Outrage Of The Day...Gov't Full "Y" SFO-IAD Is $168

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by EyeOnTheSkies, Jul 8, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. EyeOnTheSkies

    EyeOnTheSkies Silver Member

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    Just stumbled on the GSA website and found the YCA, aka unrestricted full Y fare for SFO-IAD on UA is $168. Mind you, that comes with an auto upgrade for Silvers and above.

    Why is UA giving away that flight, especially with a free upgrade to elites at a loss to gov't employees?

    For those traveling on their own dime, it makes you feel a little less guilty about maxing out routings to juice more miles out of UA.
     
  2. mherdeg
    Original Member

    mherdeg Silver Member

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    Hmm, meanwhile, the YCA fare on SEA-IAD is $651. (The YCA fare for SEA-SFO is $69, but on VX, so good luck combining those fares.)
     
  3. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    The govt has pricing power? Why would you want the govt to pay more for things?
     
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  4. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Can you just pick up and go on a government fare if you're not on official government business? Seriously, I don't know... and I'm wondering if they would even know.
     
  5. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    I believe the gov & airline would know. At hotels if booking gov code, one is supposed to show gov ID but rarely do hotels ask for it but I'm assuming (assuming mind you) that the airlines are more strict & there is some sort of process to assure a pax is a gov ID.
    agreed !!
     
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  6. EyeOnTheSkies

    EyeOnTheSkies Silver Member

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    I don't want the government to pay more for things. But I don't want my airline giving away the last seat on the plane for the price of a 21 day K fare to joe-customer. I'm cool with 168 being the AP non-refundable gov rate, but the walk up full Y should be more than that. I want United to be profitable too, you know.
     
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  7. Gargoyle
    Original Member

    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    When we were gate agents for a day at ATL, I dealt with a very unhappy DL platinum- he is a gov't contractor, and therefore was required by contract to buy LUT fares (the cheapest restricted standard Y fares). he was flying to HNL, and was not eligible for an upgrade. (PMs get unlimited space available upgrades on domestic, but not on Hawaii or int'l). He was willing to use miles or any other instrument, but the LUT isn't upgradable that way, so he was stuck in the back.
     
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  8. harvson3

    harvson3 Silver Member

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    This is the flip-side of outrage over the Pentagon's $435 hammer and $600 toilet seat.

    Your concern for United's bottom line is admirable. They have an offer out in revenue management: http://jobs.united.com/chicago-il/d...icago-il-information-technology/30140299/job/
     
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  9. zippypinhead

    zippypinhead Gold Member

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    I also don't want the government to pay more than they should.
    But, I also do not want to subsidise their discount fare with my higher fare. Just another way of "taxing" us without calling it a tax.:rolleyes:
     
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  10. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

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    That's what I wonder though... is this completely unrestricted as long as you have a government ID?

    The Federal government employs over 4 million people in some capacity. If any one of them can just get up and go, booking cheap-o fares without actually requiring a reason (say, work-related travel or some such) I'm sort of with the OP on this... purchasing power or not, these are my tax dollars subsidizing this entire enterprise, and a staggering number of people diluting the elite pool with ultra cheap fares.

    Now if these fares earn adequately reduced mileage, my outrage would be reduced to simple jealousy. With a dash of indignation about my tax dollars at work. :)
     
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  11. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    The government department that I worked for had an agency that made all bookings for official travel. No room there for personal bookings.
     
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  12. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    UA should reprogram its systems so that the YCA fare is excluded from the top upgrade priority and treated more like a G fare
     
  13. unavaca
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    unavaca Gold Member

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    Weren't the PMUA system like this? YCA fares were excluded from the Full-Y upgrade benefits, IIRC.
     
  14. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    No. Unlike hotel rates, the only way to access the government airfare is to have it bought through a federal agency's travel office.

    Sent from a place using a fruit thing.
     
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  15. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Cool. I saw that while doing a search as well since I was curious.

    Looks like you need justified "government business related" reasons for booking as well, and using it for personal travel (even mixed business/personal) is forbidden.

    The fares are pretty sweet though... no advanced purchase, no restrictions on length of travel, fully refundable with no penalty for changes/cancellations, not capacity controls and no blackout dates.
     
  16. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    Quite restricted wrt extending travel, gov't biz, only via official gov ta. Even work I do for an agency cannot access the gov pricing so I book separately, review for them and bill them later.
     
  17. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Well, PQDs should be an interesting shakeout of these kinds of fares.
     
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  18. dayone
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    dayone Silver Member

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    Not much different than "joe-customer" benefitting from contact pricing and comp upgrades if s/he works for Disney and the like.
     
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  19. Au4882

    Au4882 Gold Member

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    I can tell you that this lowly priced city pair is the exception and NOT the rule.

    Over the past year, I've flown on government business semi-regularly IAD-SAN, and the YCA fare is MUCH more than what I would ever buy online. FYI, the YCA fare for IAD-SAN is $620 e/w. Which is absurd. I've found the GSA city pairs for the most part to be very high.
     
  20. CGK
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    CGK Gold Member

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    No.
     
  21. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Quite true. I fly regularly as a consultant for the NIH (part of the US Department of Heath), and we are required to contact a federal travel office to do the booking. When I call, they would ask if I have a code for the federal activity I will be traveling for and then they would ask for my name to see if it is on a list of that they would already have received from NIH about who can be booked under that code. As a consultant, I have the flexibility to book my own travel for gov't biz and be reimbursed, but only up to the cost of the ticket that I would have gotten through their travel office.
     
  22. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Keep in mind that GSA city pairs change each fiscal year. While UA may have a route one year, it may change the next.

    For example, for LON-TPA, I've seen it be UA, AA, and DL. I've even seen LON-ATL be on AA (no direct flights) despite DL (numerous direct flights) often having the route from year to year. One of the few consistent ones I've seen year to year is IAD-LON, which has always been on UA...at least since 2006.
     
  23. ozstamps
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    ozstamps Silver Member

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    Not sure if I'd be game to book a Hotel on Government rate if not working there. :)
     
  24. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    This is why UA is really screwy in the IAD market.

    Government fares should be as low as the airlines will agree to, for sure. United believes it is in their interest to offer this fare. Who am I to argue? And I certainly don't want the government paying more than necessary (corporate welfare).

    UA basically adopted CO's upgrade priority post-merger. Leaving aside auto upgrades, there's upgrade priority -- and full fare (of which YCA fares are treated) trumps status level in the queue. That means government YCA silvers trump 1Ks on mid-priced fares.

    In most markets that is noise. In the DC market that is a very big deal for elites who do not work for the federal government.

    United recognized this as a problem very early on and changed some upgrade prioritization, they didn't want GS's trumped by full fare silvers so that issue was handled right after the systems integration.

    But it's very hard for non-govt employees in DC to be United loyal (and most don't know the reason their upgrade % dropped like a rock post-integration).
     
  25. Weatherboy

    Weatherboy Gold Member

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    You also have to remember that the government is paying tons of $$$ for cargo between those markets. The fares for passengers are more of a rounding error to the money making scheme happening below-deck.
     

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