on the ticket/BP to match what is on the reservation? Until that mystery is solved, one needs to find out the fare code upfront. For UA nowadays, you can look at the current or past reservation to find out, but even for UA, it did not use to be that "easy" ..For a codeshare, one simply must remember to get to the fare code from the operating airline or find themselves in the OP's situation
     
  17. habsfan

    habsfan Active Member

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    Thanks to all for replying - will have to definitely scrutinize the booking code more closely before purchase next time!
     
  18. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    No, it is not. Some programs will credit 0% for a carrier/fare code combination while others will credit 50% or 100% on the same fare. An easy example is a LH K fare. That will earn nothing except in the M&M program. So if you read the link for Lufthansa on the page you posted a link to it will say that a K fare earns nothing. But that is not true for crediting to M&M.

    Similarly, CoS bonuses are defined by the crediting carrier. A Z fare on UA metal will credit 150% EQMs in the UA or CO programs but it actually only earns 100% RDMs in the UA program while crediting to the CO program earns a 25% CoS bonus.

    Let's not even play with hypothetical fares; let's simply look at the OP's ticket. An L fare operated by LX which is what the situation here is about will credit 0% in AC, CO, ET, TP, UA and US. It will credit 50% in A3. It will credit either 50% or 125 miles to M&M, depending on whether it was the long-haul or short-haul segment. It credits 70% to OZ.

    Simply referencing the UA charts when the intent is to credit to a different program is a bad idea. It is not authoritative for anything other than crediting to United. I've provided a number of very specific examples of why this is the case. I hope that they help.

    I didn't see any indication that the OP was on a codeshare flight. Did I miss something?
     
  19. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I have no idea what you talking about and, in fact, you do not even seem to be contradicting anything that I had said. The charts are as clear as can be and not subject to misinterpretation.. Click on any *A carrier's chart and it will show you what they award for a given fare code. LH has, as do other carriers, within continent and extra-continental codes, as well as a combination (starting in EU and connecting to do a TPAC. e.g.), which you must check to make sure. Anyone who travels quite a bit know this...

    BTW: Did you even bother looking at those charts to see what was in them? It would have helped...


    I do not see the relevance of this. The statement is a truism regardless. The OP is a OnePass member traveling on SWISS, he needed to find out from SWISS what his fare code was before hand. As it turned out, "L" code that he was on (according to the SWISS chart on the UA website) does not earn mileage credit.

    These rules are pretty well established, I think.....

    Here it is from the UA site about your example of LH (who provides the chart, BTW). It is clear, I think:
    Code:
    Discount Economy
    (within Europe but connecting to a transcontinental flight) T L 100% 100%
    Discount Economy
    (within Europe only)                T        L          0%            0%
     
    
     
  20. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Correct, but you must check the chart of the program you intend to credit the points to. The example you've provided for LH T & L fares is great if one intends to credit to MileagePlus, but it simply does not apply if you are intending to credit to another *A program. You would have to check the chart for that program. OZ, for example, as shown in their chart here credits 0% for the T or L flights, regardless of the geography over which they are flown. The rules are different depending on the program.

    I have read all the charts of the programs I've mentioned in this thread many times. That's why I know that they all differ.

    I was simply confused as to why you intimated that the OP was on a codeshare. based on the sentence I quoted. If that's not what you meant then I apologize for misunderstanding that point in your prior post.

    While it is true that Swiss L fares on UA do not earn, it would be much more relevant for the OP to use the chart on the OnePass page since that is the program they were crediting to. Using the UA page when not crediting to UA can lead to situations where the information is absolutely wrong.

    The UA site that you have linked to several times now is ONLY authoritative for flights being credited to Mileage Plus. If one is crediting to another program then it is absolutely necessary to check the earning rates against the appropriate charts based on the operating carrier and fare basis, and it is also necessary to use the correct charts. I provided links to many of them above.
     
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  21. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    So, we essentially agree. The only disagreement is that I had not dotted the "i" or crossed the "t" as you would.

    BTW, you generally try to turn exceptions, sometimes obscure ones, into rules, but alliances cannot survive if there are no broad, alliance-wide rules that hold the group together. Each airline will have the discretion to tailor a program in some instances but there are broad rules that govern the alliance. To find some exceptions and use those as evidence that there are no widely applicable rules simply reaffirms the rules!!!

    The exit lines that put all of this in perspective:

    • If you purchase a ticket on a flight that is marketed by a *A carrier but operated by another airline (known as a code-share flight), the operating airline determines how many miles you earn for your flight.

    • Note that the booking class that appears on your ticket may differ from the booking class that the operating airline uses to determine flight miles earned.
     
  22. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I do not believe that we agree at all. You continue to suggest that referring to the UA site for determining the rules of other programs is good enough and I will never agree to that. I have listed a few examples of "exceptions" as you are calling them but the reality is that there are lots more. I have a database of nearly 7000 flight credit rules covering 11 different programs and I can assure you that there are many, many differences among the programs in terms of what any given fare might earn, both at the high and low end of the fare spectrum.

    These "broad rules that govern the alliance" as you describe it do not really exist IMO. Unless you are going to take it to be so broad as to say that all members of the alliance will provide credit for at least some fares on other alliance members, but that is overly generic and not particularly helpful in trying to figure out the actual answer to what credits one will earn in any give situation.

    As for the "exit lines" that you've identified, the first one is also not quite correct. The fare class from the operating carrier will drive what you earn, but the earning rates are still defined by the program you are crediting to. Yes, it is small adjustment to the line you have there, but I believe it is an important one to get the best information if you're trying to figure out the earning rates.
     
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  23. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Go to http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6722,1177,00.html, click on the link for any *A carrier chart, scroll down to Exceptions, read the text under it, and then call UA or *A and tell them that they did not get the "first line quite right" and need to change it to your liking. By the way, make sure also to read each "program's" terms and conditions if doubts linger, and also notice that each chart (above or below the fare tables) specifically spells out what applies to UA MP members....The fare charts are pretty uniform....

    You suffer from OCD. Find a single case where the tables were wrong, then may be we will debate. Otherwise, I have no time to waste.

    Ciao, mate!
     
  24. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Correct. But not if you're crediting to any other program. That's the point I've repeated several times now and you seem to be ignoring it.

    In layout, yes. In credit levels, absolutely not.

    Sorry that you see being correct as an OCD behavior. The tables you have linked to are all 100% correct when crediting to MP. They are incorrect in many, many cases when crediting to other programs. That's all I've been saying. I'm not sure why that's so hard to accept.
     
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  25. karlyn

    karlyn Silver Member

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    I flew SA from WAS to CPT, the fare basis was GLOBAL. My 2 segments btwn JNB-CPT credited as a 'B' fare. SA was the marketing & operating airline.

    >I had called SA before my flights to clarify my basis codes & was told the flights were listed as GLOBAL b/c they were int'l, but assured me my booking codes were in K & B

    >I had credited my flights to A3, but it took 1 year for SA to find my name on their passenger lists for the int'l sectors
    I emailed & faxed my full itinerary/receipt to A3 8 times during the year trying to resolve the issue

    >Seeing as my JNB-CPT flights were credited as 'B' fares & that A3 never mentioned the large GLOBAL listed next to each flight on my itinerary, I was led to believe the only problem was SA not finding me in their system

    >A3 has G listed as an eligible fare for every other *A carrier & when excluding various booking codes on other *A airlines, A3 has it plainly listed in their accrual chart.

    >A3 doesn't list SA even having a 'G' fare on their earning table

    >Every other *A frequent flyer program would have credited me 50-100% mileage on a 'G' fare on SA

    I can't credit those 16K eqm (or bonus rdm) to any other airline, because A3 didn't inform me of rejection until 5 days past the 12 month *A retro limit!

    (sorry if I ranted, its only been a couple of weeks since they denied credit--I'm still pretty raw :mad: )
     

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