UAL Question

Jul 23rd, 2006, 02:27 PM
  #1  
mjz
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 394
UAL Question

My partner and I are going to Greece next Summer and will be flying separate airlines in order to travel business or first class. I'm very familiar with Sky Team and OneWorld, but clueless with Star Alliance.

On Sky Team, I can attempt to book my out bound leg 331 days in advance of my departure ( put it on two separte two week holds ) and then call back 331 days in advance of my return. I've done this many times. Can this be done on Star Alliance as well? In other words, can my partner book the outbound leg 331 days in advance - put it on hold and then call back 331 days in advance of our return to book the remainder of the trip. We're looking at a three week trip.

On a separate note, I'll probably try to book BE on Delta as I can go MCI - ATL - ATH. Is first class on AF worth MCI - ATL or CVG - CDG - ATH. I'm very inclined to do the more direct route on DL, but if the AF first experience is extra special - I'll give it a try. I've done business on AF and thought it was ok, prefer DL's BE. However, I do understand AF is implementing new seats in business.
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Jul 24th, 2006, 06:44 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 74
MJZ, my sister and I just went around and around with UAL on this very subject. Bottom line seems to be that if you are able to get UAL flights for the entire trip, you can do outbound and then call back and get inbound when it is available. However, if you end up on any of the Star Alliance partners (LH, Swiss, etc), you can not book anything until 331 days in advance of return. The ENTIRE trip has to be completed within 331 days of booking. We were still able to get our business class into Rome and out of Paris on the day the return was finally available, however. Good luck to you
lisaindc is offline  
Jul 24th, 2006, 08:35 AM
  #3  
mjz
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Thanks lisaindc. I'll pass this along. Since UAL does not serve ATH, it will most likely be Lufthansa, Swiss, etc. Thus, the same experience as you and your sister. Enjoy Rome and Paris.
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Jul 24th, 2006, 09:06 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Which Skyteam carrier do you have miles with? Award rules are specific to a particular carrier's program, not alliance wide.

For example, with Delta Skymiles you can no longer hold an award reservation for 2 weeks. The hold period has been reduced to 2 days. You can however reserve and ticket your outbound flight 331 days in advance and call back later to add your return. When you add your return, the award reissue fee is waived.

I don't know what the current hold policies are with CO Onepass or NW Worldperks.

Also you can't book AF F awards anymore with DL, CO or NW miles. You can get an AF F award if you have Flying Blue miles.
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Jul 24th, 2006, 09:25 AM
  #5  
KT
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,437
Hmmm...the United agent I talked to a few weeks ago told me that the rule didn't depend on which Star Alliance carrier the tickets would be on. No long holds, period. Maybe I asked the wrong questions. (Actually, since some international routes are served both by UA and by partners, how would you know for sure before booking which carrier you'll be using for your return?)

United does have a 3-day hold between reserving and ticketing. So you can actually call 3 days before your return date is available and reserve a place-holder return flight, then call back within the 3 days to try to rebook the return flight on the day you want, pay the taxes, etc., and get ticketed. That's the most you can do, according to the agent.
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Jul 24th, 2006, 09:31 AM
  #6  
mjz
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Thanks Patty. DL BE it is and hopefully through ATL versus JFK.
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Jul 24th, 2006, 11:58 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 74
It is all very dependent on the agent you get! My sister and I called back numerous times with various results, but the end result, for us anyway, was that we had to allow our entire itinerary to lapse after a three day hold, because we were told that the booking date is not necessarily the date of ticket issue, but instead is the date the hold was put on the itinerary. Our tickets are with Lufthansa and Swiss. It all became very frustrating as I feared losing my business class seats I was so excited about, but worked out fine in the end because there were so many partner options.

KT, in our case, because United does not go into Rome there was no question we would have to book 331 days from return, because there was no way the entire trip could be done using United flights. I actually tried to work it where we booked the outbound into Italy and then booked the inbound back from Paris on United and thought would get around it. I was told my a very surly agent that Lufthansa would not honor our tickets at all if we weren't coming back within 331, whether we were coming back with them or not.

Who knows... given another agent, we may have eventually succeeded, but the surly one was quite clear when she told us that she was documenting what she had told us "in our files" so we couldn't get around her.

Bottom line - we have our tickets and I am already counting down to the trip next May. Perhaps that is because I would rather think about anything than the Bar Exam I have to sit for tomorrow
lisaindc is offline  

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