UAL Saver/Mileage Upgrade Awards

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Dec 28, 2018
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#1
I'm looking for either Saver Awards or Mileage Upgrades (I have a Chase/United Explorer credit card) for two Business class tickets from EWR to FCO for September 2019. I have read that these should be available, but my searches have shown only Business Everyday Awards or "Upgrade Waitlist" for Mileage Upgrades (MUA). Does anyone know if the EWR to FCO route even offers either of these better options? If so, how far before the travel date might they become available?
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#2
Call Chase or United and find out what is available. It is may be too early for award tickets for September anyway. Or your status may not qualify you for certain seats types. But not every flight or route is offered so there might never be availability. But it's usually a lot closer to the sail date that you might find seats.
 
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weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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#3
I'm looking for either Saver Awards or Mileage Upgrades (I have a Chase/United Explorer credit card) for two Business class tickets from EWR to FCO for September 2019. I have read that these should be available, but my searches have shown only Business Everyday Awards or "Upgrade Waitlist" for Mileage Upgrades (MUA). Does anyone know if the EWR to FCO route even offers either of these better options? If so, how far before the travel date might they become available?
Availability changes from day to day. You will need to check the UA website regularly. There is no method of tracking or predicting availability.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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#4
What is your status on United? Some seats are only offered depending on your status. You also have to be signed into your United Mileage Plus account to see these seats.

BTW Econ Plus on a non-stop EWR to FCO is a much better deal than wasting miles on BC/FC.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#6
There are business savers for partner Star Alliance flights, but I do not see any of the non stops available. One reason there may not be any saver availability on the non stop is that the airline is changing the fleet to have a Premium Economy section. You just have to keep checking.

If one has the miles, a business class ticket is better use of the miles than Economy plus ticket -- lay flat seats....
 
Likes: jsn55
Dec 28, 2018
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#7
I just searched Business Saver seats EWR-FCO in Sept 2019 through my account. They are offered on many days for 70k miles (one way) on my profile.
Thank you for your reply. I have no status, just a lot of miles from using the Chase/United card. I just did a search, logged in, and did find a few flights for 70,000 miles each way. We are headed to Rome for a cruise so my dates are somewhat set in stone. I guess status is everything.
 
Dec 28, 2018
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#8
There are business savers for partner Star Alliance flights, but I do not see any of the non stops available. One reason there may not be any saver availability on the non stop is that the airline is changing the fleet to have a Premium Economy section. You just have to keep checking.

If one has the miles, a business class ticket is better use of the miles than Economy plus ticket -- lay flat seats....
I agree on the lay flat seats. I have read that Star Alliance partners don't release those seats until about two weeks before the flight. I can't take the risk of waiting that long, and getting stuck in economy for 9 hours on an overnight flight.
 
Dec 28, 2018
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#9
What is your status on United? Some seats are only offered depending on your status. You also have to be signed into your United Mileage Plus account to see these seats.

BTW Econ Plus on a non-stop EWR to FCO is a much better deal than wasting miles on BC/FC.
I don't want to seem ignorant, but I am not aware of what BTW or BC/FC is. Would you provide additional clarity?
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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#11
Thank you for your reply. I have no status, just a lot of miles from using the Chase/United card. I just did a search, logged in, and did find a few flights for 70,000 miles each way. We are headed to Rome for a cruise so my dates are somewhat set in stone. I guess status is everything.
Find a low fare ticket that you want and go a few days early-always a good safety precaution when meeting up for a cruise. A few extra days in Rome is a good thing.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,310
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#12
I agree on the lay flat seats. I have read that Star Alliance partners don't release those seats until about two weeks before the flight. I can't take the risk of waiting that long, and getting stuck in economy for 9 hours on an overnight flight.
We fly long haul UA to Europe frequently out of EWR. A good Econ Plus seat, like bulkhead, is a great deal for 30k. Two can fly for less than the cost of a saver bus class single seat. We just flew DEN-FRA on a Star Alliance codeshare on Lufthansa, 30k/per in Econ plus.

Go early, adjust to the jet lag, enjoy Rome for a few days, and be rested and get ready for your cruise. Two days in advance is the MINIMUM you should fly ahead of cruise departure.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,310
1,277
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Maui Hawaii
#13
Thank you for your reply. I have no status, just a lot of miles from using the Chase/United card. I just did a search, logged in, and did find a few flights for 70,000 miles each way. We are headed to Rome for a cruise so my dates are somewhat set in stone. I guess status is everything.
Remember the only dates set in stone are the date you must board the cruise and when the cruise ends. When you fly is not set in stone and you can fly earlier (actually must fly earlier) and return later.

Without status on United, your choice of flights and low fares is restricted.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Sep 19, 2015
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#14
I agree on the lay flat seats. I have read that Star Alliance partners don't release those seats until about two weeks before the flight. I can't take the risk of waiting that long, and getting stuck in economy for 9 hours on an overnight flight.
I do not think that my status on UA has anything to do with finding more awards.

Traveler58 -- I found a Swiss Flight on September 2 with a change in Zurich with space in Business for $70,000 miles outbound. Have you considered Lufthansa and/or Swiss? And if you would consider JFK that would give more options with both Lufthansa and Swiss as they fly more planes out of there.

My experience as a higher status flyer (1K this year) is that there are not as many United flights that are open in Business Saver but that it is easier to find Lufthansa and/or Swiss flights. Also I do not agree that Star Alliance releases tickets only weeks before the flight -- they will release more, but I have found flights several months in advance. So my status has not helped me.

I think that you need to start checking every few days. Is the cruise in early or late September?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#15
We fly long haul UA to Europe frequently out of EWR. A good Econ Plus seat, like bulkhead, is a great deal for 30k. Two can fly for less than the cost of a saver bus class single seat. We just flew DEN-FRA on a Star Alliance codeshare on Lufthansa, 30k/per in Econ plus.

Go early, adjust to the jet lag, enjoy Rome for a few days, and be rested and get ready for your cruise. Two days in advance is the MINIMUM you should fly ahead of cruise departure.
If the passenger does not have status they will not E + plus seats without a charge; and bulkhead can be hard to get as it often is reserved for disabilities, children, etc. . If they have the miles why not take business?
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,310
1,277
113
Maui Hawaii
#17
I do not think that my status on UA has anything to do with finding more awards.

Traveler58 -- I found a Swiss Flight on September 2 with a change in Zurich with space in Business for $70,000 miles outbound. Have you considered Lufthansa and/or Swiss? And if you would consider JFK that would give more options with both Lufthansa and Swiss as they fly more planes out of there.

My experience as a higher status flyer (1K this year) is that there are not as many United flights that are open in Business Saver but that it is easier to find Lufthansa and/or Swiss flights. Also I do not agree that Star Alliance releases tickets only weeks before the flight -- they will release more, but I have found flights several months in advance. So my status has not helped me.

I think that you need to start checking every few days. Is the cruise in early or late September?
Status does matter on UA. When I log on to my account and look for award tickets I see many that actually say they are available due to my status, and are not offered if I look without logging on. There are many Swiss flights to Europe from EWR that are offered as award tickets. JFK also offers other options. When I fly from DEN I am offered Lufthansa to FRA.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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#18
Saver awards by their own nature, have limited availability and are not available on all flights or routes. Sometimes an airline may post no available inventory on a specific flight route. Sometimes they may post only 1 seat (and you need 2, so it won't show up as available). Airlines may not post saver awards in advance, or may add saver seats to inventory at any time to reflect anticipated sales.

Be careful with upgrade awards as there may be restrictions as to the fare type that may be upgraded.
 
Dec 28, 2018
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#19
Remember the only dates set in stone are the date you must board the cruise and when the cruise ends. When you fly is not set in stone and you can fly earlier (actually must fly earlier) and return later.

Without status on United, your choice of flights and low fares is restricted.
Thanks for your excellent information. I figured my lack of status had an impact. For cruises out of Europe, we fly a red-eye two days in advance (arriving 1 day in advance). This particular cruise is September 9 - 20, so trying for an award on evening of September 7th. We then stay in the city of disembarkation for a few days. We are somewhat flexible, but not too flexible. I will check JFK as well but we are 2 hours closer to EWR. I also try to avoid connections whenever possible, even if it comes at a price. My experience with connections is not very positive.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,310
1,277
113
Maui Hawaii
#20
Saver awards by their own nature, have limited availability and are not available on all flights or routes. Sometimes an airline may post no available inventory on a specific flight route. Sometimes they may post only 1 seat (and you need 2, so it won't show up as available). Airlines may not post saver awards in advance, or may add saver seats to inventory at any time to reflect anticipated sales.

Be careful with upgrade awards as there may be restrictions as to the fare type that may be upgraded.
The best advice is plan far ahead (award tickets on UA are available ~330 days ahead of flight date) and check frequently until you find the date and route you wish. The saver awards on UA are available far in advance; more may be added and some deleted. Once you find an acceptable award ticket, grab it. If you wait for the "perfect" ticket you may miss out completely. We fly on UA saver award tickets much more than on paid tickets and always find an acceptable route; sometimes it may involve one extra stopover and take a few hours more but we fly on the days we wish. Most of our UA saver award tickets are long-haul such as US mainland to HI, or to Europe (EDI, FRA, ZUR etc).

Unfortunately, if you do not have staus on UA the selection of flights is much more limited and the shorter duration long-haul routes are scarce.
 
Likes: Neil Maley