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All you need to know:
http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/38212

http://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/mileageplus/awards/travel/types.aspx
Click on "United air travel award rules:"
"You may redeem miles for travel in United Global FirstSM, United First®, United Business® or United BusinessFirst® , even if the space is not available. In these cases, United Economy in the same award type must be confirmed, and the front cabin will be waitlisted. For example, a Saver United First award must be confirmed in Saver United Economy to be eligible for waitlisting. If the courtesy waitlist does not clear, it will expire 24 hours before itinerary departure, and you will automatically be added to the airport upgrade standby list upon check-in. In these cases, you will be confirmed on a space-available basis by a United airport representative at the gate once the flight has closed for check-in. For United BusinessFirst and United Business travel awards, the difference in miles will be refunded when the United BusinessFirst or United Business class segment of the trip could not be confirmed. Waitlist requests may only be made over the phone with your local United Reservations office"


« Last edited by HolyNyc on February 02, 2015, 08:51:46 AM »

Author Topic: Plan B Discussion: Booking BusinessFirst Awards Without Availability  (Read 257408 times)

Offline zalman123

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if i book with miles a economy seat to Israel because they don't have business available could i upgrade later if something becomes available? and if yes how many miles would it cost? thanx
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 03:39:55 PM by Dan »

Offline Dan

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Re: Continental Plan B
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2010, 01:48:52 PM »
Continental "Plan B" allows you to pay the miles for businessfirst and get a mileage refund if you don't get a seat in businessfirst.  Even if you do get a seat in First Class for the non-BF portion but do not get the BR seat you will get the mileage refund.

From this Israel trip report: http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/5335

It works like this: If there is a saverpass coach award seat you can call up the international reward desk and ask for a BusinessFirst ticket but be seated in coach and placed on a waitlist for a BusinessFirst seat. For EWR-TLV your account will be debited 57,500 miles for each way.

You will either clear the waitlist into BusinessFirst no later than 24 hours before the flight or the waitlist will expire.

If at 24 hours before the flight you still don’t have a BusinessFirst seat then at the airport you have to find an International Concierge or other knowlegdable looking agent and tell them that you are a displaced BusinessFirst customer.

If they have no idea what you are talking about tell them to look up “gg onestandby” and review lines 85-89 which spell out the details of this reward. (This is reminiscent of “gg checkpoint line 53″ which you have to reference to show agents how to give you a security pass for you and your guests to access post-security Presidents Club’s if you aren’t flying.)

If they need to verify that you have a BusinessFirst reward have them call up the reward desk.

Still not able to get a seat in BusinessFirst? Just call up the reward desk after the flight and they’ll give you a refund of the difference between the standard coach award and the standard BusinessFirst award.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 11:59:44 AM by Dan »
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Offline zalman123

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Re: Continental Plan B
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2010, 02:41:29 PM »
Thanks dan!! How many miles would i need to do this 300k im trying to get it for 115k?

Offline Dan

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Re: Continental Plan B
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2010, 03:14:12 PM »
Thanks dan!! How many miles would i need to do this 300k im trying to get it for 115k?
If there are 75K economy awards you would pay 115K, be seated in economy, and be waitlisted+prioitized for a businessfirst seat.
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Offline zalman123

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Re: Continental Plan B
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2010, 08:28:45 PM »
Thanks again dan!! do i have to do it on the phone? or is possible some how on line? and is the ticket refundable or could i change the date? is there a charge?

Offline Dan

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Re: Continental Plan B
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2010, 08:44:34 PM »
Thanks again dan!! do i have to do it on the phone? or is possible some how on line? and is the ticket refundable or could i change the date? is there a charge?
It has to be done over the phone.  It can be a challenge finding a rep who knows how to do it.

Date changes are free 21+ days out and cancellation fees vary based on the elite status of the redeeming member:
http://www.continental.com/web/en-US/content/onepass/rewards/travel/ticketing.aspx
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Offline kivabb

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Continental business redemption to TLV when not available
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2010, 09:57:15 AM »
It seems Continental opens many more award seating 30 days before departures. In a situation where I want to go Business, but only Coach is available, I have heard rumors that you can lay out the 115K for the coach seat and they charge you the full amount, only if business is available at check in. Otherwise they credit you the difference.

Has anyone heard/tried this or have any info? Does this have to be done only by phone? What is it called?

Offline kivabb

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So
If there are 75K economy awards you would pay 115K, be seated in economy, and be waitlisted+prioitized for a businessfirst seat.

So assuming I'm not an Elite member, if it turns out there's no availability, do I have to pay $75 to redeposit 40K miles per passenger?

And if there is availability in business, would there be any additional charge?

Does this only work same day as flight?

Offline Dan

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So
So assuming I'm not an Elite member, if it turns out there's no availability, do I have to pay $75 to redeposit 40K miles per passenger?

And if there is availability in business, would there be any additional charge?

Does this only work same day as flight?
If you do not get a BusinessFirst seat you can call after the flight to get the 40K mileage refund without charge.

You are paying for BusinessFirst so you are therefore a "displaced" BusinessFirst passenger if you do not clear the waitlist at 24 hours before the flight.  This is important to stress because if you are listed as displaced you will have top priority for a BusinessFirst seat, ahead of all other standby passengers and nonrevs.
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Offline kivabb

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Great advice.  Thanks.


Offline ChaimB

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If you do not get a BusinessFirst seat you can call after the flight to get the 40K mileage refund without charge.

You are paying for BusinessFirst so you are therefore a "displaced" BusinessFirst passenger if you do not clear the waitlist at 24 hours before the flight.  This is important to stress because if you are listed as displaced you will have top priority for a BusinessFirst seat, ahead of all other standby passengers and nonrevs.

 Seems like a no-brainer as long as theres nothing that I can lose.

 the 40k U referred to I take it is the difference between a BF tkt and a Coach.  If a person only gets the BF seat in 1 direction do they lose the whole 40k or do they get 20k back? dont know if Id want to blow 115 for BF 1 way and coach the other if coach would be 70k for the round-trip.

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Seems like a no-brainer as long as theres nothing that I can lose.

 the 40k U referred to I take it is the difference between a BF tkt and a Coach.  If a person only gets the BF seat in 1 direction do they lose the whole 40k or do they get 20k back? dont know if Id want to blow 115 for BF 1 way and coach the other if coach would be 70k for the round-trip.
Correct you will get 20K back if you only clear in one direction.

Also important to note, if you fly LAX-EWR-TLV-EWR-TLV and you clear for LAX-EWR-LAX but not the EWR-TLV-EWR segments you will still get a refund down to the 75K coach level.  Of course if EWR-TLV-EWR clears but LAX-EWR-LAX does not there will be no refund.
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Offline Mikeoracle

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I assume the above will only work when booking on CO with CO miles and not when booking a CO award through a *A partner, say with US miles or ANA miles....?

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I assume the above will only work when booking on CO with CO miles and not when booking a CO award through a *A partner, say with US miles or ANA miles....?
Correct.
This is a very generous CO policy for travel on CO flights when redeeming CO miles.
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Once again, big fan of the site and the forums. Thanks for all the great info.

Trying to book JFK-LAX on AA which has 3 classes of service. I see First is hardly available with mileage, only business and Coach. Is there a similar game plan with AA as there is with Continental that I can use First class reward and get on waiting list if seat is not available and either plead that I'm a displaced First passenger or get my extra miles back?

Thanks