Using Same Day Changes to maximize mileage?

Discussion in 'Mileage Runs/Travel Hacking' started by ericb, Apr 30, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. ericb

    ericb Silver Member

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    So here's a scenario:

    I book a transcon ex-SFO to EWR on UA

    Day of the flight, I make a same day change to a 5:35 am flight to DEN then on to EWR

    Once I get to DEN, I make another same day change to go to LAX (9:35am flight) and then on to EWR

    Once at LAX I repeat to transfer through PHX or LAS or IAH always keeping a segment at the end to EWR. Basically this could continue with any city that has a direct flight to EWR

    http://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/reservations/samedaychange.aspx
    If I'm reading the rules correctly, you can now make a request for any flight departing within the next 24 hours and routing can be changed provided it doesn't break the fare (though I'm curious whether a phone agent would validate it since it looks like this may be possible via kiosks when only 2 flights are on the itinerary).

    Would this be possible to do indefinitely? If the fare breaks and I can't add more transfers, then I just head to EWR. Just curious if anyone has put this into practice
     
    perryplatypus likes this.
  2. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    You must use a legal routing for your fare, so if SFO-DEN-LAX-EWR can't be purchased with your fare code--and it probably cannot due to the backtracking--you cannot change without rewriting the ticket and paying more. So there are limits to this strategy, and probably also limits to the number of segments you can use in each direction. However, if IROPs are involved or even a VDB, you can negotiate to break some rules usually.
     
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  3. ericb

    ericb Silver Member

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    Good point, so most of the transcon fares I see allow for two transfers in each direction, are there any that would allow more (say 4?). There isn't anything in the fare rules preventing backtracking as long as I don't hit the same city twice, but MPM could be an issue.

    Also, in my experience on Delta and UA, they don't seem to look at your fare rules if your request "sounds" reasonable. It's just "let me check if there's an available seat, ok you're all set!" It seems like it's treated more like a weather delay than a fare revalidation.

    Has anyone tried this?
     
  4. downhillcrasher

    downhillcrasher Gold Member

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    Yes, I have done this and they tend to stick to the fare rules. For instance, I tried to make a legal fare routing change using SDC originally going LGA-IAH-HDN and changing to LGA-IAD-IAH-HDN, and the agent was very helpful and made the change, but he did have to contact the rate desk to make sure it was legal. The flight to IAD was delayed and I missed my IAD-IAH flight and thus the IAH-HDN flight (the only one of the day), forcing a night in Houston. The next day I was offered IAH-DEN-HDN, but opted to stay on the non-stop (a 737 with roughly 10 people on it!).

    So, yes, it is possible in practice to add cities mid-trip, but I have found that the agents will require you to respect the fare rules. In general, I have found it much less of a hassle to make the changes online when possible.
     
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  5. ericb

    ericb Silver Member

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    Sounds like I have some hopping to do!

    Thanks for the tips, 2 transfers can still work out pretty well and I definitely agree that online or kiosks is always easier :)
     
  6. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    There's no "no backtracking" explicit rule AFAIK but most fares do not permit much backtracking when they list the permitted connection airports.

    With DL, watch out for "broken" fares, basically tickets that are priced as, for example AAA-BBB in one fare code and BBB-CCC in another fare code for travel from AAA to CCC. To SDC, you must somehow fly AAA to BBB, perhaps with an additional connection, and then BBB to CCC, again perhaps with a connection or two added.
     
  7. supersonic88

    supersonic88 New Member

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    sounds a bit fishy to me mate
     

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