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True or False: United Is “#1 in Award Seat Availability”?

True or False: United Is “#1 in Award Seat Availability”?

United’s new ad campaign features the following headline: "We’re #1 in award seat availability among U.S. global carriers."

It’s a gutsy claim, raising as it does what is for many consumers the single most important issue affecting the value of airline loyalty programs and one that most airlines would rather duck than address head on.

The headline is asterisked, referring to the fine print which explains that the ranking is based on findings from IdeaWorks’ "2012 Reward Seat Availability Survey."

According to that report, the award-booking success rates for the nine largest North America carriers were as follows:

1. Southwest – 100%
2 (tie) AirTran – 87.1%
2 (tie) United – 87.1%
3. JetBlue – 86.4%
4. Air Canada – 78.6
5. Alaska – 59.3%
6. American – 45.7%
7. US Airways – 33.6%
8. Delta – 27.1%

So United’s claim at least has as its basis a study grounded in real-world research.

As I’ve said many times, complete transparency in the area of travel loyalty programs, including a rigorous accounting of each program’s award availability, is much needed and sorely lacking.

If on-time performance is important to you, you can easily refer to DOT data to determine which airlines do best and worst on that performance metric. If legroom is your main decision-driver, the seat pitches of most airlines can be readily viewed and compared on SeatGuru. If price is your primary concern, a quick search on any of the online travel agency sites will generate a list of airlines and prices for your itinerary. And so on.

But no such comprehensive head-to-head comparison of frequent flyer programs’ award availability is possible. No company or organization has taken it upon itself to collect, collate, and analyze the data.

Certainly the IdeaWorks study cited by United is a step in the right direction. But it’s hardly definitive in scale or scope. Both its methodology and its findings have been subject to debate.

To their credit, United’s new ads at least raise the question.

Reader Reality Check

Some travelers will take United’s ad claim at face value and modify their behavior accordingly.

Others, however, will find the claim at odds with their own experience and reject it as yet another example of Big Business puffery.

Still others will dismiss the award claim, true or false, as a non-factor in their travel loyalty decisions. Their priorities lie elsewhere.

What’s your take on United’s claim?

How important to you is frequent flyer award availability?

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  • Tracy S

    The routes you fly have a strong impact on award availability. Backbone routes have high demand for sold seats, so it makes sense for carriers to release fewer low-level award seats on them. I live in a non-hub city and can regularly find award seats that my hub-living sister cannot, even to the same destination and through the same connecting cities!

    I would be interested in learning how much of the award availability numbers is based on elite vs non-elite status. United has guaranteed award availability for their high-level elites: as long as there are unsold seats, they can be taken as awards but only if you are a high-level elite (and often at premium redemption rates).

  • MORT

    I’m reminded of the time I met this beautiful girl and I said “trust me!” She didn’t. Was she lucky.

    Now United says they are the first in awards. I’ll believe them when the Treasury adds United’s name to our currency – you know, where it says “IN GOD WE TRUST”. UAL could go right after GOD.

  • GW

    Bull Honkey!
    United is almost the new Delta sky peso
    One of the he most misleading programs around
    Southwest blows them out of the water as does American and Alaska.The flight times for free flights always suck if you can get them at all
    They say first class seats are available on line for reward from LA to New York
    then you click only to find it coach most of the entire way except the last hour on the connecting flight.
    They have brought all the stinginess plus over from Contiental.I hate them and won’t spend a nickle to fly them.
    Redemption at Untied Airlines is a joke
    The worlds biggest Ponzi Scheme
    I once loved this carrier in the 90s through 2003.I gave up on them and I’ve never looked back.Good riddance!

  • EAA

    Oh, how I wish that were true. I haven’t been using my Mileage Plus Visa card because from past experience we found that no matter how far in advance we tried to use our mileage award for flights, they were never available.

    We recently booked a cruise with United Cruises, part of UA, and used our mileage plus visa card, accruing thousands of bonus miles. I’ve been trying to get flight to our cruise destination with no luck – back to the same UA – they are disingenuous. I actually inquired of the agent, from which airport in the US is their availability, and reluctantly, very reluctantly, she responded NONE. Now that’s your answer to UA – a SCAM.

  • Philip Obrist

    I have redeemed numerous FF flights on United, including a business class trip to Australia, on saver awards. I have tried several times to redeem a “saver” award on Delta, no can do. Thumbs up for United, thumbs down for Delta!

  • Oscar

    From my perspective, I’d say that United’s claim is pretty spot on-as long as you book month’s ahead of your planned travel date. However, like other airlines, due to the cutbacks in capacity, it’s difficult to find award seats on any airline, not just United. But, every time I’ve looked for award seats within a reasonable timeframe, I’ve been able to find them, although some may involve a circuitous routing, while finding nothing on Delta, USAir or American.

  • john dettoni

    My experience of flying with UA since 1981 is that sometimes one can obtain upgraded seats. However, in the last 8 or so years this is NOT the case. Case in point: getting upgrades from Orange County (SNA) – ORD – MUC and return to Orange County in November — nothing open for upgrades even tho business/first was totally open. I tried from June 2012 on. No can do! So, is it true? Depends on the “luck of the draw.”

  • Hdwain

    Huge variability. Critical that one have max flexibility. Almost impossible if specific dates to travel are vital.

    10 to 11 months for international works for 100 per cent reward. Usually one seat per flight. Upgrades for international are a mystery.

    Domestic is not cost effective anyway.

  • Karen K.

    It must partly depend upon where you want to go. Paris in the springtime would be tough. Leipzig in December’s easy. I have had excellent success with getting free seats, even buying four tickets for an August trip for German friends to fly to American and back to Germany, in the high tourist season, for 60,000 miles each. For me, United has delivered its promise for frequent flyer seats and I will continue to fly United.

  • robert

    Not great on domestic upgrades,sometimes red eye open. Are any airlines any better or is it Air Madoff ?

  • Sharon A.

    I have had good success with United, unless I want to go say, Hawaii, then I haven’t been able to book any airline for the least miles. This year in January found best award seats on American to Ecuador. Next January, United has seats. For my husband and I to go for a total of $120 r/t! Can’t vacation in States for that!

  • B Jones

    Yes, United has tons of award seat availability….. as long as you don’t mind:
    paying DOUBLE the miles to go when you want
    not going to ANY Asian Country
    small cramped planes with no leg room, no video, NO INET
    flying red eyes or the worst flight times
    2-3 stops…. the non stops are almost NEVER available

    other than that they’re great.

  • John Dunn

    I have long since cashed in or transferred my miles on all U.S. carriers. I book everything on Asian carriers now. U.S. carriers mpale in comparison in terms of redemption and everything else.

  • Jeff

    Every award I have ever booked has been in F, for one or two of us & booked at the last minute. We’ve gone to cities on 6 continenants on great airlines like Swiss, Asiana, Singapore,Lufthansa, ANZ, Thai. I don’t know why people sway they can’t get seats to great places when they like. We’ve even used miles to get to Hong Kong for handover in 1997, Rio for Carnivalle in 2010, Bali, S Africa & Zurich in winter. Anyone that says they can’t get seats, must use double miles, etc just does not know what they are doing

  • Hank

    If you can manage advance planning time and flexible travel dates, United is most accomodating when using miles for domestic flights. As for international flights, I gave up on using miles for domestic carriers many years ago.

  • Mike

    I have had good luck this year on UA booking award seats to Europe (IAD->CDG->VCE->IAD) and to Vancouver BC via ORD and DEN. Domestic award seats or F upgrades seem generally either to be unavailable or not to be worth the miles requested. (F is overrated anyhow as either it or nearby Mileage Plus seats tend to contain babies.)

    For Central America I use AA and have had good luck getting award seats for a moderate number of miles. I don’t expect that to continue if they are swallowed by US.

    DL seats seem to run on the high side, but I’ve only tried them for Central America.

  • Tom

    In mid-April I wanted to book Detroit-Nanjing or Shanghai – outbound May 1, return late August. I am Gold on Delta. They wanted 120,000+ miles. I am not elite on United. They wanted 65,000 miles. Even though I live in a Delta hub, I’m seriously considering switching to United.

  • Susan

    I just got an award ticket for the United flight I wanted, one way from NY to Sacramento,with one stop in Chicago. It was easy and cost 12,500 miles plus $5. I booked about one month in advance…Everyone but me probably knows this already, but Saturday is a great day to travel, especially for award tickets.

  • Marcelle

    I was desperately searching for 2 business class seats from Miami to Amsterdam on a specific day. It seemed impossible through Delta and American. Then I called United and used only 50,000 miles per ticket and got an excellent connection on their partner Luftansa. When I decided to move the reservations a day earlier, that was also available. In the US it’s not so easy to get a seat.

  • Steve K

    I fly at least 100,000 miles on both United and Delta each year. My experience agrees with the IdeaWorks Seat Availability Survey. I have successfully booked oneway tickets for 12,500 miles twelve times in the last year on United. I also have been 100% successful in booking Business Class Tickets to Europe using minimum miles. While not perfect, United is very, very good. Delta is 100%, the opposite. I have NEVER obtained oneway seats for less than 25,000 miles. I have obtained 25,000 miles round trip seats only about 15% of the time.
    Delta’s shabby treatment of even their highest flyers is monumental.

  • Announcer

    I have not tried since the merge to use mileage for an award, however, I will say that United since its merge with Continental has become one of the worst airlines flying. I am a more than million miler with United and their customer service is the most appalling in the industry. Myself, the staff and thousands of former flying passengers with Continental want it back, unfortunately, that is not going to happen.

    When Gordon Bethune was at the helm of Continental, it was the best airline in the sky. I wrote to him twice, twice I received a personal wonderful reply. I have written four times to Smisek and he is far to big to answer a passengers mail, even if that passenger is one of their most frequent flyers. Hello Frank Lorenzo the second. I get e-mails, and e-mails only from customer service representatives who have no authority whatsoever to do anything but apologize. Words are cheap United, I am now working with Delta to join them as United in my mind has sent me their last “email”.

  • Robert Francis

    The ranking of AA, based on my experience trying to book business class to Europe the past three years, is a little high. I’ve had no success at all and always end up on partner airline British Airways. This often means that I can’t get the AA direct flight to my destination and have to settle for the BA flight to London and then to my destination. I find it irksome that AA encourages the accumulation of AA miles then won’t let you use them for business class.

  • connie

    I have the miles to fly business international from newark to london, barcelona to newark. I have been trying to get a r/t nonstop for July 2013, using 100,000 pperson. United business class has not sold one business class seat with all of their non-stops, and yet, does not have availability Their partner airlines, air canada, TAP, Lufthansa and Brussel air offer flights, but are not non-stop. I go on United site 3 times a day to see if they have opened their seats to no avail.

  • CC

    They are kidding right? United has become so miserable since the takeover of Continental that I almost refuse to fly them anymore. International upgrades with the extra fees cost almost as much as a regular business class ticket on a better airline. Plus, their miles now expire. It’s a joke. I recently spent all my miles in my account on the MileagePlus Merchandise Rewards program to get a new TV, bike, stereo, kitchen appliances, etc. At least I actually got something for all those miles I have flown.

  • Marboy

    I can only agree with the comments regarding the downward slide of United/Continental’s service. Award travel non-availability is further complicated by the fact that sometimes you don’t accumulate miles when you fly United. Case in point – just flew from FRA to DFW booking over United website – it was a share-flight operated by Lufthansa for the international legs. Paid United via their website and with their credit card – received NO MILES, not even 1 to 1 as Lufthansa, United’s share partner refused to give miles for a K class ticket. United’s comment??? Nothing they can do, didn’t I see that Lufthansa gives no miles for K class? LOL! K class is not even MENTIONED on the site, still waiting for response from United Mileage Plus department – going on 3 weeks now. Who actually reads thru all that booking code garbage every time they book a flight? Subsequent flight booked with American/British Air – have been a long time loyal United customer,but no more. Going back to American and may try the Asian airlines as another poster mentioned.

  • Jeanne Shepherd

    I agree with CC. When Continental and United got into bed with each other, customer service went down the drain. They have lost my loyalty and I will be looking to cash out my many miles…

  • Mike Springstead

    Ha Ha Ha what a joke!! I haven’t been able to get an awards seat to Costa Rica in a very long time! I try a starting two months ahead up to a week before I want to go and nothing. What a bunch of B S.

  • Brian

    I’ve actually had pretty good success booking award travel on United. I recently booked first class r/t award travel to Bangkok, and got the trip using Saver miles. I also booked a trip to Rio de Janeiro, coach, using saver miles. The key was being somewhat flexible on dates.

    I do find that it has become harder to find saver awards. Standard awards always seem to be available, but they will gobble up your miles quickly

  • Brian

    Hi everyone,

    Just a note as a lot of people commented about international availability, and one person (Connie) mentioned she’s been trying to find availability for July, 2013.

    I was in the same boat this year – I spent the end of last year, and beginning of this year, constantly looking for saver availability for a non-stop to Europe in July.

    The seats opened up completely in MARCH – only 4 months out. I had been watching since a year in advance. So just a heads up – I know the common thinking is to book 9-12 months out, but United doesn’t release full saver seat availability until around 4 months out. 8 seats opened up, on every flight, at that time. And then for every day that followed, 8 more seats opened up each day. (ie On March 15th, 8 seats were open on every flight July 15th and earlier, on March 16th, July 16th opened up, etc etc). Hope this helps some folks.

  • Vicki

    In the past year I have found it more & more difficult to book United Saver Awards to the destinations I want to go … both domestically and internationaly. I just dropped my Chase United card to stop the build-up of miles. I recently tried to book a trip to Mexico in March of 2013 and could not find one Saver Award for the time I wanted to go. Ended up booking all of the tickets on American.

  • John Talbott

    Bulls***

  • D Greaney

    I gave up trying to redeem miles with United. You can trade those miles for merchandise on the UA website. I redeemed miles for an IPad which I use to book mileage seats with American.

  • HStone

    Success with either upgrades or using miles is not easy. I have flown over 3.8 million miles with United and have been succcessful less than half the time using miles and often requiring the higher amount of miles. Upgrades are better provided you fly off-season but from Y to C, it usually happens at the gate despite many seats available. For those flying for business, it is very difficult as United reduces the number of flights in the winter or has arrangements with companies that provides upgrades automatically. It is a real challenge and I do not agree with the claim.

  • StevenCentralPA

    Well, I lost my heavy travel job earlier this year and would just like to have some income at this point. Even if I could redeem miles for travel, I couldn’t afford to go. Life looks VERY DIFFERENT when your world crashes down on you.

    Besides, today is 9/11. May we all remember that it was United and American whose airlines were targeted, and who lost so many of their employees (and their passengers) in this tragedy.

    Let’s get some perspective, here, folks. It’s a blessing to just be alive.

    God bless America.

  • Brian

    I’ve had nothing but problems trying to book award seats on United.com. Most of the time there are no Saver award seats available, even when searching way in advance. I have tried to book seats round-trip and couldn’t get the seats but when I searched one-way separately, lo and behold there are the seats. They are either available for booking or not, round-trip vs. one-way shouldn’t matter. I called an agent and they said they couldn’t even find the seats the website was saying were available. Interestingly though, on a few occasions I have waited until the day of travel and “presto” there is the Saver award. Flew my two sons from Oklahoma to Oregon First Class for the same miles as the Standard award at the last minute. I must say, United is BY FAR better than Delta…much more reasonable mileage levels and less fees.

  • haleem tahir

    Since the most un-seamless merger,one element that showed a considerable improvement had t do with the award travel using any level of miles. I have had no trouble in booking w/ miles so long as I use flexible dates for travel. Thank you United for showing improvement in at least one area.

  • Greg

    I was able to secure 2 “F” class seats using miles PDX – SIN RT over the New Year holiday through Mileage Plus. I booked them in July and even got one direction on SQ “F” class and both for the reduced mileage rate. I have been very pleased with UA post merger! Have a lot more options from PDX now.

  • mary collins finn

    Absolutely awful experience using award miles. I used them but mostly paid for my flight to and from Bangkok earlier this year. When I tried to check in on the way back I was first in line at the check-in desk with a pre-selected aisle near the front – yet they said I wasn’t on “their computer!” I had to wait until the last minute to be given a middle seat at the back of the plane. I tried to use miles to return early from the west coast last year ( I had a later in the week Delta flight) and they couldn’t give me a seat within 5 days of my desired date!

  • William

    I agree completely! I was a United/Continental member years ago then switched to Delta. I was able to good an award international flight with ease on United but not on Delta. In fact, I checked several flights and everyone was available but none were available on Delta.

    Given this, I am very tempted to switch to Delta. Delta Diamond elite pretty much useless.

  • jim

    Just like the survey shows, The best is Southwest. Never had a problem using awards. I’ve had many problems with United, especially for overseas routes.

  • Henry Townsend

    On United, there are award seats and then there are the seats you pay extra for. Then there are the seats you pay United extra for and don’t get. On July 10 I bought two tickets from IAD-SFO and SFO-IAD, paying in part $144 for two Economy Plus Premium seats on the SFO to IAD return, which was confirmed by United.
    On the flight itself, rather than having two Economy Plus Premium aisle seats on the same row, we were given two non-Premium seats separated by two rows, each in the middle of the row, seats 30E and 32B. Both my wife and I are Premium members.
    To date, I have not received an apology nor any compensation for this terrible treatment.
    Should I expect to continue to be so badly treated? Should I continue to go out of my way to fly United?

  • Flew the Friendly Skies

    I’ve almost always found availability on the pre-merger UA with non-saver awards. I guess if a seat existed you could have it. But why blow double the miles? In reality for me where saver awards have been available the routing is not something you would typically choose (or want). In fact, I’ve been offered up three segment routes for a direct or two flight routing that would never be offered for sale. United’s on-line award system is probably the worst, and I think made even worse after the merger. I use the KVS availability tool to research the availability on flights I want and work back into booking the award travel. Usually get what I want but at the expense of my time. Bottom line: its not just about whether you have award availability but all these other aspects as well. Plenty of other airlines have the new Continental (in United clothing) beat hands down.

  • Joshua

    The thing is, even if you are able to book award seats, you never know whether you will actually get what you booked when you go to the airport. We have flown UAL for years, but of late, their flights are late, our bookings are lost or they couldn’t care less what happens if we are in Europe on a code-sharing airline. It’s always a gamble even if you get seats.

  • Bill M.

    I can’t help but note that type and location of seat awards are, of course, based on our own personal experinces. I have positive outcomes on UA/CO and on Delta/NWA so I see it as usually not a problem if one can apply planning, but only to the locations and times that I have attempted. These experience have included both US and international locations and often helped by great flexibility in dates. Both airlines have helped us by having at least two award levels and allowing us to look at various dates. I know that the have limited seats and higher rewards levels but overall often we can work with these limitations if we have the personal schedual flexibility.

  • john

    UA has a miserable policy re using miles for upgrades from coach to business/first (Ha! First! You’ve got to be kidding! What coolaide has someone been drinking to call it “Business/first?” ). I have tried unsuccessfully to obtain 2 seats for upgrades from coach to business on UA. No seats sold, but none available for upgrading! Now that’s how UA works: keep everything closed until the very end and if, per chance there is an unsold business class seat, then UA will open for upgrades. Typical bait and switch. And I’m 1K again! Miserable airline. Problem is what’s better?

  • Brian

    This is not true. You may be able to get seats using Mileage Plus, but most of those seats are on their star alliance partners. United holds on to their saver awards to the last possible moment on their highly traveled routes. i.e.: lax to jfk and back, trips to the middle east…etc. This is totally them putting a spin once again.

  • jvmurph

    I have Southwest points, American Airlines points & United points.  Of the three, Southwest is the Best!  I can get a flight anytime I want with Southwest.  United is the hardest of the three to get a flight that I want when I want it.  They have very few Saver Awards to the destinations I want to go to, so I have stopped trying to accumulate United points.

  • jvmurph

    I have Southwest points, American Airlines points & United points.  Of the three, Southwest is the Best!  I can get a flight anytime I want with Southwest.  United is the hardest of the three to get a flight that I want when I want it.  They have very few Saver Awards to the destinations I want to go to, so I have stopped trying to accumulate United points.

  • Jill Loftus

    I have booked four overseas Y class tickets with United for March, May, July and September 2013.  I asked for upgrades using miles and/or global upgrades.  I am on a waiting list for each of the flights, even though no seats are booked but mine for all but one of the 14 legs of my trip.  I am a 1K member. So, my experience with United thus far for 2013 is 0 for 14!

  • Jill Loftus

    I have booked four overseas Y class tickets with United for March, May, July and September 2013.  I asked for upgrades using miles and/or global upgrades.  I am on a waiting list for each of the flights, even though no seats are booked but mine for all but one of the 14 legs of my trip.  I am a 1K member. So, my experience with United thus far for 2013 is 0 for 14!

  • awmoxley

    For overseas travel, United is the best for finding Business Class reward seats.  The worst in my opinion are British Airways and Delta.  And, yes, frequent flyer award availability is very important to me for overseas travel as I do not want to fly economy on long-haul flights and cannot afford business class fares.

  • awmoxley

    For overseas travel, United is the best for finding Business Class reward seats.  The worst in my opinion are British Airways and Delta.  And, yes, frequent flyer award availability is very important to me for overseas travel as I do not want to fly economy on long-haul flights and cannot afford business class fares.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=646803254 Frank Ireton

    While United may have award seats it has been my experience that they are seldom available when you want to fly. It has also been my experience that once booked you are not guaranteed a seat until you are actually seated. A recent award seat booking flight was changed to a flight almost 10 hours later meaning another day travel. United is notorious for bumping award seat holders for revenue customers or reassigning seats. A personal experience of paying for seat upgrades and being denied the seat, along with all of the other changes in the way United treats frequent fliers, has led me after almost 900,000 lifetime miles to no longer fly United, AKA the unfriendly skies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=646803254 Frank Ireton

    While United may have award seats it has been my experience that they are seldom available when you want to fly. It has also been my experience that once booked you are not guaranteed a seat until you are actually seated. A recent award seat booking flight was changed to a flight almost 10 hours later meaning another day travel. United is notorious for bumping award seat holders for revenue customers or reassigning seats. A personal experience of paying for seat upgrades and being denied the seat, along with all of the other changes in the way United treats frequent fliers, has led me after almost 900,000 lifetime miles to no longer fly United, AKA the unfriendly skies.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RVY6SPKDRJG33V2NKE3Y4BBJWM DesrtDrmr

    I was disappointed in Southwest’s award seat availability. We tried to use “old” award miles for a particular itinerary and were told, and ticketed, that old miles were not eligible for the “any seat available, any time, on any flight” that they advertise.  They would not book us on non stop flights, and chose only the most circuituous routes.  It was a real pain, and even booking six months out, our possible six hour trip was extended into a ten hour trip.  We no longer are big fans, and fly SWA only when absolutely necessary. 
     We have found American to be the most cooperative, friendly and helpful airline for booking award travel. 
    United, which my spouse is a million miler on, has downgraded his lifetime premier status to somewhere between a frequent flyer and a premier status.  Somewhat advance boarding is allowed….like third tier, and upgrades are very few and very far between.  (They used to meet us at the door with signs when he was actively travelling for business). They do not go out of their way to book convenient award travel, and usually charge us the very highest amount of miles, even if we book a  year ahead.  We do have the nice perk of having spoused also being given the same status, for what it is worth to us, since we always travel together for vacation travel. 
     Our choice is definitely American, which includes Alaska in their milage point award program.  I hope they stay in business.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RVY6SPKDRJG33V2NKE3Y4BBJWM DesrtDrmr

    I was disappointed in Southwest’s award seat availability. We tried to use “old” award miles for a particular itinerary and were told, and ticketed, that old miles were not eligible for the “any seat available, any time, on any flight” that they advertise.  They would not book us on non stop flights, and chose only the most circuituous routes.  It was a real pain, and even booking six months out, our possible six hour trip was extended into a ten hour trip.  We no longer are big fans, and fly SWA only when absolutely necessary. 
     We have found American to be the most cooperative, friendly and helpful airline for booking award travel. 
    United, which my spouse is a million miler on, has downgraded his lifetime premier status to somewhere between a frequent flyer and a premier status.  Somewhat advance boarding is allowed….like third tier, and upgrades are very few and very far between.  (They used to meet us at the door with signs when he was actively travelling for business). They do not go out of their way to book convenient award travel, and usually charge us the very highest amount of miles, even if we book a  year ahead.  We do have the nice perk of having spoused also being given the same status, for what it is worth to us, since we always travel together for vacation travel. 
     Our choice is definitely American, which includes Alaska in their milage point award program.  I hope they stay in business.

  • tavler

    I have also had a hard time using miles to upgrade on united flights. Im a premier platinum membr and supposed to have more availability to theese seats. When they rate he availability, i believe its for award travel and not upgrades. My prediction is, they will offer less availability for award travel because they were nominated #1 in this one survey. They get overly confident and stop trying.

  • tavler

    I have also had a hard time using miles to upgrade on united flights. Im a premier platinum membr and supposed to have more availability to theese seats. When they rate he availability, i believe its for award travel and not upgrades. My prediction is, they will offer less availability for award travel because they were nominated #1 in this one survey. They get overly confident and stop trying.

  • Bruce McKay

    UA is getting worse and worse.  On a recent attempted flight from Washington DC to Fargo, ND — apparently a very popular route — the only saver seats involved two connections for an all day trip or an overnight in Chicago.  Yes, really.

  • Bruce McKay

    UA is getting worse and worse.  On a recent attempted flight from Washington DC to Fargo, ND — apparently a very popular route — the only saver seats involved two connections for an all day trip or an overnight in Chicago.  Yes, really.

  • http://www.facebook.com/slsullivan Steven Sullivan

    My Experience with United awards (and both United and Continental before the merger) has always been very good. We generally are pretty flexible in booking award tickets, especially for premium cabin international awards, but we generally get something that works for us that we’re very happy with. I’ve not had as much success with Delta, which usually only has the higher level awards available, or American, which tends to not be able to get me anything that works.

  • http://www.facebook.com/slsullivan Steven Sullivan

    My Experience with United awards (and both United and Continental before the merger) has always been very good. We generally are pretty flexible in booking award tickets, especially for premium cabin international awards, but we generally get something that works for us that we’re very happy with. I’ve not had as much success with Delta, which usually only has the higher level awards available, or American, which tends to not be able to get me anything that works.

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