Seeing Dramatic Reduction in USA Low / Saver Award Availabilty!

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Griz Shel, Aug 20, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Griz Shel
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    Griz Shel Silver Member

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    Not the most experienced UA award booker here as I was a NW flyer for several years, but whenever I tried, I have always been able to book a domestic 25k roundtrip to just about anywhere I want with MileagePlus miles. Now I am seeing a stunning drop in the availability at the low mileage level. In fact, I searched 10 NW mountain west cities (from WAS) and found well under 1% of date combinations had low mileage availability. If this sticks, this is about a 50% reduction in the value of my miles because it looks almost impossible to book anything for less than 50k miles right now. Is everyone else having the same problem?

    This is very depressing.
     
  2. Travelsavant
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    Travelsavant Gold Member

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    Try searching via CO site. Much better than UA's + usually has saver award inventory both domestic & Intl. If no miles on CO, you can link accounts & transfer your UA miles.
     
  3. Griz Shel
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    Griz Shel Silver Member

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    First I'll show you ua searches, then Co search results. These are just examples for Bozeman, every other city pair I searched gives similarly poor results. I have never, ever seen anywhere near this poor domestic flight availability when searching far in advance. All of the searches shown are for ONE TRAVELER only.

    1_BZN_Jul-UA.jpg 1_BZN_Oct-UA.jpg 1_BZN_Jul-UA.jpg

    I can only show you the calendar of available dates on continental.com for 2011 dates, it is no longer working for 2012 and flexible dates option does not work for 2012, You will get this message: "Continental.com could not find any available flights for reward travel meeting your requirements. You may modify your search criteria or contact Continental Reservations in United States at 1-800-300-1547." see below pictures from united.com searches.

    1_BZN_Sep-Oct.jpg
     
  4. thetenken
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    thetenken Silver Member

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    I have also noticed huge problems with domestic economy saver pass availability. Seems they are limiting their award seats and forcing folks to pay double...
     
  5. Jslo
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    Jslo Gold Member

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    Yeah it is disgusting. Kinda ticks me off actually. I'm holding out hope it is merger/time related and once the dust settles the availability will come back. It's a sure way to alienate loyal flyers- get me to fly your airline and save my miles then double cross us on the redemption. Bogus.
     
  6. 2wheels

    2wheels Silver Member

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    What I've noticed is that about a month prior to flights, they open a ton of seats up. I've snagged a few last minute domestic trips this year so far.
     
  7. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    I can find TATL a few months from now, but nothing domestically to get to the gateway airport. With multiple TATL possibilities.

    Thankfully this for friends, not for me. :p

    Complete days months from now with nary a saver seat available. Very interesting.... in a not-so-good way.
     
  8. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    Remember that load factors are up, and so they are trying to reserve the seats in advance for cash customers, and only add award availability at the saver level when they figure that they will not be selling that seat for USD, so they might as well try to fill it with someone trying to get away with redeeming the least amount of liability on their books
     
  9. Jslo
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    Jslo Gold Member

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    Rumor from unverified source says that UA has purposely squashed saver availability as there are so many schedule changes coming int he next 6 months and equipment changes between 3 class and 2 class aircraft that they have nearly eliminated all saver inventory in an effort to discourage miles redemption into these schedule changes and equipment unknowns. Too difficult to sort out and too costly sp they would only "sell" at standard rates for the upcoming hassle surely to ensue.


    Here's hoping the source is right on and our typical inventory will come back.
     
  10. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    I feel fortunate to have found UA inventory to cover this trip at the end of the year: SEA-ICN-HKG-BKK-FRA-YYZ-ORD-SEA.

    I did notice it was nearly impossible to get anything out of EWR. IAD was easier (especially the pseudo-"direct" routes, which involve plane/gauge changes, like UA 916, SEA-IAD-LHR). And there was inventory in F for routes where a 752 was involved...
     
  11. EX-LAX

    EX-LAX Silver Member

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    Ah yes! Makes perfect sense. Not selling an advertised award, fared out at 1/2 the cost, making them totally unavailable, would definitely make it way more difficult to to integrate saver awards into their planned schedule changes. May as well just put them on hold, for a while, permitting only standard award mileage redemption's to exist, hoping that Kettles don't know the difference anyway. Standard awards are much easier to integrate into their future scheduling. Saver awards, I'm sure are next to impossible for their programmers to handle. Sort-a like a hot potato, I would imagine?

    Makes perfect sense to me! :confused:
     
  12. Jslo
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    Jslo Gold Member

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    Believe me, I'm not defending UACO. I'm no more pleased with $mi/J trashing of UA any more than you. I'm merely reporting a sourced rumor. Not even sure it's true.

    I think the point is if they average 5000 mileage redemptions per day, and 4000 of those are saver awards- then by removing that availability they have potentially removed 80% of the future foul ups for these flights. I suppose they are also saying for the value of double the miles, they are willing to sort you out but must be at some redemption price point the anticipated hassle or confusion will not be worth the time it will take to unravel?

    Again, and I stress- I'm not defending or advocating the position, just reporting what I hear and what they are possibly thinking however I'll advised their logic may seem to us.
     
  13. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    I've been trying to push back a trip to PDX this fall. Not having any luck, even after callbacks. This is playing havoc with my hotel and car rental bookings.
     
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