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United award ticket - any disadvantage to booking 2 OW vs a RT ticket?

United award ticket - any disadvantage to booking 2 OW vs a RT ticket?

Jan 20th, 2011, 01:22 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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United award ticket - any disadvantage to booking 2 OW vs a RT ticket?

I'm hoping to book a ticket using miles HNL - BKK for next January. I've been watching the ticket availability on United's website for a bit and have noted that the availability of weekend saver award tickets is very short lived. My departure dates both in HNL and BKK would ideally be both on a weekend date, otherwise I'll be having to extend my trip both ways by a day or so.

I noticed that United now offers one way award tickets. I plugged in dummy dates to see if there was a difference in the miles or fees/taxes charge between two one way tickets and one round trip ticket, and both ways the miles and fees/taxes works out the same.

So, is there any downside to me booking an award ticket with two one way segments vs. round trip? I'm thinking that if I try to book it round trip, by the time my departure date out of BKK becomes available, all the saver award tickets out of HNL (2 weeks earlier) will be gone.

Thanks for any insight you can provide.
chepar is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 01:34 PM
  #2  
 
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If you have to make changes after booking or reinstate your miles then you would pay double fees.
Lynnaustin is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 01:42 PM
  #3  
 
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What if you can't get saver award for the inbound on the days you want?
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 03:28 PM
  #4  
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Lynnaustin - good point. I'm thinking that I probably wouldn't need to make changes or reinstate miles, but I would be booking a ticket almost a full year in advance and stuff can always happen.

rkkwan - I guess worst case scenario is I either take a saver award for the next day (it would be a Monday) and extend my trip by a day or I redeposit the miles spent on the HNL-BKK segment for $150. I think those are my options.

I do have enough miles for a standard award ticket, but I don't want to use that many on this trip.

Thanks for the help in thinking this through. I've booked several tickets with saver award seats for past trips, but haven't had any problems getting the dates (even weekends) that I needed.
chepar is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 06:51 PM
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I did this from Chicago ORD to London LHR. No problems! But Lynnaustin is right about paying double fees if you change. Something I had not considered when I booked, but I would have taken the risk anyway.

One catch, and it's a tiny one. When I did this, the kiosk would not issue me a boarding pass. Because of the two separate itieries, it appeared I was leaving the country without a return ticket.

The agent said I had to get an itinery from them to show immigration in the UK, should they request it. (Been there a dozen times and they never have, but I see the point.)
CubFanAlways is offline  
Jan 21st, 2011, 02:18 AM
  #6  
 
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I also did this for daughter Boston-Buenos Aires when we knew her departure date but not her return date. In our case, it had nothing to do with Saver awards - just schedule.

Check-in did take a bit longer, since they had to look up to make sure she had a return ticket. I also wonder if it is wishful thinking on your part to think a saver ticket award is going to appear for your return trip - and is it worth the risk of using higher points or paying to redeposit miles.
gail is offline  
Jan 21st, 2011, 08:40 AM
  #7  
 
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I booked a one-way ticket with FF miles (Business Class) with British Airways but I could not find a flight back to Florida during July with American or BA. So I booked a round-trip flight from Europe to Miami. So I fly back from Europe in July and I fly back to Europe in November. Hopefully, I can get a FF ticket for the first week of December, which is not a heavy traffic period.
wally34949 is offline  
Jan 21st, 2011, 08:48 AM
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>One catch, and it's a tiny one. When I did this, the kiosk would not issue me a boarding pass. Because of the two separate itieries, it appeared I was leaving the country without a return ticket.<

This is an interesting point and something I hadn't considered. I'm assuming tying to check in online at home would also fail?

I'm wondering if calling United and asking them to link the two OW segments together would help?

>I also wonder if it is wishful thinking on your part to think a saver ticket award is going to appear for your return trip - and is it worth the risk of using higher points or paying to redeposit miles.<

I know, this part is the gamble. I've been playing with dummy dates on the United website and have been able to "get" Saturday and Sunday dates on saver awards, but they usually aren't available for more than a few days past when they first appear - so that's why waiting to book the flights as a round trip probably won't work.

If I go the 2 OW segment route, I'll try to book each segment as soon as that day becomes available.

Thanks again for all the help, it's very valuable in helping me weigh out the risks/hassle vs. just buying a ticket.
chepar is offline  
Jan 21st, 2011, 01:00 PM
  #9  
 
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I booked FF tickets using the one way option. In the end we had to cancel so the canx fee was substantial--$600 for 2 people. I whined to United and they ended up giving us $600 worth of UA vouchers...that helped, but I'm not sure I would use the one way option again unless it was booked very close to departure date. It was also pointed out to me that it limits u to UA flights....cant book on a Star Alliance partner.
yestravel is offline  

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