Friday, August 12th, 2016, 12:37 pm
My brother had a more interesting dilemma. He’s booked in September on a one-way 12.5K award from Cleveland to my alma mater, YOEC, in LA. Usually there’s no need to book a round-trip mileage ticket on domestic flights, but the award sale is only valid for round-trip tickets.
He called several times but didn’t get anywhere, so I took over.
I fully expected to have to play the HUCA lottery. That’s not something you smoke, that’s when you Hang Up and Call Again until you get the answer you want.
The first agent told me that it was a targeted promotion. Which is false of course, but I find that when an agent starts making things up it’s better to say thanks and hang up rather than try to correct them and be met with an “I’ve been doing this for 30 years sir, I think I know my job!”
The 2nd agent was happy to add a return segment to fly home for just 7,500 miles, but insisted on charging the $75 change fee as the ticket would have to be reissued.
The 3rd agent wasn’t able to find a saver award flight for the flight he wanted, despite it being clearly available. I just assume these people are grossly incompetent, are too lazy to be bothered to search, or get paid based on how quickly they process each phone call.
Finally the 4th agent was willing to book the return segment for 7,500 miles and waive the change fee as no flights were actually being changed.
All in all it took me about half an hour. Was it worth it? I suppose that depends on how you value your time, but I will say that the feeling of success feels just as good as the miles and money saved.
Have you had success having your existing United award repriced with the award sale?