Upgrade issues on mixed metal Int'l reservations

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by DCA1K, Dec 7, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. DCA1K

    DCA1K Silver Member

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    90
    Status Points:
    320
    So, I ignored all the advice about not mixing the world's leading merging carriers and on Sunday am scheduled to return HKG - NRT - ORD - DCA.

    I am waitlisted to use a SWU on NRT-ORD. The HKG - NRT leg is a PMCO 737 that, as of a week ago, is now listed as UA78 (it is a "redeployment flight"). Continental Plat desk said they have no control over this flight anymore and can't even see the upgrade list. The 1K desk told me that there was no way to upgrade that leg without burning another SWU, and that until NRT - ORD cleared to just hold tight and I would be added to the upgrade list then, since right now I have instrument to support the upgrade.

    Then, tonight, lo and behold, the CO website has that flight showing me in R class with no seat assigned and no seats to assign. UA site still says I am in Y but my seat has been unassigned. I call the 1K desk and after about a 30 minute wait am told that I did indeed clear and have been assigned 2A, which now shows on both res systems.

    Just wondering if others are seeing lots of similar situations. Merging these systems has got to be hard, and I think people who aren't proactive are liable for surprises. Then again, maybe people who aren't proactive don't care as much! :)
     
  2. AZjohn

    AZjohn Silver Member

    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    384
    Status Points:
    550
    LOL... +1

    I truely feel for the integration team as well as the phone agents trying to help us cope with this merger. I have been placed on hold for long periods of time and got fustrated, but I remind myself this has to be a nightmare behind the sceens.
    I also remind myself that once I knew about this merger I was the first to admit there was going to be a lot of pain (on my part) to deal with these two company's coming together (in more forms then just keeping track of the metal and UG's).
    Glad to hear everything worked out in the end for your flights DCA1K.
    John
     
  3. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,224
    Likes Received:
    61,772
    Status Points:
    20,020
    The first agent you spoke to at the 1K desk was mistaken. While it is not possible to use MILES to clear on cross-carrier itineraries it is possible to use INSTRUMENTS for such. It must be done over the phone and you need the integration desk to get involved but it absolutely can be done.

    It is also entirely possible at this point that the Sunday flight cleared by EUA as you're well inside the window for that.
     
    DCA1K and AZjohn like this.
  4. MrLincoln

    MrLincoln Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Likes Received:
    6,504
    Status Points:
    4,570
    That, too, depends. The "redeployment" flights (wtf) have special rules about them. I was unable to upgrade a skywest redeployment flight with a swu/cr1 until the udu window opened and I eventually called co 24 hours prior... Despite clearing the CO-operated international flight at booking. There are times when you can't even use instruments to upgrade cross-carrier itins.

    Of course, the alternative to the redeployment flight was an xjet er4. Now with more fuel stop! So I took my chances.
     
  5. DCA1K

    DCA1K Silver Member

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    90
    Status Points:
    320
    So, (for anyone interested) here's what finally happened. I was upgraded on the HKG - NRT leg first about 4 days out, as I said above. Since I bought my ticket, the seat map showed every seat in F full. About 2 days out, the seat map shows 4 open seats in First (Int'l C) and suddenly there is R availability; presumably some folks canceled or changed their flights. About that time I UDU on the ORD-DCA leg.

    At OLCI (24 hours out) I learn I am upgraded on NRT- ORD. (Doesn't the automatic notification work anymore?) Dotbom says I need to check in on continental.com for the flight that is PMCO metal but a UA-marketed flight. I check in, but it only lets me for HKG-NRT. It is very explicit that I have to print my boarding pass at the airport at the CO check-in desk. Then I go back to United and try to check in, but it says I am outside the 24 hour window. So, I call the 1K desk and apparently my call is routed to Manilla where the person tells me that I can't check in until 24 hours before. I point out that it is 23 hours before my first leg. Ah, but that is on Continental and this is a different itinerary, except it's not, it's one PNR. I call back; same story. I decide to go have a drink.

    So at 24 hours before NRT - ORD, I go online and check in but as I am making my seat selection, the site crashes. Now, when I go in, I am checked in but no seat is assigned. I call the 1K desk and am told that I got 16A (which I wanted) and that they can print the boarding pass at HKG. After all that, I am hopeful that everything will go as planned. Still, I go have another drink.

    At HKG the next morning, I can't find a CO desk, so I go to the United desk and am immediately helped by a very competent person who confirms all my flights, prints all my boarding passes and offers me a variety of lounge options (as a *Gold). I have never had that happen! The flights all went as planned and I was upgraded on every leg.

    All-in-all, the system worked even if it seemed to be creaking and groaning at certain points. I am sure less OCD travelers would miss most of the drama I created in my own head.

    I will probably do a trip report (especially as folks who haven't been paying attention will be surprised to get on Air Mike 737 from HKG - NRT with a Guam-based crew.) It was an adventure, as always!
     
    AZjohn likes this.
  6. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    744
    Status Points:
    695
    I personally use a TA for these types of reservations. The booking fee (reasonable) is worth the aggrivation. If I want to use a SWU, I specify

    - Ticked issued on UA stock
    - CO flights keep CO flight number
    - UA flights keep UA flight number
    - No code shares

    Also, if you need a spefic booking class for one set of flights (i.e LH, V or higher) but something else for United (W or higher) you can tailor these to your needs

    Consumer online booking engines can only do so much.
     

Share This Page