Help with SWU issue on intl ticket

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by TravelerRob, Feb 11, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    Hi all,
    Sorry but a search didn't reveal my answer.

    I waitlisted an SWU for MCO-IAD-xxx and when I booked the ticket I specifically told the agent not to waitlist MCO-IAD using the SWU (she is actually the one who mentioned it first). My reservation online showed up fine and never had Upgrade: Waitlisted before my UDU window opened.

    Now I've just taken the MCO-IAD leg and received an upgrade at the gate but my IAD-xxx international leg won't get upgraded as I'm #5 on the list and there are no open seats. However, United.com is showing my SWU as "used".

    Why did this happen? Is it hard to get it back?

    I knew something was wrong when I attempted OLCI yesterday and the MCO-IAD segment showed Upgrade: Waitlisted and instead of "complimentary upgrade" it said something about "Electronic certificate already applied".

    Any guidance is appreciated.

    -RM
     
  2. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    If your MCO-IAD reservation showed you as "waitlisted" before your UDU window opened, then you were upgraded for that segment with your SWU and not with UDU. It should have shown your MCO-IAD as "pending" if you were on UDU, especially if you checked it outside of your UDU window. Because your were upgraded with your SWU, it showed up as used...

    However, because the international segment did not clear, I think that they might be able to redeposit your SWU. For that you must call. I had once done PEK->SFO->JFK, and the PEK->JFK UG did not clear so I called 1K desk (several weeks after the trip, in fact), told them that the intl segment of that trip did not clear and asked if I could get the SWU back, and it was redeposited without a fuss... (note that the SFO->JFK, which also required an upgrade instrument, had cleared, so I'd really lucked out because they could have said that they had applied it for the p.s. segment and been right! But the policy seems to be that for a situation like yours, you should get the SWU back).

    Good luck!
     
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  3. AZjohn

    AZjohn Silver Member

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    This is exactly correct. You will need to call in to get the SWU retirned as this will not be done automaticly.
    I'm guessing many people have lost their SWU not knowing the new rule of "if the international segment does not clear, your SWU will be credited back". Problem is, it's not credited back automaticly, you need to call.
     
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  4. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Just a reminder that in my original post I specifically said that my reservation "NEVER had Upgrade: Waitlisted until the UDU window opened".

    I'll call United when I get back to the States and sort this out. It's just really annoying as they booked it correctly and some system decided to step in and apply the SWU (maybe the gate agent at MCO?).

    Thanks,
    RM
     
  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Wait, this is a new and documented (?) rule, ie I no longer have to apply the SWU only to the international segment at first if it's a wait list situation? That would be great!
     
  6. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    You were waitlisted and then you got upgraded. That means they had intended to use your SWU from the get-go.
    The keyword here is waitlisted. That meant that they were going to use your SWU and not UDU to try to upgrade you, otherwise it would have said pending. The agent did not do as you had requested, but, typically, when taking an intl trip that includes domestic segments and one puts down a SWU, the entire itinerary will be upgraded using the SWU even if one is eligible for UDU. And with the new rule of returning SWUs if the long-haul segment does not clear, it does not matter at all, and in fact, it may be advantageous to rely on the SWU rather than UDU because you get on the wait list as soon as you request the upgrade. With UDU, you must wait until the window opens.

    I have a YUL-IAD flight next week for which I put down no upgrade instruments, so I am at mercy of UDU, with upgrade status currently showing as pending. On the other hand, I recently booked a May 2012 flight from JFK to MEL and requested upgrades using SWUs. Every inbound and outbound segment is now shown as waitlisted.

    Yes. See here under "Redeposits and cancellations" in the section on
    Comparing Systemwide Upgrades between United and Continental: http://mileageplusmergerupdates.com/en/mp/ForElites/RegionalandSWUpgrades?
     
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  7. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    NYCUA1K - understand about the waitlisted. When I booked the reservation it was Upgrade: Pending. To be honest I'm not sure what it said when I hit the UDU window at this time.

    If UA had applied the SWU to the domestic flight then it would have shown Upgrade: Waitlisted when I booked it, no? It never did. It only said something about the upgrade after the UDU window hit.

    BTW - the return is DXB-IAD-SEA and IAD-SEA correctly shows Upgrade: Pending at this time. I'll have to watch that one as well to see what it says when I hit the UDU window. Something tells me UA is going to automatically try to apply the SWU to it even though it's not applied right now and I specifically asked it not to be.

    -RM
     
  8. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Yes, that is indeed strange. It should have said waitlisted, because by default, when you put down a SWU and there are upgradable segments along the way, they will all be eligible for upgrade with the SWU and shown as waitlisted... I am looking at my JFK-LAX-SYD-MEL and each segment is waitisted although the upgrade request was for JFK-MEL.

    It seems that they did as you had requested for the inbound. IAD-SEA is on UDU. But, it is actually to your advantage to have them apply the SWU also to IAD-SEA because then you would go on the wait list right away rather than when the UDU window opens, which may put you lower on the wait list. If the upgrade for DXB-IAD leg does not clear, you will still get your SWU back, but you would still be higher up on the upgrade list for IAD-SEA. Then if the latter segment gets upgraded, you just get home and request that the SWU be redeposited since the long-haul segment would not have cleared.
     
  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Why should it have said "waitlisted"? To quote the OP:

    I waitlisted an SWU for MCO-IAD-xxx and when I booked the ticket I specifically told the agent not to waitlist MCO-IAD using the SWU (she is actually the one who mentioned it first).

    Do they now no longer allow you to only wait list certain segments of a multi-segment trip?
     
  10. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Apparently, they do because they did it for the OP's inbound itinerary. However, with the new rule, it makes sense not to even worry about it. Those gymnastics that we used to do to salvage SWUs in case the long-haul segments did not clear are no longer necessary.
     
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  11. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Even if they do, you shouldn't bother.
    They're doing you a favor. Don't fight it.

    You get the domestic upgrade for free now if the long-haul doesn't clear. Let them list all the segments and take what you get. The worst-case scenario is you have to call in and recover the SWU. Not too shabby for priority in the upgrade queue.

    This is actually a change that the sUA folks should like. It really is in your favor as a passenger.
     
  12. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    It sounds like the airline is now giving free domestic upgrades well in advance of normal upgrade processing to everyone having a SWU wait list that fails to clear. This impacts other passengers by making fewer upgrade seats available at the window and by giving free higher priority to those with failed SWU attempts on long haul international. maybe this should be viewed as a consolation prize for not getting the more important upgrade.
     
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  13. AZjohn

    AZjohn Silver Member

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    I agree
    I kind of see your point, but these UG's are available for everyone with a CR1 or SWU or miles at the same time, I don't see an advantage to just SWU's as far as inventory (I'm not bringing in the UDU on this subject).

    It can be seen as a consolation prize, but remember these passengers would much rather get the international upgrade, and on top of that they paid a lot more $ for the tickets having to purchase W or higher. It kind of goes both ways (they kind of already paid for a domestic UG in a way).
     
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  14. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    It changes the game because most people would not have listed the SWU for the domestic segments; they would have wasted for UDU, where they might not have been at the top of the list. The number of upgrade seats is fixed, but this changes their distribution somewhat.

    They haven't paid a lot more for the upgradeable W fare, which is nothing like a B fare or any discounted FC fare for those segments. If you want to see what it means to pay a lot more for an upgradeable coach fare, check the DL Y B M requirement for SWUs.
     
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  15. AZjohn

    AZjohn Silver Member

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    I did check them about a year ago when this merger was offical. Needless to say, I'm still with UA ;)
     
  16. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    In the past, perhaps, but going forward people applying SWUs to an itinerary will be applying them to the whole thing (or making a horrible mistake). Passengers willing to spend their upgrade certs on the trip get prioritized over those who are not. I don't see anything wrong with that plan at all.
    Depends on the route. Some are pretty nasty, even if not as bad as the YBM fiasco at DL.
     
  17. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Even before the new rule, I always applied SWUs for my entire itineraries...

    I could have paid $1,440 for JFK-MEL if I did not care to request an upgrade. To be able to use SWUs to upgrade the round trip, I had to cough up $2,453 or nearly 60% more...I think that I paid "a lot more for the upgradeable W fare"...
     
  18. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Compared to DL, this is wonderful. I've been seeing TPAC M fares, the lowest upgradeable, for about $5300 RT all in.
     
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  19. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Like someone said, I am happy to be with UACO. For me that is especially true because there is no way my "company" would reimburse me for paying $5300 RT when I can travel on another US carrier for half the cost. They even grumble about the fact that I purchase upgradable Y tickets! My understanding is that DL makes it tough to request upgrades using SWUs...
     
  20. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    No doubt that the DL SWUable fares are higher than the UA ones, but $5300 looks a little high to SYD, depending on where you are starting. Flying from SWF can actually come out under $4K. Still a lot more than $2500, but it isn't always horrible. http://www.wandr.me/Delta-SWUable-Fares.aspx/fly-to/SYD
     
  21. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I just checked MSP-NRT RT in M class using the nonstop flights on random dates in March and the answer is

    $5966.08
     
  22. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    Wait - I thought the UA rule about prioritizing SWU/CR1 upgrades (ala how pmCO does it) does not kick-in until 3/3 or when SHARES takes over. Until then it's "upgrades as usual" om pmUA and pmCO?

    The problem is I never requested the domestic segments be waitlisted for the SWU upgrade. However, the UDU sweep when it fails seems to be putting those flights on SWU request. As per my earlier post my IAD-SEA flight is showing "Upgrade: Pending" meaning it's waiting for the UDU window instead of "Upgrade: Walisted" meaning the SWU is applied to that segment as well.

    Are you saying I should call UA and ask them to waitlist the IAD-SEA segment? And if the DXB-IAD fails to clear but IAD-SEA does clear I can still call in and get my SWU refunded? This seems to go against everything I've read about UA upgrades with SWU's (not saying the game hasn't changed yet but I read it doesn't change until the EUA/UDU system is combined).

    Thanks for all the help.

    -RM
     
  23. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    This was in your initial post: "when I booked the ticket I specifically told the agent not to waitlist MCO-IAD using the SWU (she is actually the one who mentioned it first)." She did not do as you had requested on the outbound, so you were upgraded with the SWU, which is the default behavior...

    That is exactly what we are saying. It is the brave new world of UACO. What we have been saying is the current policy. All you need to do nowadays is to request an upgrade with your SWU from domestic point A to intl point B, regardless of how many upgradable segments there are in between. If the long-haul (intl) segment does not get upgraded, you get your SWU back. So, just use the SWU and let it get you in upgrade wait lists right away rather than waiting for UDU (Godot!)...
     
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  24. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The prioritization is the old scheme right now but the ability to get the SWU back if the long-haul doesn't clear is already in effect on the sUA operations and has been for a few months. There is nothing good that comes from requesting only the long-haul segment getting the SWU now.
     
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  25. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    But read my other posts. When the ticket was booked MCO-IAD showed "Upgrade: Pending". That means the agent did not apply the SWU to the flight as I requested. When my UDU window hit and I didn't get upgraded I had a second segment added to my ticket for MCO-IAD with "Upgrade: Waitlisted" which is normal when UDU runs and no upgrade is available.

    My point is that I believe UA is automatically adding the SWU to the domestic segment even though the ticket isn't booked that way when the UDU window hits...or when the flyer tries to check-in. I can't know for certain when UA attempted to use the SWU for my domestic upgrade on MCO-IAD but I certainly never asked for it to happen (thinking along the lines of the old rules - Wandering Aramean has since updated us).

    I guess I'll just call UA, ask for the original SWU back for MCO-IAD and also ask to use the SWU for IAD-SEA so I have a slightly better chance of clearing ahead of time. Granted, that flight is an A319 (UGH!) with only F3 already.

    Thanks,
    RM
     

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