GPUs no longer 'Global'?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by trobb49, Mar 6, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. trobb49

    trobb49 Silver Member

    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    117
    Status Points:
    395
    I'll try to make a long story (2 hrs on the phone) short...

    My wife and I planned to fly KIX-SFO-LHR with only a 2-hour stopover in SFO. I've done this twice before in the pre-merger days on UA, and was able to use one GPU in each direction.

    This time, it took two hours on the phone, with the agent checking in with the fare desk multiple times. They said that the fares from KIX-SFO, and SFO-LHR were not "combinable" but finally they finally did find a fare for a little over $3000/RT. They warned me, however, that any change in the itinerary would result in the fare getting bumped up to over $10,000. :eek:

    I said "Fine. Now I need the same itinerary for my wife." Agent: "Oh, I'm sorry. We only have one fare available at that rate." Arggh!

    So, I went online, and easily booked two W class fares from KIX to SFO and SFO-LHR, using a GPU for KIX<>SFO and upgraded with miles for SFO-LHR for the both of us at a cost of almost $4000 for each person.

    So why aren't two W-class fares combinable?? I can only guess that they are trying to reduce the value of the GPUs.

    Has anyone else had a similar experience?
     
    Newscience and uggboy like this.
  2. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,216
    Likes Received:
    61,746
    Status Points:
    20,020
    You're talking about fares, not GPUs. GPUs are most definitely still global.

    Looks like end-on-end pricing is permitted on the KIX-SFO and SFO-LHR W fares but it is entirely possible that other fare rules come in to play. I don't see it pricing that way when I look at various systems online. And I think it is the KIX-SFO W fare which is blocking the additional international connection.

    Do you have specific dates in mind? That might help nail down the details.
     
  3. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

    Messages:
    774
    Likes Received:
    912
    Status Points:
    795
    Are you booking RT or OW? I think most combinability rules are end-on-end, so you could have a one-way fare, THEN a round trip, THEN another one way, but you can't "nest" two RTs. FWIW, RT int'l fares on UA tend to be much cheaper than OW - if you are booking for OW travel, you might want to consider "throwaway ticketing". (e.g. buy a OW KIX-SFO and a RT SFO-LHR-SFO, know you won't fly LHR-SFO)

    Taking a step back, though, this looks like you are rewarding their bad behavior. I would be tempted to find some other way to spend my $8,000, and let UA know you did it.
     
  4. trobb49

    trobb49 Silver Member

    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    117
    Status Points:
    395
    Yes, I'm talking fares, but there's a Catch-22. If you can't get the entire trip on the same itinerary, then you can't use a GPU. The dates were Aug. 24 to Sept. 3.
     
  5. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,831
    Likes Received:
    14,597
    Status Points:
    11,070
    I don't understand where the Catch-22 is.
     
  6. Hartmann
    Original Member

    Hartmann Gold Member

    Messages:
    8,061
    Likes Received:
    14,556
    Status Points:
    14,520
    For $8k you may just be able to buy 2 business class seats KIX-LHR.

    ETA: Yep, a few carriers have sub-$3000 business class fares filed between KIX and LHR. QR has a $2615 r/t fare.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
  7. trobb49

    trobb49 Silver Member

    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    117
    Status Points:
    395
     
  8. Flyer1976
    Original Member

    Flyer1976 Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,247
    Likes Received:
    33,912
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I was wondering why someone would torture themselves on sUA between KIX & LHR when there's other better *A options in Business Class. :confused:
     
  9. Flyer1976
    Original Member

    Flyer1976 Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,247
    Likes Received:
    33,912
    Status Points:
    20,020
    @trobb49

    1. Your GPU should be valid on both flights as long as the connection is less than 12 hours I believe.
    2. Don't bother taking United from Osaka to London via SF if it costs more in economy than other Star Alliance partners discounted business class fares or even OALs.
     
  10. trobb49

    trobb49 Silver Member

    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    117
    Status Points:
    395
    Thanks but I've only got 1.5 years more to make my 2 million and need it this year to qualify as well. I wish one of the Middle East carriers, QR, EK or EY would join the Star Alliance... QR Business is great. I flew them last year.
     
    Flyer1976 likes this.
  11. Flyer1976
    Original Member

    Flyer1976 Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,247
    Likes Received:
    33,912
    Status Points:
    20,020
    In that case, you still should be able to use 1 GPU all the way from Osaka to London.
     
  12. trobb49

    trobb49 Silver Member

    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    117
    Status Points:
    395
    That was my starting point. I'd done it before, but they said that the KIX-SFO & SFO-LHR fares were not combinable on the same itinerary, except for the one fare that they found that I mentioned at the beginning of this thread.
     
  13. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    5,543
    Status Points:
    4,170
    What happens in 1.5 years?

    Paying substantially more, for a worse product to requalify for benefits that you are complaining about being crap, and spending more to use them than to just buy a better product...does not seem very sensible. You're paying (between you + wife) $2-3k, plus a bunch of miles (and GPU I guess) for ~20k EQMs? Just go on another vacation, or accept a lower elite tier this year.

    Just does not seem like the status is anything more than a boat anchor here.

    nb: quick edit for rdm/eqm typo.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
  14. trobb49

    trobb49 Silver Member

    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    117
    Status Points:
    395
    Sigh, yes a direct trip on another carrier would have been cheaper and more comfortable, but on the way back, we do have a side trip to visit my 90-year-old mother in the U.S. that I hadn't mentioned. --Separate itinerary. I'm forced to retire from my tenured job in Japan in the near future, and after that, no more travel grants for research and conferences. Hoping that the 2M lifetime platinum will make personal travel a bit easier after that. (Hah! It will probably be devalued as much as Gold currently is....)
     
  15. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

    Messages:
    774
    Likes Received:
    912
    Status Points:
    795
    I had an interval of limited travel and reached 1MM perhaps a year later than expected. I have been 1K, platinum, and (now) gold, all within recent memory.

    I suggest being content with gold. Compared to gold, PP will get you 1) completely waived award fees and 2) somewhat more domestic upgrades. But gold still gets you lower award fees, free same day standby, lounge access, and E+ at time of booking. It's not terrible. And if you're traveling at all, you'll get the 2MM soon enough - passing up these 20k lifetime miles now won't make that big of a difference.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
    Flyer1976 and trobb49 like this.

Share This Page