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Booking United Business Class Saver Award on-Line

Booking United Business Class Saver Award on-Line

Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 07:52 AM
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Booking United Business Class Saver Award on-Line

My wife and I have enough points to book two business class tickets to Singapore. We plan to go end of June 2011 and there is good availability right now. We plan to return in mid-July but we will have to wait a couple of weeks to book that flight. Since United now allows us to book one-way, should we go ahead, book the outbound flights and book the inbound flights when they become available?

Also, we are flying from Hartford and would be booked in economy on the domestic portion of our itinerary, since the first class seats have not yet been released. Will we be upgraded automatically or will I have to watch and call when seats become available?
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 08:14 AM
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Craig,

It's a risk-cost question. The two risks of getting the 1-way tickets now (as opposed to waiting until the returns are available) are (1)that you won't be able to get a return flight that pairs well with your outbound flight, and (2)that, in the event you need to cancel the trip and redeposit the miles, it will cost you twice as much by having purchased two separate itineraries.

Of those risks, the double cancellation/redeposit fees would seem the more likely. It might well be challenging to get exactly the flights you want on the return, but it looks like you'd be able to construct something or other, either on UA or one of the partners. (If it's me, I'd take the seats that are available now.)
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 09:54 AM
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Okay - done!

As always, thanks, Don.

We were put in Premium Economy for the BDL-ORD leg - any idea if an auto upgrade will occur closer to departure?
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 10:54 AM
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I have no idea whether UA automatically upgrades or if you have to call. On the same situation with AA, I would need to call to change the domestic econ segment to F when it becomes available.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 01:50 PM
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I suggest you call UA now and get on the waitlist to be upgraded. Then if seats open up u will be upgraded. The order they upgrade dpeends also, so while seats may open up they could go to someone else. I doubt that UA will do it automatically and I wouldn't trust them even if they said they do it automatically.
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 06:35 AM
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I concur with yestravel. We never were given upgrades when we used milage for our saver award tickets to Europe last year and while the international flights were confirmed BC, we were in PE on the domestic legs both directions.
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 07:41 AM
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Will you be flying in 'C' on a newly reconfigured plane? The new biz class lie-flat seats are great!
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 07:56 AM
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Carol, welcome home. We had the opportunity to experience United's wonderful new 'C' class seats on our trip last February and yes, our flight to Singapore (via ORD and HKG) is on a newly reconfigured 747 - we'll be upstairs.
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 10:56 AM
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Upstairs is my favorite place to be! Enjoy!
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 06:25 PM
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Craig do you have at least Premier status on UA? If you do then your domestic legs upgrades are automatically put in for you and are free, see here for the scoop:
http://www.united.com/page/article/1,,53519,00.html
You can check your itineraries on the UA website by logging on and pressing view your itineraries.
Since this new domestic upgrade policy took effect, we have flown 4 domestic segments and all were upgraded for free to and from Hawaii 48 hours(Premiers) before the flight. You can "pay" miles + money for the upgrades now but still will would have to wait until about 100+ hours before the flight to get them I believe if you don't get the ones available when the flights open up(if offered then).

If you want to save the miles and money just keep checking the seats in your wanted sections and "buy" at the 96 hour time after you see how many seats the 1k rs take and 72 hrs when the PE's take their free upgrades. If you see them all going then buy. Hope I made sense,lol

Aloha!
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 07:51 PM
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hawaiiantraveler -- thanks for the info. I read this policy and am still not clear. If u have at least Premier status u will automaticallly be upgraded on a domestic flight without requesting it? When did this policy take place? It has never happened for me on any UA domestic flights. I assume that means no seats were avaialbe 48 hours out?

Also as I understand the OP's situation (which I have been in) the domestic portion of his flight has not yet released the class that he would like. He "purchased" using miles a biz class ticket which entitiles him to a biz class seat on the entire flight. Seems like this puts him in a different category than what u described. I have been told that when there are seats in the next class. When in a similar situation I was told I would be put in biz seats when they became avaialbe--this doesnt relate to being any elite status with UA. Do I make sense???
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Old Aug 5th, 2010, 03:19 AM
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Yes, I have Premier status and actually received an automatic upgrade on a flight back in July. However that expires at the end of this year and I will not likely have the EQM's for Premier status by June, the time of our trip.

I am hoping that I can monitor the release of upgrades and that something will become available before the final 48 hours. We have done this several times in the past and have always gotten the upgrades except one time where we had to change our schedule at the last minute due to the weather.
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Old Aug 5th, 2010, 04:10 AM
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I think we're confusing upgrades and award seats, which are two separate buckets of inventory. Craig has business class saver award tickets with one segment currently in economy because domestic first awards were not available. The unlimited domestic upgrades don't apply here (award tickets are not upgradeable). Craig needs to wait until domestic first award seats (XF inventory) become available on his flight (if they ever do). Just because upgrade (NF) inventory becomes available doesn't necessarily mean award seats (XF) will be, and vice versa.

It's been a couple years since I had this situation--the domestic segments of our Australia award tickets were booked in economy and waitlisted for domestic first/business. One segment cleared after a few months, and I want to say that happened automatically, as I don't have any recollection of watching for it (and I do that sort of thing obsessively if I think I need to). The other segment never cleared, and we were in economy from ORD-LAX.

Do keep an eye on it, though. Do you know how to check for XF inventory on the United site? I find Expertflyer easier for that, but it requires a subscription.
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Old Aug 5th, 2010, 04:26 AM
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And, yestravel, the unlimited domestic upgrade program began in March and replaces the 500-mile e-certs. Instead of having to request an upgrade, you should be automatically added to the upgrade list. But, whether you actually get the upgrade depends on a lot of factors. Upgrades are cleared by status and then fare paid, and some hub-to-hub routes and heavy business routes can be very difficult to upgrade. On a recent ORD-LGA flight, I (1K) was still number seven on the upgrade list after first was full, and my daughter (PremExec) was something like number 15.
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Old Aug 5th, 2010, 05:28 AM
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Yes, I know how to check XF inventory - for those who don't, you must be logged in and have selected "Expert" under "Availability Format" in "Display Preferences" in the "My Travel Information" section of your Profile.
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Old Aug 6th, 2010, 01:07 AM
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Log on and go to your itineraries.

For the BDL-ORD leg you should see TWO itinerary lines, one for your confirmed economy seats and one for being on the biz class waitlist.

It should read like this at the end of each of those lines:
Economy (XY) Flight: Confirmed
First (XF) Flight: Waitlisted / Upgrade: Waitlisted

IF there is no second line for XF showing that you are waitlisted for the upgrade then you should expect not to get one. I would call and make sure to be put on the waitlist. If it says Upgrade: Pending then that would be an error and you would want to call and get that changed (to Confirmed or Waitlisted).

Once you are waitlisted then I would expect that you would automatically get the F award seat if/when it becomes available. But I would check up on it from time to time.
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Old Aug 6th, 2010, 01:09 AM
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Don't assume that the agent that booked the awards put you on the waitlist.
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Old Aug 6th, 2010, 04:24 AM
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Hey Bill, say your message on Flyertalk.
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Old Aug 6th, 2010, 04:24 AM
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That should say... "Hey, Bill, SAW your message on FT."
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Old Aug 6th, 2010, 08:49 AM
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Okay, I called in and am now wait-listed for First (XF). Thanks, Mr. W.
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