When are R fares usually released?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by UTIceberg, Dec 7, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. UTIceberg

    UTIceberg Active Member

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    Looking to take a trip to eastern Europe at some point from May to July ideally out of IAH and I'm flexible on dates. If I'm going on United this means probably flying through London, Frankfurt or Munich. I would like to use a GPU but based on somewhat substantial fare code search, I'm not seeing and flights on which I could confirm my upgrade instantly, leading me to conclude that that these fares have not been released yet. Any advice on if my suspicion is correct and if so, when these typically open up? Thanks for any assistance.
     
  2. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    Been a while since I worked with UA flights but IIRC R fare is only available if there's confirmable Business Class space at the time of ticketing. If Business Class upgrade space isn't available, you'd have to book at least a W fare then waitlist. Upgrade space has definitely been released for travel in May/June, it's just that all the upgrade space has been taken.

    To make your life easier, I'd just look up Saver Business Class award space on UA's website and find TATL flights will availability. From there, try to book an itinerary using those flights. Saver award space pulls from the same fare bucket as the upgrade space. Make sure you look up all the possible routings via ORD/IAD/EWR.
     
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  3. Garp74

    Garp74 Gold Member

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    And don't forget GVA as a mid point. UA runs the diplomat bus from both NYC and IAD.
     
  4. FortFun
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    FortFun Gold Member

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    There's no real rhyme or reason. In general, R space is pretty scarce these days. Best advice is probably to keep checking. Also, check segment by segment -- in other words look at IAH-FRA (or other TATL dest.) only, rather than full itins.
    No, saver J is I or IN space, not R space.
     
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  5. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    Good call. I meant to say there's usually upgrade space if Saver award space is available from past experience.
     
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  6. FortFun
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    FortFun Gold Member

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    Ah, gotcha. Yeah that correlation makes sense.
     
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  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    When R space availability is released is the Big Unknown.

    Best policy: If there is no R space at booking, then immediately waitlist using an appropriate U/G instrument and forget about it until you are pleasantly surprised when the U/G clears closer to departure or you find out that you are at the top of the wailist at the airport because you requested early...

    Usually works for me...
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
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  8. webdes03

    webdes03 Gold Member

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    +1 THIS
     
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  9. ParanoiaTX
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    ParanoiaTX Gold Member

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    Award (I/IN) and upgrade space (R) are decidedly different buckets. The availability of one has no direct impact on the availability of the other. I have seen this go both ways, especially when you're talking 1 or 2 seats (not wide open R9 or I9).

    But you can see both. You need to enable expert mode on your UA account (look at the bottom of the user preferences), then, when logged in, you can click on the fare class link on the right side of the screen for any flight and see all the fare buckets. You'll get the best results searching segment-by-segment since it would otherwise only show R>0 if R is available for all segments. If R shows, then that flight is upgradable with Miles/RPU/GPUs, assuming all other criteria are met (most intl flights need to be booked into W or above to use a GPU).

    As others have noted, R can be hard to find these days. Your best best is to pick a flight with light J loads (J9 and an empty seat map), waitlist your GPU, and cross your fingers while checking back obsessively. :/

    If you want to get fancy, look in this thread to install ExpertMode+ which will highlight useful award/upgrade buckets all the time.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  10. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    The other thing to remember is business travel slows down in the summer months, so even if R is not available now, there's likely to be a lot of empty business seats within a week or two of the flight. This means R inventory will be released and the upgrade list cleared bit by bit. Also, the day you travel can also affect the competition you'll have from other 1Ks, as well of mileage upgraders. Midweek is likely to be your best bet, since any business travelers will cross the Atlantic eastward on Sunday or Monday, return Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Also, most vacationers fly Friday or Saturday eastbound, Saturday or Sunday return. As suggested, consider GVA since it may not have the same attraction to vacationers as LHR, FRA, MUC or other more westerly gateways...and you're onward flight into Eastern Europe in economy will be shorter. (I've noticed recently that while no R was available at time of booking, seats on various flights were released and I was upgraded well in advance of my flights,segment by segment, though this is based on Asian flights and not ones to Europe.)
     
  11. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Or UA will offer up discounted paid Biz fares and buy-ups at check-in and still not upgrade anyone.
     
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  12. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    There will be sales in business for the summer but these seldom fill the cabin, and at peak summer times it's the back that sells out so upgrading SWU and miles people opens up seats in economy to be sold a second time at a higher yield than a buy-up. The more the back cabin fills up and the front remains empty, the more likely UA (or any airline) is likely to start clearing the instrument upgrade list.
     
  13. sfo1
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    sfo1 Silver Member

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    I have just booked R space for end of Oct 2015 YVR SFO FRA SFO YVR, and onward within Europe to TLL and return from RIX on LH of course in Economy, the only R space available from any of the UA hubs was SFO. Coming back there was R space to IAH on a B787 but unfortunately it misconnected with the flight back to YVR. I find you have just keep checking and checking, I found this R space just after the weekend sweeps.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2014
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  14. chris_poland

    chris_poland Silver Member

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    I hope the OP doesn't mind if I ask a related question.
    I'm looking for a saver biz fare on UA8 CTU-SFO on 10/14 or 10/16/2014.
    There appears to be 0 biz fares sold at this point.
    So why are 0 saver fares available?
    Especially if I am 1K and should see expanded saver fare booking space...
     
  15. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Check your use-by dates. The savers might have expired and gone stale...:D
     
  16. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    There is never a guarantee that any seats will be released in a particular award bucket.
    This benefit simply means there can be increased inventory on some flights, not that there always will be. And, overall, it is not especially common to find it.

    For a flight 10 months away I'm not too surprised that there are not business class saver awards open. Usually the company tries to sell the seats before making them available as awards and we're a long way out from travel.
     
  17. chris_poland

    chris_poland Silver Member

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    All good points Mr W.A. Thanks for your insights.
    I mistakenly assumed that there was always a very limited number of savers released for all routes.
    It is worth noting that I am currently booked on a Monday in saver, 2 days prior. I would have expected it be more likely to see savers released mid-week...
     
  18. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    ...like I said, it usually works for me...;)
     

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