Pricing multidestination awards on United.com

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by tjtj, Apr 16, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. tjtj

    tjtj Active Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm trying to fly an award GMP-HND-LAX-SFO, and if I ask the website for GMP-SFO, it gives me only one option for the LAX-SFO leg. If I ask the website for HND-SFO, I get more and better options for the LAX-SFO leg.

    So I tried setting up multidestination search leg by leg, and I can select the routing I'd like, but it prices the mileage cost too high (as two awards with a break somewhere in the middle).

    Which of these options seem the most likely to work / have the lowest or no fees:
    - Hold or book the correctly-priced routing online and call in to make a change
    - Hold or book the correct routing online and call in to get the pricing fixed

    As a sort of side note, there is no fee for holding award reservations, despite the fact that they ask for a credit card, right?

    Thank you very much,
    Tim
     
  2. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    How long a layover in LAX?
     
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  3. tjtj

    tjtj Active Member

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    I thought that United had a 4 hours limit on domestic layovers (>4 hours being a domestic stopover which is not allowed on my one way award), but perhaps I'm thinking of AA. Either way, such a rule does not seem to be enforced, because:

    When I search for HND-SFO, United.com gives me NH1006 which arrives at LAX at 6:15pm on a Saturday, then the choice of these flights to SFO:
    A. 4:35 layover UA6433 departing 10:50 pm that day [to Fresno, which gives me a 5+ hour layover in Fresno, something I really don't want]
    B. 12:15 layover UA536 departing 6:30am the next day
    C. 15:55 layover UA380 departing 10:10am the next day

    Now when I search for GMP-SFO, I only see option B from above (though I thought it was only option A before). Regardless, option C is my preference.

    I'm also noticing that GMP-SFO isn't giving me the GMP-HND flight I'm looking for, though GMP-LAX does, so this is pretty much the same problem happening on both ends.

    Does pricing for awards built with the multistop tool generally work correctly? Is there a fee for making a phone change to a held reservation then booking it online, or holding a reservation on the phone and booking it online, etc?

    Thanks!
    Tim

    Edit: I do seem to be correct about the 4 hour domestic rule, see http://boardingarea.com/blogs/viewf...niteds-new-more-generous-award-routing-rules/. Strange that United.com seems to be ignoring it.
     
  4. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Yes, you are correct about the 4-hour rule, but there's also a gotcha on that: if it's the last flight of the day or the next leg is > 4 hours, it'll sometimes let you have a longer stop due to routing requirements. I'm totally with you on not wanting it to be in Fresno, though!

    I once priced out a saver award with the following outbound:

    11/3 UA77 SFO-IAH 1:50pm - 7:40pm
    11/4 UA1527 IAH-GDL 9:10am - 11:35am

    Surprised that took; I wasn't trying to be in Houston for > 12 hours.
     
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  5. tjtj

    tjtj Active Member

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    I assumed that if the last flight to (in this case) SFO had left for the day, the rule was that I would have to take the first flight to SFO the next morning. I guess things aren't quite that simple, especially once you add in the "there is a flight, but it's more than 4 hours away" factor. And this doesn't even get to the fact that there are other flights available, just not at the saver level.

    So, what do you think the best approach is here? I might just swallow the phone booking fee if they can make it happen, but I'd prefer to place a hold online first if that can avoid the fee.
     
  6. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Honestly, I don't know the answer. There's tons of people with more experience booking UA awards than I around here, so I'll defer to them. I was just trying to answer the parts I did know.
     
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  7. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Once you are on an international itinerary all connections - even the domestic ones - fall under the international rule so it is 24 hours, not 4 hours.

    As for the multi-city pricing issues, Japan seems to be a long-standing issue with the website. I'd book what you want then call in to reprice, but that will also take a more aggresive call. If your status precludes phone booking fees that's going to be best.
     
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  8. harvson3

    harvson3 Silver Member

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    Call in and see what amount of miles and fees the agents offer you. There's no obligation to book if you call.

    And some routings just can't be done online. Sadly, the fact that you have to call in doesn't save you the $25.

    That's my conclusion from when I had a similar problem: http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/question-on-award-searches-on.30755/

    EDIT: Basically, agreeing with WA above.
     
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  9. tjtj

    tjtj Active Member

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    Thanks, all! I'm creating a hold on a mispriced itinerary, will give a call once I get home to see if it can be repriced, and will give an update.
     
  10. tjtj

    tjtj Active Member

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    The plan worked! I placed an online hold on one itinerary and called in for a quick and easy reprice. I booked another slightly different itinerary for my friend where there was a problem similar to harvson3's; I had to book the last leg at full price then have it converted to saver and repriced on the phone. The only hiccup there was the whole "how can you be arriving the day before you depart?" line, but the agent eventually trusted me about the international date line :)

    In the end, I was able to book both of the held reservations online and avoid paying a phone fee. Thanks again, everyone.

    For anyone wanting to follow in my footsteps, it should be noted that United won't let you hold an award for free unless you do not have enough miles in your account to purchase it at that time. I was using Ultimate Rewards, so I held off on the transfer until my holds were placed. I believe that even if you do have enough miles, you can place a hold for a few bucks and do this, much cheaper than the phone reservation fee.
     
  11. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

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  12. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

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    Lots of pricing issues with the website. Calling in is a must.

    There are pricing errors on the phone, too, and those are harder to get fixed. Most most website pricing errors will be fixed when a phone agent has their computer price the tiinerary.

    It's when the computer misprices something that it takes a bit of moving heaven and earth to get fixed. :)
     

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