UNITED AIRLINES LOW FARE GARANTEE ON UNITED.COM

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Courcoison, Sep 6, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Courcoison
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    Courcoison Silver Member

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    Good Day:

    I purchased on the United web site this morning ( 9/6/2011) a two legs ticket for a total cost of $350.40
    Shortly thereafter it came to my attention that the exact same itinerary flown on United Airlines was sold on Orbitz for $331.40.
    A very small difference of $19.00
    I tried on the phone to have United Airlines match the fare but to no avail because the Orbitz fare was ticketed under US AIR even though both flights were the very same United flights.
    Continental like US AIR was also cheaper.
    How can United justify having a higher fare on its web site , flying its own equipment versus both Continental and US AIR via a third party web site?
    It does not look like the United Low Fare Garantee on United.com would apply and to make matters more interesting I was told that although I am 1K/Million Miler I would not qualify to be put on the UDU list.
    Am I missing something here?
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The bit about the UDU list is correct if ticketed on a US flight number as I understand it. UA doesn't generally permit upgrades in advance when a flight is on a codeshare.

    As for the price difference bit, that's just a feature of code sharing. The prices are not necessarily in lock-step. If you want to save a few bucks I'd book the CO version and cancel the UA ones as you're within the 24 hour free cancel period. And I believe that CO-coded flights are now working for UDU.
     
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  3. Courcoison
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    Courcoison Silver Member

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    I went to the Continental web site and prices are the same as on the United Airlines web site.
    Going back to Orbitz there are still a combination of code-share on the same United Airlines planes available at the cheaper rate.
    How United can claim to have the lowest fares on their web site and a garantee when this is not accurate remains a question in my mind.
     
  4. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    Lots of people claim to have the lowest prices. I don't believe any of them. United backs up its claim by promising to match your fare, but only if you pay the change fee, so I have never seen the fare match to be a good deal.

    As Seth says, if you don't like the price and the benefits, buy it somewhere else. IMO, a "very small difference of $19" is worth it for a good chance of an upgrade as a 1K/MM. You need to book a UA or CO marketed flight if you want your UDU. A US flight number, even if operated by UA, won't count. Think about it, would you offer free upgrades to people who bought your product from someone else?
     
  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    They have the lowest fares for flights they are selling, not necessarily flights they are operating. If US has decided it can make money by selling seats on the UA flight for less money than UA is selling them for that is at US's discretion. It is a function of how some code share flights operate.
     
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  6. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    This is not what the LFG is about. The LFG is about best price on that flight that day, not over time. Paying the change fee to get the difference back is not a same-day thing.
     
  7. Courcoison
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    Courcoison Silver Member

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    Thank you for the explanations.

    Very enlightening.

    With the premier line getting overcrowded these days, the SWU’s not clearing even 2 months ahead of time, the UDU clearing after the plane has been boarded ,the lack of saver’s awards and the uncertainties about the “new” Mileage Plus program, why would I want to put myself in a position to pay higher prices on United.com?

    $19.00 may not be a lot of money but repeated over a one year period it adds up.
     
  8. Courcoison
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    Courcoison Silver Member

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    Over the last year I have been looking at United Airlines offering for sale US Airways flights on United.com over and before their own flights. In some cases the United.com web site was not even showing all available United flights. Every single US Air operated flights quoted by United.com were more expensive by at least $30.00 (one way) versus booking on the US AIR web site. It looks like to me United is making the decision to charge me more all the time.
     
  9. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I was not aware of that distinction. My understanding was that they would match the price published elsewhere, but it still involved re-issuing the ticket, which would invoke a change fee.
     
  10. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Correct but the LFG applies to bookings inside 24 hours with the most benefits made available without incurring a change fee.
     
  11. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The LFG is more than just matching the price:
    http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6722,51216,00.html?navSource=hp_benefits_features&linkTitle=lfg

    Also,
    This is #1 in the fine print and explains why the OP cannot invoke it.
     
  12. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    It seems quite disingenuous to charge pax a change fee if the only change is a price reduction to meet their low fare guarantee.
     
  13. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    Remember on codeshares each STAR partner has an allocation of seats in all fare buckets. Since most people will book UA flights off UA, its low fare bucket seats will go quickly. Seats allocated in the STAR cluster more often than not will have low fare bucket seats left since few people would go to a site other than UA to book UA flights. STAR partners would draw their connecting flights from this inventory primarily for customers originating or transferring to their own flights. So it's not unusual to have these carriers offering cheaper seats than UA. (And it works the other way on their own sites, where UA might offer a cheaper codeshare on US metal than is available through US.)

    Under these circumstances it is fair that UDUs first apply to UA flight codes. The day before the flight, when it is open for OLCI, all codeshare flight numbers revert to the UA flight number and the system will then entertain a UDU if inventory in F is available.
     
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  14. bk3day
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    bk3day Gold Member

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    Also LFG applies only to UA or UX marketed & metal. iirc, not even CO codeshares qualify.
     
  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    And even more disingenuous to suggest that this is actually the LFG policy. ;)

    The LFG is a very different beast than what Scottrick is talking about. That policy is the one where if a fare drops any time after a purchase you can get the fare adjusted. Historically many airlines offered this option with no fee. Today only B6 and WN do AFAIK with the "refund" coming in the form of a travel credit. Most other carriers now permit the re-faring of a previously purchased ticket but only after an administrative fee (which happens to match the fare's change fee) is assessed. UA assesses the fee out of the difference in the two prices; CO requires new money for the fee and credits you the full fare difference in the TCV. A fare that drops a week after purchase from $1000 to $750 would net a $100 TCV from UA or a $250 TCV from CO after paying $150 in new cash.
     

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