Changing Ticket Mid-Trip

Dec 31st, 2008, 02:04 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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Changing Ticket Mid-Trip

I recently flew first class to Europe using United miles. Prior to departure the nature of my trip changed and I had to depart on an earlier flight. At the time I changed my outbound flight, I didn't know whether I'd want to change the return flight as well and thought I could do that later.

When I attempted to change the return leg and come home earlier, United told me that I couldn't because I'd booked with miles and had already taken the outbound flight. To get home I had to purchase a new ticket on BA and forfeit the return leg and the miles used to book it.

Is this normal? I'd never booked with miles before, so this was a surprise to me. I'm not upset, as United were wonderful and even had someone meet me at Heathrow and drive me to the connecting terminal (I was traveling due to a death in the family). But I'd like to know for future travel.
Roundtrip is offline  
Dec 31st, 2008, 03:14 PM
  #2  
 
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I'm sorry about the death in your family.

Was your trip all on United, or did it involve segments on other Star Alliance carriers? If the latter, that may be the issue. Previously you could not make any changes to a Mileage Plus-issued Star Alliance award ticket (i.e., involving carriers other than United) once travel began, but I have read that the rules changed a bit recently. Now, I believe you can make changes mid-trip (subject to availability) if you have an e-ticket and the remainder of the itinerary is only on United metal--i.e., all travel on other airlines is completed and you're only changing the United segments, although I may be oversimplifying the explanation a bit...
ms_go is online now  
Jan 1st, 2009, 05:45 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Changes after ticketing: Permitted before departure if travel is within the same region(s). Also permitted for non-United segments booked as E-Tickets that are changed to United-operated. All changes are subject to applicable fees.
Changes during travel: Permitted for United segments that were booked as E-Tickets. Subject to applicable fees. Involuntary re-routing permitted on Star Alliance carriers only.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jan 1st, 2009, 10:22 AM
  #4  
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United doesn't fly to Oslo, so part of the trip was with Star Alliance partner SAS NORWAY. (It was an e-ticket.) Everything else on the return leg was with United. Based on the information here, I guess that I could have just purchased a new intra-Europe ticket and picked up a United flight in Amsterdam, Munich, or London.

Would it be worth it to try and recover some of those 120K miles I used for the original flight? Thanks,
Roundtrip is offline  
Jan 1st, 2009, 10:39 AM
  #5  
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I'll answer my own question. I just spoke with United and because my return flight originates in Oslo with a partner airline I cannot change any portion of the ticket. According to United, it's a use it or loose it situation.
Roundtrip is offline  
Jan 1st, 2009, 06:05 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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The only reason for this "rule" is because they made it a rule. United could simply have charged you a fee to change your ticket, but they refused.

Yet another reason to avoid United. Thanks for reminding me. Sorry you had to learn the hard way!
Andrew is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2009, 09:52 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Andrew, what are the Southwest FF program rules for changing an award ticket to Europe? Different if flying on Southwest vs their partners?
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2009, 09:59 AM
  #8  
 
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Another question, with a first class international Rapid Rewards award ticket, like the F ticket the OP had, would you be able to use the first class lounges and/or partner lounges, first class check-in, premium pax security lines?
mrwunrfl is offline  

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