SYD LAX Mysteries of Travel cert, Travel exch Coupon, SWU & tight deadline

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by storyteller, Sep 24, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. storyteller
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    storyteller Gold Member

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    Looking to fly SYD LAX 7 Oct, LAX SYD 10 Oct for OWMD launch.

    The best prices I can find on these dates is CO for AUD$1973 ai, followed by UA for around AUD $370 more. Same flights. SYD SFO LAX & LAX SFO SYD is same price as direct, so seems better to be able to get the extra miles & segments.

    The CO itinerary has UA flight numbers for the outbound flights in K class. Inbound has CO flight numbers in H class.
    The UA itinerary has K class for outbound & Q class for inbound.

    I have a UA $150 Travel Certificate that has to be ticketed by 12 October. Is says treat as AB certificate.
    Also have UA Travel Credit Exchange Coupons for $400, with expiry 12 October Treat as Type B Voucher.

    They both say for travel only on UA/United Express.
    And non combinable / non extendible. The Type B vouchers say not valid for code share flights.

    Also have access to 2 SWU (thank's to Pizzaman's raffle on SMD3)

    I am Platinum Elite on CO (from status match) & 1P on UA.

    My learning curve here is very steep & I think I need some help if I'm to get this on hold / ticketed before the 5% drop in AUD yesterday catches up. Also possible further 5% drop suggested for next week. Am now also just inside 13 days before travel commences.

    Looking at all this, I think I have no hope of getting a cheap fare that will let me use the SWU. Not sure that I can use them on the CO itinerary as is, & don't know how to look for a fare class that will allow.
    On UA I clicked onto fares to be able to use Region 2 upgrades, but the screen told me they are unavailable, despite the price being an additional $400. Could be something I'm missing here.

    Maybe I should:
    : just go for the cheapest seat I can get &, be happy with the E+ seat for this trip.
    :Buy some other refundable ticket using the Coupons, & a different one using the Travel cert, both for flights before the expiry date, then cancel both - From browsing around I think this will extend the life of that "credit" for another 12 months? Would still need to work out how to do this & then get them to UA in SYD for ticketing. Will any refund be just a $ value to be used, or would I be locked into same routing?
    :And improve my user knowledge better with the SWU & use them next year.

    Suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. jupper
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    jupper Silver Member

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    So far I've seen that if you book CO/UA codeshares, the farecodes now match. To use an SWU you need to have fare-code W or higher (unless it's an old style without those restrictions). The regular CO website allows you to specify fare-codes (using the advanced link next to the search button).

    As for using UA vouchers on CO tickets, I do believe some have mentioned about being able to, but officially there's no voucher reciprocity just yet I think. Best option: give the CO Plat line a call to ask.

    The CO/UA non-SWU-qualifying fare-classes I believe are: S,T,K,L and G.

    If I search CO's website for your dates, AUD $1973 comes up with K & H. When searching with fare-classes M, E, U, H, Q, V, W it jumps up to AUD $2586 with H on both legs...

    If I search on UA's .AU website for an itinerary eligible for a region 2 SWU (.au) it spits out a lowest price of AUD $2951 with SYD-LAX out in W and LAX-SFO-SYD in Q, all three flights upgrade eligible. It seems the SYD-SFO flight is not showing upgrade availability (in W class)...

    If the CO Plat line is able to use UA vouchers or mayhap UA is able to lookup CO on hold reservations, it might help to put an itinerary on hold via the CO website (pay with cash option for example), and then proceed from there...
     
  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    For such long flights where everyone wants upgrades, if you can confirm all upgrades now on the UA nonstop to LAX outbound with the return via SFO now, I would do it using as many certs as you can, assuming that they don't prevent the tickets from being upgraded or earning miles. Unless you're GS or at least 1K, I would be nervous about upgrades not clearing and not wish to not know this is advance. To the extent that you can't confirm the upgrades at the time of reservation/ticketing, I would worry about airport agents not knowing to rules or how to rewrite tickets to use UA SWUs on CO codeshares. (For what it's worth, during the NW/DL merger, common wisdom evolved to avoid codeshares like the plague, regardless of whether in principle they were supposed to be upgradeable; it practice, it did not work well and many people were frustrated and disappointed over this issue.)
     
  4. storyteller
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    storyteller Gold Member

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    Rang the CO Platinum line, agent cut me off when I told her I had UA Travel Cert, UA Travel Credit Exchange Coupons & 2 x UA SWU's. Put me back onto hold & the musac with adverts.
    Next person told me that if I want to use ANY UA things I have to make the booking throughUA.
    20 minute phone call from Australia..
    OK, so may have to pay more to make the booking on UA to be able to use these things. Or, phone again & get someone else..
     
  5. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Even if someone tells you that you can do this on CO, I'd still worry that when you get to the airport, you could learn that something is wrong and they didn't do the upgrade properly or whatever. (Lesson from NW/DL merger.)
     
  6. jupper
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    jupper Silver Member

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    If booked through CO you will get an UA record locator. That can then be used on the UA side to book the SWU's against... The snag is applying UA vouchers to lower the price... :(
     
  7. storyteller
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    storyteller Gold Member

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    Rang UA & about 15 minutes in the agent told me the SWU will only be able to be waitlisted on the dates I want to fly & unlikely to clear. Then told me that for any bookings involving Vouchers / Travel Certs I will need to talk to UA here in Australia. And can't use both instruments for the same booking.

    So, if I abandon the idea of using the SWU for this trip, & separate the issues.

    Probably am going to be left with at least one of the Voucher / Travel Certs. Do I make a fully refundable booking of some type & cancel it before the expiry date, & then have a further 12 months from the booking date to use? If this is correct, does this lock me into the route I have booked & cancelled?
     
  8. EX-LAX

    EX-LAX Silver Member

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    - WHEN REFUNDING A TICKET THAT WAS PAID IN PART WITH CASH/CHECK/CREDIT CARD AND THE REMAINDER WITH TRAVEL CREDITS...THE REFUND WILL ONLY BE ISSUED FOR THE AMOUNT PAID WITH CASH/CHECK/CREDIT CARD ACCORDING TO THE RULES OF THE FARE PAID. THE PORTION PAID WITH TRAVEL CREDITS WILL BE FORFEITED.

    Not all AB vouchers can be used for int'l tickets, either. The voucher "type" specifies only how it is to be applied to the ticket, whether above or below the line (i.e. discount or form of payment), and potentially also a few other things... but T&Cs vary widely, and everything depends on the specifications printed on your vouchers, which I'm sure you are aware of.
     
  9. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    Using a travel cert does not make applying a SWU invalid to an itinerary: you can apply a travel cert to a ticket and then apply for the SWU upgrades, so long as the fare is W and higher booking class.
     
  10. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    As noted by others, including the UA agent, forget about buying a higher priced upgradeable fare, you're too far down the pecking order to have any hopes of an upgrade on this route. You'll find UA SWUs are no longer the bargain they used to be as W fares are getting quite pricy on Pacific routes, often $500 to $800 more than the default coach fares that appear. That's why there's a huge surplus of SWUs floating around and the number will continue to grow over the next three months as unused 1/12 ones approach expiry.
     
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  11. EX-LAX

    EX-LAX Silver Member

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    --- and that's exactly why I'm only using them, as of late, on A-319's cross country with only one N/F seat available 300+ days out. The good ol' days of SWU's being used to & from BKK are gone for me, especially flying a family of three with 1 or 2 out of 3 not clearing until the gate on H" fare's! I simply will not bite on this, and drop nearly $10,000 for us to visit the family, mainly cause I ain't got it, and I will not play the game of using Standard Awards on UA (from BKK) either, which is the only thing available the past 2 months.

    Jacking up the cost to use SWU's by nearly double on TransPac's and not making Saver's available is a reason for me to stay home and let my wife and son use Skype, any time they want, and which they are quite content to do.
     
  12. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Only if it is booked as a UA-coded flight. If it is booked as a codeshare then the SWUs cannot be applied in advance of the day of departure. Also the old CO SWUs when used on UA metal have the same requirements as UA SWUs so the W+ fare issue will still be present.
     

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