Tough pill to swallow, but that’s the way the industry has gone and United generously introduced an Excursionist Perk that allows for a stopover as long as it occurs in the same region as the destination and doesn’t occur in the region of origin.
Despite some rumors to the contrary, they also didn’t eliminate XN, YN, or JN expanded award availability for cardholders or a seminar tip.
And they even fixed Expert Mode, which now shows up on award searches once again. When it was eliminated I contacted the 1K email support team who told me that it had been disabled permanently. I followed up explaining why I found it so useful to know how many award seats were available without having to do an award search for the award calendar and then having to do a revenue search to view how many award seats were actually available and they let me know back in June that it was fixed. When I told them it was still not showing they said they would bring it back and it’s good to see it finally make its return. This saver award nonstop from Tel Aviv to Newark on March 1st has at least 9 seats for cardholders and elites but no saver awards seats for non cardholders.
However since the update I can’t login to my account details page in Chrome, though it still works in Firefox.
But worse than the stopover elimination is that when using the multi-city search on the website or by phone the system now prices every segment separately. You can no longer create a routing even if it falls within the award rules.
In the past you were able to use multi-city search to string together award flights that United.com didn’t come up with. In other words if you search for an award from NYC to Tel Aviv you’ll find many routing options on United.com, but you can find many more by searching from NYC to Europe and Europe to Tel Aviv. In the past you were able to manually select flights and they priced at the same rate as a regular award.
Now United.com and phone agents are charging separately for each leg when manually requested. That means you’re stuck with what United.com finds, if you use the multi-city option you are penalized even if you select the same flights that United.com does find!
United.com successfully found a flight from Tel Aviv to JFK via Munich for 42.5K:
However when I select those exact flights via multi-city search it now prices each leg separately:
United.com was unable to find a business class flight from NYC to Sydney on December 6th:
It was able to find an 80K business class option from Los Angeles to Sydney:
By using multi-city search I easily added the NYC-LAX flight to that itinerary by searching NYC-LAX and LAX-SYD. But instead of the 80K miles it should have cost, it shows 92.5K due to the new pricing logic:
How bad is the new pricing logic? If I search for NYC-AKL and AKL-SYD then the same exact flights come back at 110K:
If United.com comes up with NYC-LAX-AKL-SYD it’s 80K in business class. If I use multi-city search it can be 92.5K or 110K depending on how I input the search.
Is this #UnitedUnfriendly or a#UnitedBug?