Same Day Confirmed Change on UA and CO

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Rob, Feb 15, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Rob
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    Rob Gold Member

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    United and Continental both offer confirmed travel changes within certain time periods close to your scheduled travel times.

    On United, a bunch of conditions apply:
    -flight must be on United/United Express/Continental/Continental Express/Continental Connection metal
    -domestic flights only that are not part of an international itinerary this might no longer be true
    -must be on the same local calendar day as a scheduled flight (usually agents will be flexible about changing downline segments after the first one you're changing)
    -routing must remain the same (no coterminals or multi-airport city changes) for over the phone changes, connection cities can change at the airport
    -alternate flights must not be oversold and must have H fare availability
    -must make the request within three hours of the desired flight (it does *not* have to be within three hours of the scheduled flight)
    -$75 fee per person per direction for all changes you make at one time (aka, if you make one phone call to reservations and change a flight, you'll get charged, and then if you call again 20 minutes later to make another change, you should get charged again)
    -fee is waived for Global Services, 1Ks, Premier Executives, OnePass Presidential Platinums, Platinums, and Golds (and other passengers on the same PNR), Standard Awards, or fully refundable tickets
    -can be done by calling reservations, using Easy Checkin Online or Easy Checkin units at the airport, or with an agent at the airport, but there's more flexibility allowed at the airport
    -If you're planning on doing a confirmed change, I would hold off on checking in to your scheduled flights. If you're already checked in, changes at the airport are pretty easy. Changes through reservations will probably mean that they cancel your checkin, make the changes, then check you back in.
    -I'm pretty sure this doesn't apply if you're booked on another airline's code for a United flight (aka a US Airways flight number for a United operated segment) but again, an agent at the airport might be able to make anything happen
    -I'm pretty sure this does apply to United marketed, United operated flights booked on another airline's ticket stock
    -There's some ambiguity about what happens if you do a confirmed change that results in a fare break. Domestically, the maximum valid connection time is 4 hours. However I, and many others, have done confirmed changes that resulted in connection times of greater than 4 hours. Technically, this should cause a fare break that invalidates the ticket. In practice, this rarely seems to be an issue, and if an agent makes it an issue, try another agent.

    Examples (assuming availability):
    VALID:
    CLE-ORD-LAX can change CLE-ORD or ORD-LAX individually or CLE-ORD and ORD-LAX changed together
    CLE-ORD-LAX with CLE-ORD departing at noon local and ORD-LAX departing at 4pm local, if you request a change at 7am, you can change to a CLE-ORD departure between 7am and 10am (and if you desire an earlier ORD-LAX flight). If you request a change at 5pm, you can change to a CLE-ORD departure between 5pm and 8pm (and ORD-LAX connection) but this is pretty risky if there isn't availability because you might forfeit your ticket.
    SFO-IAD-RDU with SFO-IAD being a redeye at 11pm and IAD-RDU being the next day can change to SFO-IAD-RDU all on the same day departing SFO at 8am if they call between 5am and 8am.
    CLE-ORD-LAX can change to CLE-LAX or CLE-DEN-LAX at the airport only

    Maybe:
    FRA-ORD-SFO, might be able to change ORD-SFO

    NOT VALID:
    FRA-ORD-SFO cannot change to FRA-SFO or make a change to FRA-ORD
    SFO-ORD redeye departing at 11:45pm cannot change to SFO-IAD next-day departing at 6am
    ORD-IAD cannot change to ORD-BWI or ORD-DCA
    IAD-JFK cannot change to IAD-LGA or IAD-EWR

    Just because a change isn't valid doesn't mean that you won't be able to sweet-talk a reservations or airport agent into making the change for you.

    On high frequency routes, even if you can't change to the exact flights you want, you can still make a change to a better flight and then standby for the best flights. If you're trying to change to a later flight but still want a confirmed seat as a backup, you can do multiple changes. Say you're on an 8am flight and want a 9pm flight, at 7am you can change to a 10am flight, at 9am change to a noon flight, etc, etc, assuming availability is there and you've got the money to pay the many fees or have the fees waived.

    You're supposed to get rebooked in your original fare class (or H if your original coach fare class is unavailable but H is), but some agents have been known to make mistakes and rebook in other fare classes.

    http://www.united.com/page/article/1,,52142,00.html
    http://www.flyerguide.com/wiki/index.php/S*FAR/CONFIRM_SAME_DAY

    On Continental, different conditions apply:
    -Continental, Continental Express, Continental Connection, United, or United Express operated flights
    -Changes can be requested starting 24 hours before your originally scheduled flight and can be for a desired flight within 24 hours after you're making the request
    -Origin and destination airports must remain the same, however, connection airports can be changed if they still meet the routing rules of the purchased ticket
    -If the original ticketed fare class is available, only the same-day change fee is charged
    -If the original ticketed fare class isn't available, then in addition to the same-day change fee any additional amount (or refund) due to the changed fare is charged. Continental opens up fare bucket availability 12 hours before departure, so it might be worth checking again as you get closer to departure if at first you don't get an answer you like.
    -Fee is waived for Continental Presidential Platinums, Platinums, United 1Ks (including Global Services), Premier Executives, Golds
    -Fee is $75 for Silvers, Premiers, Premier Associates, and non-elites
    -Can be requested by calling reservations, checking in online, or with an agent or kiosk at the airport

    Examples (assuming availability):
    PBI-IAH-SEA leaving PBI at 10am on Friday. You can start calling in to request changes at 10am on Thursday until 10am Friday.

    I'm not really familiar with the CO side of things, so maybe someone else can help me flesh out this part.

    http://www.continental.com/web/en-US/content/reservations/samedaychange.aspx

    On both airlines, in addition to the advantages of having a confirmed reservation, making a confirmed change can increase the odds of getting an upgrade on the changed flights. Usually upgrade waitlists are cleared before standby waitlists and it is pretty rare to first clear standby and then clear an upgrade, but if you confirm the change then you are waitlisted with everyone who was already on the flight instead of waitlisted *after* everyone that was already on the flight.

    This is the pedantic side of me: there is no such thing as confirmed standby. Standby by definition is unconfirmed. There are confirmed changes.
     
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  2. skyhook
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    skyhook Silver Member

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    Thanks for the summary! I thought UA changes could be done within 4 hours of desired flight, but apparently this changed to 3! When did this happen?
     
  3. UADomer08
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    UADomer08 Silver Member

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    Its always been 3. It should be noted that if you are trying to push flights out (moving from a 3pm to a 6pm) you still have to apply the 3 hour rule to the flight you are trying to confirm onto. This can be accomplished by moving out flights one at at time, i.e. moving to the 4, then to the 5, then to the 6. I would not suggest this technique unless you are 1k or GS as it can get expensive quickly. However, if you have the waivers or an unlimited supply of cash you can certainly use this technique (and send me some of that cash!)
     
  4. benolaa
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    benolaa Gold Member

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    CO seems to always open the seat buckets at 12 hours prior.
     
  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Officially, no, but CO.com has a habit of listing UA-operated, CO-coded flights for SDC access. You can often get lucky there.
    Indeed, though CO also allows for one to go standby with the same fees with the seat clearing at the gate. Generally it cannot be requested online or over the phone but only at the airport.
     
  6. Rob
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    Rob Gold Member

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    3 years ago I think.

    Thanks, I went ahead and mentioned that in the original post.

    Thanks, also mentioned now in the original post.

    Mentioned the CO.com possibility, although I'm avoiding any mention of standby in the original post as I see way too many people using incorrect confusing terminology :)
     
  7. Cuse44
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    Cuse44 Silver Member

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    I thought this usually occurred at 3 hours before departure, not 12. This is usually evident to me when holding a B fare that hasn't been upgraded yet (because no ZE is available) and then ZE opens up around T-3. Although it may have changed more recently, I thought T-3 was the 'official policy' recognized by CO.
     
  8. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    I hope that the new United adopts the CO policy for top tier members. It's by far the best perk CO Platinum offers.
     
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  9. Cuse44
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    Cuse44 Silver Member

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    Agreed. And if you are in the mood to transfer from a non-stop to connecting, it allows you to get the extra EQM and EQS. This has been working great for me recently on my DFW-EWR trips where I take the short 200 mile hop to Houston and pick up the extra 750 EQM (B Fare) and 1.5 EQS [​IMG]
     
  10. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    I was thinking more in line of being able to get a seat confirmed and increasing securing your F seat significantly. With flights being so full, the 1K 3 hour thing just doesn't work. I change flights frequently and just love the CO Plat change policy
     
  11. Hartmann
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    Hartmann Gold Member

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    This is what I hope as well. It's a much more useful system and allows changes to be made on the fly.

    I was doing PHX-DEN on UA one day and connecting to a flight the next day on CO. While taxiing to the gate at DEN I checked in for my CO flight and saw that there was a CO flight leaving in an hour. I changed flights, walked to the gate and got home early.
     
  12. Rob
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    Rob Gold Member

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    United's same-day confirmed change and same-day standby policies have changed slightly in the recent past:
    http://www.united.com/page/article/1,,52142,00.html

    Changes from a United flight to a Continental flight are allowed at the airport (not over the phone).
    Premier Executives and OnePass Golds now have free confirmed change and standby.
    Connection city can now be changed at the airport (awesome for me as I was looking to do this on an itinerary tomorrow! :)).

    Unfortunately, one negative appears to be that confirmed changing to a flight that departs later than your originally scheduled flight, the standard change fee policy will apply.
    Standby flights must be scheduled to depart on the same day as your original ticketed flight and must depart earlier than your originally scheduled flight.
     
  13. scott6067
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    scott6067 Silver Member

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    I am wondering if this new policy is to make it easier for all to understand the change in procedure and that at a later date we will see the 24 hour window come back. CO fought againest this 24 hour change policy for years and has good data on the affects of the change. I am hopping this alignment of policies is due to the limitations of the UA website and that once the website becomes one we will see the 24 hour window come back.
     
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  14. Gtitan
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    Gtitan Gold Member

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    Not exactly a change that I like to be quite honest.:(
     
  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I see this as the UA policy getting much better; what's not to like?

    The old CO policy is written in to the fare rules so as long as you're on a CO ticket it seems that the old CO policy will still apply to you. I don't see how they can change that, at least for existing tickets.
     
  16. Gtitan
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    Gtitan Gold Member

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    The not being able to go for a later flight I think is kind of a bummer. Agreed with the rest Sir!:)
     
  17. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Gotcha re the later flight thing, though with the 3 hour window limitation on UA there aren't a whole lot of options where later flights work anyways.
     
  18. Rob
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    Rob Gold Member

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    Per http://www.continental.com/web/en-US/content/reservations/samedaychange.aspx
    The Continental policy is still 24 hours. Charge for non-elites and Silvers/Premiers goes from $50 to $75. Charge for Premier Executives and Golds goes from $25 to $0 (at least in the provided table - the text above the table doesn't quite match yet).
    So it looks like on Continental you can request a change to a later flight, as long as you make the request before your original flight.
     
  19. BurBunny
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    BurBunny Silver Member

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    Overall, I'm very pleased with the change, though I prefer Continental's window to United's. But now $0 cost to 1Ps = big thumbs up from me!
     
  20. adambadam
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    adambadam Silver Member

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    Same here. Now if we could only bring back holds when buying tickets online (without a work around)
     
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  21. BurBunny
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    BurBunny Silver Member

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    Yes! I've gotten lost in that thread on TOBB, and while I'm pretty adept at doing simple hacks, I'm only geek-lite. That thread has gone completely into serious geek and I've not been able to follow it enough to be completely comfortable. But, as long as we have 24 hours for refunds, it's no big deal to me.
     
  22. adambadam
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    adambadam Silver Member

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    I have a stand-by question. I was booking a flight over the summer and it put me on a CO metal flight from ORD-SFO (last flight of the night it looked like). If my connection gets in early can I stand-by on a UA metal flight which dominate the route?
     
  23. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Thanks to the changes announced today, yes.
     
  24. adambadam
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    adambadam Silver Member

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    Sweet.
     
  25. dc_traveler
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    dc_traveler Silver Member

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    This is a (relatively) newbie question that I hope is on topic. I am a 2P flying from IAD to SFO on a flight late Saturday night. I somehow scored an UDU to first class. That said, I am hoping to get to SF a few hours earlier so was thinking of standing by for an earlier flight. This would entail getting to the airport about 4 hours earlier and hoping for the best. Because I am a member of US Club I can hang out in RCC. What do folks think -- is it worth shooting for the earlier flight? I assume no hope of getting into FC on the earlier flights. Any ideas greatly appreciated!
     

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