United's awful pricing engine strikes again...

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by TravelerRob, Sep 10, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. TravelerRob
    Original Member

    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    Today I was booking a one-way ticket from South America to Seattle in J. The website returned some $730'ish fares but they all required an overnight in DEN before continuing the next day to Seattle. If you wanted to return to Seattle the same day you leave S.A. then the ticket was $1,600'ish. This gave me the idea to try a multi-city search.

    I plugged in S.A. -> DEN -> SEA and viola...a lower $700'ish fare popped up with just a 2 hour layover in DEN.

    Why couldn't the website just price this in the first place? It's the same fare code all the way through - no broken fare that I can tell. I'm trying to pull up the Saudia site to check the fare but the Saudia website isn't responding right now.

    All of the flights I'm looking at route through IAH so I'm hoping there's one "P" seat open on the IAH-SEA non-stop when I get there so I don't even have to route through DEN.

    -Rob
     
  2. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Ever since deregulation US airlines have always offered a myriad of fares. I think you found yourself an excellent deal with a little effort. If you want the same fare available to all with no effort to find it, it would likely be much higher than what you got now.
     
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  3. redwoman

    redwoman Silver Member

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    Nice going TravelerRob. I used to use that trick when I was offered a Y fare on a particular route with a connection, but when I tried to buy in J/F the routing wasn't offered. At least on the routings I searched, as long as the premium fare availability was there (i.e. F, A, P, etc >0) switching to a multicity search and forcing the connection would return a premium offering.

    Another trick to find a cheap one-way is to book an open jaw beyond where you want to go. Say you want to fly one way Podunk city-DEN on march 14, and it's insanely expensive. You search Podunk airport-DEN-DEN-SFO, leaving Podunk city on march 14 arriving in DEN same day, but the DEN-SFO leg is on March 18. If the open jaw trip plus a change fee is cheaper, book it, and then after you get to DEN and have safely deplaned and retrieved your luggage and gotten the mileage credit to show up in your account LOL, cancel the DEN-SFO leg. You can go online and "remove this segment". Or, you could simply "miss" your DEN-SFO flight. You wouldn't get the value of the DEN-SFO fare refunded to you, but the open jaw is cheaper than the 1 way you wanted, so you win. You could also change the DEN-SFO flight to something you do want, but you'd have to account for the change fee that you would have to pay. I did this a few months ago, and the throwaway flight was purposely set to something that I knew would be cheap, around the same as a change fee and an amount of money that I wouldn't care if I didn't get it refunded.
     
  4. Dublin_rfk

    Dublin_rfk Gold Member

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    A blind man throwing at a dartboard is what my +1 says when I grip about screwball pricing! If you don't like the price or routing close out and look again it is almost a sure thing that both will be different!
     
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  5. landrew

    landrew Silver Member

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    I don't get the above. Saudi Arabian airlines is a way to double check UA fares?
     
  6. landrew

    landrew Silver Member

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    I thought this was in some way deemed to be illegal and they could take away all of your miles or at least those from the flight that you DID make.
    Not knocking it, of course, if it works with no ramifications.
     
  7. landrew

    landrew Silver Member

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    Wow, just got a dose of the new UA website. Practically unnavigable!
     
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  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    It is not illegal; you won't go to jail. But it is a violation of the terms of the contract you agree to and the company can pursue violations in many ways, including terminating a FFer account or banning you from future travel.
     
  10. Dublin_rfk

    Dublin_rfk Gold Member

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    I believe it was modeled after Myst.
     
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