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Topic: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: BFinSF
Posted 2012-09-10 16:42:46 and read 16691 times.

In the past week, United has removed fare codes from the booking engine on United.com.

sUA's former platform displayed codes (if your profile was in Expert mode) and the new website, following the March 2012 transition, displayed the codes via a hyperlink in the flight display when booking flights or looking up an existing reservation (presuming this was the case for sCO's site prior to the conversion). This functionality proved to be an easy and useful reference for those flyers wishing to confirm upgrade potential or current availability on any given flight. Anyone now seeking that information has to call an agent to verify.

In calling United.com support to verify this reduced functionality, the CSR agent indicated that they (staff) had been advised that the fare buckeets were disappearing from United.com and that the reason they were removed was out of concern that "someone could use them improperly". What sort of improper activity?

As a long time sUA flyer, this leaves me shaking my head as it seems like yet another technology decision this year that has resulted in reduced functionality and options for customers.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: tommy767
Posted 2012-09-10 17:17:31 and read 16549 times.

How CO of them. Welcome to the fun world of pricing control!

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: ORDBOSEWR
Posted 2012-09-10 17:18:31 and read 16542 times.

This change has had a world of outcry on flyertalk. There are at least 3 threads on the topic as of now.
None of them have a single positive post in them.

Clearly UA felt someone or something was using this information improperly and this was the only way to resolve it quickly.

My question is do other airlines offer the fare codes on their websites?

Here is what she posted:
Hi Everyone,

Later this evening we’ll be making a change on united.com that will remove the ability to see the specific allocation of seat inventory made to each Fare Class (this is the Fare Class hyperlink found in the right-most column when searching for flights or viewing itinerary details). I know that this is a popular feature for many of you here – in fact, we liked it too. But, it wasn’t without issues. Specifically, for many customers who are not as familiar with the ins and outs of fare structures, there was often room for this information to be misinterpreted. It also left the door open for undesired exposure that allowed automated scripts to scrape and re-display information in ways for which it was not intended.

That said, we have great appreciation for the transparency this information offered. For example, having a better understanding of how full a flight is, along with knowing how many other customers want to upgrade on a flight, can be critical in deciding whether to pay to guarantee a seat immediately, use mileage to upgrade, hold out to see if a space-available upgrade will clear or select another flight all together. We are committed to improving transparency around this. But, instead of simply exposing fare class inventory (which is quite confusing to most customers), we are working on better ways to share this more meaningful information. You’ll see one new feature added with this release and even more changes that work toward this effort in future releases.

Shannon Kelly
Director, Customer Insights
United Airlines

A second post from her later said this:
Hi Everyone,

I can certainly appreciate the feedback on this particular topic. I’ve responded to a fair number of PMs tonight and I do want to at least offer a bit of clarification here in the thread as well. I know there’s no explanation that will make the current state better for those of you here. But, at the end of the day, the way in which the information was shared was truly causing issues and confusion for an extremely broad audience. This is what drove the change. This information displays for all customers and there is no ‘expert mode’ setting as there was on the previous site. So, turning it off, as a first step, really is helping mitigate a large volume of issues that our front line co-workers and other customers are experiencing.

Getting this information back into the hands of the “right” users is our next step. As many of you have suggested, the solution lies somewhere between adding this information as an option in a profile setting to providing even more detail in much smarter ways. I would never couch this as a “change we expect anyone to like”. I can appreciate that it’s seen as a take away. We are committed to making this information more robust and useful though – especially for our expert travelers. I know it can't happen quickly enough.

Shannon

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: AA737-823
Posted 2012-09-10 17:28:23 and read 16478 times.

Well, listening to her words, they want to "get the information back into the hands of the right users."
And, if it was genuinely causing problems, then so be it.
It's a free country- UCON Holdings is free to do whatever it wishes with its website, popular or unpopular.
I might not agree with it, but it sounds like they're making efforts to find another solution.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: jetblast
Posted 2012-09-10 17:30:29 and read 16457 times.

Quoting ORDBOSEWR (Reply 2):
This change has had a world of outcry on flyertalk. There are at least 3 threads on the topic as of now.
None of them have a single positive post in them.

God forbid the self-anointed elites can't get their blessed free upgrade on their next trip.

The average air passenger seems to get confused by fare codes (and understandably so, most people don't know the difference between an A, F, O, or W fare or why there is a price difference between them). If it helps Joe Blow using united.com to understand a bit better I'm all for it.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2012-09-10 17:33:26 and read 16439 times.

Quoting ORDBOSEWR (Reply 2):
My question is do other airlines offer the fare codes on their websites?

DL and AA display it during the booking process.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 1):
How CO of them.

Que? I thought CO displayed this information.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: AA737-823
Posted 2012-09-10 17:34:05 and read 16417 times.

Quoting jetblast (Reply 4):
If it helps Joe Blow using united.com to understand a bit better I'm all for it.

Joe Blow doesn't necessarily need to understand it- he simply finds the cheap fare that comes up, and clicks "buy."

Quoting jetblast (Reply 4):
God forbid the self-anointed elites can't get their blessed free upgrade on their next trip.

Wow... now THERE'S a way to win friends and influence enemies. You have a problem with frequent customers being rewarded? I guess mileage tickets should be disallowed, too, since it's really the same thing: rewarding frequent customers with free stuff.
An, for the record, it was UNITED who anointed us, not we ourselves.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2012-09-10 17:40:43 and read 16376 times.

Quoting jetblast (Reply 4):
The average air passenger seems to get confused by fare codes (and understandably so, most people don't know the difference between an A, F, O, or W fare or why there is a price difference between them)

This I can agree with, last week my girlfriend asked what was the difference in service between "Economy (L)" and "Economy (T)".

If they can make the information available to those who need it while restricting its capacity to confuse a once a year flyer then I think that's a good thing. That said, not having it at all is very unhelpful to us in the know.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: airportugal310
Posted 2012-09-10 17:42:27 and read 16350 times.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 6):
An, for the record, it was UNITED who anointed us, not we ourselves.

The reality of it all is that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. United certainly did make you elite, but being an elite, and ELITISM, are two slightly different things

I suspect you know this, too.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: aeroblogger
Posted 2012-09-10 17:42:51 and read 16351 times.

Quoting jetblast (Reply 4):
The average air passenger seems to get confused by fare codes (and understandably so, most people don't know the difference between an A, F, O, or W fare or why there is a price difference between them). If it helps Joe Blow using united.com to understand a bit better I'm all for it.

So then make viewing fare buckets opt-in, through a check box in "advanced search" or some such thing.

Coding a checkbox in advanced search would take all of 5 minutes for me to do. I can imagine a professional programmer working at UA could do it much sooner.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: Avianca
Posted 2012-09-10 18:07:11 and read 16227 times.

strange , just check yesterday some tickets and I still saw them.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: ORDBOSEWR
Posted 2012-09-10 18:46:45 and read 16032 times.

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 9):
So then make viewing fare buckets opt-in, through a check box in "advanced search" or some such thing.

Coding a checkbox in advanced search would take all of 5 minutes for me to do. I can imagine a professional programmer working at UA could do it much sooner.

The old UA.com did allow this in what was 'expert mode', in the new united.com (old co.com) it was available through a hyperlink on fare class. Now it just shows you the fare class for the flight.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: AA94
Posted 2012-09-10 19:16:03 and read 15727 times.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 5):
DL and AA display it during the booking process.

DL and AA display the fare codes of the class that you're currently booking a ticket into, but UA would show all fare buckets and the availability in each.

What UA (used to) show:

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: infinit
Posted 2012-09-10 20:16:57 and read 14991 times.

Yeah, I remember this from my previous UA flight sometime back.

I guess they did this change is effected to automatically bump you up to a higher fare category and perhaps to make certain fare categories available only during selected promotions, like on certain days or by entering a code.

Then again, most other airlines don't make the fare codes available too.

Here on SQ, they only reveal the code at the end of the booking. But during the booking process, in Economy, they have different fare categories you can select subject to availability- Super Deals, Sweet Deals, Flexi Saver and Flexi. The first probably corresponds to fare code V, the most competitive promotional fares and the last as the name implies is full fare Y fares.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: sunilgupta
Posted 2012-09-10 20:20:34 and read 14941 times.

Quoting jetblast (Reply 4):
God forbid the self-anointed elites can't get their blessed free upgrade on their next trip.

self-anointed?? I can't just call up UA and say "hey, I want to be an elite"... What an immature statement. All of us who attain status on any airline put in the miles to get there. That means lots of hours in airports, in lines, away from home, etc, etc. Attaining elite status gives you perks, sure, but you have to pay your dues first!

Why shouldn't I be able to look at inventory to make use of my hard-earned "free" upgrade?
Sunil

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: learjet1969
Posted 2012-09-10 21:00:48 and read 14424 times.

The more tweaks the new UA makes, the more I like them less. Its like the 1,000,000 miles I have flown are meaningless. Each flight I have taken this year makes me question my loyalty, at least expertflyer.com still shows fare buckets (upgrade/awards have been removed).

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: bioyuki
Posted 2012-09-10 21:25:32 and read 14156 times.

Quoting ORDBOSEWR (Reply 2):
But, it wasn’t without issues. Specifically, for many customers who are not as familiar with the ins and outs of fare structures, there was often room for this information to be misinterpreted.

This is what we call PR spin.

Quoting ORDBOSEWR (Reply 2):
It also left the door open for undesired exposure that allowed automated scripts to scrape and re-display information in ways for which it was not intended.

And this is the real reason why UA dropped this information. Call me a conspiracy theorist but this is a sneaky move by UA to kill sites like ExpertFlyer.com. Shame on UA...being an elite is becoming increasingly useless and my dollars are moving accordingly from UA to VX...

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: kgaiflyer
Posted 2012-09-11 00:01:51 and read 12995 times.

Quoting AA94 (Reply 12):
What UA (used to) show:


Okay, here's how this works for me.

On my job, I buy the fare and submit my boarding passes and/or receipts to accounts-payable for reimbursement. Nobody really cares what fare code I flew. They do care how much I've spent vis-a-vis other employees making the same journey between the same points. And god help me if I turn in an invoice for an upgrade.

In other words, unless the fare puts me on standby or fails to give me a confirmed seat, then no one *no one* gives a hoot about fare codes.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: rising
Posted 2012-09-11 05:43:39 and read 11591 times.

Quoting jetblast (Reply 4):

The real solution to all of this will be the move to an award system based on dollars spent rather than miles flown. The system today is the like a retailer with a loyalty program where they base rewards on how many transaction you make, rather than the total sale. It's crazy. It worked for airlines in the past, but now that everyone is flying, it is outdated. Sure, there is a premium as far as miles earned if you meet certain criteria, but generally, my mile is worth the same as yours no matter how much we both paid.

In the US, Southwest is ahead of the curve on this, with the earning of points, rather than miles. Amtrak is also a good example. United Global Services is also a unique case among the network carriers. It can't come soon enough, for when it does, we can see, as they say, who is swimming naked.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: vgnatl747
Posted 2012-09-11 06:30:56 and read 11182 times.

Quoting rising (Reply 18):
The real solution to all of this will be the move to an award system based on dollars spent rather than miles flown. The system today is the like a retailer with a loyalty program where they base rewards on how many transaction you make, rather than the total sale. It's crazy. It worked for airlines in the past, but now that everyone is flying, it is outdated. Sure, there is a premium as far as miles earned if you meet certain criteria, but generally, my mile is worth the same as yours no matter how much we both paid.

First of all, I don't see how this is related at all to the issue at hand. Fare codes are important to show upgrade eligibility of a given itinerary; that's what all the fuss is about. How you earned your status is a mute point.

Secondly, there's both pros and cons to a award dollar system. I personally don't feel that it makes a huge difference. The vast majority of elites are business travelers. Business travelers tend to book last minute tickets which are more expensive (regardless of class flown).

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 17):
On my job, I buy the fare and submit my boarding passes and/or receipts to accounts-payable for reimbursement. Nobody really cares what fare code I flew. They do care how much I've spent vis-a-vis other employees making the same journey between the same points. And god help me if I turn in an invoice for an upgrade.

I'm in the exact same position here. Knowing the upgrade eligibility before purchasing is critical for me, for the same reasons. I'll be hung out to dry if I expense an F/J ticket or an upgrade.

Quoting jetblast (Reply 4):
God forbid the self-anointed elites can't get their blessed free upgrade on their next trip.

So not to be mean, but if I fly 40, 50, or more segments a year, and you fly 4, who's keeping the airline in business? It's the elite group that keeps an airline running, not the casual every day traveler, and that's where the rewards and perks come from. It has nothing to do with airlines feeling sorry for us being away from our families, it has everything to do with the fact that the revenue loyal flyers bring to the table is what keeps the airline flying.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: kgaiflyer
Posted 2012-09-11 06:31:32 and read 11182 times.

Quoting rising (Reply 18):

The real solution to all of this will be the move to an award system based on dollars spent rather than miles flown. The system today is the like a retailer with a loyalty program where they base rewards on how many transaction you make, rather than the total sale. It's crazy. It worked for airlines in the past, but now that everyone is flying, it is outdated. Sure, there is a premium as far as miles earned if you meet certain criteria, but generally, my mile is worth the same as yours no matter how much we both paid.

In the US, Southwest is ahead of the curve on this, with the earning of points, rather than miles. Amtrak is also a good example. United Global Services is also a unique case among the network carriers. It can't come soon enough, for when it does, we can see, as they say, who is swimming naked.

On UA I fly hundreds of short trips and earn 'segments'. I like to think that obtaining the 97 segments I've flown so far this year was a lot more work and a lot more wearying than lying back, sleeping, and eating in a cushy transPacific first-class suite.

It's a bit arrogant to assume that domestic frequent flyers are nothing to the airline's bottom line or that our going through TSA a hundred times a year or spending hundreds of hours cramped into RJs deserves nothing but condescension and dismissal by bigger spenders.

Btw, I also fly WN and earn 'points' at about the same rate as I earn 'segments' on UA. So that's a red herring.

[Edited 2012-09-11 07:12:12]

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: cgagn
Posted 2012-09-11 06:46:20 and read 11028 times.

Quoting vgnatl747 (Reply 19):
So not to be mean, but if I fly 40, 50, or more segments a year, and you fly 4, who's keeping the airline in business? It's the elite group that keeps an airline running, not the casual every day traveler, and that's where the rewards and perks come from. It has nothing to do with airlines feeling sorry for us being away from our families, it has everything to do with the fact that the revenue loyal flyers bring to the table is what keeps the airline flying.

Well said!

C-GAGN

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: flyfree727
Posted 2012-09-11 07:16:59 and read 10777 times.

Quoting sunilgupta (Reply 14):
self-anointed?? I can't just call up UA and say "hey, I want to be an elite"...

I cannot speak for UA, but at AA you certain could buy a status. In the past, if you were within a "range" of miles from making status/high status at years end, AA would allow you a "one time opportunity" to BUY your way to the next level for the following year. And the "one time" opportunity happened twice. I do not know if it is still offered at years end, but can confirm that it happened in the past. Maybe someone who is FF with UA can comment if UA ever had this offered as a threshold into elite status.

AA ORD

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2012-09-11 07:19:16 and read 10756 times.

Quoting vgnatl747 (Reply 19):
So not to be mean, but if I fly 40, 50, or more segments a year, and you fly 4, who's keeping the airline in business? It's the elite group that keeps an airline running, not the casual every day traveler, and that's where the rewards and perks come from. It has nothing to do with airlines feeling sorry for us being away from our families, it has everything to do with the fact that the revenue loyal flyers bring to the table is what keeps the airline flying.

To be fair, let's remember that revenue (actually profit) plays into that calculation as well. In your example obviously you're keeping the airline in business, but someone flying 10-20 segments may well be putting more revenue, possibly far more profit, into the airline's coffers. Not trying to disagree here, just parsing your statement so we don't go down the "I fly x times a year so I'm the best" argument.

I think the issue arises when you have someone who flies every couple weeks on junk fares for $200 a pop (just a hypothetical), versus that person who only flies every couple months but flies longhaul J at several thousand dollars each trip. One person flies roughly 50 segments a year, while the other flies 10-12 segments, but the revenue is far greater, and you can bet the airline makes more profit off that J fare too. The latter person is who the airline is more interested in serving. That is my reading between the lines of what SMI/J is getting at with "overentitled" elite comments.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: RDH3E
Posted 2012-09-11 07:20:24 and read 10741 times.

Quoting bioyuki (Reply 16):
And this is the real reason why UA dropped this information. Call me a conspiracy theorist but this is a sneaky move by UA to kill sites like ExpertFlyer.com. Shame on UA...being an elite is becoming increasingly useless and my dollars are moving accordingly from UA to VX...
Quoting vgnatl747 (Reply 19):
I'm in the exact same position here. Knowing the upgrade eligibility before purchasing is critical for me, for the same reasons. I'll be hung out to dry if I expense an F/J ticket or an upgrade.

Lets look at this from a non-customer perspective. Who else besides sites like ExpertFlyer could benefit from knowing how UA is managing its inventory? Puzzler.... perhaps UA's competitors were using the same type of screen scrape scripts to discover more of the in's and out's of UA's RM/pricing strategy?

Wouldn't you guys say that is a valid concern that needs to be addressed?

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: mogandoCI
Posted 2012-09-11 07:21:13 and read 10881 times.

Quoting rising (Reply 18):
The real solution to all of this will be the move to an award system based on dollars spent rather than miles flown. The system today is the like a retailer with a loyalty program where they base rewards on how many transaction you make, rather than the total sale. It's crazy. It worked for airlines in the past, but now that everyone is flying, it is outdated. Sure, there is a premium as far as miles earned if you meet certain criteria, but generally, my mile is worth the same as yours no matter how much we both paid.

In the US, Southwest is ahead of the curve on this, with the earning of points, rather than miles. Amtrak is also a good example. United Global Services is also a unique case among the network carriers. It can't come soon enough, for when it does, we can see, as they say, who is swimming naked.

Definitely the wrong solution. Aspirational awards is a big driver of loyalty. The WN/B6 model only works because they're single class and don't belong to a major alliance, so their redemptions are largely domestic only.

Domestic first upgrades mean a lot less than international J upgrades or awards. If those start costing linearly with their market price, they would be out of range for many. Once you reach a very low tier that gives you free checked bag (or just getting a credit card), a lot of flying from that point on would be based on the lowest market price, especially out of your own wallet.

Airline loyalty is what drives one to pay $350 to AA instead of $300 to WN for the identical flight. If the 3 legacies take that away, I'd be flying jetBlue everyday.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: kgaiflyer
Posted 2012-09-11 07:30:19 and read 10739 times.

Quoting flyfree727 (Reply 22):
Maybe someone who is FF with UA can comment if UA ever had this offered as a threshold into elite status.

Most of the legacy airlines have both 'purchase' miles and 'account' miles. Every quarter UA has sales offering miles at a discounted cost available at all FF levels to flesh out a trip. The miles appear on a different line in your account and don't help with status acquisition. AFAIK, neither do 'bonus' miles earned at 100%, 150%, or 200% of flown miles -- regardless of fare code or present status.

On UA, only actual flown miles count toward earned status and lifetime miles.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: mogandoCI
Posted 2012-09-11 07:37:04 and read 10750 times.

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 26):

Most of the legacy airlines have both 'purchase' miles and 'account' miles. Every quarter UA has sales offering miles at a discounted cost available at all FF levels to flesh out a trip. The miles appear on a different line in your account and don't help with status acquisition. AFAIK, neither do 'bonus' miles earned at 100%, 150%, or 200% of flown miles -- regardless of fare code or present status.

On UA, only actual flown miles count toward earned status and lifetime miles.

I'll amend to that - UA offers these "premier accelerator" miles that actually count towards status (except 1K). They're usually priced at ~10cpm. Definitely worse than a mileage run, but a quick-and-easy way if you're barely short.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: kgaiflyer
Posted 2012-09-11 07:38:27 and read 10721 times.

Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 25):
Domestic first upgrades mean a lot less than international J upgrades or awards.

Unless like myself and thousands of others -- you never fly internationally -- ever.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: vgnatl747
Posted 2012-09-11 07:39:03 and read 10706 times.

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 24):
Wouldn't you guys say that is a valid concern that needs to be addressed?

Absolutely! My point wasn't arguing against the removal of the content, and I'll frequently use other sites to do that homework anyway, but there was a large set of the elite group that used to use it. I don't argue against the fact that they took it off, more that they took it off without an alternative solution. It has been there for how long? I highly doubt leaving it there for another 30-60 days while they come up with an alternative would have killed the airline.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2012-09-11 07:45:11 and read 10646 times.

Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 27):
I'll amend to that - UA offers these "premier accelerator" miles that actually count towards status (except 1K). They're usually priced at ~10cpm. Definitely worse than a mileage run, but a quick-and-easy way if you're barely short.

I think the PQMs are limited too, just like those earned from CC spend, so you can only top off as you mentioned and not literally buy your way into status without flying a good bit too.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: Stitch
Posted 2012-09-11 07:45:50 and read 10660 times.

Quoting rising (Reply 18):
The real solution to all of this will be the move to an award system based on dollars spent rather than miles flown.

That is what programs like United Global Services and SQ's Priority Passenger Service are for. Entrance to those programs are based on your spend with the airline, not how many miles you accrue.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: flyingsux
Posted 2012-09-11 07:48:51 and read 10577 times.

Quoting learjet1969 (Reply 15):
The more tweaks the new UA makes, the more I like them less. Its like the 1,000,000 miles I have flown are meaningless

They said know it was important and they're working on putting it back for those who value it... geez, what more do you want?

[Edited 2012-09-11 07:49:22]

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: mogandoCI
Posted 2012-09-11 07:51:38 and read 10571 times.

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 28):
Unless like myself and thousands of others -- you never fly internationally -- ever.

You're UA 1K but never fly international ? Really hope you're just being sarcastic.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: Stitch
Posted 2012-09-11 07:55:50 and read 10530 times.

Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 33):
You're UA 1K but never fly international? Really hope you're just being sarcastic.

I knew scores of 1Ks (and many were also UGS) who never flew international. They mostly made 1K on segments as their jobs had them visiting scores of customer sites a year (the UGS doing so mostly on Y and B fare classes).

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: mogandoCI
Posted 2012-09-11 08:01:30 and read 10455 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 34):
I knew scores of 1Ks (and many were also UGS) who never flew international. They mostly made 1K on segments as their jobs had them visiting scores of customer sites a year (the UGS doing so mostly on Y and B fare classes).

That's a rather sad state of affairs. If I were to fly that much, the last thing I want is to confine myself to the 50 states.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: Joeljack
Posted 2012-09-11 08:06:10 and read 10374 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 34):
I knew scores of 1Ks (and many were also UGS) who never flew international. They mostly made 1K on segments as their jobs had them visiting scores of customer sites a year (the UGS doing so mostly on Y and B fare classes)

Just to rebuttal, I just spoke to a buddy that's Delta Diamond and he said so far this year he's flow 325,000 miles. 100% domestic. He's on a plane 3-4 days per week for his job at a large consulting firm.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: kgaiflyer
Posted 2012-09-11 08:18:28 and read 10195 times.

Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 33):
You're UA 1K but never fly international ? Really hope you're just being sarcastic.

Sarcastic? Really? Not completely true then -- I have relatives in both Alberta and British Columbia  

Btw, I'm 69 and still working. I haven't flown TransAtlantic since 2007. I've never flown transPacific or to Hawaii -- my job doesn't require it. And I know you don't get it -- but don't tax yourself.

Let's get back on topic.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: BFinSF
Posted 2012-09-11 09:08:02 and read 9577 times.

Quoting rising (Reply 18):
In other words, unless the fare puts me on standby or fails to give me a confirmed seat, then no one *no one* gives a hoot about fare codes.

Well, I do.

As indicated in my original post, I refer to fare buckets every time I book a flight to evaluate the potential for future (and current) upgrade availability. And I'm confidant that I'm not the only man on this island.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: brilondon
Posted 2012-09-11 09:41:02 and read 9141 times.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 1):

Quoting jetblast (Reply 4):
God forbid the self-anointed elites can't get their blessed free upgrade on their next trip.

The average air passenger seems to get confused by fare codes (and understandably so, most people don't know the difference between an A, F, O, or W fare or why there is a price difference between them). If it helps Joe Blow using united.com to understand a bit better I'm all for it.

  

This is my feeling. Aren't fare codes only useful to the airline anyways? I don't understand why we need to know whether we are in a Q or an O or an A fare. I understand the different classes such as F, C, Y. But other than that, what is the reason for it to have them on the booking page for the average consumer to be confused if they even know what they are being confused about? If what I am saying is confusing, so are UA's booking code system.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: Stitch
Posted 2012-09-11 09:54:59 and read 8944 times.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 39):
I don't understand why we need to know whether we are in a Q or an O or an A fare.

Certain upgrades require certain minimum fare classes. And on some airlines, certain fare classes do not apply for mileage or elite qualification.

Also, Award Tickets have certain fare classes assigned to them. Being able to see what flights have available seats is helpful when trying to book award itineraries.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2012-09-11 10:19:40 and read 8612 times.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 39):
This is my feeling. Aren't fare codes only useful to the airline anyways? I don't understand why we need to know whether we are in a Q or an O or an A fare. I understand the different classes such as F, C, Y. But other than that, what is the reason for it to have them on the booking page for the average consumer to be confused if they even know what they are being confused about? If what I am saying is confusing, so are UA's booking code system.

They may not be useful to you per se, but they can really come in handy. If you have any doubts about what Stitch or anyone else notes, just go check out the umpteen threads on FT about this, and you'll find that fare buckets can provide countless bits of useful information when planning/booking.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: flyfree727
Posted 2012-09-11 11:09:39 and read 8039 times.

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 26):
Most of the legacy airlines have both 'purchase' miles and 'account' miles. Every quarter UA has sales offering miles at a discounted cost available at all FF levels to flesh out a trip. The miles appear on a different line in your account and don't help with status acquisition. AFAIK, neither do 'bonus' miles earned at 100%, 150%, or 200% of flown miles -- regardless of fare code or present status.

I understand that concept, of "buying" miles. Not what I was refering to.. My example with AA, was, at years end, just shy of retaining "elite" status and was given the opportunity to "buy" the elite status for the following year, along with all the perks that goes along with it. So, miles were not purchased, rather, status to the next elite level were purchased. The mileage account balance remained the same after the transaction, yet the elite status "tag" was retained, even though required mileage was not met. So, yes, AA DID allow customers to "purchase" an elite status.

AA ORD

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2012-09-11 11:18:39 and read 7911 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 40):
Award Tickets have certain fare classes assigned to them. Being able to see what flights have available seats is helpful when trying to book award itineraries.

But how is that helpful? That's all handled internally. If you try to make an award booking, it shows you the flights with available seats. If a certain flight doesn't appear as available, you know it has no inventory in the award fare class.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2012-09-11 11:41:00 and read 7656 times.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 43):
But how is that helpful? That's all handled internally. If you try to make an award booking, it shows you the flights with available seats. If a certain flight doesn't appear as available, you know it has no inventory in the award fare class.

Generally speaking for most people, yes that's all that matters. But again, if you are really getting into the nitty gritty of booking a limited-availability seat while maximizing your available miles (minimizing expenditure), that tool can be invaluable. Different strokes for different folks, but the value is most decidedly there even if not everyone uses it.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: hohd
Posted 2012-09-11 15:25:18 and read 5093 times.

The issue here is that by removing this information it is affecting only the elites and those are interested in getting upgrades or sameday change for free of cost. Obviously these are passengers who give the airline the most revenue, so why is UA alienating this very group.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: Schweigend
Posted 2012-09-11 15:36:52 and read 4958 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 40):
Certain upgrades require certain minimum fare classes. And on some airlines, certain fare classes do not apply for mileage or elite qualification.

  

They certainly do.

I just did a flight search at UA's website, and, for each fare listed, the specific booking class is displayed, so the buyer does indeed know what bucket they are getting, and those needing a particular fare class can still select it.

Not shown is the availability in ALL buckets, like what AA94 posted in Reply 12. That really is too much information to be "out there" IMO.

I cannot understand what the ruckus is about.

Scottie

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: sunilgupta
Posted 2012-09-11 16:45:02 and read 4069 times.

Quoting flyfree727 (Reply 22):
Maybe someone who is FF with UA can comment if UA ever had this offered as a threshold into elite status.

No you can't do that on UA and at least as long as I have been 1K (5-6 years) there was no option to buy up. The only way that I saw to make elite without flying was a one-time credit card offer many years back. They have a new credit card that offers many perks but I do not know if offers EQM.

Sunil

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2012-09-11 16:56:05 and read 4004 times.

Quoting sunilgupta (Reply 47):
No you can't do that on UA and at least as long as I have been 1K (5-6 years) there was no option to buy up. The only way that I saw to make elite without flying was a one-time credit card offer many years back. They have a new credit card that offers many perks but I do not know if offers EQM.Sunil

That is incorrect - while you cannot buy status outright (e.g., "$x for Platinum! $y for Gold!") without doing ANY flying whatosever, Premier Accelerator purchases and CC EQM earnings (certain cards only, but several have it), not to mention the periodic DEQM promos UA will send out, can put you over the top. So there may also not be official buy-ups that you have received (then again why would they to a repeating 1K), but there are various methods to boost your EQMs above your actual flown count that allow you to top off status. There are also reports on FT of people getting the "soft landing" for status, where they aren't offered a buy-up per se, but where UA will overlook a handful of missed EQMs and grant you status anyway if you just missed it. That's neither here nor there, but I thought that was a nice gesture on their part to offer that from time to time.

I believe AA's challenges ("fly x times in y months and we'll grant you z status" at a more generous EQ rate than those flights would normally earn) are the closest thing to pure buy-ups currently out there, at least that I've heard tell of.

Topic: RE: UA Drops Fare Codes From United.com
Username: nomadd22
Posted 2012-09-11 17:30:11 and read 3943 times.

I just had an incident where I booked and confirmed a seat in Delta 1st class with the seat on my boarding pass, only to have the airline reasign me to an economy seat at the gate. They refused to budge on the price saying that the fare class was an upgrade class and not a guarenteed 1st class ticket. There was no mention of a class code anywhere in the process I could find. They finally refunded half the price and bumped me to a flight two hours later with a 1st class seat to shut me up. I was less than happy with what I considered a blatanty attempt to rip me off.


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