Help w/award travel- GJT-DEN-LAX-MEL

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by savingrace, May 22, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. savingrace

    savingrace Silver Member

    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    182
    Status Points:
    335
    I recently booked award travel for myself on UA First Class, GJT-DEN-LAX-MEL in March 2013. I was thrilled to see award travel to au open up. I had checked to make sure there were seats for my husband and myself, which there were. I then had a severe vertigo attack (are the award travel Gods against me?) and had to go to bed before booking my husbands flight.

    Of course the next day I was unable to book one leg of the flight for him, from DEN-LAX. I can do a strange schedule of DEN-ASP-LAX and still get first class on the LAX-MEL flight. And I can buy an economy seat on the DEN-LAX flight for $134.

    So I thought I would just book the strange schedule of him going through Denver and Aspen, but buy a non-refundable seat on the flight we want, since it is so cheap. And if a first class award comes open on the DEN-LAX, I would call United and have them change his award travel.

    Do you agree with this strategy? I did call UA, and could not get an award seat on the DEN-LAX even by pleading. But I want to keep the First Class award flight from LAX to MEL.

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. Jimgotkp
    Original Member

    Jimgotkp Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,834
    Likes Received:
    80,011
    Status Points:
    16,495
    The most important segment is the LAX-MEL one so don't sweat it about the DEN-LAX. If nothing opens up closer to the date of travel then do the DEN-ASP-LAX with him or something similar like DEN-PHX-LAX. Many people change their routings quite frequently after the booking. Also, have you considered doing a routing via Asia and doing BKK-SYD?
     
  3. savingrace

    savingrace Silver Member

    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    182
    Status Points:
    335
    Thanks, I will go ahead and book the DEN-ASP-LAX-MEL for him. I didn't realize people can change their routings after booking. This is only my second award booking.

    I wanted to start this award booking at our home airport so that UA would be responsible for us not making a connection. On the way back, we fly CX business class PER-HGK-LAX, hoping to upgrade to first class if a seat opens. Then we will just buy a ticket on Allegiant airline from LAX to GJT.
     
  4. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    The OP confuses me, but if OP has put segments into an award ticket that OP plans/hopes not to use, this will be a problem. You can sub some paid segments--although with some risk in IROPs as the paid ticket will be a separate PNR--by not having those segments on the award ticket, assuming that open jaw is allowed, but you cannot just not show up for parts of an award ticket (except possilbly the last segment(s) if you don't check luggage, but don't do this too often). You must fly every segment in order or risk cancellation of the remainder of the ticket. Airlines actually do this, but YMMV.
     
  5. Jimgotkp
    Original Member

    Jimgotkp Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,834
    Likes Received:
    80,011
    Status Points:
    16,495
    Remember you can only change the routing, not the origin/destination. There is also a change fee of $75 if the change is made less than 21 days prior to departure unless you are Plat/1K/GS.
     
    savingrace likes this.
  6. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    A couple points:

    Most carriers charge for every change to an award ticket, although there can be published fee waivers for elites.

    Normally award tickets cannot be upgraded.

    Be careful about using budget carriers and award tickets too closely together. These will be separate PNRs, frequently with a carrier that doesn't interline. Usually this means that not only can you not check luggage through, but you will be required to go to a land side check in counter to present documents, drop bags, and obtain your boarding pass. Land side means immigration (lines, visa requirements), so finding a transit path that you can use is valuable. If there are problems, many LCCs cannot rebook you on any other airline, so you might have to wait for days until that LCC has a seat to your destination. They won't pay for hotel rooms either, or give out meal vouchers when passengers are stranded due to IROPs.
     
    savingrace and Jimgotkp like this.
  7. Jimgotkp
    Original Member

    Jimgotkp Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,834
    Likes Received:
    80,011
    Status Points:
    16,495
    Not sure about other FF programs but United allows upgrades on award tickets if space opens up.
     
    savingrace likes this.
  8. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

    Messages:
    363
    Likes Received:
    516
    Status Points:
    595
    Be very careful.

    If I read correctly you want to get the award seat GTJ-DEN and then LAX-MEL with a paid ticket DEN-LAX. This is a big fat no. As your complete award will be GTJ-DEN-ASP-LAX-MEL, the moment you will not be on the DEN-ASP flight, the remaining of your itinerary with voided. You will get to LAX on the DEN-LAX cheap ticket, but then there will be no LAX-MEL waiting for you as that portion of the ticket will be cancelled.

    DO NOT DO IT! Unless you are booking two separate awards (GTJ-DEN and LAX-MEL), which make little sense.

    As other pointed out just book the complete award through ASP and check frequently to see if the direct DEN-LAX will have seat open. They will probably have Y seat open at one point.
     
    savingrace likes this.
  9. savingrace

    savingrace Silver Member

    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    182
    Status Points:
    335
    Thanks to all who replied! Your knowledge is so helpful.

    I went ahead and booked award travel for my husband going through ASP, but have award nexus do a search every day to see when a seat opens on the DEN-LAX flight. The award travel is a long ways off.

    I was unsure about him flying on the same flight as me DEN-LAX on United but paying for it.

    I am only using a different airline on last flight home, from LAX-GJT, on Allegiant. At that point I feel we are back in the USA, and no worries. It is very difficult to find award travel to/from GJT, and I was so glad that it worked out that we could book United from GJT through to MEL. Because as MSPeconomist said, if we run into any problems, we are covered by the airline from beginning to end.

    Again, I appreciate the help. I would never have gotten to fly first class (even if it is on United) without this forum. And I can't wait to fly Cathy Pacific, even in business. :cool:
     
  10. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,216
    Likes Received:
    61,744
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Only sortof.

    Anyone can redeem the difference in miles to get in to the higher cabin; there may be a change fee associated with that, depending on status. Elites who also hold certain co-branded CCs can upgrade via the CPU mechanism on routes where CPUs work. GS elites can also upgrade using Miles+cash, RPUs or GPUs.

    To the OP, don't book the separate paid ticket. That's not going to help you at all. Flying the paid segment and skipping the segments of the award trip will void the rest of the ticket. What you actually want to do is call in and have the agents waitlist you for the DEN-LAX segment that you actually want to fly on. If they do it correctly you should see an extra segment added to the award itinerary when viewed online with bold red text indicating that it is waitlisted.

    I'd also keep an eye on the nonstop flight and if it opens up in coach I'd switch to it and keep the F award waitlist active.
     
    savingrace and Jimgotkp like this.
  11. euromannn
    Original Member

    euromannn Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,620
    Likes Received:
    8,619
    Status Points:
    7,070
    Teach those still dreaming the Friendly Skies.
     
  12. savingrace

    savingrace Silver Member

    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    182
    Status Points:
    335
    Thanks WA, I will call UA to wait list my husband for the DEN-LAX non-stop flight that I was able to book. That was helpful to learn.

    And I have award nexus doing a search daily to see if a coach seat opens up.
     

Share This Page