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is there anything like “illegal booking” from airline?
I booked a roundtrip ticket san-fran – barcelona. I choose United — because I would have the points for an upgrade to business class.
After speaking to the rep — I booked economy. And, ask for an upgrade — where they can’t guarantee until 24 hours before flight. I was confused that that was the situation.
In addition, I went to do the same with my return, and for the first time — they told me this was an actually a swiss air flight and they can’t request upgrades, and i would need to deal with Swiss air.
I was surprised that I was never told this at time of booking.
In addition, when I called Swiss air to do this, I was told I was in the wrong class seat to request any upgrade. (Ok, I get that.) . But, my class of service doesn’t even allow me to reserve a seat until I get to the airport on the actual
flight day! I found this outrageous.
How could United book my on this, without giving any very relevant and important details.
This seems illegal? Any thoughts on how to fix and be able to use United points to upgrade? Thanks
Points upgrades are based on availability – and availability is capacity controlled by United. That’s to say that even though there may be seats in business class, not all are available for upgrades. The rep should have told you whether the fare your purchasing is eligible for points upgrades and whether there is upgrade space available. Furthermore, the fare class on your ticket determines the cost of the upgrade and whether a cash copay is required. For SFO-BCN, upgrades are 15k-20k miles and up to $550 in cash copays. Being waitlisted means that there is no upgrade space available and you will be notified if space becomes available.
For your return, it sounds like you chose a codeshare flight (United flight number but operated by Swiss) and upgrades in this case are much more difficult because eligible fare classes are severely limited. I’m not completely sure that upgrades are possible for codeshare flights.
Regarding not being able to pick seats, it could be that your fare class is deep discount economy with restrictions like advance seat requests. It could also be that UA cant access the Swiss seat map and you’d have to call Swiss to get a seat. I’m not sure how your ticket was booked and whether there would have been popups, warnings or other messages that provided details about selecting seats.
If you booked your ticket less than 24 hours ago, you can cancel for a full refund. If you do that, you can call a UA rep and ask to find a flight with confirmable upgrade space on both flights though it may be a more expensive ticket, before upgrade costs are added.
If it makes you feel any better, BA doesn’t even let business class customers pick seats for free more than 24 hours in advance unless they have some kind of elite status.