How To Book International Award Flights W/ United Miles When There Is No Availability

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by OneSweetWorld, Aug 2, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. OneSweetWorld
    Original Member

    OneSweetWorld Silver Member

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    I'm not sure if everyone knows this but you can add on a free domestic positioning flight on International Award flights booked with United miles.

    Basically if you can't find any saver availability from your home airport, you can fly out of any other U.S airport with availability and United will fly you to that airport for free (as long as there is domestic availability).

    This is really useful if you have set in stone dates and is saying there is no saver availability from your home airport.

    For anyone that is interested, I put together a step by step guide.
    FlyingFree likes this.
  2. colpuck
    Original Member

    colpuck Gold Member

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    I saw you posted this on FT this morning.

    I am not a huge fan of sea1k4evr but he had a point when he posted
  3. PanAm
    Original Member

    PanAm Silver Member

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    I think the above edit states the gist of it more succinctly, though I guess it doesn't drive click-throughs to the linked article. This is all kind of obvious.

    And the title and first post are misleading. Most people clicking see " no availability" and think there is some secret being conveyed to pull up availability overwater which for some cabins and routes can be tough find.

    When you state that you can "add on a domestic flight for free" this isn't true. United isn't flying you somewhere "for free" as an add-on to something - being zone based the mileage is the same whichever international gateway you depart from. I think implying that you can "add on" to an award flight might lead some to believe one can add a segment to an existing, ticketed award - which will cost a change fee as it's an O/D change (unless you're 1K or other exempt).

    Most people use "positioning flight" to describe a separately booked trip used to join another itinerary. For those of us living in most airports besides the gateways, this is called a normal, everyday part of booking an award.
  4. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    It took me a while to figure out what you were trying to say here ...

    This isn't really earth-shattering information. Just like when I wanted to fly LAX-FRA (both of which are major airports) but couldn't find availability, I simply flew LAX-SFO-FRA.

    An easier way to say this: Find the transatlantic/transpacific space. Once you've found that, then find your way to the gateway. There wasn't really any need for a page+ post to explain that. Pretty much every North American program allows this for the same price.

    Also, there's no reason to book a round-trip as two one-ways with United. They allow double open-jaws, which is basically the same as two one-ways. You also get a stopover + only have to deal with fees for one award.

    What this means is that you could do ORD-IAH-DOH-BOM (open-jaw) DEL-FRA-ORD (stopover)-LAX. That ORD-LAX is a free trip at the end if you live in Chicago. You can't do that by booking ORD-BOM and DEL-ORD or DEL-LAX as 2 one-ways.
    LizzyDragon84 and aptraveler like this.
  5. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    All you are doing is confusing people more OneSweetWorld. I think most people already know that a connection books the same way as a nonstop, all the major US airlines operate that way, not just United.
  6. ArizonaGuy
    Original Member

    ArizonaGuy Silver Member

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    Umm, exactly. I live in PHX. Except for one BA flight, I can't exactly fly non-stop to any other continent without connecting somewhere. Mind you UA won't always show me a backtracking option (i.e. PHX-LAX-FRA) but I've done that plenty too.

    I fail to see the purpose of this article. I can go to Kayak and plug in LAX-FRA which will show me plenty of revenue connection options besides the LH nonstop, most of which are also bookable as awards (assuming fare bucket availability). Not exactly earth shattering news.
    daemon14 likes this.

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