Question about an award booking

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by James K., Jun 11, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    Hey there knowledgeable people all,

    So next summer I want to travel to Japan with my wife, using United to travel on ANA. A lot of flights show 1 first class seat available (on United.com) on the Trans-pacific leg, but not the two I need.

    So my question is this: since I'm booking out of our respective accounts and we can't be on one PNR anyway, should I book one of us in first class and the other in business, then hope for another seat to open up and change the business class seat to first? Is that easy to do? Or should I book us both in business class?

    Appreciate any pointers -- I've only reserved award travel on Delta and they don't have crazy things like "first class partner bookings"
     
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  2. Singapore Flyer

    Singapore Flyer Silver Member

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    I would book the first class ticket and business first. There is a chance that ANA will open another an it is relatively easy. If you have status it will be potentially cheaper as there is a redeposit fee for canceling an award booking. You can check the fees on the united site. My wife and I looked for these seats for a while and when it popped up it was a phantom. So, book while you can. The flip side is that you can downgrade if the FC seat doesn't open up and want/need to sit with each other. My wife didnt care as long as she was comfortable. :)

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  3. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    I'm a lowly silver, but I'd gladly pay a redeposit fee to if another seat opened up in first. Question -- if the FC seat doesn't open up, will I have to pay a redeposit fee to downgrade?
     
  4. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    Oh and thank you for the help!
     
  5. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    You don't need to re deposit for this case, IME.
     
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  6. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    You would book two F awards, but confirm one in F and the other in C so that if another F opens up you might get upgraded. It is essentially how to "waitlist" an award ticket. If no F opens up, you'll fly in C and get the F minus C mile difference back. You could make one traveler very happy by sending him/her upfront so that you and your companion could travel together in C, if no F opens up.;)
     
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  7. Travelsavant
    Original Member

    Travelsavant Gold Member

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    You can also track award seat availability via Expert Flyer...membership required but very helpful site.
    http://www.expertflyer.com/
     
  8. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    Interesting. Would I have to do this over the phone or is there some mechanism for doing so on United.com?
     
  9. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I do not know if there is a way to do this online, but I would suggest you do it over the phone, regardless, because it is the surest way to get it right; it is the only way I have ever done it.
     
  10. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    Update, one year later:

    My wife ended up sitting in a First Class cabin that had 3 out of 8 people in it. I ended up sitting in a Business Class cabin that was completely full. They refused to let me upgrade, even when I offered to pay, and they refused to let the person next to me switch with her so we could sit next to each other.

    ...that sucked
     
  11. Flyer1976
    Original Member

    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    What flight was this?

    Was it on ANA? If so... did they not release any F space on the flight prior to departure?
     
  12. Steven Schwartz
    Original Member

    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    This is a new low in rules that make no friggin sense!
     
  13. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    Yep ANA flight 11 from ORD-NRT. I checked every day for a month but they never released any more F space. The later flight did on occasion, but it didn't work for my schedule and I assumed it was no big deal, since they would let us sit together in business if all else failed.

    ...I was wrong.
     
  14. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    I do not understand... you wanted to swap seats so that you and your wife could be in Business and the lucky dude can go First and was stopped?
    Why would they do that...? They have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain in terms of supposedly 3 happier customers.
     
  15. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    Because it violated the sacrosanct PROCEDURE. We talked to probably five different people both on the ground and the plane. Everyone was very nice, and hell some of them were clearly moved by our desire to sit next to each other in business and forgo a first class seat. But they weren't moved enough to flout procedure
     
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  16. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    And yet where I sit in Economy on various airlines (not ANA), I have seen my fair share of seats being swapped.
    Is this then an airline specific policy or is this a country culture or is this a FC quirk?
     

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